Helena Schrader's Historical Fiction

Dr. Helena P. Schrader is the winner of more than 20 literary accolades. For a complete list of her awards see: http://helenapschrader.com

Helena is represented by Laurie Blum Guest at the Re-Naissance Agency.

For readers tired of clich├ęs and cartoons, award-winning novelist Helena P. Schrader offers nuanced insight to historical events and figures based on sound research and an understanding of human nature. Her complex and engaging characters bring history back to life as a means to better understand ourselves.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Distinguished Favorite -- and a New Cover

This past month, the Independent Press Awards for literature named The Emperor Strikes Back a "distinguished favorite" in the category "Military Fiction." You can find the complete list of Distinguished Favorites for 2020 at: https://www.independentpressaward.com/2020distinguishedfavorites


Progress toward the release of a new edition of "Knight of Jerusalem" also continued. The title will be altered to "Balian d'Ibelin: Knight of Jerusalem" to flag the fact that although still part of the Jerusalem Trilogy this is actually a new book. It will also have a new cover.    


Sunday, April 12, 2020

"Knight of Jerusalem" is "Out-of-Print" -- "Balian d'Ibelin" is coming!

"Knight of Jerusalem" 
is out-of-date and out-of-print.
 That's exciting because within the next three months I will be releasing a completely revised edition: "Balian d'Ibelin: Knight of Jerusalem"



It is now six years since I published "Knight of Jerusalem,” the first part of what would be a three-part biographical novel based on the life of the historical Balian d’Ibelin. The book was based on over a year of intensive research, but, I admit, I rushed the release. I had read that Sharon Kay Penman was writing an novel about Balian, and I didn’t want to look like a “copy cat.” Furthermore, it was becoming obvious to me that I could not cover Balian’s life in a single book, so I made the decision to chop the book into three parts, and publish the first book asap.



It was a mistake.



The novel itself was flawed because it had not been conceived as a stand-alone novel. The characters were inadequately developed because I hadn’t written them to the end and learned about them in their complete complexity. In addition, over the next years, I continued to research the Ibelins and the crusader states. Not only did I discover new sources and develop a deeper understanding of Middle Eastern and crusader society, but scholars were publishing new books and articles throughout this period (and continue to do so), many of which significantly impacted my interpretation of the events described in this book. These made me revise some of my early assumptions.



In consequence, I decided that “Knight of Jerusalem” could not remain on the market the way it was. It had to be “killed” and replaced by a new book that captures my more advanced appreciation of Balian, his contemporaries, his society and his times. The results of this reworking of old material are nearing completion.



The new book will be titled “Balian d’Ibelin: Knight of Jerusalem” and remains the first book in the Jerusalem Trilogy depicting the life of Balian d’Ibelin from 1170 to 1192 and the first book in the four-book series that together constitute a comprehensive biographical novel of Balian. The Last Crusader Kingdom is the fourth book of the series.



I will be posting updates about “Balian d’Ibelin” here on this blog and on my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/HelenaPSchrader/



You can also follow me on Twitter at: @HelenaPSchrader

Meanwhile, the award-winning second, third and fourth books of Balian biography are available for sale in paperback and ebook editions: