Saturday, August 24, 2013

Influence Of The Vampyre: Special Guest Post by Jolene Rosetta McDonald

This lovely lady gave me priceless help with researching John Polidori for my novel, BITE ME, YOUR GRACE. I invited her to come today to tell us about her unique expertise! 

In 2009 and 2010 I had articles published in three UK paranormal
magazines. They described my spiritual experiences with John Polidori
that started in 2006.

The following year I discovered he had written the first influential
vampire story in English and I was intrigued. How could this obscure
figure in history who I had never even heard of until then, be so

Some people (including myself at that time) believe Bram Stoker was
the first to "create" vampires, but his novel Dracula was published in
1897. John Polidori's The Vampyre was published in 1819. The young
Regency doctor was long dead when Dracula came onto the scene, but he
was much further ahead in the vampire stakes. (No pun intended).

It was Polidori who made vampires sexy, seductive and alluring as
opposed to the early depictions of them which were almost zombie-like.
He made the undead glamorous, just as we know them today.

As he is a big influence on my own stories and poetry, I was so happy
to meet Brooklyn Ann online in 2009. She was about to start writing
her debut novel which happened to revolve around vampires in the
Regency period and Dr Polidori would be a character. After making
contact with her, I was thrilled when she let me lend a hand with
research, facts and information about him for her story.

I was even more excited when she included me in her book. I inspired
the character Rosetta. I suggested the name as it is my middle name,
my mother's and was also my great grandma's so it is very personal for
it to be included in the story. It is also an Italian name, which
seems appropriate because Polidori was half-Italian. The character is
also close to him which is an important connection for me.

This may sound weird, but one of the first things I said when John
came into my life was, I would love to be immortalised in a book with
him somehow. I had no idea how that would happen though. It seemed a
crazy idea. I'm not a historical figure! It was just a thought I had
in mind. Then along came Brooklyn Ann and made it happen, without even
knowing what I had said previously. I am also grateful to be credited
on the acknowledgements page at the back of the book. I feel as if it
was no coincidence that I met Brooklyn out of the blue.

John Polidori has been given a bad portrayal over the years. There are
inaccurate film depictions, exaggerations and history books which
focus on the small negatives rather than the many positive aspects of
his life and work. Not everyone can say they achieved a doctorate at
just 19 years old.

I do my best to show the truth about him. He had so much to offer had
he not died so young. I respect and honour his real legacy in any way
I can and Brooklyn does an amazing job in her novel to do the same
thing. She combines fact with fiction perfectly and shows an accurate
view of him. Her depiction is more realistic than he is often
described in non-fiction books. She describes him as handsome,
intelligent, interesting, romantic and caring and that is just what he
was. It is a near as dammit look at him anyway and a great read as a
novel at the same time.

I visited his house twice in 2008. Sadly he has no grave, but he does
not need one to be remembered. He has achieved immortality, just like
his vampyre. His life may have been cut short in his 26th year, but he
will never die.

1 comment:

  1. I CRIED like a lot!!!!!! i had to let you know. This book: It moved me unlike any other book i have ever read. I am a write too, you see. Hoping to publish very soon. Last night, I read the chapter where Angelica saves 'his Grace' ;) from the evil slayer! And he tells her he loves her -- OOOOOooOooo i went crazy. Please produce another book with historical fiction and vampires please (: I really love this book. Can not WAIT to finish it Thank you thank you.