Melissa Crandall loves to write… well, whatever compels her. In the past, that’s been fantasy/speculative fiction and nonfiction essays, but since February Crandall has been involved in a nonfiction project that she’s very excited about. Crandall’s novels include media tie-ins for Star Trek and Earth 2, as well as an original fantasy Weathercock. Crandall’s short fiction has appeared in the ezine Allegory, the collection Darling Wendy and Other Stories, and in Amoskeag: The Journal of Southern New Hampshire University. Her nonfiction work has appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul, the Journal of the American Geriatric Society, NARHA’s Strides, and ASPCA’s Animal Watch. Crandall is proud to be a regular participant in The Exquisite Project at Bill Library in Ledyard, CT, and this year also had the pleasure to be involved in Connecticut Humanities “The CT Caper,” a story written in serial form employing the talents of twelve writers and artists from across the state. Until recently, Crandall maintained a semi-regular blog, “The Wild Ride” chronicling her experience as caretaker to her mother, who suffered from dementia. She still drops in from time to time to write about the grief process or provide a shoulder for someone who needs to vent about their experiences as a caretaker. It’s important to realize that you’re not alone. Crandall is as drawn to essays as I am to fiction and enjoy the differences between the two. Fiction allows my mind to soar, to imagine and bring to life the “what ifs” that plague my mind. Essays make me pause to take stock, to examine in detail the events I choose to report. Often the two styles are intertwined – the introspection of nonfiction bleeding over into the speculation of fiction, the creativity of stories sparking a memory that, in turn, becomes an essay. Makes for a full, well-rounded meal.
A word on what follows:
The essay “Oh, Dad” was prompted by my father’s death in May of 2012. It pretty much speaks for itself.
When not writing, I enjoy being outdoors, usually with my dog. I’m a mediocre gardener at best, but manage not to kill too many plants. I like good food, nice wine, brown ales, and rambling conversations. I’m an unrepentant tea snob with an eclectic taste in music. I haven’t been a regular television viewer for over twenty years, but still manage to follow Big Bang Theory, Game of Thrones, and Sherlock … even though I’m usually a season behind everyone else. I probably watch too many movies. Christmas is my favorite holiday. I collect Santa figurines (the more unusual, the better) and am a firm believer in Krampas. I love to travel, but hate flying.
As you might expect, I’m a voracious reader. Some of my favorite authors are J.M. Barrie, Charles Dickens, Sir Terry Pratchett, Barbara Hambly, Laurie R. King, Harlan Ellison, and Stephen King.
A native New Yorker, I currently live in Connecticut on the side of a steep hill. My husband is a nifty guy whom I occasionally drive crazy, but that’s okay because he usually returns the favor. We have two cats–the occasionally psychotic Gypsy and surfer-dude Tuna–and a not-quite OCD Australian shepherd named Holly.