Helena Schrader's Historical Fiction

Dr. Helena P. Schrader is the winner of more than 20 literary accolades.
"Envoy of Jerusalem" won BEST BIOGRAPHY 2017, BEST CHRISTIAN HISTORICAL FICTION and BEST SPIRITUAL/RELIGIOUS FICTION 2017 from Book Excellence Awards, Readers Favorites and Feathered Quill Book Awards respectively.

"Rebels against Tyranny" took Silver (2nd Place) for HISTORICAL FICTION in the 2019 Feathered Quill Book Awards.

For a complete list of her awards see: http://helenapschrader.com

Saturday, February 29, 2020

"The Emperor Strikes Back" wins Gold and Silver

The Emperor Strikes Back wins First Place "Gold" in the Category Historical Fiction
and Second Place "Silver" in the Category Spiritual/Religious Fiction
at the 2020 Feathered Quill Book Awards

The complete list of winners can be found at: https://featheredquill.com/2020-winners/

Friday, January 31, 2020

Representation at London and Frankfurt Book Fairs, BRAG

The Emperor Strikes Back was awarded the B.R.A.G. Medallion this January, a wonderful tribute from the BRAG team.

In addition, re-naissance, a literary agency with an outstanding track record of success, will be representing four of my books at the 2020 London and Frankfurt Book Fairs. Despite my skepticism about literary agents generally, Laurie Blum Guest convinced me she is an outstanding professional with a competent team and insight into today's publishing market. Her enthusiasm for my books and confidence that they would appeal to clearly defined strata of readers was infectious. It is exciting to find such support for my work, and I look forward to receiving feedback from the fairs. 

Last but not least, with Sharon Kay Penman releasing her book on Balian d'Ibelin at last, I knew it was time to undertake a long over-due re-write of Knight of Jerusalem. In six years of subsequent research and writing, I have materially changed my views on the early Balian and no longer feel the current edition of Knight of Jerusalem does him justice. I am therefore working on a complete re-write to be released as a second edition of the book sometime this summer. Mikhail Grueli has graciously agreed to re-work the cover as well, and I'm looking forward to seeing what he comes up with!

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Looking back at 2019

As my first full year in retirement draws to an end, I look back in wonder at how much my life has been transformed. The move to Kythera combined with the freedom to pursue my writing as my principle (rather than secondary) activity has opened for me new prospects that I had not dared dream about before. My days are filled with meaningful activity and my future plans are many and exciting. 

Most important, my books are slowly moving out of the "indy world" and increasingly into more mainstream publishing. 

The highlights of this year as a novelist were the release of A Boy of the Agoge in polish, the sale of the Greek rights to all three books of the Leonidas Trilogy, and a deal with Pen & Sword for two non-fiction books on the crusader states. In addition, I released the second book in the Civil War in Outremer series, The Emperor Strikes Back and also published an ebook edition of Are They Singing in Sparta? under the title A Song for Sparta

Meanwhile, Rebels against Tyranny won three accolades: Silver for Spiritual/Religious Fiction from Feathered Quill, "First in Category" or "Finalist" for the Chaucer Award from Chanticleer and Best Christian Historical Fiction 2019 from Readers' Favorites. 

Looking forward to 2020, I'm excited to start writing and delivering to Pen & Sword Beyond the Sea: The Story of the Crusader States. I will also be undertaking a major revision and re-release of Knight of Jerusalem to accommodate new insights and understanding gained in six years of continued research on the Ibelins and Outremer. Last but not least, I hope to continue work on the third book in the Civil War in Outremer series, The Lion and the Hart.

None of this would be possible without the discovery of a fabulous new editor, Rhonda Shore, and a new graphic designer Hazel Horne to help me with maps, architectural drawings and more. I look forward to working with both of these consummate professionals in the years ahead. 


Saturday, November 30, 2019

Pen & Sword to Publish Two Books by Helena P. Schrader

I'm excited and pleased to announce that the renowned British specialty publisher 
Pen & Sword 
has commissioned me to write two non-fiction books 
for release in 2021 and 2022 respectively. 

