Merz, Jon F. 1969(?)-

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Merz, Jon F. 1969(?)-

PERSONAL:

Born c. 1969, in Boston, MA; married; children: one son. Hobbies and other interests: Practicing martial arts, writing and listening to music, dancing, reading.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Boston, MA. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Advertising copywriter and author. Founder of Planet Pulp online.

WRITINGS:

"LAWSON VAMPIRE" SERIES

The Fixer, Kensington Publishing (New York, NY), 2002.

The Invoker, Pinnacle Books (New York, NY), 2002.

The Destructor, Kensington Publishing (New York, NY), 2003.

The Syndicate, Kensington Publishing (New York, NY), 2003.

OTHER

Danger—Close: A Jake Thunder Adventure, Five Star (Thorndike, ME), 2004.

(With Nancy Merz Nordstrom) Learning Later, Living Greater: The Secret for Making the Most of Your After-50 Years, Sentient Publications (Boulder, CO), 2006.

(With Rich Franklin) The Complete Idiot's Guide to Ultimate Fighting, Alpha (Indianapolis, IN), 2007.

Contributor of short stories to periodicals.

SIDELIGHTS:

Jon F. Merz is the author of a series featuring a vampire named Lawson. The first book, The Fixer, is an expanded version of a short story Merz penned while he was trying to write an espionage thriller and selling short horror stories. The story is a combination of the two and is about a vampire who is one of a race of vampires that evolved from humans thousands of years ago. These vampires require human blood in order to survive, but they can still die, although they age more slowly than humans. They prefer the night but can tolerate sunlight. They are allowed to have sex but not to love, and only with their own kind; a vampire-human relationship can lead to a very undesirable outcome. While they practice a type of religion, symbols of other religions have no effect on them. Lawson is a Fixer—part spy, part cop, part enforcer—who steps in when anything threatens the balance between humans and vampires. Characters introduced in this Boston-set debut include Lawson's best friend, Zero, and Talya, a human trained by the KGB to be an assassin. Lawson's former friend Cosgrove is heading up a conspiracy that could destroy both humans and vampires, and it is up to Lawson to stop him.

In reviewing the novel for DarkEcho online, Paula Guran called it "another interpretation of the vampire myth, this time with a macho approach that combines action, detective, thriller, espionage, and vampire genres in a page-turner of a novel. Merz maintains the fast-paced action with a polished tough (but not too tough) good-guy detective style and his Boston setting is very well down."

The protagonist of Danger—Close: A Jake Thunder Adventure, moves about in a wheelchair, the result of injuries he sustained in Somalia while serving in the U.S. Air Force as a special ops commando. Thunder is hired by Vanessa Patterson, who wants the private investigator to find her sister Melinda's killer. Melinda was the lover of Don Wollery of the local Russian mafia. Melinda had claimed that she was trying to convince Wollery to leave the mob, but when Thunder finally sits down with boss Darmov, he is told that Melinda had actually been trying to take over their kidnapping ring. A Kirkus Reviews contributor wrote that the "lickety-split narrative manages to be both gritty and cheeky."

Merz wrote Learning Later, Living Greater: The Secret for Making the Most of Your After-50 Years with Nancy Merz Nordstrom, the former director of the Elderhostel Institute Network. The subject of the book is the benefit of life-long learning, whether in a classroom setting or through travel or volunteer work. An Internet Bookwatch reviewer highly recommended the book.

Merz has been studying and practicing martial arts for more than two decades, and has also written a book on the subject with Rich "Ace" Franklin titled The Complete Idiot's Guide to Ultimate Fighting.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Chronicle, February, 2004, Don D'Ammassa, review of The Syndicate, p. 34.

Internet Bookwatch, December, 2006, review of Learning Later, Living Greater: The Secret for Making the Most of Your After-50 Years.

Kirkus Reviews, October 15, 2004, review of Danger—Close: A Jake Thunder Adventure, p. 988.

ONLINE

DarkEcho,http://darkecho.com/ (February 7, 2008), Paula Guran, review of The Fixer.

Gotta Write Network,http://www.gottawritenetwork.com/ (February 7, 2008), Cindy Lynn Speer, "An Interview with Jon F. Merz."

Jon F. Merz Home Page,http://www.jonfmerz.com (February 7, 2008).

Jon F. Merz MySpace Page,http://www.myspace.com/jonfmerz (February 7, 2008).