The Words

THE LONDON READER – Summer 2020 – UFOs

Contains “Nothing to be Afraid Of,” the story of a young pregnant woman and the alien living in her backyard.

ELEPHANT SPEAK: A Devoted Keeper’s Life Among the Herd

Ooligan Press, March 2020

Elephants Final Cover.indd“You can MAKE an elephant do one of two things: run away or kill you. But you can GET an elephant to do a number of amazing things.”

ELEPHANT SPEAK offers an unvarnished look at one man’s loving, compassionate, often frustrating, and occasionally life-threatening thirty-year relationship with the largest herd of breeding elephants in North America.

The story of Roger Henneous and the elephants at what is now the Oregon Zoo celebrates the extraordinary bond that can exist between humans and elephants, and examines what we owe them in order to assure their continued survival.

“I adored each and every word, each and every story, and each and every detail of Elephant Speak. Thank you for this magnificent work. A great message, beautifully written, with extraordinary empathy for humans and pachyderms. – Charles “Kip” Ault, Professor Emeritus, Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling

A “remarkable biography…I laughed and cried and smiled and sighed, and many times simply held my hand to my heart. I am so grateful to you and Roger for sharing his story. What courage that took.“ — Sharon S. Glaeser, M.S., Oregon Zoo Conservation and Research Department

“A wonderful testament to a great, humble, simple, conflicted, always interesting man. This book…is an act of love.” — John Houck, former Deputy Director, Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium

ELEPHANT SPEAK is a deeply moving account of Roger’s touching relationship with elephants and a window into the extraordinary mind, heart, and spirit of these wise and sensitive beings. The book is beautifully written and difficult to put down.” —  Maia Kincaid, author of Animal Communicator Adventures: The Journey Begins! and a featured professional in the 2018 documentary Being with Animals

“Told with compassion and intimacy, ELEPHANT SPEAK is the story of one man, but it’s also the story of so much more. It’s the story of the elephants themselves, of the growing professional standards of zoos, and of the changing nature of elephant care. At times upsetting, always moving, Crandall’s writing never shies away from the truth. ELEPHANT SPEAK is a must-read if you love elephants.” —  Janie Chodosh, author of Wild Lives

“My thanks to Melissa Crandall for offering the reader an opportunity to enjoy a great story, learn about a remarkable man and the elephants he cared for, and, at the end of the page, want to be a part of the efforts to help the Asian elephant on his challenging trek to the next century.” —  Linda Reifschneider, President of Asian Elephant Support

“A great book about a great man.” — Jill Mellen, PhD., Research Biologist and Education and Science Director at Disney’s Animal Kingdom (retired)

“In the spirit of All Creatures Great and Small, Melissa Crandall’s ELEPHANT SPEAK is an inspired, and inspiring, tale of shared devotion between a man and an elephant herd, fostered through a language that transcends barriers: love. Both timely and timeless, this is a story that needed to be told—and by somebody with the intimate familiarity to tell it.” —   John B. Valeri, book reviewer and writer for National Book ReviewThe News and Times, and The Strand

“This moving tribute to a devoted and compassionate man will elicit a few tears before its conclusion.” — Publishers Weekly

“Wonderful lesson on the power of kindness.” — Joan Smith, Educator

ELEPHANT SPEAK rewards the reader with an intimate look at Packy, Rosy, Belle, Me-Tu, and the rest of the [Oregon] Zoo’s herd over the years.” — Deon Stonehouse, owner of Sunriver Books and Music


Margery De Brus, LLC, 2019

Today_ Tomorrow_ Always_cover-v2-1.1

Features the short story “Trinity,” a slightly skewed visit with three magi who perhaps aren’t.

“An eclectic, entertaining, and thought-provoking mix of short stories” in the literary-science fiction-speculative fiction vein.

WILD MUSETTE, Issues 1702 & 1802

“The Last Zookeeper” is a post-apocalyptic story of one man’s personal redemption in the face of unspeakable tragedy. The story appeared in issue 1702, Fall 2017.  1702-Cover

“Reclamation” follows a young woman’s efforts to regain something stolen. It appeared in issue 1802, Fall 2018.Veg Pulp


This members-only publication featured the essay, “The Elephant Man Returns.”

THREE ON A MATCH: The Terror Project, Volume 2.

Edited by Stacey Longo and Rob Smales, with a Foreword by Patrick Rea  / Books & Boos Three on a MatchPress, September 2017

“Three on a Match is a frightening menagerie of horror that offers a shocking blend of well-crafted tales to keep you up at night.” Patrick Rea, director of Nailbiter and Arbor Demon.

Crandall has a knack for description. “Thicker Than Water” is a literary mash-up of eighteenth century vernacular and conversational rhythms with a modern, present tense narrative and some wow factor special effects. In Crandall’s skilled hands, it all works. The final pages of this story will make your heart pound.” — David Daniel, author of The Heaven Stone and The Skelly Man.


“Out of the Blue: A First Experience with Canine Epilepsy,” appeared on this blog in December 2016, and was subsequently voted a “Favorite Dog Article of the Week” on Puppy Leaks.

TRICKS AND TREATS: A Collection of Spooky Stories by Connecticut Authors

tricksEdited by Stacey Longo, with a Foreword by Rob Watts  /  Books & Boos Press, 2016

Seventeen skin-creeping tales by eleven notable Connecticut authors.

Winner of the 2016 Preditors and Editors Readers’ Poll for Best Anthology! Includes Crandall’s Pushcart-nominated stories “The Cellar” and “Dreams on Racks.”

