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HOW DRACULAND CAME TO BE

J

uly, 2007. Paris, France

One of those lifelong remembrances.

We were coming to the last few days of our 20th wedding anniversary trip to France. It included stays in Biarritz, Bordeaux, Burgundy, and just to screw up the alliteration, Paris. The BBC played in the background while we dressed for dinner. Cannot remember where in the 450 arrondissements we were headed.

On the television:

“If you have about $100 million pounds to spare, the Romanian government is selling Dracula’s Castle. The property, which some consider the design motivation for Disneyland, is a popular tourist destination, but the upkeep and maintenance outstripped the revenue generated by visitors. No word on whether any offers preceded this public announcement.”

Lee and I exited the bathroom to watch some of the video, and tune out the BBC talking head.

“That’s hilarious,” I said. “What would someone do with Castle Dracula?

“Movie set?” She asked.

“Been done.”

“Been done to death,” she offered.

“Funny.”

We watched more video.

“Doesn’t look anything like Disneyland.”

“No. It does not.”

The story concluded with the usual news copy.

“As mentioned, anyone with an extra hundred million pounds . . . “

I hit the “off” button.

“Disneyland?” I asked.

“That’s what he said.”

“Okay. What if someone buys Castle Dracula and turns it into a theme park?”

“Oh, what? Like Dracu - Land?”

I stopped.

“Say that again.”

“Oh, what? Like Dracu - Land?”

****

Eighteen drafts, three edits (One developmental, Two complete), and fifteen years later, Draculand is a published novel.

As cynical as I am, there is the cliche, “Dreams do come true.”

And mine has.

This book, as much as TIME Blinked and the as-yet-unpublished Google Earth Murders, represents my stated goal which was to be a traditionally published author.

Now, I have done it twice.

Draculand is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Goodreads, KOBO, and other outlets. And as much as I enjoy the royalty checks, NOTHING gave me greater joy than to see my beautiful wife of 35 years, Lee, open the first publishers’ shipment of books to the author.

Without her, Draculand, like so many other things in my life, would never have happened.

Love you, Lee. Thank you for the best life ever.

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