Today's Guest Post and Give-Away is From
Hi, Darcyholics. It is your chief addict, Barbara Tiller Cole! I am honored to have a guest post from Robin Helm today.
Unless otherwise stated, all of the give-aways winners here at Darcyholic Diversions will be selected one week from posting. So I will be drawing for Maria Grace's Giveaway shortly after uploading this post. You still have through Friday midnight to enter Wendi Sotis's give-away, by commenting on her guest post. As well, you have till Monday midnight to comment on my post--The contest is for a Guest Blog Post for the BEST answer to: 'You Might be a Darcyholic...If...'
NOTE--Upcoming Guest Posts Are As Follows:
January 27--Rebecca Thumann
January 31--Jack Caldwell
February 3--Jan Hahn
And Many more to come!
Robin is giving away 2 copies of each of her books (2 sets). One will be signed paperback copies and is for US and Canada. The second set is for eBooks in Kindle or Nook formats and that will include US, Canada and International entries. Entries will be based on comments on the blog post; but additional chances will be given for joining this site, tweeting this post, sharing this on Facebook or your blog, clicking 'like' on Barbara Tiller Cole or on Author's Facebook page, or following BarbTCole on Twitter (or Author when applicable). Please note any of these things that you do in your blog post for extra entries.
And Now...I present...Robin!
My Life as a P & P Nerd by Robin Helm
From the time my sister Gayle taught me to read when I was four years old, I have had a book in my hands more often than not. I was the baby in a family of six, and there was always plenty to do in the way of cleaning, cooking, gardening, and yard work. I remember hiding in a closet to read quite often, because if my mother saw me, she would immediately make me put down the book and get to work. I think what originally attracted me to the house we live in now was the walk-in closets. Though I no longer have to hide to read, I have plenty of room to do so should the need ever arise.
Along with reading, I loved to make up stories. My second grade teacher used to put me in front of the class at least once a week and tell me to make up a story for the other children. I loved it, and I would act out the story as I told it. Throughout my school years, I was that kid who read every book which was assigned and more.
Several teachers influenced me tremendously; my tenth grade English teacher worked on my creative writing skills. For one six weeks, we wrote an essay each day, much like a blog today. In eleventh grade English, we wrote poetry, short stories, and plays. My senior English teacher taught me advanced composition, as well as English grammar and literature, and she really spurred my imagination.
When I became a teacher myself, I ended most of my junior and senior English classes with ten to twenty minutes of great literature made into films. Because Austen has long been my most-beloved author and Pride and Prejudice is my hands-down favorite novel, we always watched the BBC miniseries, Pride and Prejudice, along with Emma, Sense and Sensibility, Persuasion, Mansfield Park, and Northanger Abbey. Most of my former students name Pride and Prejudice as their favorite book. I have loved all things Austen for most of my life, and Darcy was always my fantasy man – tall, dark, handsome, brooding, intelligent, and Byronesque (without the kinky thing for young girls). I like to think that I passed my fascination for him on to my students. Many of them still contact me on Face Book, and when Firth won his Oscar, I was inundated with messages!
My daughters grew up watching these films and other period films based on great literature, but our family favorite is Pride and Prejudice. We watch it every time we are all together again, and we can quote the entire miniseries. My husband randomly says lines from the work, and my daughters and I answer in kind. He accepts the Mr. Darcy addiction of his three ladies with grace and a grin.
My sister Gayle and I discovered the books of Carrie Bebris and several other JAFF authors in a Barnes & Noble while we were at a teacher’s convention. When she found stories online and told me about JAFF forums, I thought we had hit the mother lode.
After twenty-five years of teaching, I left to take three part-time jobs. Because I had more free time than I was used to having, I began to “beta,” or edit for other writers. Gayle had been serving as a beta for several years, and she recommended me to a few writers. While doing beta work, I began to think that I still had stories to tell. Before that time, the idea of writing a book had been too daunting to me. A year ago, I was intimidated by the idea, but now, I have written and published two books in The Guardian Trilogy, Guardian and SoulFire, and I am nearly a third of the way through writing the third book in the series, Legacy.
The Guardian Trilogy is loosely related to Pride and Prejudice. Xander, the main character, uses the name Darcy when he assumes human form. Elizabeth is his love interest, born to David and Lynne Bennet. Though The Guardian Trilogy does not closely follow Austen’s plot, the characters behave much as their Austen counterparts would in a modern, Christian setting. For instance, Xander/Darcy is a protector, much like Austen’s Darcy protected Lydia, Elizabeth’s sister, as well as Elizabeth, by helping Lydia. He has a higher standing than Elizabeth, because he is an angel and she is human. As an angel, Xander is remote and free from strong emotions. He is distant, like Austen’s Darcy. Elizabeth does reject Darcy at one point, much like the P & P Elizabeth and Darcy have their Hunsford debacle. Austen fans also require a happy ending for the couple, and they will have it.
