Today I am going to talk all about my main villain, Elizabeth Bathory. Most of the people who read my series have no idea that she is (or was!) an actual person. She was born in 1560, and was quite possibly the worlds most prolific serial killer. Using her as my inspiration for a villain was easy, since she set a pretty good stage!
I first read about her back in 1995 when I bought a book called The Blood Countess. I had already devoured all I could about Dracula, having read the novel, and several spin offs, as well as all of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicle books that were out at the time. I was hungry for more gore, horror, and vampires! That was well before everyone had computers in their homes, or the ease of e-books and the Internet. I collected dozens of books over the years on lore, legends, and facts about vampires, and somehow Elizabeth Bathory was also mentioned in them.
I was both shocked, and intrigued by the events that took place with Bathory, and wanted to find out more. It turns out that Vlad Tepes (the man that the book Dracula was designed after) was her great-uncle. Bathory is “famous” for killing at least 600 girls, so I guess crazy ran in their family. Supposedly she would bathe in the blood of young virgin girls, believing that it would keep her youthful. Whether that is true or not is unknown, but she was found guilty of the torture and murder of hundreds of innocent girls.
Bathory was imprisoned in a set of small rooms within her castle, and then bricked in. She stayed there for four years until her death. Since her body was moved after burial, the location is unknown, and I took her history and fictionalized it in my series. Not only is she a crazed, magic-wielding vampire, but she is also trying to play God by experimenting on herself with the DNA of the Dark Fae race. She tortures and imprisons them, just like she did with the girls in her human life.
The only time you see a shred of weakness in her, is when Jackson enters the picture in The Pursuit. Their crazy, dysfunctional “relationship” shows a softness in Bathory. But she doesn’t trust anyone, even someone she may have had feelings for at one point in time.
Elaborating on her fictionalized character was probably the most fun I had while writing my series. While I did enjoy writing about Lucius in Guided by Moonlight, fleshing out Bathory let my imagination go wild on the dark side! I needed her to be an unquestionable villain, and I hope I did a good job of it.