Helena Schrader's Historical Fiction

Dr. Helena P. Schrader is the author of 24 historical fiction and non-fiction works and the winner of more than 53 literary accolades. More than 34,000 copies of her books have been sold. For a complete list of her books and awards see: http://helenapschrader.com

For readers tired of clich├ęs and cartoons, award-winning novelist Helena P. Schrader offers nuanced insight into 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.

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. 

The Holy Land in the Era of the Crusades: Kingdoms at the Crossroads of Civilizations

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. “Kingdoms at the Crossroads of Civilizaitons” 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

Friday, May 31, 2019

Awards and More

May brought recognition for two of my novels:

Rebels against Tyranny topped the list of finalists for the Chaucer Awards for Early Historical Fiction, winning "First in Category."

The Last Crusader Kingdom was a Finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award in the Category Historical Fiction.



Rebels against Tyranny ended with the surrender of Frederick's deputies to the Ibelins, but King Henry de Lusignan senses the Emperor will not be able to accept defeat.The Emperor Strikes Back continues the story of Frederick II's war against the Ibelins....

Scheduled for release in August 2019, here is the draft cover blurb.

Emperor Frederick II has re-established Christian control of Jerusalem by means of a treaty with the Egyptian Sultan al-Kamil, but the Sultan brags that he will “purify” the Holy City and drive the Christians out as soon as the ten-year truce expires. The common people of the Holy Land show their contempt for the Emperor and his treaty by pelting him with offal, while the barons resist Frederick’s absolutism and demand rule of law. Filled with resentment and bitterness toward his impertinent subjects, the Emperor vows to destroy the family that embodies the independent spirit of Outremer: the Ibelins. While the Emperor's deputies will stop at nothing to fulfill their orders, the Ibelins fight back. But sometimes the price of defiance is defeat… 

Feedback is always welcome, so let me know what you think at hps_books@yahoo.com!

Here's the link to the complete list of winners for the Chaucer Award: https://www.chantireviews.com/2019/05/05/the-chaucer-book-awards-for-pre-1750s-historical-fiction-grand-prize-and-first-place-category-winners-2018-cibas/

Here's the link for the complete list of finalists for the Eric Hoffer Book Award: