Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Helyn Edwards  

Pen Name: H. M. Edwards

Genre: Fiction Non-Fiction

Audience: Adult; Young Adult;

Born: 1955 in Chicago, IL

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Illinois Connection

Edwards was born and raised in Chicago and lived briefly in North Chicago while her father taught Electronics at the Great Lakes Naval Station. She graduated with a M. S. & B. S. in Psychology/Corrections from Chicago State University and A. A. S. in Aviation from Daley College. Most of her adult years were spent in the Hyde Park area of Chicago. Two of her books, ''The Bridge Club'' and ''"No, N-O-E, No" - The Cicero Riot Story'' take place in Illinois. The main characters in both are based on her great-grandparents' lives. In ''"No, N-O-E, No" - The Cicero Riot Story'', she recounts growing up in Chicago - one side of her family moves to Chicago in the 1890's, the other side moves to North Chicago in 1905, and how they were involved in the 1951 Cicero Riot, aka Berwyn Riot.

Biographical and Professional Information

H. M. (Helyn) Edwards has been a professional tennis player and coach, college tennis coach, and certified teaching tennis professional for the past forty years. She has advanced degrees and certification in Corrections-Psychology where she has been a counselor and a college instructor on the undergraduate level. Her degree in Aviation helped her become a private pilot with single engine (SEL), multi-engine (MEL), and instrument training (IFR). In early years she started writing as a past-time. In later years she wrote trade manuals for the governing body of tennis as an employee and as a consultant. Currently she focuses her energies on taking care of her parents, writing, and discovering family history and genealogy, such as being descendants of a Creek Native American, Civil War veterans from both sides, slaves, freedmen, plantation owners, possibly President John Q. Adams and one of the creators of "policy" in Chicago.Some of Edwards works include three fiction novels: ''The Bridge Club'', ''B.L.T. - Basketball, Love, & Tennis'', and ''Could It Be Your Neighbor''. She is also the author of several non-fiction works: (1), ''No, N-O-E, No - The Cicero Riot Story'' which received a 2012 NY Book Festival Honorable Mention; (2) ''The Psychopathology of Inappropriate Behaviors''; (3) Manual ''for Teaching Adaptive Tennis''; (4) ''Curriculum for Teaching Tennis to Special Populations''; (5) ''Manual para la ensenanza Tenis Adaptado''; (6) ''NJTL On-Court Guide''; (7) ''Program Development Guide''; and (8) ''The Secret of Doubles''. She has also penned a script called ''Mind Games'', two songs: ''All Right I Guess'' and ''A Love for All Seasons'', and seventy-eight articles as a blogger/sportswriter for the "Sportsnet" of the International Business Times.Her most important work to date, is the non-fiction novel on her family, ''"No, N-O-E, No" - The Cicero Riot Story''. It focuses on her family ethics and history; how they came into money and lost it; and what happened to them after being indicted for starting Chicago's second worst race riot, the 1951 Cicero a. k. a. Berwyn Riot. Growing up during "Jim Crow" and the Civil Rights Era in the very segregated city of Chicago, she experienced many prejudices like her family before her. The family had kept quiet on the destruction of their lives and the murder of a family member for sixty years. The research and the journey to uncover the past revealed in the book has helped her to dispel the notion that her family started Chicago's second worst race riot and has sparked an on-going appreciation of her family's struggles, values, and triumphs as the mystery of her multiracial ancestors unfolds.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

The Bridge Club
ISBN: 1495975053

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. 2014

The Bridge Club meets every Saturday, rotating from house to house. The hard workers relax and talk about their lives, loves, and current affairs while playing cards. The real game, though, is in the repartee they use as a side diversion, a battle of intelligence, words, and "one-upmanship." They have many things in common the biggest is a secret that they have passed down from generation to generation as far back as America is old. As the friends battle to keep their damning secret, they survive through bridge and the mind games they play in their group and with society. We follow the Bridge Club from the 1930's to the 1950's in Chicago. Tension rises in 1930's over housing and jobs in the forties, equal rights and World War II are a concern for all and in the fifties, times and a new society force changes. The principal characters are a lawyer and his wife. He takes on the case of a woman with many issues. The worst being that she feels that he has used and scorned her. All hell breaks loose, as life, money, and decorum are lost. In the investigation a long time member tells the club's secret. He breaks the code, and the real dirty secrets come out. Murder, verbal and physical assaults abound to see who will be the last one holding the money and cards.

