More New Lawson!

Yesterday saw the release of the next Lawson novel, THE RIPPER, which puts Lawson back in Boston trying to uncover the identity of a serial killer while dodging a Chinese assassin, dealing with Marty’s advances, counseling Niles, and dealing with Arthur’s past. It’s a chaotic mix of non-stop action and mayhem. And sales have been very good indeed!

You can grab your copy of THE RIPPER for the Kindle here and for the Nook here.

But THE RIPPER isn’t the only new adventure out…

Earlier today, I released SIX TIMES DEADLY, the first Lawson story collection featuring six short stories: The Price of a Good Drink, Interlude, Red Tide, Enemy Mine, Rudolf The Red Nosed Rogue, and Oathbreaker. Along with those six stories, I also included some cool bonuses: the script for the first part of the Lawson graphic novel and the first two chapters from the Talya spin-off novel series CODENAME: BELLADONNA. Yep, you heard right: there’s going to be a Talya spin-off novel series. It’s been in the works for a while now and with the advent of ebooks, I can actually write what I want without having to appeal to the whims of New York City publishing. I have three Talya novels sketched out and expect to complete the first one this year. I’m excited about it; Talya’s a great character and well-deserving of her own series. Hopefully, the fans will enjoy it.

You can grab SIX TIMES DEADLY for the Kindle here and >for the Nook here.

And finally, FROSTY THE HITMAN is now available for sale. This is the freebie short story I gave away on Christmas Day, but that window has now closed so if you want it, it’ll cost you 99 cents. You can grab that for the Kindle here and for the Nook here.

Next week, I’ll be releasing OATHBREAKER on its own, but if you want this new story now, you’ll have the get SIX TIMES DEADLY.

I’d like to thank all of you who have bought THE RIPPER. I’m very pleased with it’s rapid sales and success. And I’m especially thrilled to be finding so many new Lawson fans out there! Enjoy the new adventures – more are coming!

Upcoming Release Schedule…

With the entire Lawson Vampire backlist selling well on both Amazon and Barnes & Noble, I’ve decided to get a lot of stories, novellas, and novels out into the ebook marketplace. So, to give you a snapshot of what’s ahead, here’s a list of what you can expect between now and next year. The exact schedule is up in the air as I juggle multiple projects, but this should be a fair indicator of about when you can expect things to show up for sale.

THE MADAGASCAR MATTER – This was supposed to be a serialized novella but it’s grown into a full-fledged early novel (meaning pre-Fixer) with Lawson and Zero in Africa. I’m still finishing this up, but I expect it will be out by the end of March.

THE SHEPHERD – Not sure what this is going to be yet. It’s already proving it’s too involved to be a short story, so odds are good this will be a novella. I expect to have this out around April/May.

MISSION: MALTA – A serialized piece for my newsletter, so this will end in December unless it takes on a mind of its own. This will be a short story.

THE CAIRO CONNECTION, CANARY TRAP, A FORCED DISAPPEARANCE – A trio of longer short stories originally supposed to be published by a certain UK chapbook publisher under the banner of DARK OPS. Due to problems with that publisher, I’ll be bringing these out myself. Probably a Fall release.

THE RIPPER – Officially, the 6th novel in the series, it will be out in trade paperback from St. Martin’s next Spring.

Other Lawson projects include two other novels (not releasing the titles yet, but they’re coming) and a few more short stories. Lawson’s world is growing everyday and new fans are getting caught up in the rapture – between the ebooks, print novels, and the TV series, things are going to get crazy. And we still have to get the graphic novel finished at some point as well. Lots of stuff happening so please spread the word about Lawson and his adventures. And if you don’t have an ereader yet for your smartphone, a Kindle, Nook, iPad, or other ereader, you should probably get one soon. :)

Need to get caught up on some Lawson adventures you’ve missed?

