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Wallachia is an ongoing serial vampire novel by David Ely set in 19th-century Romania. New chapters are published every few weeks.

Decades before Dracula, the Principality of Wallachia had its share of problems long before it came to be ruled by a vampire…

Download the app to read or listen for free. Vote in reader polls that directly affect the story in forthcoming chapters.


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The audiobooks are available as a podcast. New chapters air every other Friday.


Flowers of Transylvania cover Download from Amazon Download from Amazon Apple Books link Apple Books link

Flowers of Transylvania, a prelude to Wallachia, is included in the app but is also available separately for Kindle and Apple Books. 1741, Transylvania. Corina finds herself a prisoner of Count Dracula. The good news: Dominic, her first love, is a guard in the castle. But can she trust him?


Weblog

There’s a new chapter of Wallachia coming later this week. You can download the app now to get caught up. wallachia.net

Coming, in chapter 11: 🌧rain, ⚾️oină, and 🥬cabbage rolls!

Here’s a nice piece about Uncle Iroh in Avatar: The Last Airbender.

(And yes, I did put a small reference to firebending in chapter 10.)

Valerian - The Complete Collection Sale

Tiny behind-the-scenes note: Laureline in Wallachia is named after the heroine in this fantastic French space opera. Seeing it on sale makes me want to get my copies off the shelf.

(Laureline not being a Romanian name, I made it a nickname for Laura Adelina. All the sisters go by nicknames—Marley is Mirela Elena and Dora is Theodora.)

An essential CD that I keep in my car and played for the kids often: David Bowie Narrates Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf.

Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon, Google Play

Steve Troughton-Smith is running a poll asking about SwiftUI adoption. I haven’t adopted any of it yet. There’s stuff I’d like to use, but so much of the Wallachia app is built around UITextView and all the NSLayotManager stuff that it seemed silly to host it all inside SwiftUI.

My stay-at-home listening has been this huge digital boxed set of 70s Bowie: Who Can I Be Now? (1974–1976).

While chapter 11 is off with my editor I’ve been putting together a companion app for me to use when posting new chapters. On the backend, Wallachia runs off of Apple’s CloudKit. Apple provides a webpage from which you can create and edit stuff that gets pushed out to the app, but it’s clunky. In time I’ll have my own custom iPad app that I can use to post chapters or make edits. I even made a little icon for it:

Screen Shot 2020 03 30 at 12 05 33 PM

This is all part of my “2.0” push. I’ll all take a while but it feels good to get back to coding after a break.

Benny Beck: Vampire Killer

Fun, free four-page comic.

An advantage of designing my own publishing platform is that I can make sneaky edits whenever I want to earlier chapters of the book. So, I just made a change to chapter 1 of Wallachia. Marley, her mind wandering while she’s supposed to be paying attention in church, is doing a little bit of word association. In my earlier drafts it just went on and on, so I cut it down a bit, but I’ll expand it here just for “fun.”

“Wallachia” (wool-ay-kee-uh) comes from a proto-German word Walhaz meaning “stranger.” Wales gets its name from the same word. Basically it was just their word for any foreigner. The word Wallachia is an exonym, meaning a word for a country used by non-residents. Wallachians didn’t call their land “Wallachia,” it was Țara Românească. Internally, they were Romanian, not Wallachian.

(In the book I just use Wallachia, anyway, because it’s better branding and provides some separation between modern Romania and my fictionalized version of the country from 200 years ago.)

So to themselves they were Romanians, but there’s another word, Romani, which refers to people of northern Indian origin who were treated as at best second-class citizens and at worst, slaves. A derogatory term for them is “gypsy,” which comes from the mistaken thought that they were from Egypt. Another derogatory term is țigani, which comes from a Byzantine Greek word meaning “untouchables.”

A number of Romani people live near the village in the book and interact with the townspeople frequently. They’re not treated as equals but, as the story starts, I don’t depict any direct mistreatment of them. In chapter six, I start to shift that. Radu refers to them as țigani, not Romani, which is how everyone else has referred to them up until that point. Going forward, you start to hear the derogatory term used more often, first from the “bad guys” but then more often from other characters as the term starts to take over. (Theme: vampires are bad, but so is racism.)

Anyway, I had planned this all out but in chapter one I only had Marley’s internal monologue refer to “gypsy,” so I’ve added the other word in there as well just to have it make an appearance earlier, and to maybe help readers make a connection between the three words: Romani (correct) and gypsy and țigani (derogatory).

I’ve been using Ferrite Studio Pro on my iPad with an Apple Pencil to edit the Wallachia audiobook chapters for the last month, and I highly recommend it. Editing audio in Logic was always a chore for me. Now I don’t mind. I was happy to support it via the Pro upgrade.

Enna, Bruno (script), Fabio Celoni (art), and Mirka Andolfo (colors). Dracula Starring Mickey Mouse. Dark Horse Books, 2019. Available at comiXology.