I have always loved a good vampire movie, especially as a teenager, so I can definitely see what the hype is about the newest vampire trilogies. But, for me, saying the word vampire and Dracula’s name are two completely different things. One is a mythical creature, and the other is a real fifteenth century Romanian prince. I knew some information about Vlad Dracula, but one day, I decided to type in his name on the internet. I was mesmerized by his entire life, and was surprised when I read he was a hero to his people. This intrigued me, because of everything I had heard of when I was a kid, was completely different. He was supposed to be this evil man, who committed so many horrible acts. I had to find what the truth really was and wanted to get every bit of information that I could on him. So, I purchased books, and dug up every article and document on the internet I could find. I was a woman on a mission. I had so many questions of my own about his life and death and since there was not a lot about his life in books and on the internet, I wanted more. I decided to take a trip to Romania for a fact based tour of Romania and Hungary. I had to find answers to my questions. What I learned over there was phenomenal. Stuff you cannot get in any book…..until mine.
In trying to find so much information, I had found so many discrepancies and inconsistencies in articles, documents, books, and even some history shows(this is a real pet peeve of mine). An example of just one fabrication was the famous impaling portrait, where you see Vlad sitting at a table, eating a meal, while many impaled victims are rotting on steaks all around him. This portrait was one of the most damaging to his career, and I found out it was a lie. Here in this famous scene, Dracula was said to have impaled over 30,000 people in the town of Brasov at Timpa hill. The population of Brasov at the time was only around 13,000. And to impale just one person took around 5-8 men about an hour. How long do you think it would take for 30,000 people to be impaled? When I read, that Dracula had come from his city of Targoviste to Brasov, I wondered how he carried 30,000 trees with him to impale those people, and how he got through Brasov‘s custom points without having Brasov‘s mercenary force come after him was even more interesting. This right away, did not make sense to me. I couldn’t believe people thought any of this information was truthful.
I figured, if I found these discrepancies, with little help, and little effort. Then others should have known this information was not correct also. But, most people didn’t, and they still don’t know the truth. I had to write a novel about how Vlad Dracula was misunderstood, and to do that, I used a character that was also misunderstood. Now I am not a history writer, but I do love history with my own little twist. I had to keep most of Vlad’s history sacred in telling how it happened, but also along with my story, there is that mystery of what might have been or really could have been. This is where my main character, Amelia Justine Kari comes in. The novel is set in the year 2007, and allows the reader a chance to see just how someone can be misunderstood from page one. Eventually, those that realize the concept will understand throughout the novel what is truly happening (don’t want to give too much away). When I started writing this book, the more I read about Dracula the more I felt for this amazing man. He was never given a fair trial and was never given a proper burial. Someday, I really hope to change this, but for now I will start with the novel.
People ask me, what was my motivation? But, I didn’t need motivation, because every time I found something about the real man, the story began to take on a life of its own. His life was so much more interesting than any book I could have come up with.
From his imprisonment as a child hostage, to bringing prosperity back to his country, to the forged documents that were used to arrest and imprison him later on in his life, to people celebrating his name in his crusades for the pope, this man was unbelievable. This story paints him in a new light. So throw out everything you think you know about Vlad Dracula. Throw out everything and start all over. Then let it begin with “My Vladislaus Dracula”.
— Teresa L. Jones lives in Lake Park, Iowa with her husband and her two children. “My Vladislaus Dracula” is Jones’ third novel. For more blogging and historical information about Dracula, visit http://www.myspace.com/teresal.jones or contact Teresa at [email protected].