1. His physicality is based on the historical figure, Vlad Tepes, and not his Bram Stoker counterpart. That’s why he has auburn hair and green eyes.
2. I read several books about the Romanian leader and the time frame he lived within. The absolute power of the rulers of that time over their people heavily shaped Vlad’s dislike of being disrespected or disagreed with. Vlad is a stickler for what is “right” in his mind.
3. To shape Vlad’s personality, I studied serial killers. Vlad’s magnetism, charisma, inability to create loving relationships, obsessive behaviors, cruelty, and brutality are based heavily on Ted Bundy. Ted was very handsome and charismatic, and reminded me a lot of the classical vampire.
4. The bond created by blood between Vlad and Glynis is based on Stockholm Syndrome.
From Wikipedia: Stockholm syndrome, or capture–bonding, is a psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and sympathy and have positive feelings toward their captors, sometimes to the point of defending them. These feelings are generally considered irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims, who essentially mistake a lack of abuse from their captors for an act of kindness.
I also incorporated the Cycle of Abuse into their relationship and gave Glynis aspects Battered Person Syndrome. Though Glynis doesn’t “love” Vlad, the blood bond and their relationship of Master/Fledgling mirrors a marriage.
5. Vlad is the villain, and not a romantic interest. Of course, he regards himself as the romantic hero. He’s fun to write because he does not see himself as the “bad guy.” As far as he is concerned, he is simply the one in the right. Everyone else is just being difficult.
6. Vlad’s true love, and he actually does have one, is in the first book. Erzsébet is Vlad’s great love that was destroyed over time. I have been tempted to write their story in a novella, but I’m not certain yet. It depends on how much information The Lament of the Vampire Bride uses from their love affair.
7. Vlad’s appearance took some time to cultivate. I wanted him to be a man of the Regency era, but at the same time someone who held onto his past to some degree. I finally decided to have Vlad keep his long hair and heavy mustache, while dressing in long trousers, boots, and military style tailcoat. He also wears great coats and cloaks. Of course, it’s always in dark colors. I wanted him to come across as a civilized monster, and have his clothes reflect it.
8. Vlad gets a huge kick out of making people squirm. When you read the books, pay attention to how he deliberately unsettles people. It gives him the upper hand.
9. Though not stated explicitly (in the first two books), Vlad’s fascination with Glynis’s hair totally has to do with vampire legend. Redheads are suspected to be vampires.
10. Vlad Dracula’s immortality is based off his legend in pop culture. No matter how many books, films, comics, etc, kill him off, he always rises. I coupled this with Bram Stoker’s tale of Vlad going to the Scholomance and studying black magic with the devil to make Vlad the unkillable foe. To defeat him, Glynis will have to find a different way.