Go here if you’ve got the Kindle or Kindle app: Lawson on Kindle | Go here if you’ve got a Nook or Nook app or other ereader that handles epub files. Lawson on Nook

Additionally, I will be working on the first NINJA novel, the sword & sorcery epic starring Ran, a recent ninja school graduate. I’ve gotten a number of emails lately asking when that will be available, so I’ll be working on that. I also have to do revisions on my boys adventure series THE NINJA APPRENTICE. Busy times ahead, but good fun – lots coming at you! :)

The Week Ahead…

Got a busy week ahead:

  • I’ll be sending out the next chapter of THE MADAGASCAR MATTER later today. This has been on-hold lately because of the other projects I’ve been involved in as well as some personal stuff that cropped up. In any event, we’ll be back on a regular schedule now, after leaving Lawson in a lurch (as I normally do, lol). So if you’ve subscribed to the ongoing serial, look for the next chapter coming your way soon!
  • Rewrites continue on the YA adventure series and I’ll be getting that back to my agent later this week. I’m excited about this one because it’s going to be big. Very big. More news when I can share it.
  • I need to rework a beat-sheet for the feature movie I’m working on.
  • Along those lines, I’m reading over a book my manager in LA wrote, so that should be fun as well.
  • I’m looking over website redesign plans for the new website for THE FIXER that will hopefully be unveiled this autumn. It will be the destination for all things Lawson. Stay tuned!
  • Got a few investor meetings lined up as well.
  • …and, of course, more training.

Seeya!

THE FIXER Graphic Novel Cover Art Revealed


Artist Brian McCulloch has delivered the final painting for THE FIXER graphic novel cover and it’s fantastic stuff! I especially admire how well he was able to capture actor Brandon Stumpf and the background of Vienna (where the first part of the story takes place). This is going to be a gorgeous book and Brian’s skill definitely adds a great deal to its worth. If you haven’t ordered the book yet, you need to now. Don’t wait because these will go quickly once it’s done. Right now, there are no plans to offer this through a traditional distributor, so unless you get in on this great book now, you won’t be able to find a copy unless you search the secondary market and don’t mind paying hundreds of dollars for it. You can get it right now for just $19.95 ($14.95 + $5 shipping anywhere in the world) by using the form below.






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TV GUYS – Chapter 1

Note: This is a reprint of a column I started writing last year that fizzled out as my schedule got more complex. I’ll be reprinting the columns here over the next few months and then continuing where I left off last year. Enjoy!

If I were pitching my current project as a movie in Hollywood, here’s what the logline would sound like: “Two guys with no real experience in the television business decide to ask private investors to front them millions so they can produce 13 episodes of a new supernatural TV series that they will then sell broadcast rights to domestically and internationally, thereby hopefully making hundreds of millions of dollars and turning the entire Hollywood business model on its head.”

Sounds absolutely ludicrous, right?

But that is, in fact, what my business partner Jaime and I are doing. Let me back up for a moment and give you a few more details.

I’m a writer. It’s what I do. I’ve had over a 16 novels published, co-authored two non-fiction books, had scores of short stories appear in print alongside some heavy hitters like Stephen King, and have written ad copy for everyone from Polaroid to Red Lobster Restaurants. I’ve scripted comics, screenplays, and turned four 3-minute webisodes into a novel. I don’t just write in one medium, preferring instead to try my hand at anything that helps me bump my game up to the next level.

Over the years, I’ve flirted a lot with Hollywood. There’s been some serious sexual tension, culminating a few times with deals that looked reasonably good on paper. But I’ve never jumped into the sack and here’s why: Hollywood doesn’t pay writers enough.

If you’re interested in how Hollywood makes its money, there is no finer book to read than THE BIG PICTURE: Money & Power in Hollywood by Edward James Epstein. I read that book several years ago and it opened my eyes.

Novelists especially tend to have a very fairytale image of Hollywood. They imagine that if they write a book, that Hollywood will come calling with an option (this is a small price – almost a rental fee, really – giving the producer or exec the ability to shop the project around and possibly secure financing, cast, crew, etc. within a certain time frame (usually 6-18 months)) or an outright rights purchase. If the movie then gets made, the studio will cut the writer a handsome check and the novelist gets the thrill of seeing their book turned into a movie.

When I started cutting my teeth in publishing, I imagined it would be an incredible experience. What I didn’t count on was the interminable wait, the endless teases, and the fact that Hollywood doesn’t want novelists writing anything or sticking their noses anywhere into the process.

Some writers can live with that. They take the money and run, knowing that the end result may well be such an extreme departure from their original novel that it bears resemblance in name only – if they’re lucky.

But when studios wanted my work, I knew what they could reasonably expect to make off of my creations. And I wanted more than they were offering. Of course they balked and all the whispered promises evaporated.

