When I set off to write the Dracula Chronicles series I was told by several people to focus narrowly on that subset of readers who love history; that I should choose the gender for which I wrote (either male or female); and that I should also target the age group (either young or mature) who might be interested in my story of Dracula. “Don’t be all over the place,” I was admonished. And as a note of encouragement I was told to expect that my series would appeal at best only to a small number of people with history as their primary literary interest.
These are the rules of fiction writing, it seems. No doubt there is a lot of wisdom in the advice received.
But you all know that rules are made to be broken.
If Vlad/Dracula had played by the rules, today he’d be a “foot note to a foot note” in a forgotten book of Romanian History. Not the legend that has endured for half a millenium.
Taking a page from the Dion Sanders book on the “Art of Controversial Choices” (fictional book by a real and remarkable character) I answered the questions posed to me in his peculiar style. “Do you want male or female readers?” “Both,” I said. “Young, or mature?” “Both,” I said again. “Lovers of history, or of general fiction?” You guessed my answer, I’m certain.
I would be lying if I said I did not sweat the putative consequences of my foolhardiness. But as the reviews began to come in, both on Amazon and in direct contact with many readers, it became clear that Vlad’s story appealed to a wide audience: young, mature, and in between; men and women; lovers of history and lovers of adventure. The present review makes the case more eloquently than I can (please don’t say: “What kind of writer are you if you lack eloquence???”)
Thank you reader Milena Soree for assuaging my fears.
5.0 out of 5 stars Byzantium at its best – not to be missed!, March 6, 2013
Ever since I learned about a year ago that Mr. Foia was preparing to publish this Dracula series I waited with anticipation for its first book to come out. I knew it was going be a historical novel, but what we also got is a well-written page turner that will appeal to the younger and older readers alike. Particularly, I think it will attract a young people following with its coming-of-age adventures of a very likeable character of Prince Vlad, fighting all sorts of unsavory characters while following his destiny – almost Harry Potter-style.
Mr. Foia’s writing is like Mozart’s music – it appeals at all levels and to all kinds of readers, men and women alike. The history and the contemporary cultures depicted were especially interesting to me, as I too, come from the Balkans where the Ottomans ruled for over 500 years and where we learned about their ways since the earliest age. Revisiting in detail the 15th century of the Eastern Balkans with all its gore, was a great pleasure to me; as strange as this may sound.
I have no doubt that in a year or so, this series will attract the interest of some TV or movie producer, this is the dream material for the big screen!