Penelope Merrell


I now live in Los Angeles -- married for more than 45 years, 2 adult sons, a son-in-law, and daughter-in-law. I became interested in graphic novels after reading several. I took four classes at Santa Monica College on the concept and techniques for graphic novels and sequential art.

Originally from a Montana farm, I am one of nine children. I began drawing before age 4. Mom would cut open used envelopes for me to draw on. Dad gave me the big, soft-lead, square carpenter's pencils to use. When in high school, I got an oil painting set for Christmas and fell in love with color. Selling my two cows (4-H projects) put me through my first year of university.

I graduated Seattle University, Fine Art degree. Besides working at a print shop, department store displays, small graphic art projects, drawing cow spots for registration forms, I had a small business of house design and architectural drafting for building contractors for 25 years. I also painted (acrylic on canvas) exhibiting in art shows and galleries for 20 years in Olympia Washington and Palm Springs..

I began writing seriously several years ago. Our writing group still meets weekly. I wrote & illustrated my first graphic art story in 2011. My first three stories were relatively short. All were good preparation for a graphic novel. December 2013, I uploaded my first graphic novel.

Check my website for more life details in About and Bio. The website also contains my blog.

Smashwords Interview

When did you first start writing?
As a serious creative endeavor, more than three years ago. The creative work for most of my life has been in painting and sculpture.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Last year, the Southern California Society of Children's Books/Writers & Illustrators gave "SQUAWK!, A Story in Fowl Language" the 2012 Sue Alexander Award for the best unpublished manuscript. My manuscript is the graphic art form (comic book style). An agent and editor showed immediate interest and discussed revisions which I made. Within a couple of months, both dropped my book from consideration.

In following months, I contacted a number of other agents and editors. None were interested. Finally, I asked myself: What do you want to do with your graphic art stories? Research brought me to Smashwords and Mark Coker's business model. I decided this is for me.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Penelope Merrell online


This member has not published any books.

Penelope Merrell's favorite authors on Smashwords

Smashwords book reviews by Penelope Merrell

  • Big Travels on June 17, 2013

    For both this book and Grandparents Great War, original stories and graphics. Works like this are the new direction for graphic art and writing.
  • Carnival Of Souls Special Collector's Edition on July 08, 2013

    Exceptional graphics, but unfortunately the text is nearly impossible to read. As more graphic E-books are made, I wish they could be sized a bit larger or have a program which allows the pinch/spread option.
  • Cape Perpetua on July 27, 2013

    A common story of adult children not knowing much about the early lives of their parents -- then taken a few steps further. A good read and an upset ending.
  • Dead Letter Office on Aug. 05, 2013

    Lush language -- the kind of small work that mostly likely would only be found on a site like this. A book I'll reread.
  • The Man on Aug. 11, 2013

    A tight, unusual story -- just the thing to find by an Indie author. Short written works need sites like this.
  • Why Waste English Setters on Dog Shows? on Aug. 14, 2013

    Absolutely delightful. I have a dog, part Jack Russell terrier, and in hyper-motion all the time. He too can cause innumerable excusable incursions by being the happy clown. Most dog owners will identify with that afternoon.
  • Pebbleton-On-Edge on Aug. 16, 2013

    A thoroughly delightful mystery in that unique British tradition. A great cast of characters. I hope D.A. Gregory has another in the works soon.
  • Tides Inn - A British Pub Mystery Novelette on Aug. 17, 2013

    Enjoy the shorter written works available on Smashwords. A good mystery variation on the locked room. Look forward to more work from this author.
  • Murder in Maris Cove on Aug. 17, 2013

    Pat and Phyllis are developing as a series team in their second book. I submerged in several hours of enjoyable reading.
  • Confessions From a Moving Van on Aug. 19, 2013

    Really enjoyed this very unusual book. Just the kind of book to be found on an Indie site like Smashwords.
  • A Little Birdie Told Me on Aug. 25, 2013

    Lively characters and a fast moving story. A longer book might have been better. I wanted more description of the women and their lives so I could know them. (Also a closer proof reading would catch the spell-check problem of the correctly spelled, incorrect word.)
  • Fixture on Aug. 26, 2013

    A fable about the tensions, interplay and winds of change that move art, public opinion, and government. Take any major endeavor or crisis and there are parallels. A good story that will only come from Indie publishing.
  • Father Walther's Temptation on Sep. 01, 2013

    Fr. Walther's simple vacation trip becomes a wayward journey. Meeting other people and and the revelation of understanding his mother speeds him on. A realistic and sympathetic story of a man, who is a priest, as he comes to terms with his life.
  • Hound of the Meadows on Sep. 11, 2013

    A screwball comedy. The protagonist, Art, piling one error upon another after disposing of his dead neighbor. Very enjoyable book.
  • Ring Theory on Sep. 11, 2013

    Smashwords is a great place to find shorter story fiction. Enjoyed this one in the way the parts were fitted.
  • Furry and Jim: Mission Improbable Book 1 on Sep. 29, 2013
    (no rating)
    Bummer -- can't adjust the pages large enough to read on my Kobo.
  • Aisle of the Dead on Oct. 02, 2013

    Just finished this third Pat & Phillis mystery. An excellent series and hope for another soon. At the top of my favorites list.
  • Murder in Mellingham on Oct. 12, 2013

    Positive I have read more than one of this series in a prints book. If not, apologies. Really enjoyed this well written murder mystery. I'll be reading the others, one by one.
  • Classmate Murders on Oct. 16, 2013

    Appreciate a free book to read and find a new author. This series looks great and I will be buying the next ones. Good on the older protagonists -- they've been around the bend and make a better story.
  • Hilda Hopkins, Murder, She Knit #1 on Nov. 27, 2013

    Hilda is a wretch -- love her. Just purchased the second book.
  • Lemon and Lace on Nov. 27, 2013

    Read this a while ago. (Thanks for the free introduction.) The kind of short book available on Smashwords that might not get published elsewhere. Hope to see more from this author.
  • Fantasy Art Book 1: Sketches on Nov. 27, 2013

    Beautiful sketches. (Possibly reconsider the configuration of the page layout to fit E-reader format for the future.)
  • The Spider In My Den on July 01, 2014

    I liked this story, a simple encounter between two beings. My opinion, the sociological charge crammed on it according to overview by the author isn't contained in the story. And it's not necessary. The story carried itself. The simple artwork fits the ereader format. The ereaders require a new kind of graphic (as distinct from print and comic books) and this is done well.