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Photo by Jason Cromie

Melissa Crandall isn’t constrained by labels. “There are so many things I’m interested in, so much I want to write about. When I’m called a writer of this-or-that, it feels as if I’m expected to settle on one subject and stay there forever.”

Her published work reflects that wide range of interests. She’s written speculative and fabulist fiction, science fiction, and horror. Her nonfiction work includes essays on therapeutic horseback riding, canine epilepsy (“Something my dog and I could have done without”), her mother’s courageous journey with dementia (“She remains one of the bravest women I’ve ever known”), and now elephants.

Her most recent project, THE MAN WHO LOVES ELEPHANTS, has just been acquired by Ooligan Press. It tells the true-life story of Roger Henneous, who for 30 years cared for the largest captive herd of breeding elephants in North America. Widely regarded as a  pioneer in the field of elephant management and an inspiration to generations of animal care professionals, Henneous is the recipient of the R. Marlin Perkins Certificate of Excellence, Zookeeper of the Year Award, the Edward H. Bean Award from the American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums, and the Certificate of Merit for “devoted efforts in managing the Asiatic elephant.” The book is scheduled to appear in Spring 2020.

Crandall began writing at the age of seven, honed her skill on fan fiction, and cut her professional teeth on media tie-in novels for Star Trek, Quantum Leap, and Earth 2. Her work has appeared in over a dozen publications including ASPCA’s Animal Watch, Allegory Online Magazine, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, the collections Three on a Match and Tricks & Treats: Spooky Stories by Connecticut Authors, Wild Musette, and the Journal of the Elephant Managers Association. Her stories “The Cellar” and “Thicker Than Water” were both nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

“A decent cook, but a better baker,” Crandall possesses an eclectic taste in books and music, enjoys animals, being outdoors, travel, and a really good cup of tea; she also collects unusual Santa Claus figurines, and cherishes the company of a few close friends. A proud native of Upstate New York, she currently resides in Connecticut with her husband Ed, an Australian shepherd named Holly, and Ruby the Wondercat. Crandall is a member of the Authors Guild and the Elephant Managers Association.



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