“Where the Crawdads Sing” author Delia Owens (3/3)

Delia Owens on “Where the Crawdads Sing”

It’s almost in Canada, with a view of Montana. That’s how remote this northern corner of Idaho really is, worlds away from almost everything, except nature. For writer Delia Owens, it’s heaven. Wildlife is her church, vast isolation her muse.

Does she get lonely out here? “I do. I get so lonely sometimes I feel like I can’t breathe.”

“But you like a part of that though, right?” asked correspondent Lee Cowan.

“I do, I do. And I decided to write a book about it.”

That book, “Where the Crawdads Sing,” has become a phenomenon. At a recent book fair in Savannah, Georgia, she had readers lined up around the block just to meet her.


The book has become a fixture on The New York Times’ bestsellers list over the last six months. On the day Cowan visited, Putnam (her publisher) gave her a call to tell her that she’d made it to number 1 for the third week in a row. 

“They keep sending me champagne,” Owens laughed. “One thing about the success is I have learned how to open a bottle of champagne by myself, [’cause] they keep coming!”

What makes her success all the more remarkable is that Owens, now 70, had never written a novel before.  “I have had such great response form my readers, I just feel overwhelmed with gratitude,” she said.

The book is tough to categorize; it’s a love story, a murder mystery, a courtroom drama, and an ode to the outdoors – all in one.

It took her the better part of a decade to write, inspiration coming whenever it came. “I sleep at night with a little pad of paper in my bed with a flashlight and a pen, and I wake up in the middle of the night and write something down,” she said. “Something that I think is brilliant! And then when I wake up in the morning I’ll look at it and half the time I can’t read what I wrote.”

A thousand such moments became little scraps of gold, like this one: “Sand keeps secrets much better than mud.” That one made it to the book.


The title “Where the Crawdads Sing” was taken from a phrase Owens’ mother used to use encouraging her tomboy of a daughter to take to the woods around their rural Georgia home, and listen to what those woods had to say. “I learned from a book that crawdads don’t really sing. But I learned from my mother that if you go far enough into the wilderness, by yourself, and there’s nothing but you and nature, you will hear the crawdads sing.”

She took that advice to heart, earning a BS in zoology and a Ph.D. in animal behavior, and at 24 bought a one-way ticket to Africa to put her science background to work. With her then-husband Mark Owens, they made a name for themselves in the wild, writing three books together about their experiences with elephants and lions, even appearing in a 1988 National Geographic documentary, “African Odyssey.”

“We were, at one stage, the only two people in an area the size of Ireland,” Owens said.

“You never saw anybody?” Cowan asked.

“No. Not unless people came to our camp, and that was very, very rare.”

Delia Owens in Africa.  DELIA OWENS

The two have since divorced, but Owens kept on writing. What she wanted to explore was something she felt all those years in Africa, but couldn’t measure, at least not in a scientific way, and that was her feeling of being alone.

“I would watch the lions in the late afternoon, the suns setting behind the dunes, and they’d be playing and tumbling with their cubs and each others’ cubs,” she said. “And it made me think about my girlfriends back home. It made me realize how isolated I was not to have a group. And that was one thing I wanted to write about in my novel, was the effect that isolation and loneliness can have on a person.”

The seed for her first novel was planted.  She chose at a setting a lonely place indeed – a marsh like the one she took Cowan to just off the coast of Savannah … the kind of channel her novel’s main character would come through to her shack when she went to the sea.

Her protagonist is a girl named Kaya, the “Marsh Girl,” as she’s known in town, forced to scratch out a life all by herself in the wilderness after her family abandoned her.

For Kaya, this was her world – the wild, her teacher both in love and loss, much the way Owens herself had found her way through life.

Author Delia Owens back in Georgia, with correspondent Lee Cowan.  CBS NEWS

She said, “I feel at home when I’m in a place like this. It doesn’t matter, you can put me in the middle of a desert, or the middle of mountains, when I’m out away from everything else, I feel like I’m home.”

Perhaps that’s why writing fits her so; it’s a solitary pursuit.  But being a successfulwriter is anything but.

Cowan asked, “Is it hard doing a book tour and all that other stuff when you’re surrounded by so many people and you’ve got so many events and book signings and everything?”

“It’s very hard. I don’t like that part,” she replied. “And to stand up in front of a crowd and talk?”

As she told her audience at the Savannah book fair, “I’ve lived a remote life. I’m not used to seeing so many people in one place. And although I’m sure you’re very nice, the feeling of excitement that I get right now is sort of the same as being charged by lions!”

She can’t put the genie back in the bottle. She’s even sold the rights for an upcoming movie, one Reese Witherspoon is producing. Hollywood, though, is a different animal than she’s used to.

Delia Owens remains a nature girl at heart – happiest way out yonder, just like her mother always always said. “This is where the crawdads sing, right here,” she said outside her Idaho home. “This is it. I finally found it. Took a lifetime, yeah!”

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Written by top40

Hello Again and Thanks for reading it is I David "IT40" Ellenberger with an update on the status of my lawsuit against Alphabet inc case # 4:20-CV-04877-SBA  and the website and life in general. By now if you regularly visit InternetTop40.com you may have read this section "author info" or Bio. So I am adding to it with more bio and more info. I originally liked the idea of voting on the internet 20-25 years ago when I first got online with WebTV (does anyone remember that?).

