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 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…

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! 🙂