New Novel, The Vampire and The Vegan, Is Food for Thought

Not your daughter’s vampire tale, this steamy story titillates and entertains while baring the fundamentals of veganism.

The first line sets the tone: “I walked into Christopher’s Seafood Restaurant, and before the maître d’ could seat me, I had already spotted my next meal.” No, the protagonist is not talking about anything on the menu but about an attractive Casanova whose evening is about to get a lot more interesting.

The Vampire and The Vegan, Book I: Food is the story of Pearl, a temptress vampire who spends her nights seducing and consuming unsuspecting men in Washington, DC. One night, she discovers that the blood of her next would-be victim, Salaam, lacks what she craves – “necromantic energy” that comes from eating meat. Because Salaam is vegan, Pearl does not see him as food and has an opportunity to fall in love. But besides the obvious lifestyle differences between a vampire and a vegan, this story has its complications. Lynford, Salaam’s wisecracking, omnivorous buddy, is also pursuing Pearl, and Udah, the woman who introduced Salaam to vegetarianism, competes with Pearl for Salaam’s affections. Plus, there is a string of dead bodies…

“I have a love for the vampire genre, always wanted to write a novel, and also wanted to share information about veganism,” said author Merlene Alicia Vassall. “Somehow, these interests all came together in the novel. It is sexy and sometimes humorous but also shares a serious health and ethical message that I believe is important.”

Thus far, prominent members of the vegetarian community have embraced the novel. “The Vampire and The Vegan is a story you can really sink your teeth into!” noted Neal Barnard, President of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. “But beyond the engaging and beautifully written tale is a thought-provoking subtext that could change your life!”

“Merlene Vassall may fundamentally be changing the vampire genre by employing the essence of the vegan message in a clever and subtle way,” commented Saurabh Dalal, President of the Vegetarian Society of DC. “Your food will not appear the same.”

The Vampire and The Vegan, Book I: Food is Merlene’s first novel. However, she has been a professional nonfiction writer for more than 25 years. Merlene has earned degrees from Cornell University and Georgetown University Law Center. She 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 is available at major online book retailers. TASC Books, the publisher, is offering free copies of the first three chapters at