A Wife and Husband Duo
Emma Darcy Life
Emma Darcy began her career as the duo of Wendy and Frank Brennan, a husband, and wife writing team from Australia.
Wendy was born in 1940 in Dorrigo, New South Wales, Australia. She had various careers, such as teaching. Wendy was reputed to be the first woman computer programmer in the southern hemisphere.
Later, she met and fell in love with Frank Brennan, a pharmacist, and businessman. In 1964, she and Frank were married, and Wendy left work to focus on her family.
Wendy and Frank Brennan’s life journey took as many twists and turns as the characters in their stories. They were both avid readers who decided to put their skills to work.
Emma Darcy The Author
Wendy had no inclination to write until she read an awful book in the library and decided she could do better. Although she had no writing experience, decided to try her hand at writing a novel out of curiosity. Brennan persevered and wrote a political thriller that was rejected by Michael Joseph in London.
Undeterred, she looked for an easier genre to start with – this mistake led her to the world of Mills & Boon novels. The books proved trickier to write than she had initially thought. To make sure she understood the basics of this genre, Brennan went through over a hundred Mills & Boon books to take notes on structure, narrative, and phrasing.
After co-writing three books as Emma Darcy with her husband Frank, they sent it off to legendary Mills & Boon editor Jacqui Bianchi who spotted their potential. Bianchi signed up the couple but required them to rewrite their first manuscript before publication.
Finally, Mills & Boon / Harlequin Presents #648, Twisting Shadows was released–officially marking the beginning of the successful career of Emma Darcy.
Together, Frank and Wendy wrote 45 romance novels. As a couple, they were able to add uniquely male and female perspectives to their romances.
Wendy Writing Alone
Sadly, Frank and Wendy’s time together on this earth was limited. Frank passed away in 1995. After his death, Wendy continued their efforts, going on to write solo as Emma Darcy.
Brennan was an active advocate for the romance genre. In 1993, for the Emma Darcy pseudonym’s 10th anniversary, Frank and Wendy Brennan created the “Emma Darcy Award Contest” to encourage authors to finish their manuscripts.
In 1995, Wendy published a guide on writing romance, The Secrets of Successful Romance Writing. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, “[Darcy] advised aspiring authors to borrow from the literary techniques of Dostoevsky and Hemingway before reminding them: ‘To write great category romance at its best takes a commitment, minus the recognition and applause.'”
Emma Darcy wrote 113 books in total, the vast majority of them for the Harlequin Presents line. In addition, she also released some Harlequin Romance, full-length contemporaries.
And coming full circle, Brennan finally published some mystery novels. In 2002, her first crime novel Who Killed Angelique? won the Ned Kelly Award for Best First Novel, and her follow-up, Who Killed Bianca?, was a finalist for the Ned Kelly Award for Best Novel in 2003.
Legacy and Death
Emma Darcy was Australia’s best-selling author whose international popularity resulted in over 71 million copies sold worldwide.
Wendy Brennan was the older sister of another Harlequin Present author, Miranda Lee, whom she encouraged to write.
Darcy’s last book published with Harlequin was the 2013 Presents, His Most Exquisite Conquest.
Wendy Brennan passed away on December 21, 2020, at the age of 80. She was survived by her 5 grandchildren and 3 adult sons, and her sister, author Miranda Lee.
Lee passed away in 2022.
Jimmy Fallon (From Late Night with Jimmy Fallon]:
[Editor’s Note]: I found this Emma Darcy-relevant clip on Internet Archive. I can see why Jimmy Fallon’s tanking in the ratings:
Now, before we start, I just want you all to know that every book that I’m about to show you is 100% real. These are actual books. you can see them on amazon. Check them out at your local library. They are real. all right.
Let’s see what’s on my “do not read list.”
The first book is a romance novel. Yeah. This is called “Ruthlessly Bedded by the Italian Billionaire,” by Emma Darcy. [laughter]
That’s not a title. that is describing what happens. [light laughter] It’s giving away the ending. You’re not gonna want to read this. Like three pages in, when the Italian billionaire shows up, you’re like, “I know. you’re gonna be bedded by this dude, and it’s gonna be ruthless.” [light laughter]
Saving you time.
- Twisting Shadows (1983)
- Tangle of Torment (1984)
- Don’t Play Games (1985)
- Fantasy (1985)
- Song of a Wren (1985)
- Point of Impact (1985)
- The Impossible Woman (1985)
- Man in the Park (1986)
- Woman of Honour (1986)
- Blind Date (1986)
- Don’t Ask Me Now (1986)
- A World Apart (1986)
- The Wrong Mirror (1986)
- The Unpredictable Man (1986)
- The One That Got Away (1987)
- Strike at the Heart (1987)
- The Positive Approach (1987)
- Mistress of Pillatoro (1987)
- Whirlpool of Passion (1987)
- Always Love (1988)
- The Falcon’s Mistress (1988)
- A Priceless Love (1988)
- The Aloha Bride (1988)
- The Ultimate Choice (1989)
- The Power and the Passion (1989)
- Pattern of Deceit (1989)
- One-Woman Crusade (1990)
- Too Strong to Deny (1990)
- The Colour of Desire (1990)
- Bride of Diamonds (1990)
- Breaking Point (1992)
- High Risk (1992)
- To Tame a Wild Heart (1992)
- The Wedding (1992)
- The Seduction of Keira (1992)
- The Velvet Tiger (1992)
- An Impossible Dream (1993)
- The Upstairs Lover (1993)
- A Very Stylish Affair (1993)
- The Last Grand Passion (1993)
- The Sheikh’s Revenge (1993)
- A Wedding to Remember (1994)
- In Need of a Wife (1994)
- Burning with Passion (1995)
- The Fatherhood Affair (1995)
- Last Stop Marriage (1996)
- The Father of Her Child (1996)
- Jack’s Baby (1996)
- Craving Jamie (1997)
- The Secrets Within (1997)
- Marriage Meltdown (1997)
- Merry Christmas (1997)
- The Sheikh’s Seduction (1998)
- The Marriage Decider (1999)
- A Marriage Betrayed (1999)
- Bride of His Choice (1999)
- The Hot-Blooded Groom (2001)
- Claiming His Mistress (2001)
- Mistress to a Tycoon (2001)
- A Spanish Marriage (2004)
- Hot Blooded Affairs (2007)
- The Master Player (2009)
- Billionaires’ Marriages (2010)
- Hidden Mistress, Public Wife (2010)
- Wife in Public (2011)
- The Costarella Conquest (2011)
- An Offer She Can’t Refuse (2012)
- Emma Darcy Wikipedia
- Backlist at FictionDB
- Emma Darcy Fantastic Fiction
- Emma Darcy on Goodreads
- Sidney Morning Herald Obituary
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