Beyond the Seas: The Story of the Crusader States

While “the crusades” have become a synonym for brutality and bigotry, the crusader states represent a positive example of harmonious coexistence between Muslims, Jews, and Christians. Likewise, while scholars from a wide range of disciplines including archaeology, art history, and medicine have shed light on diverse aspects of the crusader states, to date there is no single introductory source that provides a comprehensive overview of these unique states as a starting point for the uninitiated. “Beyond the Seas” aims to fill this gap while correcting common misconceptions by bringing together recent scholarly research on a range of topics to create a comprehensive description. It will cover the history, demography, state institutions, foreign policy, economy, art, architecture, and lifestyle of the people who lived in the crusader states in the period from 1100 to 1300. 

The Powerful Women of Outremer

One of the most common misconceptions about the Middle Ages is that women were “mere chattels,” objects without rights or self-determination. “The Powerful Women of Outremer”  will counter this myth by offering a study of women in kingdoms dubbed “ideal feudal states” at the very height of feudalism. From Queen Melisende (1131 – 1161) to the “ladies’ parliament” of 1261, it will highlight the degree to which women in Outremer played often decisive (although not always positive!) roles in the history of the Latin East.

“The Powerful Women of Outremer” will examine the circumstances that endowed women in the crusader states with particular status. In addition, it will look at the institutions, laws and customs that enabled — and circumscribed — their actions, as well as the fate of selected women.

In other news, A Song for Sparta went live on both amazon and Barnes and Noble. 

Monday, September 30, 2019

"Rebels" takes Gold, "A Song for Sparta" goes to Publisher

Rebels against Tyranny 

won First Place (Gold) in the 2019 Readers Favorites Book Award Contest in the category Christian Historical Fiction. (For details visit: https://readersfavorite.com/2019-award-contest-winners.htm) 

The Emperor Strikes Back received three five-star awards from the same source.

In addition, Rhonda Shore completed the editing of my manuscript for A Song for Sparta, which was then forwarded to Wheatmark for publication. 

Based on an incident recorded in Herodotus, A Song for Sparta tells the remarkable story of Sparta’s struggle with Messenia in the 7th century BC through the eyes of three different narrators. The Messenian Wars were the transformative event that shaped Spartan society for the next four hundred years. 

The cover is by Hazel Horne. It was a delight working with Hazel and I hope to work with her again in the future.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Sparta Rising!

Maybe it was because August is the anniversary month for Thermopylae. Maybe it was just the way things worked out, but August 2019 was brought two important milestones for my Sparta novels.

Most important, I have signed a contract with the Greek firm Alpha Publishers for the release of A Heroic King in Greek by May 2020. The translation is under way, and a PhD candidate in ancient Greek history will look over the manuscript as well to ensure nothing gets lost in translation. The exact timing of the book launch is TBD, but the publisher expects to participate in and capitalize on events commemorating the 2,500th aniversary of the Battle of Thermopylae at Lamia (near the battle site), Athens, Thespeia, and Sparta. He wants me to participate in all of those. I need to step up my Greek studies!

Although less spectacular and significant, readers of English may be more interested to know that I spent the past month re-working my old manuscript "Are They Singing in Sparta?" in preparation for a ebook release under the new title "A Song for Sparta." I've engaged a graphic designer to develop a new cover for the book, and hope to have it on the market by late October or early November. 

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

A Heroic King -- in Greek

With the 2,500th anniversary of Thermopylae approaching in August 2020, I have opened negotiations with a Greek publisher for the release of a Greek translation of "A Heroic King." The first 20 pages have been sent to a translator for a sample. Hopefully, by August this year the deal with be in the bag. Keep your fingers crossed! 

Meanwhile, The Emperor Strikes Back has been released and is available for sale on amazon and Barnes and Noble in ebook and paperback format sometime in August.
Here are the links: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-emperor-strikes-back-helena-p-schrader/1132594519?ean=9781627876995