BLT - Basketball, Love, and Tennis
ISBN: 1495986152

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. 2014

What do you want out of life? Michelle Dubanc and Christopher Harvard meet briefly over the summer, and their friendship continues to grow when they meet again at college in Louisiana. As athletes fighting off racism and the stereotype of the “dumb jock,” their attraction grows as they interact with Christopher’s teammates, Jordan, Mike, and Tank on a small, rural campus. Sharing a passion for athletics as well as life, Michelle and Chris develop a bond that will soon endure more than either could ever imagine. Both athletes turn pro and realize their love for each other and their sport, but the price of success and fame impact Michelle and Christopher differently as they commit to each other. Women and fame go to Chris’ head. Outside influences, the stress of professional athletics, internal strife, their outlooks on life, and different means to the same end strain their marriage and careers. After a series of entanglements, arguments, public incidents, and a forced miscarriage, the couple break up, and their careers flourish. But there is much more in store for Michelle and Chris as they travel down a winding road of sports, fame, love, and ultimately death.

Could It Be Your Neighbor
ISBN: 1496020847

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. 2014

Screeching to a halt at an intersection in time, two lives slam into each other. Whether fate, bad luck, or just plain manipulation the end result is pain. The neighbors think he is a crank, and he thinks that any nonsensical and everyday occurrence is something more. Forced to move next to this strange, nosy neighbor because of insider trading and murder charges, our heroine finds out that he is also her professor and an agent who wants to engage her in a match for information and control. Mysterious accidents and bizarre incidents begin to happen to her and her loved ones. Instead of tennis she must play a new game, trying to outwit a user under the guise of being neighborly and American, as she tries to avert mishaps to herself and those she loves, and most importantly to stay free and alive.

"No, N-O-E, No" The Cicero Riot Story
ISBN: 0615597343

H. M. Edwards. 2011

- 60 Years Ago - One Family was Accused of Starting Chicago’s Second Worst Race Riot - Attorney George C. Adams and Charles S. Edwards, Realtor, were in the business of buying and selling property. They bought the wrong property from the wrong person in the wrong town. Almost five thousand watched as the riot reached its peak. The lawsuits and aftermath left one family member dead and others hurt, physically, psychologically, and financially for decades to come. The white owner of the burned building in Cicero claimed that my family was, “A group of colored incendiaries on the prowl for a chance to light a fuse.” (The Camille De Rose Story, 1953) Time Magazine wrote on Oct. 10, 1951, "‘SEQUELS Worse than the Cicero Riots,’ Edmund Burke said that he did not know how to indict a whole people but last week the Cook County, ILL. Grand jury found a way of misusing the power of indictment to disgrace a whole metropolis. The grand jury investigated the riots at Cicero, an all-white town, where Harvey E. Clark, a Negro, was prevented from moving into an apartment that he had rented (TIME, July 23). Not one of the 126 persons arrested for rioting was indicted. Instead, the grand jury indicted George C. Adams, a Negro, who is part owner of the building where Clark leased a home Charles Edwards, a Negro rental agent who handled the deal, and George N. Leighton, a respected Negro lawyer who acted as attorney for Clark and for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People after the riots started …The three Negroes, Leighton, Edwards and Adams, are accused of ‘conspiracy to damage property.’ The grand jury seems to think that it is wrong to rent an apartment in Cicero to a Negro, wrong to defend his rights, but O.K. to burn his furniture and chase him out of town." (unk.) THIS IS THEIR FAMILY SAGA, AND THE TRUE STORY BEHIND THE CICERO RIOT.

How To Survive Caregiving: My Caregiver Diaries
ISBN: 1539725960

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. 2016

Did you prepare to live to one hundred? And, do you have a relationship, a good enough relationship, that someone will take care of you when you can’t take care of yourself, such as lift you in and out of a wheelchair to the toilet to bed, feed you, wipe you, change your diapers, and who doesn’t mind getting thrown-up on, messed on, wet on, cursed out, and worst of all, has forgotten you and all the reasons of why you’re helping them? The true harsh reality of life is that we start off in diapers and end up in diapers. Because of the nuances of caregiving and trying to live for yourself and being a kind person, you take on the task of caregiving, an agape of life. God, tears, prayers, and a few other suggestions found in this book will help you not only get through caregiving but not count yourself in the category of needing help afterwards.


The Bridge Club

  • Honorable Mention, Paris Book Festival, 2014
  • "No, N-O-E, No" - The Cicero Riot Story

  • Honorable Mention, New York Book Festival, 2012

    Speaking Engagements

    Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

    The author now lives in Florida but is available to speak depending on dates, locations (logistics & expenses)

    , etc., with at least one month's notice.