Eli Cranor


Eli Cranor played quarterback at every level: peewee to professional, and then coached high school football for five years. These days, he’s writing from Arkansas where he lives with his wife and kids. His fiction has won The Greensboro Review's Robert Watson Literary Prize and been a runner-up for The Missouri Review's Miller Prize. Cranor also writes a nationally syndicated sports column, Athletic Support, and his craft column, Shop Talk, appears monthly at CrimeReads. His debut novel, Don't Know Tough, won the Peter Lovesey First Crime Novel Contest.


9:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.
State Capitol, House Committee Room 2
Debut Novels by Seasoned Authors
with Destiny O. Birdsong, Eli Cranor, Kelly Mustian, and moderator Megan Holt

11:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
Cavalier House Bookselling Tent
Book Signing

12:15 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.
State Library, Second Floor Meeting Room
Spine Tinglers: Middle Grade Tales to Chill Your Bones
with Eli Cranor and Lindsey Duga

1:15 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Cavalier House Bookselling Tent
Book Signing

Don't Know Tough: A Novel

Friday Night Lights gone dark with Southern Gothic; Eli Cranor delivers a powerful noir that will appeal to fans of Wiley Cash and Megan Abbott.

In Denton, Arkansas, the fate of the high school football team rests on the shoulders of Billy Lowe, a volatile but talented running back. Billy comes from an extremely troubled home: a trailer park where he is terrorized by his unstable mother’s abusive boyfriend. Billy takes out his anger on the field, but when his savagery crosses a line, he faces suspension.

Without Billy Lowe, the Denton Pirates can kiss their playoff bid goodbye. But the head coach, Trent Powers, who just moved from California with his wife and two children for this job, has more than just his paycheck riding on Billy’s bad behavior. As a born-again Christian, Trent feels a divine calling to save Billy—save him from his circumstances, and save his soul.

Then Billy’s abuser is found murdered in the Lowe family trailer, and all evidence points toward Billy. Now nothing can stop an explosive chain of violence that could tear the whole town apart on the eve of the playoffs.


Books Make Brainz Taste Bad

(Ages 8-13) ZOMBIES HATE BOOKS! Especially the zombie teachers at Haven Middle School. That's why they're using VR headsets to fry kids' brainz. Luckily, Dash Storey knows how to save his classmates from the zombie teachers—BOOKS! They make brainz taste bad!

"Even the most video-game-obsessed kid will read this book all the way to the end!” #1 Amazon best-selling author, Ace Collins

Told in a mixture of illustrations and text, Books Make Brainz Taste Bad is the first book in award-winning author Eli Cranor's spooky, middle grade adventure series. Fans of The Last Kids on Earth or Trapped in a Video Game will enjoy this fresh, age-appropriate story with a Goosebumps inspired twist. Perfect for middle school kids, or parents looking for a timely screen time message.

Visit elicranor.com for a free Reading Guide!


Book-loving volunteers are essential to the Louisiana Book Festival's success. Whether it's escorting authors, guiding visitors, selling refreshments, working with children in the Young Readers Pavilion or other fun and rewarding assignments, the Louisiana Book Festival wants you to join the volunteer team.

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