Barbara Ellermeier is nothing less than a research genius. She found everything for me. Even the number of cows that my protagonist Wilson Bentley kept in his cowshed. It’s unbelievable what a wealth of information she procures. When working with her, I gain time to write without compromising on the reliability of the historical facts.
— Titus Müller, Random House Germany
Author of 18 books, including the biographical novel »The Snowflake Man«
I plough through historical resources (LOADS of!), then curate the best bits for you. Because I see historical material with the eyes of a novelist.
I’m Dr. Barbara Ellermeier, and I help authors who want to write about historical settings. Professional, bestselling authors hire me to gather material dossiers for them. They refer to me as their “treasure finder” and occasionally even “my truffle hog.”
My research has been woven into 75 historical novels, which have been published by Random House USA and Germany, Lübbe, DroemerKnaur or Hachette Australia. I even wrote my thesis on how to narrate history so that it’s more gripping.
Having worked closely with authors for over 15 years, I have intimate knowledge of every stage of the writing process. I’ve also published history non-fiction and have ghostwritten novels myself.
At home, I work in our personal library of over 10,000 history books (stored in our 450-year-old, half-timbered house in a medieval German village, in case you were wondering).
Together with my husband, I’ve travelled Europe from Scotland to Sicily, from the Biscaya to Poland – exploring archaeological sites, museums, fortresses and castles. On the road, I document and photograph original finds. And I frequently interview history experts on new findings.
Want to receive my latest findings every Tuesday morning?
With my historical resources, I want to make the book research process easier.
So many authors tell me they can’t find proper material on the time and topic – so they can’t start writing. Others tell me they’ve read PILES of books on their topic – and now they are too overwhelmed to start writing.
A few published Historical Fiction Prompts & Resources
Ideas for plots and protagonists, historical background information about your time and setting, in short: everything you need to write about the past.
1945. A Dance with the enemy?
It’s the end of the fraternisation ban in post-war Germany. Couples who have met and like each other, are *finally* allowed to meet officially for an evening out together. Narrate how a couple – a British soldier and a young German woman – who have just met, date for the first time.
»Accidents and distempers, amputations and worms«
In 1702, John Moyle has served as a sea surgeon in the navy for almost 40 years. Now old, he decides to write a how-to manual on practising surgery on a ship. His book »CHIRURGUS MARINUS« covers the most common diseases or wounds that sailors around the year 1700 A.D. might have suffered from. Therefore, it is an ideal resource for your seafare novel.
Why Isn’t There a Novel About a Ganerben-Burg Castle?
A castle divided between multiple families … wouldn’t that be the perfect setting for a novel? Imagine: 3 to 5 different families, trapped in a confined space, sharing the same rooms, each and every day. It’s time for internal hostilities and atrocities. Conflict is inevitable. A very special setting that allows you to narrate a very special situation.