Today, I have the honor of hosting a blog tour stop for Noree Cosper, author of A Prescription for Delirium, book one of the Van Helsing Organization Series. When it comes to research and history, Noree is just a little bit mind-boggling, and she’s kindly agreed to share some observations on Vlad Tepes, the historical Dracula.
Bram Stoker partially based his Dracula off the historical figure of Vlad Tepes. Stoker combined possible references to the historical Dracula, Slavic folklore about vampirism, and the modern vampire. It’s no wonder, considering some of the monstrous acts Vlad Tepes committed. His name, after all, means Vlad the Impaler. So, who was he?
To us vampire fans, he is the ultimate fiend, the trendsetter. To the Romanian people, he is a folk hero who fought against the Turks and their oppression. To other, he was a tyrant.
Vlad Tepes was born sometime in 1430 to Vlad Dracul of the Order of the Dragon, a Christian brotherhood dedicated to fighting the Turks. He was claimant to the throne of Wallachia, part of Romanian located south of the Transylvanian Alps. That’s right, though he was born in Transylvania, he actually was prince of another region. When he was just a child, his father entered a truce with the Turks and had Vlad and Radu, one of his other sons, remain with the sultan as part of the pact. This had a major impact on Vlad. While he took the time to learn the Turkish language and customs, his treatment caused a deep cynicism and Machiavellian outlook. It drove him to seek revenge from anyone who wronged him.
His first act of revenge was after his father and one of his brothers were killed with the help of the ruling families of Wallachia. After fight and regaining his throne, he arrested the nobles of Wallachia and impaled the older members outside of his castle. This was the first incident and why he was named Vlad the Impaler. He forced those who were still fit to build his new outpost overlooking the Anges River.
Tales about his cruelty spread, though his reign (off and on) was very short. Impaling wasn’t his only method. He also employed torture, mutilation, and burning alive. No one was safe, but a majority of his victims came from nobles and merchants of Transylvania and Wallachia. These atrocities were Vlad’s attempt to enforce his own moral code on his country. In his eyes, these were murderers, thieves, and those who preyed upon Wallachia. There is one tale where he invited the disabled, poor, and vagabonds to a great feast. He asked if they preferred this to not working and they said yes. So, he locked them in the building and burned it down. He said that Romania should not suffer those who didn’t do their part and now they were no longer poor or hungry.
Vlad continued to fight the Turks until his death at the hands of an assassin in December, 1476. For this, the Romanian people loved him. However, his actions sparked one of the most famous monsters of all time. I think we like to create creatures like vampires to hide the fact that humans can be the most monstrous of all.
She also risked life and limb to interview Marge Devereaux, a very angry demon hunter with some serious issues and some serious skills. More about Marge can be found in A Prescription for Delirium.
Thank you for joining us today, Marge.
*Marge shrugs* Whatever. Gabby promised to pay me to be here. Let’s get this over with so I can get paid.
Where did you grow up?
In New Orleans, the Garden District.
What was your family life like?
On the surface, we were the perfect family. Rich, influential, respected. It was all a fucking lie of course. Before you open your mouth, I’m not getting deeper into it. You’re not my shrink. I don’t need to tell you anything.
In A Prescription for Delirium you like to use a lot of kicks. Can you tell us a little about your fighting style?
I know a little of other styles but I mostly focus on Taekwondo. It’s Korean martial art that emphasizes mostly on kicks and punches, pretty much why it’s called the way of the foot and the fist. I started learning it when I was thirteen and did some runs through some underground tournaments until I started hunting demons.
How long have you been hunting demons?
About two years.
How did you get started?
Well, I there’s this demon I need to find. At first I went to the psychic for help, but she was a useless fake. So, instead I found A Vodoun priestess who helped get me started.
Do you have any friends at all?
Why the fuck would I need friends? They’re just a liability, demon fodder, or they’ll to betray you later on. I have contacts that are useful a good distance away.
What is it that you think you offer to Gabby and the Van Helsings?
I’m willing to do what makes them sick to their stomach. I get answers.
Are you religious?
Why not? You know demons exist.
Where is God in this world? Buddha? All is see is a shitty place full of pain and suffering.
Do you have any regrets?
That I exist. *crosses her arms* That I never got to deal with my father on my own terms.
A Prescription for Delirium is avalaible from Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and Smashwords.
Ninety years ago, Gabriella di Luca promised to protect the family of her dying lover. She failed to keep that promise. She was too far away to stop the devil that murdered the eldest Van Helsing son. Years later, Gabby learns the devil has resurfaced. She arrives in Hampton, TX, determined to stop the devil before it can lay a bloody hand on the remaining three brothers.
However, madness is spreading through Hampton. She suspects the devil is using this madness to test a drug which has a side effect of demonic possession. Gabby rushes to end the source of the madness only to fall victim to it. For a woman cursed with eternal life, dying is no threat. However, Gabby must stop the devil’s plot or risk losing her most precious possession: her mind.