About Ken Merrell
Many years before weaving tales between the pages of a book’s cover, Ken Merrell was entertaining his siblings and friends with his stories of action and adventure. His younger brother always insisted on a bedtime story before the adventures continued into their dreams.
Born in Salt Lake City on December 15, 1958, Ken Merrell was thrust into a world of chaos when his mother passed away from complications due to his birth. Ken and his two older siblings were passed from aunts to grandma while his grieving father worked construction jobs to provide for the family. No lawsuits to collect against malpractice, just the grind of life and the fight for survival. Ken’s father remarried one year later and the family struggled again as his dad went back to college to become a school teacher.
At the age of ten, the family bought a small farm in Provo, Utah and worked hard to remodel a chicken coop as their new home. This would be the humble learning ground of life, hard work, imagination, and unbelievable opportunity as it forced the habits of making do with what was available, being creative in how things are accomplished and learning to do without. At the age of fourteen, and inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, Ken transformed a dilapidated pioneer farmhouse—on a one-hundred-dollar budget—into the premier haunted mansion in the county. He teamed up with the local rock and roll radio station and each Halloween, thousands would flock to and pay the entrance fee to get the yell scared out of them as they traipsed through the unsettling twists and turns of the ten minute maze and thrill of their life.
By the age of twenty-one the art world and airbrush murals drew Ken into a competitive world of automotive painting. He excelled by using his artistic talents to dazzle automotive enthusiast from Canada to Mexico. The same crowds that loved his futuristic style of art also pushed the envelope of the world of drugs. Although Ken was never personally involved in the sordid use of drugs, he was approached by the local police department and became an undercover informant, plunging him into a dark world as a buyer, consorter, and witness into the bedlam of violence, crime, drugs, illegal gun trade, auto theft, and recklessness. This baser realm of humanity helped Ken understand the minds, character, and driving force behind the criminal nature of mankind and helps him shape the twisted minds of his characters.
College was difficult. Ken had been diagnosed with dyslexia by the time he was in the first grade and struggling through English in middle school and high school. By the time he hit the English books in college it was too much to handle for a guy that could do anything else he put his mind to. Success in industry and discouragement with mediocre grades drove him away from the conventional learning into the hands on world of business. He never worked for anyone, but always ran his own businesses, starting one after another and soon finding himself bored of the mundane, only to sell the business and start another.
As business responsibilities weighed on his artistic nature he still found ways to let his art dominate. Today you may see his sculpted designs and patterns cast in the concrete sound walls and bridges along the thousands of miles of US highways.
With the age of the word processor and personal computer helping him overcome the sting of dyslexia, Ken began to write. He spent over four years on his is first novel, The Landlord, which was published in 2001. The book became the distributor’s best seller month after month and is based on the antics of an employee’s eccentric neighbor and landlord who lived upstairs, the book spun a tail of a lunatic landlord who wanted to know more than he should. Writing became a passion. Ken finished his second book only nine months later, The Identity Check, in 2002, but he delayed his writing career to join forces with his three sons in the business world again until 2009 when he retired for a second time and went back to college to major in English.
When breast cancer struck his wife, Mary, in 2010 he wrote his first love story, The Bench and the Aspen Tree. (soon to be published) This tender heartfelt novel is based on their courtship romance, lives together, and how cancer affects families when they join together in love and support.
Ken is currently working on the empowering story, Of Craven Dawn, depicts the evolution of a young newspaper reporter as she searches for the identity of a Las Vegas Jane Doe and learns the capacity to rise above her own dependent nature. This work, as the many others will grip you from the firs page to the last. The only thing you can expect when you read one of Ken’s books is you will be thoroughly entertained.