February 28, 2011

Publishing and Transylvania, and Books

When I mentioned that I am self-publishing and will be using Create Space, most were excited, but one person sent me an email asking a very good question: "If you are using Create Space are you really self-publishing?"
Good question but think of it like a blog-- with Create Space, I have my own ISBN and there are many details which make, for me at least, working with this company a good idea. One of them is the idea that it is up to me to make a success of my work. I have been working two long years in writing and editing this non fiction manuscript and it is almost there....
In case you are wondering yes it is about Transylvania, ( more specifically about the Second World War) and yes once it is published I plan to continue to write on this topic. It seems the topic is wide open, and I am excited about the process. So, with this in mind, I am of the belief that if you have your own ISBN you are self-publishing. The most important thing is to get a good editor, and then trust that you are getting good results.

This means that a small topic where it will not seem that having a huge market might be a good thing. Transylvania deserves some exposure to the general population.

February 26, 2011

Petra's Commentary on Transylvania

I have found that the one thing about special guest blogger is that they offer so much more than what I can do.  They offer some unique and wonderful views on the land and people of Transylvania.

They talk about the topic and give it new eyes and a new point of view.  Petra did this so well and it leads me to thinking what is Transylvania.  This is an important question.

Is it simply a part of a larger country that will always have some meaning to some people, to those who live right now in Transylvania and to those who lived within its borders at one time or another.  It is important to so many, possibly because of its unique place in history?

Is it a place on a map that people will argue over for as long as they are alive?  Or does it have a meaning to them that goes beyond things such as culture, but into something deeper a part of their soul?  Or is it something that these people who live there are too down to earth to worry about?

I think that Petra had it right saying what she said, and that it the reality of Transylvania.  In the end I believe people do care about this place.

February 25, 2011

If She Wasn't a Serial Killer... Would She Make Transylvania Money?

Had Elizabeth Bathory not been viwed of as a serial killer ( rightly so, after the number of killing has been estimated at 600 young girls)  would she make Transylvania money the way Dracula does?

I wonder if the fact that she is a protagonist in the newest Dracula book will make a lot of difference.  She is in many ways similar to the cruel Vlad Tepes (Dracul) but.... just as famous, with a castle that would provide another tourist place.

February 22, 2011

Europe and Transylvania

Transylvania is a small area in Europe.  Yet, it is and has been an important area that many of the central European countries wanted in their sphere of influence.  Why?

In the many forest of Transylvania there are direct pathways to central Europe.  During the Roman Empire the rulers of Rome wanted it for protection and expansion.  This was also known as the gateway to Vienna, and as such the Hapsburgs and Hungarian kings wanted this land protected.

There were always people there, some were culturally Romanians, or Hungarians, but later there were Germans, and Roma and many others.  Such a diverse land was also the home of many religions: and this had an effect of building a place where it was valued due to its natural resources and pathways to the East.

Still, now, Transylvania is not as "important" and yet, is still of value to the peoples of central Europe. 

Image of Transylvania, lighter is Transylvania proper, darker yellow is the Banat

February 21, 2011

Why Write about Transylvania?

The reason I write about Transylvania is simple, I enjoy the process and the art of writing.  I can write on a lot of topic and for the most part have readers who Will enjoy it.

why write about Transylvania?

who doesn't want to know about Dracula?  or the people who lived and developed the land?

it is an important place, and one that mos people should be pleased to write about... in many ways i could be like a small country of its own, but it has many links to the Romanian people, and unlike Moldavia, have made the choice to remain within the Romanian borders.

February 18, 2011

The Priciplality of Wallachia: The Princedom of Dracula

As you can see on the map above, this is the general area of the principality of Wallachia, whose long history is linked with that of Transylvania and Modolva, and Hungary. 

During the Turkish wars, it was used by the Hungarian army and the Transylvanian armies as means to get to the armies, and fight over land.  This is also the land where the famous Vlad Tepes was rules, along with his father and brothers.

This was the land that was destined to be one of two Principlalities to form the Princedom and future Kingdom of Romania.  (Transylvania would join in 1919) 

February 17, 2011

If There Wasn't A Dracula Would You Make Money in Tourism in Transylvania?

Dracula it appears is back in North American news again.  This time it is in 3-D... It is slated to appear sometime soon.  After the newest novel from Dacre Stoker, there is a rumor of a feature film with Dracula and the Countess of Blood Elizabeth Bathory.  This is apparently going to be based upon his novel Dracula the undead.

So does Dracula still make money in tourism to Transylvania?

Alba Iluia, a place to visit
 In a word no.  Transylvania is now pushing the UNESCO cities and pushing the tourism to other places other than Bran Castle.  However there is a strong affinity to go and see Transylvania for partly that reason.  Most people do not these days relate Dracula to Transylvania, unless they are doing a  tour.

So there would still be money in tourism for Transylvania even if there wasn't a Dracula based in Transylvania.

February 14, 2011

History: Can Men Change?

I asked this question about Joesph Stalin, based upon the idea that over time, new views will be made about each man.  Take for example the view that Stalin, pictured here in 1945 helped win the Second World War.

Some people have said that in the communist countries there was no mention of other countries who helped fight the war.  Then again, the same can be said about the Western World.  Numbers can be made to tell stories as well.

Can men be changed over time by the course of history?

Should we look to people and places and begin to ask historical questions about what happened or should we simply become more accepting of what we are told?

February 12, 2011

John Hunyadi and the Dracula Connection

Vlad Tepes, also known as Vlad the Impaler had an interesting life.  Yet what most people forget is that he had a family which was as interesting and fasinating as he was.  None more so than his father, Vald II Tepes who was also known as Vald Dracul, having recieved this name when he joined the Order of the Dragon.

