27 November 2011

Guest Blog: Jeanne Kalogridis

This week, we're welcoming best-selling historical author Jeanne Kalogridis, as she celebrates the release of her DIARIES OF THE FAMILY DRACUL trilogy on Kindle. The novels are available now. Jeanne is here to talk about her series and give away a copy of each of the books in the series, COVENANT WITH THE VAMPIRE, CHILDREN OF THE VAMPIRE and LORD OF THE VAMPIRES! Here's the blurb:
A sensual, terrifying, incredibly accomplished novel, this fascinating prequel to the classic and most popular horror novel of all time, Dracula, focuses on Dracula's great-nephew, who inherits the job of managing his great-uncle's estate...and his appetite. 

At the castle of Prince Vlad Tsepesh, also known as Dracula, Vald's great-nephew Arkady is honored to care for his beloved though strange great-uncle...until he beings to realize what is expected of him in his new role. It seems that either he provides his great-uncle with unsuspecting victims to satisfy his needs, or Vlad will kill those Arkady loves. He is trapped into becoming party to murder and sadistic torture. And it is in his blood. When Arkady learns that his newborn son is being groomed one day to follow in his footsteps, he knows that he must fight Dracula, even if it means death.

**Q&A with Jeanne Kalogridis** 

Tell us about the Diaries of the Family Dracul series.

There are three books in the trilogy:  COVENANT WITH THE VAMPIRE, CHILDREN OF THE VAMPIRE, and LORD OF THE VAMPIRES.  The first novel, COVENANT, deals with our hero Arkady Tsepesh, who is summoned from England upon his father's death to take over his role as caretaker of the estate where his ancient "Uncle Vlad" resides.  Slowly, Arkady begins to realize who and what Vlad is (none other than Dracula the vampire), and learns that as a descendant of Vlad Dracula, he is bound to him through a pact:  Dracula wins his immortality by corrupting the soul of the eldest son of each generation.  It's the story of Arkady's desperate struggle to free himself from the covenant.
The second and third novels, CHILDREN and LORD, are the story of Arkady's descendant, Bram (who, in an attempt to hide from Dracula and the covenant by moving to Holland and taking the name Van Helsing).  The novel LORD overlaps with the events of Stoker's novel DRACULA.

What inspired you to write this series?

I've been a huge fan of the novel DRACULA since I was a kid.  I've always wanted to add to Dracula lore and still do.  I remember reading DRACULA: PRINCE OF MANY FACES, a biography, and wondering what became of Vlad's kin.  The genealogical tree in the book was the "aha!" I needed to get the plot rolling.

What challenges did you face in researching the novels?

I had a pretty easy time, actually, since a marvelous new biography of Vlad, DRACULA: PRINCE OF MANY FACES, had just been released.  I also had Stoker's novel to serve as my guide for style, tone, details and timelines, and I had the good fortune to find his original source material of Transylvanian folklore, THE LAND BEYOND THE FOREST, in my nearest university library.

How do the protagonists change and grow with each new challenge?

In some cases, the changing is from living to undead; of course, the story of my hero is one of finding the courage to combat the evil that surrounds him.  He moves through denial, terror, acceptance, and finally grows brave enough to consider self-sacrifice.

What’s next for you?

I'm under contract to write two more historical novels.  Once I'm free, I'd love to visit the world of the FAMILY DRACUL again!