Kalogridis, Jeanne

Kalogridis, Jeanne (1954–)

(pop culture)

Jeanne Kalogridis, the author of a series of novels based on Dracula, grew up in Florida with an interest in books and language. She attributes her love of reading as a response to her less-than-ideal childhood, during which she found that fantasy provided an escape from the unpleasant present, and horror a safe means of confronting fear, pain, and death. After earning a bachelor’s degree in Russian, she attended graduate school at the University of South Florida where she received a master’s degree in Linguistics in 1980.

Afterward, she did postgraduate work at Georgetown University and taught English as a Second Language at American University. After teaching for eight years, she decided to begin writing full time. For more than a decade she wrote quite successfully under a pseudonym, then in the mid-1990s decided to publish under her own name.

Kalogridis was particularly affected by reading Dracula, and reread it several times. She also read biographies of Vlad the Impaler. When she finally went to write about the Dracula family, she modeled her Dracula after Vlad. In the Dracula trilogy through which she began to introduce herself to the reading public, she focuses on the idea of Dracula having a covenant with his human family that has been kept alive over the centuries. The first of the novels, Covenant with the Vampire (1994), introduces Dracula’s family some 50 years prior to the events in Bram Stoker‘s Dracula According to Kalogridis’s novel, at the castle of Prince Vlad, Vlad’s great-nephew Arkady has recently taken over the job of managing the thriving; busy estate. Arkady is honored to care for his beloved though eccentric great-uncle … until he begins to realize what is expected of him in his new role. Dracula’s family are bound by a covenant to serve Dracula and to protect him, meaning that Arkady must provide his great-uncle with victims to satisfy his needs, or Vlad will kill those Arkady loves.

The covenant traps him into becoming an accessory to murder and sadistic torture. When Arkady discovers his newborn son has been designated as Dracula’s successor, Arkady decides that he must oppose Dracula and save his son. The scene is set for the battle that continues in the two sequels, Children of the Vampire (1995) and Lord of the Vampires (1996).

Since her Dracula trilogy, Kalogridis has written a number of books, but has not returned to a vampire theme.

Sources:

Kalogridis, Jeanne. Covenant with the Vampire: The Diaries of the Family Dracula. New York: Delacorte Press, 1994. 324 pp. Rept. New York: Dell, 1995. 352 pp.
———. Children of the Vampire: The Diaries of the Family Dracula. New York: Delacorte Press, 1995. 301 pp. Rept. New York: Delacorte, 1995. 324 pp.
———. Lord of the Vampires. New York: Delacorte Press, 1996. 347 pp.

Kaplan, Stephen see: Vampire Research Center

Kappa see: Japan, Vampires in