Merlene Alicia Vassall has been an avid reader and writer since childhood and has been fascinated with vampires for just as long. Her ideas about the vampire mythology have been influenced over the years by the campy Dracula movies of the ’70s to the more recent interpretations. In contrast, Merlene has been vegetarian since the mid 1980s and vegan since 1996, primarily for reasons of compassion toward animals. The Vampire and The Vegan, Book I: Food ties together these two diverse interests.
Professionally, Merlene has worked with nonprofit organizations since 1983, first as an employee and then via her firm, Technical Assistance & Support Consultants. For more than three decades, her services have been utilized by a range of progressive nonprofit organizations to raise funds to meet the needs of at-risk children, disadvantaged communities, and developing nations.
She was actively involved with the Vegetarian Society of the District of Columbia beginning in 1996. She served on the VSDC Board of Directors for about ten years and raised approximately $150,000 for the VSDC Eat Smart Program, which she conceptualized. Since the program began in 2004, hundreds of individuals have learned how to make the transition to a healthful vegan diet.
Merlene earned her Bachelor of Science from Cornell University’s College of Human Ecology and her Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center.
The Vampire and The Vegan, Book I: Food is Merlene’s first novel. Her second novel is the sequel, The Vampire and The Vegan, Book II: Livestock (2018).
Check out Merlene’s interview on Healthy Food Happy You.