Last year, exhausted at the number of television shows that were coming out that were, to be overly kind, crap, my friend Jaime and I sat down and discussed the idea of trying to do something ourselves.

When we hashed out the concept of using my un-vampire vampire series of novels as our first project, the first person I bounced the idea off of was a good friend of mine who works in the film/TV industry. He’s well-known, so I won’t mention his name here, but he pretty much knows everyone worth knowing in Los Angeles and New York City. I called him and told him what we were planning. Then I asked him if we were crazy.

What he told me was this: “If you can make this work, then the sky is the limit. You will open doors that have never been open to you before and you will change the way Hollywood works in TV.” Then he offered to come on and be part of our executive board.

That was good enough for us. We started New Ronin Entertainment and chose THE FIXER as our first project. Ronin, in feudal Japan, were masterless samurai – called “wave men” because they owed allegiance to no lord. The name felt appropriate and our mission seemed sound, albeit tough as hell.

We would find private investors willing to back us in the production of thirteen episodes for the first season. (Networks usually greenlight, or approve, a pilot and then order up to twelve additional episodes for a first season run). We would put a team together to shoot, edit, and package the series, as well as sell it domestically and internationally. I would write all the episodes, thereby guaranteeing that the sanctity of my novels stayed intact and that I had complete control over the story lines and characters. The novels take place in New England; the cast and crew would be from New England; and we hoped that our investors would also be from the region. THE FIXER would be born and raised in our backyard. We thought that was pretty cool.

We enlisted two experienced directors who had worked in both television and independent films for years (therefore they knew how to work on a tight budget). Our sales force was composed of industry vets who had shepherded major films to hundreds of millions of dollars worth of sales. Experienced vets and up-and-comers made up our crew. And our art & marketing department worked hard to develop a consistent look for our flagship project. You can see the results thus far at our official website http://www.thefixer.tv

But we needed money to pull this off. There was no business precedent whose plan we could use to attract investors, so we put it together after weeks of research into Hollywood budgets, sales forecasts, and more. Trying to divulge what Hollywood spends and what it makes is harder than cracking into the National Security Agency, but at long last, we felt we had a workable business prospectus.

Our offer was generous; we knew it had to be. We offered a 50% return on investment within 24 months to those who chose to back us. The task now was to try to convince wealthy Bostonians and New Englanders that a TV series entirely produced in their backyard was a viable and worthwhile investment.

But first, we had to find them. And then we had to get in the front door…

Giveaway #4: Ninjutsu + Werewolves!

Oh, this is a good one! First up: we’ve got a great training package from my great friend Ken Savage at The Winchendon Martial Arts Center in Winchendon, MA. How do four private lessons sound with a master ninjutsu instructor? Ken will teach you over the course of four one-hour private lessons, the fundamentals of using the bo (staff) or ken (sword) at his dojo. Included in this package are a training tool (either the bo or the wooden sword) and an instructional booklet. Ken is a phenomenal teacher and a very close friend of mine. I’ve learned a ton from him over the years.

But that’s not all! My friend author Mike Oliveri is offering a free & signed copy of his werewolf graphic novel THE PACK: Winter Kill, from Evil Eye Books. The book has been getting rave reviews and you should definitely check it out!

  • 1. If you’re on Twitter, type “Free giveaways all day long at Jon F. Merz’s new website http://bit.ly/dnwKoF #books #ebooks #writer” & then come back here and leave me a comment below so I know you put out the tweet.
  • 2. If you’re on Facebook, type a status update that reads: “Free giveaways all day long at author Jon F. Merz’s new website http://bit.ly/dnwKoF & join his fan page here on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/jonfmerzfans” & then come back here and post a comment letting me know you did this.
  • 3. Not on Facebook or Twitter? How about putting a link from your website to this one? Once you do, post a comment to let me know what site you’ve linked to mine.
  • 4. No website? Are you on any forums or bulletin boards? If so, start a new thread about the official launch and direct everyone to come here using this link: http://bit.ly/dnwKoF and then post a comment below letting me know what board you posted to.
  • 5. Not on any boards? Email your friends! Send them a quick email about today’s launch and invite them to swing by – BCC me on it (use the email address jonfmerz AT gmail DOT com) so I can see how many people you told about this site and then chime in with a comment below letting me know what you did.
  • 6. If you’ve already suggested all your friends become fans of mine on Facebook, then suggest they also become fans of THE FIXER on Facebook as well!