The technology at that time was not advanced enough to easily be able to vote online or watch videos or much else for that matter but I was hooked and look at what we can do now with videos, IOT, and everything else, but I digress. I started InternetTop40.com about 5 years ago and the user base has been going up steadily ever since. I wanted to be another Facebook, with music and voting and that is all coming together slowly but surely. BTW if you want to help or have any interest please feel free to email me anytime.

Now in my previous Author Info or bio page I made it clear or at least I thought I made it clear, I am personally suing Alphabet inc. in Federal Court for Fraud. I have evidence to prove they are not counting all the pageviews, among other things and defrauding myself and probably millions of other website owners and content creators out of Billions of dollars. So if I wasn't clear or you didn't know it's true I am suing Alphabet inc. in Federal Court for Fraud the case was recently moved from my state of Kentucky to N. California to make it easier for Alphabet inc. to steam roll me or so they think. Needless to say if you are interested and I hope you are you can look the case up online under my name "David Russell Ellenberger" or the case # which is 4:20-CV-04877-SBA.

Now, I want to make it clear to you and everyone that I am not suing Alphabet inc. aka Google for fraud just because I want a million dollars for nothing. I am suing Google for fraud because I think they are committing  a serious crime with worldwide and societal ramifications, it is a  very serious problem.  I am suing Google for fraud because to put it simply the analytics numbers don't add up at least not in my favor or yours, there is something very fishy going on with the Google analytics numbers. Of course Google has an excuse for every one of them but I have reasons and the actual numbers and they don't add up, more about the numbers later.

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For example if I were to prevail in the current lawsuit just half of the monies or $20 billion put into a basic account and compounded at 5% annually we could realistically employ over 80,000 people at $24,000 a year, indefinitely.  Sounds unbelievable but its true and if we only employed 40,000 people we could pay them approx. $48,000 a year indefinitely. Its all true. Its simply a matter of having the money and the will to do it. Now is 40,000 people a lot well yes it would be a lot of employees but with more money simply put into a trust account we could employ more people

I David Russell Ellenberger through my website InternetTop40.com am suing Google to try to help right a wrong. A wrong committed by Google that has simply gotten out of hand. Most people may think they can't do anything about it. Nothing can stop Google, the politicians don't care they use all of Googles data to further their own campaigns and line their own pockets while the rest of us keep on creating the content for Google, nothing can be done, this however is not the case, we can do something.

The politicians and Alphabet inc. aka Google have done nothing to help society at large other than organize it so they can keep more money in secret and pay off all their buddies with their fraudulently obtained money. It's gotten so bad that the politicians and others in control won't even talk about it, they ignore it and hope it goes away, they won't even try to stop google because it is helping them too much and maybe they are scared of Google or who knows what they may be thinking. But it looks like fraud and it's coming to an end.

I'm telling you we can do something and I David Russell Ellenberger an average citizen Content Creator am saying to you, I'm not scared of Google because I have nothing left to loose.  I David Russell Ellenberger am telling you there is something you too can do, if nothing else, tell all your friends to come to InternetTop40.com aka IT40, believe these words and Create your Content.

Further I promise to you and all who read this if we do prevail in the lawsuit against Alphabet Inc. We will use half of any monies we may receive to pay "content creators" a living wage. I pledge to anyone who is reading this, we will use half of any monies we may receive to help those who really do want to work on the internet and create content and tell us what they think. We will use half of any money so you can Get Paid, we want you to get paid for the content you create and get paid everyday and Get Paid to Vote create data and to be able to do this work online and from your home or anywhere in the world you care to be. Because in the words of an ancient scholar Y-O-U are the business Y-O-U are creating all the data, Y-O-U are the content creators and Y-O-U are all that matters.

Now the main thing I want you to take away form this and to know, Alphabet inc. is and has been committing fraud against you, me and everyone who uses the internet. I don't think Google started out to defraud the world it has just degenerated into this endless morass of corruption and fraud and no one seems to care, Well I care and I know you care too.  Sadly Google has been doing this with impunity for years and it is only getting worse. Please don't let them fool you with their lies and obfuscation. Do some research create some content build a website and research the analytics numbers you will find I am right. Google owes you, me and everyone online thousands if not 10's of thousands of dollars for all the data and advertising dollars they have co-opted from you and the rest of the world. So join with me don't use any Google products or file your own lawsuit in federal court against Alphabet inc. I will be glad to help you any way I can and show you how to do it if need be. It will take a sincere effort on your part but it will definitely help your self esteem, society and the world.

Now that's about all I have to say on this subject for now.  I will tell you this if you want more information or you have questions or comments for me, my email is [email protected] Thank you for reading looking and listening and believing in InternetTop40.com Please tell all your friends about us and don't forget to vote Thumbs up or down and refresh your page when your done. One last Thing, I need all the help I can get I am only 1 person but together and with todays technology we can move mountains and reframe society and our world the way we want it to be. One final note let me tell you about a new website coming to the world called IVAMP.org.... Thank you ttyl


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