Though I love all sorts of Jane Austen fan fiction stories, I think I have found my niche in writing Christian Pride and Prejudice variations with paranormal elements. I am developing a book to write after I finish writing and publishing Legacy. My next project will take place in both modern and Regency times, and one angel will be involved. The book is tentatively titled Darcy’s Wish, and I hope to have it published by Thanksgiving of 2012.
I am nearly one-third of the way through writing Legacy, and it should be published around the end of April or the beginning of May. Immediately after that, I will begin writing Darcy’s Wish. I am very excited about the story, and I look forward to letting it out of my head. It has been rattling around in there for about a month, and I find it to be quite distracting. So far, my batting it away has been effective, but soon the story must be released befores it drive me completely crazy. My husband, wit that he is, would say that would not be a drive, but only a short walk.
Great article, Robin! You've got me hooked already on Darcy's Wish! Love the photo in the closet.ReplyDelete
Thanks so much, Wendi! If I can just get past Legacy in the next 3 months, Darcy's Wish can be unleashed.Delete
I enjoyed reading the post. I like the idea of Pride and Prejudice with paranormal elements.ReplyDelete
I follow this blog.
Thank you so much for your comments. I think that all of my books will probably have paranormal elements. My genre seems to be fantasy fiction.Delete
I hope you enjoy Darcyholic Diversions enough to keep visiting!
Robin, you are such a creative writer!...To integrate the Story of Darcy and Elizabeth with scriptures from the Good Book is something of a marvel...My emotions go from the depth of despair to the height of joy based on the power of the written words in your stories is awesome.ReplyDelete
Thanks so much, Mary! What a wonderful thing to say. To me, it's a natural fit, but I always have been a little different. Ha!Delete
I love that you are touched by the emotional aspects of the stories, and I hope that you'll like Legacy as well as the first two in the trilogy.
That was an interesting post, Robin. You must have a world of imagination to combine Darcy and Elizabeth with angels. I'm very interested in reading your books and commend you for writing Christian variations of our favorite characters.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Jan, for your lovely comments. I fear that my writing will always be unusual, and I hope that my readers will stay with me.Delete
I have always thought of Elizabeth and Darcy as Christians, so it isn't very much of a stretch for me. I appreciate your commendation.
Your stories are among my favorites!
I never thought to bring my books in the closet with me, but just as you have found, I no longer have a need to hide.ReplyDelete
I am glad that you are letting your stories out of your head. I will be happy to read many more.
Thank you, Annette! Mother never did find me when I hid there - not even once. It was amazing, because she always seemed to know everything.Delete
I have to let them out. Otherwise, I fear they'll do irreparable damage to my poor brain.
I'm so excited that you already have a new book planned after Legacy! And it's P&P! :)ReplyDelete
I didn't read Austen til I was an adult and, in a way, I'm glad because a lot of the required reading in high school I resisted just out of sheer ornery-ness. I hated to be told what I HAD to read and I enjoyed very few of my teachers' selections. I don't think I would've appreciated the genius of Austen at that age.
Anyway, everyone should read Robin's books; they (and she) are very creative.
Thank you, Monica. I have appreciated your support and comments throughout the writing of The Guardian Trilogy. People like you keep people like me writing.Delete
Darcy's Wish will be quite a departure from this series. I'm looking forward to doing something a little different. I hope you'll like it.
Robin, you already know how much I love your two books - in fact, we 3 girls that read together may wind up with more than one set of the guardian series because it is one we all intend to read over and over.So winning these 2 would be great - definitely help us not fight over who gets to have them at their house!ReplyDelete
What a terrific thing to say, Jan! Your review of Guardian was such an encouragement to me, and I read it quite often - probably once a day!Delete
Good luck in the giveaway!
Thank you so much for posting here, Robin. I enjoyed your story! Particularly your early reading career!
Thank you for allowing me to post, Barb. I love the way we help each other in the JAFF community.Delete
I hid in that closet until I was a teenager - and maybe a few times then. It was upstairs, and Mother never went up there if she could help it.
I tweeted this: http://twitter.com/jaffobsession/status/162397924188372993ReplyDelete
And I follow Darcyholic Diversions.
And I follow Barb on Twitter. And Robin. And some other people, too, but I'm thinking that is probably irrelevant. Lol
I'm laughing, Monica. You crack me up. Thanks for the tweets!Delete
I enjoyed your post, Robin, and reading about your love of reading and teaching. I am an ex-teacher of college preparatory math but English was my other field. I hear from lots of my students on facebook too and think that is so fun to know what they are doing now.ReplyDelete
Your trilogy sounds very intriguing with a different premise. I will be putting them on my TBR list! I always love to learn more about authors and how they started writing! Thanks again for the post and the giveaway!
Thanks so much! I hope you enjoy the books.Delete
Robin, I enjoyed your post. So interesting. Your story about reading in the closet is great. In my case, I always had the flashlight under the covers at night reading anything I could get my hands on.ReplyDelete
Congratulations on publishing the first two books in the Guardian series. I know the third will be a hit, too!
Thanks, Sandy. That closet was my happy place!Delete
Mom had to hide the books she didn't want me to read.
Did you not find those books? HeeheeDelete