Helena Schrader's Historical Fiction

My biographical novel of Balian d'Ibelin in three parts is complete, but the saga continues. Follow me to Cyprus, where Lusignans and Ibelins struggle to put down a rebellion and establish a durable state. Watch for excerpts and updates here.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

New Project: 13th Century Romance

With the Leonidas Trilogy complete and on the market, it's time for me to turn to a new project.  For months I've focused on re-writing, editing, publishing, and marketing the Leonidas Trilogy, and that has left me no time, energy or inspiration for writing. Today, however, I start work on a new project.

The project is a complete re-write of the first two books in my Templar Trilogy, originally published more than a decade ago. The Templar trilogy covers the period 1250-1310, and follows three generations of the Preuthune family.  Preuthune was my mother's maiden name, by the way, and family legend claimed that the name derived from a crusading ancestor, knighted for bravery on the battlefield. Ah, family legends....But the family coat of arms does include a pascal lamb, which is associated with crusaders, and the Catherine wheels were also popular in the Holy Land. That's enough to spark the imagination of a novelist!

So, the first book in the series will re-create my ancestor, and explain he came to be Geoffrey de Preuthune. The second book in the series follows his younger son to the Holy Land as a Knight Templar and describes the end of Christian Palestine in the second half of the 13th Century.  The third and final book in the series focuses on the destruction of the Knights Templar by Philip IV of France in the early 14th Century, seen through the eyes of the now aged Sir Geoffrey, his young granddaughter, Felice, and an English Templar they rescue from King Philip's henchmen. While the first two books in the series are now out of print and will be completely re-worked and re-published. The third book is still available for sale: The English Templar.

I will be using this blog to post updates and ask for feed-back -- such as a new title for the first two books in the series. I look forward to the interaction, but first I'll be on Kythera for the next two weekends and incommunicado. 


4 comments:

  1. I'm glad to find this blog post, as I just discovered your Valkyrie Conspiracy site (valkyrie-plot.com) today, and eventually found my way to your helenapschrader.com site, where I noticed your Knights Templar trilogy. But I was disappointed to find that the first 2 volumes were out of print (with only one used copy of each on the US Amazon site, listed respectively at $582.77 and $99.00 !!!).

    ...So I was toying with the idea of trying to find an email address to write and ask if you had any plans to re-release them.

    ...But now I have my answer! :)

    Perhaps I could ask a couple of other questions:

    1) Do you have an estimated time frame for the re-release after re-writing? (I'm guessing from the number of pages in each successive original volume (145pp, 367pp, and 620pp per Amazon) that you are probably going to be substantially lengthening the first, and perhaps the second.)

    2) Can you recommend any solid historical (non-fiction) treatments of the Knights Templar (or the Crusades in general) that would be enjoyable and accessible for the educated layperson? (in English)

    Thanks! :)

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  2. Thank you for your interest in my books! I can indeed recommend some very good, serious non-fiction works on both the Knights Templar and the Crusades -- as soon as I return from my holiday in Greece and have access to my library again.

    You are also correct, I plan to expand the first book substantially in order to provide more historical background and greater character development. I estimate a release date of next fall (2013) or in the spring of 2014.

    Helena

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    1. By far the best serious history of the Knights Templar is "The New Knighthood: A History of the Order of the Temple," by Malcolm Barber, Cambridge University Press, 1994. Barber is a scholar and the book is superbly researched and provides proper footnotes, sources, maps and illustrations. If you can read only one book about the Templars, this should be it.

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  3. Two other serious histories of the Knights Templar are:

    "Dungeon, Fire and Sword: The Knights Templar in the Crusades," by John Robinson, Michael O'Mara Books Ltd., 1991. By Stephen Howarth "The Knights Templar", Barnes and Noble Books, 1982.

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