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Monday, January 21, 2013

The Weird Embarrassment Factor. VampCon by Armand Inezian.

 Today it’s my pleasure to feature Armand Inezian, author of VampCon, a Dark Fantasy Thriller.

GIVEAWAY. Comment for a chance to win one print edition AND one eBook edition. Print editions ONLY available to winners in the Continental USA (aka “lower 48”). eBook editions available to winners anywhere. Print edition winners may substitute eBook versions. 

Publisher: Greyhart Press, Bromham UK.

ISBN: 978-1478279525

Number of pages: 310
Word Count: approximately 95,000

Cover Artist: Banchick Illustration.

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Print editions through Amazon, Amazon UK., ebooks at B&N Nook Reader  Kindle. Diesel eBooks (for iPad and Android Tablets), Smashwords eBooks (for Nook, iPad, and Kobo) and at the Kobo store (for Kobo!)

Book Description

Jonathan Stoker is a reluctant vampire who wants nothing to do with the dark world that turned him. He isolates himself, sucking nonlethal quantities of blood from helpless drunks and making a marginal living. However after he learns that someone he holds dear has been lured to the VampCon, a cut-throat vampire summit, Jonathan is forced to deal with his kind again.

But Jonathan and company quickly discover that the VampCon is much more than a meeting. It’s a conspiracy that holds the key to both the creation and possible extinction of all vampires.

Now Jonathan has no choice but to come to terms with his own dark side while working with a small band of troublemakers to stop a nightmare from coming true.

The weird embarrassment factor of me having written a vampire thriller with lots and lots of adult themes...

Armand Inezian is the author of VampCon, a dark fantasy thriller containing thousands of bullets, hundreds of vampires, two portals to damnation, and one bloody chance at redemption. Available now on Amazon, for Kindle, and for Nook.

Guest Post

The weird embarrassment factor of me having written a vampire thriller with lots and lots of adult themes... 

This is a post about embarrassment which starts with "E" that rhymes with "V" that stands for vampires.

Let's begin with this thought:, I was never a rebel. Growing up, I worked hard to do the right thing. I took a certain pride in following the rules. I never did drugs. Never skipped class. I didn't get in trouble with the law or teachers or with my parents.  My idea of lashing out was being mopey and skipping an occasional homework assignment.

That's my first bit of evidence. The second bit of evidence is that I went to grad school. I have an MFA in creative writing from Emerson College. This doesn't mean much to most people. But one thing about MFA programs is that they focus on literary fiction. That's LITERARY with an "L", that rhymes with hell, which is where you going to go if you write a whole bunch of genre fiction about vampires.

Because I got that MFA, I now teach English at a place called Curry College, where some very bright scholars write essays and books about literary themes, rhetorical styles, and tropes in Victorian novels. Please note that these things have very little to do with vampires using automatic weapons. Very little.

So naturally, I wrote a vampire novel.

And now we get to the weirdly embarrassing part which is that my mom, the person who knew me when I was just a wee little boy, has read it. (Hi Mom!)

VampCon is a vampire novel that has some very (shall we say) "non-mommish" scenes, like incestuous relationships, steamy shower sex, blood and gore, and people being eaten alive by monsters. (Sorry for spoilers!) Thankfully my mother has been pretty cool about not bringing the stuff up because, frankly, I think any conversation she and I would have about this would be awkward. And awkward starts with "A" that rhymes with "HEY", as in, "Hey Mom, let's you and I not talk about my vampire novel right now..."

Besides Mom, there's the academic issue- which is to say that it is also weird when colleagues (Yes I have "colleagues". Give me a break, I'm 42 years old and work at a college.)

... Oh where was I... You see, when my colleagues ask me what I'm working on, instead of saying that I'm putting together a journal article on how to better apply laptop PC's to the classroom experience, or a book chapter on postmodern expression in Vietnam novels of the 1970's, I say through the half-gritted teeth: "Oh yeah, I wrote a vampire novel. Heh- heh."

My teeth are half gritted because one thing you can't to get around is the embarrassment factor, or what some people called the tee-hee factor in vampire fiction, which is because so much of vampire fiction is associated with cover art featuring shirtless young men with beautiful abs, or women with taut buttocks in tight pants. Or both!

Here's an analogy: Let's say you were invited to a potluck dinner to which everyone else has brought prime rib, rack of lamb with sautéed kale and eggplant, or beautiful concoctions made out of fish and eggs, and YOU walk in the door carrying plate of TWINKIES. That's me. I'm the Twinkie guy. Except my Twinkies are filled with blood instead of hydrogenated fats. So- in that way- they are healthier.

But here I am with my dark, vampire novel, and- despite the embarrassment factor- I'm proud of it! VampCon took me three years to finish. The plot is solid; the writing would hold its own in any literary street rumble. And those dark elements, the ones I proclaimed as "non-mommish", they need to be there. They help bring out the sharp edges in the story and remind my readers what's at stake for Jonathan (my hero) and his allies.

And true, VampCon is in no way academic. It won't help you learn more about writing or reading or literature, and holds no place in the university library, except as possibly a curiosity, or a recreational aside for your pleasure reading. But reading pleasure is important. I mean have you ever heard of someone buying an essay on philosophy to bring on their flight to Chicago? Nope. What people need on planes, trains, or when in bed is the stuff of pleasure.

And ultimately that's what I want people to get out of VampCon. I want you to take the thrill ride. I want you to walk away having the feeling that you've just sprinted through a most excellent, scary, and yet oddly beautiful haunted house. I want you to feel like you got your money's worth.

So allow me to assure my Mom that I'm still good boy. I work hard; I pay my bills; try to raise my kids right; and I believe the power of being good. And let me assure my colleagues in academia that I believe in Shakespeare, Moby Dick, and Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451. I value solid research essays and a good lecture.

But I also value a story that thrills, and thrill starts with "T", that rhymes with "V" that stands for VampCon!

About the Author 

Armand Inezian resides in Boston with his wife, two children, and three cats. In addition to writing, he also works two day jobs, one in grants administration and the other in teaching English, and he is grateful for both. He graduated from Emerson College with an MFA in Creative Writing. His short stories have appeared in various literary journals including The Missouri Review and Glimmer Train. In 2003, his short story, Baer, was nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Another of his shorts, See Me, won the Glimmer Train Story Open in 2008. VampCon is his first completed novel.

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Don't forget to comment for a chance to win one print edition AND one eBook edition. Print editions ONLY available to winners in the Continental USA (aka “lower 48”). eBook editions available to winners anywhere. Print edition winners may substitute eBook versions. 


Debby said...

Congrats on your book. Academic standards are not the thing you always have to follow. Glad you did not as I want to read this book.
debby236 at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Armand has a Fahrenheit 451 t-shirt. I've seen the photo! So his mom can still be proud, despite him writing a page-turning vampire thriller.

Armand Inezian said...

Thanks Tim and Debby for your notes!- Armand

Mary Preston said...

I can totally believe some of those conversations with your Mother would have been embarrassing if they had taken place.

Pleased to meet you.