Local author pens vampire tale about Mary, Queen of Scots

Phyllis York

Phyllis York


After a lifetime of writing for her eyes only, local author Phyllis York’s interest in Mary, Queen of Scots has led her to release her first book for general consumption.

“Myths, Monsters, and Mary: Mary the Queen” is based on the premise that Mary, Queen of Scotts was — or rather, is — a vampire. The book is set in present day and begins when the still-living vampire queen hires protagonist Paige Harper to dress her hair and perform clerical tasks. The rest of the book, York says, is about the adventures that the two women have together.

“It is not like every other vampire story,” York said. “Yes, there is a little bit of romance in it, but it’s mostly adventure, and it has something for everyone.”

York likes history and has a particular interest in Mary, Queen of Scots because of the historical figure’s extraordinary bad luck.

“She was a doomed queen,” York stated. “She became a queen when she was six days old, and everything that happened to her was just one terrible thing after another. And so she’s just always a very interesting person to write about.... She was almost queen of France and Spain and England. When she got married to Francis, the king of France, she was within days of taking over all these different countries, and then he died and then she had to go back to Scotland. She could never win no matter what she did.”

One day, York was stopped at a traffic signal on her way to work when an idea struck: what if Mary, Queen of Scots, had been a vampire?

York said, “I thought about it, and it kind of skipped my mind. And then a little bit later I just started thinking about it and thinking about it and thinking about it, and then kind of went backwards through the process to tell the story because I decided I really needed to tell the story.”

York says that she has read some popular vampire books, but wasn’t especially interested in vampires before writing her own book. Instead, she thinks the idea might have occurred to her because the real Mary, Queen of Scots, had a disease called porphyria, which York had read was once mistaken for vampirism.

Additionally, Mary, Queen of Scots was accused of killing her second husband, Lord Darnley, and York liked the idea that maybe she had.

“He didn’t seem like a really great guy, but it would have been cooler if she ate him,” York stated.

For the complete article, see the Weekend print edition of The Daily Record, or view the e-Edition online.


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