Erick Mertz Writing
My name is Erick Mertz, professional ghostwriter and editor from Portland, Oregon. Thank you very much for stopping by my website. I would love the opportunity to help you tell your story.
Here is a little bit about me
Born in the Pacific Northwest
I was born in the Pacific Northwest, a beautiful part of the country that I feel lucky to still call home. Growing up in this part of the world has given me an appreciation for many things, from the rugged mountains and beaches that make up the outdoors, to the quirky city of Portland where I live, to the many interesting people from around the world that congregate here. While Portland may lack New York’s towering, cosmopolitan feel, or Los Angeles’ weather, it attracts a unique, free-spirited kind of person that I feel completely at home around.
Started at the University of Oregon
After graduating from Oregon City High School, home of the Pioneers, I went to the University of Oregon in Eugene where I studied English and Comparative Literature. While in college, I wrote feature stories on sports and entertainment for The Oregon Voice and Emerald newspapers.
While in Eugene, I also worked as a late night disc jockey for 88.1 KWVA, student radio. Among other things, this is where I got over any future fear of public speaking. My love of music really started in that late night booth, and for years after, I continued writing about music, reviewing albums and concerts, and interviewing artists in every genre from rock, to hip-hop, to neo-classical.
I graduated from the University of Oregon in 1998, after which I attended grad school at Oregon State University in Corvallis, studying screenwriting and playwriting. It was my first feature length screenplay, “The Fawn”, written as a project for one of those classes, that gave me my first real break into professional writing. In 2002, a later version of that screenplay was recognized as a semi-finalist in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting, the Austin Film Festival’s contest, StoryPros as well as many others.
With those accolades in hand, I started my ghostwriting career, specializing at first in providing top notch, contract screenwriting. As one of the few providers of ghostwritten screenplays (that service was almost unheard of back then) I found a niche writing for up and coming producers, authors seeking to adapt their successful novels for the screen, and other small production companies. Since then, my ghostwritten works have gone on to be optioned, win numerous contests, and see production.
Launched Ghostwriting Services
With myself firmly established as a screenwriter, I decided to broaden my menu of services. After much consideration, I started offering ghostwritten fiction, working with clients to craft original novels, novellas and short stories. In that time, I have worked with authors all across the world, successfully completing books in numerous genres, everything from mystery to horror, science fiction to fantasy. In the fifteen years I’ve offered fiction writing services, I’ve worked on both stand alone books and series.
Offering Memoir Writing Services
In recent years, I have branched even further, offering memoir writing services. I love writing, that much should be obvious by now, but working with clients on their life stories unites two of my deepest loves. I really enjoy getting to know people, and working to help get their stories out into the world, whether tragic, comic or a little bit of both, has been a true gift. Over the last decade, my clients have included people from all walks of life, from retired Marines, jilted parents and prominent business people who rose from rags to riches, to ordinary people who have endured extraordinary hardships.
Offering Self-Publishing Consulting
With the emergence of self-publishing as a viable alternative to the often challenging (sometimes seemingly impossible) traditional route, I offer consultation to authors who have a completed manuscript but aren’t really sure where to go. There is a lot of information out there and I really enjoy helping people sort through all of it to discover what they really want. Often I can help someone navigate the tricky process of seeking a manager, editor, agent or publisher. If they happen to choose to self-publish, however, a great choice in today’s vibrant market, I can work with them to publish their manuscript, creating excellent looking books for optimized Amazon pages.
My experience in the business of writing and publishing is broad. I am active in numerous writing groups and organizations. I have attended conferences all up and down the west coast. I regularly teach self-publishing, story craft and the business of writing to young creative entrepreneurs. In 2019, I served as Co-Chair of the Willamette Writers Conference in Portland, Oregon, one the largest conferences on the west coast. Being active in the industry has allowed me to make connections all over the country, everything from fellow writers and editors, to publishers, agents and managers.
Launch of "The Strange Air" Series
In addition to writing for clients, I am the creator of “The Strange Air” series of paranormal mysteries. This exciting novel series takes place in a fictional central Oregon community of Whistler’s Grove and follows the intrepid sheriff, August Melville, as he works to uncover a mysterious haunting that has tormented his hometown for generations. I really love exploring Melville’s bizarre world and bringing it to life for my readers. This self-published series allows me to explore some of my earliest loves such as pulp genre fiction, NBC’s masterful true crime pioneer “Unsolved Mysteries”, and the overall weirdness of something like Twin Peaks.
Outside of self-publishing The Strange Air series, my short fiction and poetry have been widely published. I have won numerous awards in both mediums and continue to write for small press magazines, publishers and on-line outlets.
My career has not all been writing though. In fact, I sincerely believe that it’s what a writer does outside of writing that brings life to their work.
While in high school, I started work with the special education class as a volunteer advocate and skills trainer. What started out as a “special project” because there were no other available electives became a lifelong passion. I continued my work in residential settings in Corvallis, Oregon, serving as a recreational coordinator. Later on, I moved to Seattle and worked in involuntary commitment services.
It wasn’t until I moved back to Portland more than twenty years ago that I found my social work niche. In 2004, I started work with community based adults with developmental disabilities as a case manager (what we called at the time, personal agents). Soon after that, I became an assistant program manager, working to develop what were, at the time, new and innovative services designed to encourage self-advocacy and independence. In that position, I helped keep individuals housed in their homes, working jobs that met their goals, and connected with others in their community.
I am especially proud of the community building work I did with the Portland Police Bureau. I worked as an advocate for healthier relationships between disabled persons and law enforcement. To this day, although I consider myself a full-time writer, I continue to contribute to this community as a part time skills trainer and for four years as the chair for the United Cerebral Palsy’s board.
My social work and writing careers overlap in a person centered focus. I am committed to helping clients, no matter who they are, to bring their story to life. I believe we all have a story to tell, whether that’s a personal memoir, an exciting exploration of an imagined world, or something in between. I am an excellent listener and in-depth interviewer, both skills integral in helping me bring stories to life.
Thank you very much for allowing me to introduce myself to you. I bring more than just extensive experience in the ghostwriting industry, writing high quality novels, memoirs and screenplays for clients all over the world. I offer professionalism, heartfelt compassion for my clients, and a driving passion for story. I look forward to hearing about how I can help you!