Melissa Crandall’s work reflects a wide range of interests including speculative and fabulist fiction, science fiction, and horror, as well as essays on many topics, including therapeutic horseback riding, canine epilepsy, dementia, and elephants.
Her latest book, ELEPHANT SPEAK: A Devoted Keeper’s Life Among the Herd, tells the true-life story of Roger Henneous, who for 30 years cared for the largest captive breeding herd of elephants in North America (located at what is now the Oregon Zoo). Widely regarded as a pioneer in the field of elephant management, Henneous has been an inspiration to generations of animal care professionals. He is the recipient of the R. Marlin Perkins Certificate of Excellence, the 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 will be published by Ooligan Press in March 2020.
Crandall’s writing 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, Wild Musette, Journal of the Elephant Managers Association, and the collections Darling Wendy and Other Stories, Three on a Match, and Tricks & Treats: Spooky Stories by Connecticut Authors. Her story “Darling Wendy” won First Prize in the New England Writers Network 2002 Short Story Contest. Her novellas “The Cellar” and “Thicker Than Water” have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and “Thicker Than Water” was a finalist in the Omnidawn 2018 Fabulist Fiction Contest. Crandall cut her professional writing teeth on media tie-in novels for Star Trek, Quantum Leap, and Earth 2.
“A decent cook, but a better baker,” Crandall loves animals and being outdoors. A proud native of Upstate New York, she currently resides in Connecticut with her family of people and pets. She is a member of the Authors Guild and the Elephant Managers Association.