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Leif Pettersen—Backpacking with Dracula: On the Trail of Vlad “the Impaler” Dracula and the Vampire He Inspired

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About the Book:

Little known to most people is that Dracula the vampire is the namesake of Vlad “Tepes” Dracula, the extravagantly mustachioed 15th century Prince of Wallachia. Among medieval accounts, Tepes is variously characterized as a brutal tyrant, a hero, a traumatized child who became a psychopath, a passionate leader whose reign brought order to a kingdom in chaos, scourge of the overwhelming forces of the Ottoman Empire, and/or a textbook sadist who prolifically impaled tens of thousands of enemies.

Backpacking with Dracula is one author's quest to explore fact, legend, and fiction (and the copious, delectable gray areas) about Vlad, sifting through the sometimes fantastic stories about the mercurial Prince and modern confusion with the vampire Count Dracula. As Petterson peels away these layers, he shares his accumulated knowledge of modern day Romania, where he lived and traveled for a cumulative two years.

Leif Pettersen will be in conversation with Doug Mack, author of author of EUROPE ON 5 WRONG TURNS A DAY and the upcoming THE FORGOTTEN STATES OF AMERICA.

About the Author:

Leif Pettersen is a freelance writer, humorist, world traveler, and tourism communications professional from Minneapolis, Minn. He has traveled through 55 countries and lived in Spain, Romania and Italy. Pettersen was a silver medalist at the 2014 International Jugglers' Association championships, loves chocolate, hates pickles, types with exactly four fingers, and can escape from a straitjacket. He has not vomited since 1993, making him a consummate travel journalist and excellent party guest.