In 2009, Emerson College graduate Seth Graham-Greene released Pride and Prejudice and Zombies a novel that found an intense following. His subsequent book, Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter was quickly scooped up for studio release. 2010 also saw the release of The Passage, a much-touted vampire-thriller by Justin Cronin, an English professor at Rice University. Now another local academic has joined the hunt. Armand Inezian, an Emerson alumni and lecturer at Curry College in Milton saw his supernatural thriller, VampCon, released this fall by independent, UK-based Greyhart Press.
After spending years writing short fiction with a focus on his Armenian heritage and studying literary novels like Thomas Wolff's You Can't Go Home Again and Arundhati Roy's God of Small Things, Inezian admits it was something of a surprise that his first published novel is a vampire thriller. Inezian began writing VampCon primarily as a way to take his mind off of more "serious" literature.
"I actually started working on it because I was in a funk. I had just finished shopping a short story collection around, with no takers. I had also been working on a previous novel that wasn't really going anywhere." Within eight months, he completed the initial 400 page first draft of VampCon that would eventually be revised and sold to Greyhart Press.
VampCon chronicles the story of a reluctant vampire who must come out of hiding to save his human son from a dangerous congregation of vampires. "It's a summit of sorts for various leaders of the vampire world," Inezian explains. "One of the book's villains shortens the name from vampire congregation to VampCon, which is where the book gets its title. Once Stoker (the hero) arrives, he discovers a terrible conspiracy."
Pairing an American author with a British publisher for a first book deal would once have been unusual, but the arrangement highlights the increased role of Web-based book sales and eBooks in the new publishing market, where self-published authors and small presses are able to offer low price points and compete against the larger publishing conglomerates that once dominated the book retail scene.
Despite the international flavor of his book deal, Inezian and his work are anchored in Boston. Besides receiving his MFA at Emerson, Inezian- a seven year Roslindale resident- has attended a number of workshops at Boston's Grub Street Writers Center, and at various points, he has taught writing at the South End Center for Adult Education, Boston Center for Adult Education, and at Curry College in Milton. A significant chunk of the story of VampCon takes place in East Boston and Boston's Financial District.
VampCon is available in print and in eBook formats in both the United States and Great Britain.