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Jun 18, 2008

Belizean American launches first novel at House of Culture

Story PictureBooks by Belize authors have increased over the years but literary works by local writers is still very much an untapped artistic medium. However, this week, Belizean American Ian Vasquez made a special pilgrimage home to launch his first novel. News Five’s Kendra Griffith reports.

Kendra Griffith, Reporting
With a crowd of relatives, friends, and fans listening intently, this morning Ian Vasquez read excerpts from his first novel, In The Heat.

Ian Vasquez, Author
“I feel great. I thought people really come out and supported me and it’s good when you write a book about Belize, to have Belizeans help celebrate the launching.”

According to Vasquez, the story was born from his own experiences growing up in Belize City.

Ian Vasquez
“On Sunday mornings I go to church and in the afternoons my father would walk my brother and me along southern Foreshore to go to the boxing matches at Bird’s Isle when boxing was big in Belize.”

The work of fiction tells the story of boxer Miles Young, who after losing a comeback fight is approached by a rich woman who offers him a substantial amount of money to find her daughter. Miles, however, soon finds himself in the middle of a criminal underworld.

Ian Vasquez
“When I was young, I always had a facility with language and I liked to tell stories, liked to imitate people and I guess those are linked. And then in college I started writing, I took a creative writing course and from there I could say “that’s all she wrote” I meant the pun. I just wanted to write and tell stories. It took me a while to get published.”

Kendra Griffith
“Have you gotten any feedback as yet and what has it been like?”

Ian Vasquez
“I’ve gotten feedback from people in the States and from reviewers in the states. They’ve given me some pretty positive reviews. From Belizean readers, not yet because they haven’t read the book yet but I’m hoping to hear something back and I’m keeping my fingers crossed.”

In The Heat was published by St. Martins Minotaur, with whom Vasquez has a three-book deal. Kendra Griffith reporting for News Five.

All the available copies of “In The Heat” sold out this morning, but the book should be available at Brodies next week. Vasquez migrated to the United States in 1986 and currently lives in Tampa with his wife and two children.


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