A Little Contest…

It’s the Tuesday before a holiday and I know you’re not really working, right? After all you’re reading this, thinking about how in a few days you’ll be feasting on the Thanksgiving fare and enjoying some days off with friends and family. Good times, good times…

So, let’s have some fun. I’ve got a brand new never-before-seen Lawson Vampire short story coming out from St. Martin’s in advance of THE KENSEI in January, but I want a few of you to have a chance to read this before my editor does. This is an exclusive chance to read something brand new in the Lawson Vampire universe.

All you’ve got to do is copy & post this snippet

<a href="http://www.amazon.com/Kensei-Lawson-Vampire-Novel/dp/0312662238">
<img src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51d9dFSHMaL._SL500_AA300_.jpg">
</a>I cannot wait for my friend Jon F. Merz's newest hardboiled Lawson Vampire
novel to hit shelves in January 2011!  This is a great urban fantasy series
that is like James Bond with fangs! These are not your typical
vampires; Lawson is a serious badass and this time he
heads to Japan for some ninjutsu training when things
go really wrong.  If you like great supernatural action
and bone-crunching realistic fight scenes, this is
definitely for you.  Check it out!

on your Facebook page or blog or message board and then comment out here on my Facebook Fan Page with a link to where you posted the snippet.  I’m trying to get a lot more notice for THE KENSEI and by posting this snippet or a modified equivalent online, it boosts the number of hits on Google and other search engines.

Five people who do this will be randomly selected to read through DEAD DROP before anyone else!  This is a quick contest, so get cracking and I’ll pick the winners later on.  Have fun!  The more places you post the snippet, the more chances you have to win!

A Unique Gift Idea

So here’s a little experiment I thought I’d try this year. If you’ve got someone hard to shop for on your list, how about giving them the gift of immortality?

Well, it’s immortality as in being featured in the pages of a customized Lawson Vampire short story. Here’s the scoop: I’ll write a custom Lawson Vampire short story featuring the person of your choice (presumably the receiver of the gift) and we’ll correspond so I get their particulars, description, including whether you’d like them to be a good guy or a bad guy and if you have any thoughts on anything else you’d like to see in the story. The story will be about 2,000 words long and I will print it out, bind it with a nice cover, sign and personalize it, and make sure you have it in your hands to give them in time for the holidays.

Obviously, this is a limited offer, since I can only agree to take on a few of these. But I thought it would be fun to see if there’s any interest and also provide you with a unique way to give a fun gift this season.

Just $99 bucks for this fun gift idea. If you’re interested, click the Buy Button below to use Paypal or simply email me at jonfmerz AT verizon DOT net if you’d prefer to pay another way. The sooner, the better since time is ticking away!


Here’s a look at the cover art for the exclusive Lawson Vampire e-story DEAD DROP, to be published by St. Martin’s in advance of THE KENSEI’s debut in January. You’ll be able to get this story for FREE just by signing up for the download. I’ll post complete details as soon as I have them.

I am currently writing this story – it’s never been seen before, which makes it a nice extra for fans of the series. Let me know your thoughts below and be sure to visit THE KENSEI’s official page at the St. Martin’s website and share it around everywhere.

The more buzz we create, the more likely we’ll see some more Lawson Vampire novels in the near future, so please share, retweet, graffiti, tattoo, smoke signal, whatever to help spread the word! Thanks!

Booklist Reviews THE KENSEI

Industry trade BOOKLIST weighs in on THE KENSEI with this nice review:

After several years, Merz offers a new novel (following Syndicate, 2003) starring vampire secret agent Lawson. This time, Lawson is in Japan on vacation. But trouble arrives almost immediately—on the train from the airport—when an assassin tries to take down a young Japanese man and his girlfriend. Lawson’s interference is more than just annoying, as the assassin he kills was a member of the local yakuza, the Kensei, and now the mob wants vengeance. When Lawson’s former KGB agent girlfriend arrives with troubles of her own, his vacation is no longer the least bit relaxing. All this sounds like the set-up for a typical action adventure or espionage novel, but, of course, Lawson is a vampire who works for the vampire governing council, specializing in keeping vampires secret and fixing their problems. Other than being crazy strong and very quick to heal (excellent attributes for a secret agent), Lawson is more like Jason Bourne than Dracula, making this a vampire mystery with broad appeal.

Also, St. Martin’s will be releasing an exclusive never-before-seen Lawson Vampire e-story called DEAD DROP in advance of THE KENSEI’s release. Cover art will be coming soon.

And finally, take a moment to head over here to St. Martin’s official page for the book. Your click helps show the publisher that a lot of folks are interested in the series! Thanks!

Why Fucking with the Internet Can Be Like Feeding Your Genitals to a Hay Baler

So, earlier today as I was cruising around on several blogs I like reading, I wandered to Nick Mamatas’ livejournal. His post on Copyright Follies tells the story of a writer named Monica who had one of her recipes stolen by a regional magazine in western Massachusetts called COOK’S SOURCE. When Monica emailed the managing editor J. R. Griggs, she received a response that read as follows:

“Yes Monica, I have been doing this for 3 decades, having been an editor at The Voice, Housitonic Home and Connecticut Woman Magazine. I do know about copyright laws. It was “my bad” indeed, and, as the magazine is put together in long sessions, tired eyes and minds somethings forget to do these things. But honestly Monica, the web is considered “public domain” and you should be happy we just didn’t “lift” your whole article and put someone else’s name on it! It happens a lot, clearly more than you are aware of, especially on college campuses, and the workplace. If you took offence and are unhappy, I am sorry, but you as a professional should know that the article we used written by you was in very bad need of editing, and is much better now than was originally. Now it will work well for your portfolio. For that reason, I have a bit of a difficult time with your requests for monetary gain, albeit for such a fine (and very wealthy!) institution. We put some time into rewrites, you should compensate me! I never charge young writers for advice or rewriting poorly written pieces, and have many who write for me… ALWAYS for free!”

Obviously, this editor is a complete and total moron about copyright law and infringement. So, Monica, curious as to where she could turn for help in dealing with this, contacted Nick who then posted it on his livejournal, which is read by a great many folks, myself included.

I hate hearing about crap like this. Writing is tough enough as it is without outright acknowledged thievery going on. We work hard for our money and do our best to improve our craft. Hearing about Monica’s trial with this magazine led many of us – actually a WHOLE LOT of us – to repost, Tweet, and then assault Cook’s Source’s Facebook Page, call the editor (who has her voicemail on). I then spent some time calling various advertisers to let them know what was happening. Other people have retweeted this thing all over the world. And Cook’s Source is reaping a wild shitstorm for their complete and total douchebaggery in this instance.

And all Monica wanted was an apology and a measly $130 donation to Columbia.

I’m sure that there will be a lawyer looking into this, and most monetary damages for this sort of thing usually net about $20,000. That’s costly for a small mag like this.

But wait – now comes word that Cook’s Source may also have lifted stuff from The Food Network, of all places?

Yep, this is a perfect illustration of why you don’t get all smarmy when it comes to dicking people over. The power of the Internet is real and lasting. I’ll be surprised if Griggs has a job and if the magazine lives after this debacle.

But that’s justice for ya!