“What if my brother had brain damage and couldn’t remember that he had slept with my fiancé?” This is just one of the “What if?” situations Doug Crandell used to describe how he comes up with characters and situations for his stories and novels. In his reading and question and answer session as a part of the University of Indianapolis’s Kellogg Writers Series, Doug Cantrell shared his down to earth, yet very quirky personality and how he uses his experiences to motivate his writing. His contribution to the Writers Series was not spent so much in reading his work, as many others have done in the past. Instead, Crandell communicated and interacted with the audience and made the experience much more personable.
Crandell spent a lot of time telling jokes and sharing some secrets he had picked up along the way to becoming a published writer. He shared his influences in his writing, whether they were his own hardships and struggles through high school and other big times in his life, or one of his peers from school that he hardly knew. This second one was the beginnings of his book The Flawless Skin of Ugly People, a novel about misfits and its protagonist Hobbie. The novel focuses on Hobbie’s struggle to deal with his horrible skin and his girlfriend Kari’s struggle with being overweight. The novel’s plot really takes off after Hobbie is attacked by a bear in the Georgia Mountains and Kari goes missing from a weight-loss clinic. Crandell’s characters find a way into his readers’ hearts and hold their attentions straight through to the end.
Crandell’s novels, including The Flawless Skin of Ugly People and memoirs like The All-American Industrial Motel can be found on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and anywhere else books are sold.
The next installment of the Kellogg Writers Series is set for March 22nd at 7:30 and will feature fiction writer and memoirist Cathy Day.