“Thanks to these fine writers, my Connecticut basement now seems creepier than ever.” — Chris Wolak, Wildmoo Books

“This collection brings with it…the lingering sense that death has come to claim many things, possibly the reader as well.” — Michelle Garza, This is Horror

“… bold, distinctive, peculiar, and above all, versatile…Connecticut authors, you scare the hell out of me, but I grow to love you more and more, with every creepy tale.” — Rob Watts, author of Americana and The Crooked Road Through Cedar Grove.


Features the essay, “At the Intersection of Alzheimer’s and Bliss,” a version of which first appeared in Crandall’s now-defunct blog “The Wild Ride” (2009-2015).

CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL: The Power of Forgiveness

chicken-soupEdited by Amy Newmark & Anthony Anderson   /  Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing, LLC, 2014

In “These Things Take Time,” her debut with CHICKEN SOUP, Crandall relates the long road she and her stepson walked–together and apart–to reach a point of mutual understanding, love, and respect.


The Spring 2014 issue featured Crandall’s story “Centaur.”

THE DRUNKEN ODYSSEY: A Podcast About The Writing Life

May 2013 featured Crandall’s spoken-word essay, “At Odds with the World: How Dickens’ A Christmas Carol Changed My Life.”


10484417Tortuga Loca Books, 2010

This limited print-run is Crandall’s only foray into self-publishing.

When Kinner inadvertently awakens the dormant spirit of a legendary hero, what he’s unleashed will challenge the deeply-held beliefs of an entire world and everything he knows–or thinks he knows–about himself.

“… [a] unique work of fiction that will keep readers reading and guessing all the way through.”  — Margaret Lane, The Midwest Book Review

“…the questions this allegorical adventure tale raises are proactive and compelling. I admire the author for tackling this territory and think she has written an original, idea-driven adventure story…” — Janelle Elyse Kihlstrom,

“…though the quest sounds traditional, the adventures and its characters are not.” — OctopusInk Book Blog

“From the first words to the last, Weathercock captured my mind and heart. Ms. Crandall has [a] beautiful and chilling way with words.” — The Bibliophilic Book Blog

“…a miraculous and totally original tale full of quick wit, exciting battles, and characters we love and love to hate…enough action to satisfy any literary thrill seeker, and a thoughtful, precise narrative.” — Dan Forward,

“… sympathetic and believable character…The climax was both surprising and satisfying, and was delivered with the precision and flare of a gifted writer.” — Jim Mastro, author of The Talisman of Elam series and Antarctica: A Year at the Bottom of the World

“An AMAZING epic.. phenomenal.” — The Happy Booker Book Blog

“A lean, tightly-written tale…There are scenes that will stay with you days after reading. Characters you care about, living in a believable world.” — David Jessup, author of Benny Goodman: A Supplemental Discography


In 2009, this journal from Southern New Hampshire University featured Crandall’s  story “And to All a Good Night.”


51w8q3bd28lPublished by Seventh Circle Press, 2008

A small-press collection of eight works of speculative fiction.

“Melissa Crandall re-imagines the fairy tale form with a crystallized darkness that is both chilling and illuminating.” — N.M. Kelby, author of The Pink Suit and White Truffles in Winter

“…imaginative plot construction…working in concert with lyric description.” — Janelle Elyse Kihlstrom, Melusine or Woman in the 21st Century

“Creative, original, and flawless…” — Glenda Baker, Editor-in-Chief, NEWN Magazine

STRIDES: The Magazine of the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association

Between 2001 and 2003, this publication printed several of Crandall’s essays.


Crandall’s article, “Healing Horses” was the cover story for the Winter 2002 issue.

QUANTUM LEAP #5: Search and Rescue

qlMCA Publishing. Ace edition , 1994; Boulevard Books edition, 1996

During an ominous storm, Sam Beckett leaps into Dr. Philip Payne, a man involved in the search for a downed plane in the wilds of British Columbia. QLP observer Al Calavicci also unexpectedly leaps into an injured passenger on that plane. Now Sam must battle time and the forces of nature for the life of his friend, and for the redemption of a father and daughter at bitter odds.


earthAce Books, 1994

Humanity’s last hope of survival is the uninhabited planet G889 and the Eden Project, funded by Devon Adair in an attempt to save the life of her dying son. When a shipboard malfunction results in a catastrophic crash thousands of miles from their destination, the crew must confront harsh terrain and hostile weather to reach their new home. And they are not alone.

Based on the teleplay by Michael Duggan, Carol Flint, and Mark Levin.

STAR TREK #63: Shell Game

shellPocket Books, 1993

During a routine mission, Enterprise encounters a Romulan space station adrift within Federation borders. The landing party discovers the station abandoned and without power, and reports ghostly figures hovering at the edge of sight. Soon, Enterprise is also without power, leaving Spock, McCoy, Chekov, and a small security team stranded aboard the station. When a Romulan warship seeking the derelict station encounters Enterprise, they accuse the Federation of treachery and murder. Can Kirk and his crew save their ship and rescue the marooned team before the Romulans open fire?

STAR TREK #60: Ice Trap

icePocket Books, 1992

Answering a distress call, the crew of Enterprise discover the scientists at an icebound research station succumbing to a mysterious illness that could destroy the ship’s crew as well.

Written in collaboration under the pseudonym L.A. Graf (“Let’s All Get Rich And Famous”), this was Crandall’s first professional sale and made the New York Times Bestsellers List.

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