Dayle A. Dermatis is the author or coauthor of many novels (including snarky urban fantasies Ghosted and the forthcoming Shaded and Spectered) and more than a hundred short stories in multiple genres, appearing in such venues as Fiction River, Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, and DAW Books.

Called the mastermind behind the Uncollected Anthology project, she also guest edits anthologies for Fiction River, and her own short fiction has been lauded in many year's best anthologies in erotica, mystery, and horror.

She lives in a book- and cat-filled historic English-style cottage in the wild greenscapes of the Pacific Northwest. In her spare time she follows Styx around the country and travels the world, which inspires her writing.

To find out where she's wandered off to (and to get free fiction!), check out and sign up for her newsletter or support her on Patreon.

Researching History for Fantasy Writers by Dayle A. Dermatis

Narnia. Pern. Fillory. Oz. Earthsea. Middle Earth. Fionvar.

Fantasy fans read to escape to another world. Your job as a writer is to make that world so compelling, they never want to leave.

Here's a book to get you thinking about the historical details to use and the concepts to ponder in order to create rich, chewy, and believable fantasy worlds. Filled with trivia, tidbits, and a slew of resources, and written in a light, engaging style, Researching History for Fantasy Writers is a must-read for any author of high fantasy.

Bestselling author and historical re-creationist Dayle A. Dermatis has lived in the UK and traveled extensively in Europe, plus she has a lot of knowledgeable friends. She wants more amazing, fully realized fantasy worlds to fall into.


Dayle A. Dermatis writes wonderful fantasy. Some of it is set in the here and now, and some of it in her own made-up worlds. She uses history to help her with that, but unlike so many writers, she does not get lost in the research. She shares her tricks of the trade in Researching History For Fantasy Writers. – Kristine Kathryn Rusch



  • "It forces you to pause and *think* about the world you are creating. Does it make sense? Yes, it is fictional, but does it make sense it terms of clothing, weapons, and ancillary gear? Overall, this is a worthwhile book to read for *any* fiction writer."

    – Goodreads review



Do you have to be accurate to a time period or place? Of course not, you're writing fantasy, not history.

Do you have to know every detail before you start writing? Hell no.

But if you learn how to study history, you'll have a lot of those details and concepts in your head before you ever start writing.

This isn't a book about writing about a particular time period or place.

This isn't a book about writing historical fiction.

This is a book about finding details in historic time periods to make your worlds come alive, and avoiding clichés and obvious mistakes.

This is a book to help you create rich, chewy fantasy worlds your readers will believe in, fall into, and ideally never, ever want to leave.

(Note: If this isn't enough, please let me know and I'll send more.)