Doing any of these will automatically enter you into the fourth giveaway! Just be sure to comment below so I know what’s going on. I need to be able to track these efforts at spreading the word about my site and my work. I’ll draw the next winner around 5pm EST!

Have fun!

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First Glimpse of THE FIXER Graphic Novel Interior Art

I’m happy to announce that artist Rob Moran of Voodoo Vision Studios has been hired to handle pencils on THE FIXER graphic novel due out in October. Rob did up a quick promo piece at the left featuring a few key elements from part 1 of the story arc. Artist Brian McCullough is also hard at work painting the cover and I fully expect this to be a fantastic book with some truly gorgeous artwork.

Remember, you will need to pre-order this book in order to receive a copy! Right now, there are no plans to offer this through a traditional distributor, so unless you get in on this great book now, you won’t be able to find a copy unless you search the secondary market and don’t mind paying hundreds of dollars for it. You can get it right now for just $19.95 ($14.95 + $5 shipping anywhere in the world) by using the form below.





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Reminder…

It’s always a good idea to remind readers that they can order or get a lot of my stuff still at various venues (my website is actually being moved to a new platform & once it’s done this will all be streamlined much better than this, but for now…)

Let’s start with the Lawson Vampire stuff:

THE FIXER graphic novel debuts in October, but it’s very VERY important to get pre-orders in now. Use the button below to order it: Cost for this gorgeous trade paperback is $15.95 + $4.00 shipping anywhere in the world. Estimated publication date is October 2010.





THE MADAGASCAR MATTER is an on-going e-serial spanning all of 2010 (although this week we went on hiatus because I’m haulin’ butt to finish the first draft of a new novel) $7.95 for the entire year, delivered each week to your email. Order below:

File Format

Amazon Stuff

PARALLAX – my first psychic thriller which has consistently garnered amazing reviews. Click here to buy it for the Kindle!

VICARIOUS – supernatural thriller that people love. Click here to buy it for the Kindle!

Prisoner 392 – my short story originally featured in FROM THE BORDERLANDS. You’ll love it. CLick here to buy it for the Kindle

The Brank of Khosadam – another old-timey short guaranteed to thrill. Click here to buy it for the Kindle

You can also order any of the above as an ebook if you don’t have a Kindle. Drop me a line by emailing jonfmerz AT verizon DOT net and I’ll be happy to tell you how to order.

So, go on and have some fun this weekend – grab some of my stuff! :)

First Look: THE FIXER Graphic Novel (Cover)

I’m very happy to release this preliminary sketch of THE FIXER graphic novel cover. It’s going to be an amazing cover, painted by artist Brian McCulloch. Interior art glimpses coming soon. Remember, this may well be your only chance to own this incredible book, so please get your orders in now by using the convenient button below. Cost for this gorgeous trade paperback is $15.95 + $4.00 shipping anywhere in the world. Estimated publication date is October 2010.





Recent Events Round-Up…

So, to recap for the new folks following me on Twitter and Facebook:

1. I have a new deal with St. Martin’s Press for the Lawson Vampire series. Book 5 comes out in Spring 2011 and I’m thrilled to be with a major publisher and awesome editor.
2. A special 3-chapbook series of Lawson missions called DARK OPS will see print in April 2010 from UK publisher Ghostwriter Publications. Pre-orders should be up soon.
3. A Lawson graphic novel is coming in October. Cover art and interiors are being sketched right now. Details when I have ‘em…
4. The Lawson e-serial THE MADAGASCAR MATTER is on-going. If you haven’t subscribed yet, use the form below to get in on the fun:

File Format

5. BOSTON NOCTURNE has been redesigned as a 10-page monthly magazine featuring free fiction, non-fiction, reviews, etc. but you need to subscribe by Emailing Me to get your copies.
6. THE FIXER TV series is moving ahead, albeit slowly. More news on the next release date of teaser #2 as soon as I have it.
7. More ROGUE ANGEL novels written by me will be coming out over the next few years.
8. My website is being redesigned again and will debut fairly soon.
9. The first installment from HELLtalkers (co-written with Joe Nassise) is available by going HERE!.
10. Be sure to check out my PublishersMarketplace Page for some exclusive video clips.

Thanks for catching up with me!