So what does he have to do with John Hunyadi?

He was at one time an ally to Vald II and also his enemy after the battle of Varna.  This was a defeat that he blamed on Vald II-- yet many reports would lay the blame on Hunyadi, including Vlad and his eldest son Mircea.  Although they would not personally fight, Vlad Tepes would die in Wallachia, whereas Hunyadi would die in Belgrade.

The difference at the end of their lives was remarkable.  Hunyadi died defending the Christan faith and for that was revered, and Vlad II died and his remains are buried in a place unknown, and it was left to his younger son, Vlad III Tepes to continue to fight for the viviode of Wallachia that they had.  He would be exiled to Transylvania and return but would never face the man who indirectly create the downfall of his father.  Hunyadi died five years after his father.

Even so, it is a great thing to have links between the countries that would become Romania and Hungary and benefit Transylvania, with tourism.

February 11, 2011

Would The Romanian Royal Family Make Transylvania Money?

Queen Maria had a crown made of Transylvania's gold.  She was partial to Transylvania and even lived in teh Castle Bran. 

So the Question is would the romanian royal make Translyvania money?  See Princess Ileana's descendant wanted to make Bran Castle into a Dracula tourist attraction, so money is an issue.

February 8, 2011

Money For Transylvania Means Money For Romania

It is interesting to see what a little bit of tourism can do for a country.  If we talk about Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of a country it is also very interesting to note which place has the most GDP of a certain country.

Transylvania has one of the larger cities in Romania, and that is Cluj-Napoca, (However, Timisoara is sometimes listed as being a part of Transylvania.) Because of this Transylvania's GDP within Romania is 35% which accounts for a good portion of the GDP.

Most of that is tourism and it is mainly due to this and the natural resources that Transylvania makes this for Romania.  In other words it does make a good deal of money to the country of Romania, and this is why it is valued.

The rest of Romania accounts for 65% of the GDP, but this is centered again in the urban areas.  At the same time it can be said that there is a lot of GDP potential in the area of Transylvania.

February 7, 2011

Wikinut and Transylvania

It seems that wikinut is a decent website, but I've got a few pages on Dracula and other legends there, so it should be rather interesting to read.

My latest is about the Saxons of Transylvania.  I must admit I've had the most fun with this as I've had in a long time.  It can't get any better.

Expect for writing here and all about Dracula I suppose.

February 6, 2011

Should You Visit Transylvania while in Romania?

The quickest answer is that yes, you need to visit Transylvania.  It is one of the best part of Romania to see, beyond the fact that it has a lot of old styles of fortresses, but it also has some impressive parks and history to complement the rest of your tours within Romania or even the rest of Europe.

When you go to Transylvania, there are possibly three places which you need to visit to develop a wonderful appreciation of the land:  Bran Castle, Sibiu and Alba Iluia.

Bran Castkle the home of Dracula in the novel Dracula and Queen Marie of Romania

Sibui-- also known as Hermanstadt, which was the heart of the Transylvanian Saxon culture

Alba Iluia the heart of the Romanian Culture in Transylvania
These three places will give a meaning to Transylvania that you would not get elsewhere.  There are of course many other cities to visit but in my mind these are a must within this lovely land.

February 4, 2011

Dracula and the Blood Countess and Tyrants

The question I was asked is this would you consider Count Dracula and the Blood Countess tyrants?

No, I would not.  For one thing Count Dracula is a character in a novel, and since they were referring to the countess of the blood, I would also say no.

However, if they were referring to two people Vlad Tepes and Elizabeth Bathory (known as Vlad Dracul, and Elizabeth Bathory sometimes known as Countess of Transylvania-- her husband being a Count, after her infamous killing she was known as the blood countess.)
Vlad Tepes is found in many books, including the book 100 tyrants, which both are found in.  While I agree that Vlad Tepes was a warlord and could be considered a tyrant, I am not so sure about a serial killer, who is reported to have killed around 600 young girls for their blood.

It is just as well that the castle where these committed these killing is now in ruins in a protected park.

February 3, 2011

Siebenburgen Evacuation of 1944

This is the city of Bistrista, which is a part of Transylvania, Romania.  However in the year 1944 it was a part of Hungary and had a large German population there and in the surrounding villages.

These Germans called Transylvania: Siebenburgen, and they were ordered to evacuate in September of 1944.  They would go back to a part of Germany which was "considered" safe for them.  Most if not all of these Germans had never lived in Germany and most had never travelled this far in their lives.

The point was that the war was being lost by the German Army, and unlike during the Great War, the Germans who lived outside the borders of Germany for hundreds of years, were ordered to leave what they considered their homeland, that being Siebenburgen or Transylvania.

Over time, some would return, but most would not.  These days many of their descendants return for tours of the lands that their parents and grandparents, and even great-grandparents lived.

February 1, 2011

Comments Can Be HArd When They Deal With Transylvania.

I have several hubs up about Transylvania and Romania and Hungary and while like most people I have enjoyed the comments and debates that this has had, there is one thing which has made me stop comments from anonymous sources.

My only hub which has comment from anonymous sources disabled is this one.  I personally decided to do so when the insults hit a fever pitch.  In fact I have access to IP addresses of these people, and at first I simply added moderation, but one bad apple as they say spoiled the bunch.  In fact this person seemed to think they knew a lot about Transylvania, which I am certain they did.

The key problem is that a debate is good, but when it comes down to insulting people, that is what caused it to be closed to anonymous comments, and yet, at the same time, two other hubs which are as popular, on on Dracula and then one on Queen Marie are not closed to anonymous comments, and like many of my blog posts, get a lot of visitors, but not a lot of comments.

Commenting can be hard when it deals with Transylvania.