Friends & Fiction
Friends & Fiction

Episode 7 · 2 years ago

Friends and Fiction with Delia Owens

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Delia Owens joins Friends & Fiction to discuss her runaway #1 New York Times Bestseller WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING and the surprising background that led her to writing. https://www.deliaowens.com

Welcome to friends and fiction. Five best selling authors endless stories. Friends and fiction is a podcast with five best selling novelists whose common love of reading writing in independent bookstores bound them together. With JATS, author interviews and fascinating insider talk about publishing and writing, these friends discuss the books they've written, the books they're reading now and the art of storytelling. If you love books and you're curious about the writing world, you're in the right place. Best Selling Novelists Mary K Andrews, Kristen Harmel, Christie Woodson Harvey, Patty Callahan, Henry and Mary Alice Monroe are five longtime friends with more than eighty published books to their credit. At the start of the pandemic, they got together for a virtual happy hour to talk about their books, your favorite bookstores, writing, reading and publishing in this new, unchartered territory. They're still talking and they've added fascinating discussions with other best selling novelists. So joined them live on their friends and fiction facebook group page every Wednesday at seven P M Eastern, or listen in view later at your leisure. Welcome to friends and fiction. We are five best selling novelists and friends. Our common in love of Reading, writing and independent bookstore binds us together. I'm Mary Alice Monroe and my latest novel is on Ocean Boulevard. And I'm Mary Kay Andrews. My latest novel is Hello Summer. I'm Christin Harmel my latest novel is the upcoming the Book of last names, which will be out in just a couple weeks. I'm Christy WO's in Harvey and my latest novel is feels like falling. And I'm Patty Callahan Henry and my latest novel was becoming Mrs Lewis. And we are all delighted tonight to welcome a favorite author of all of us and most of the world, Delia Owens. Well, Delia, yeah, welcome Helia here. Delia is the author of the blockbuster where the CRAWDAD seeing. This novel has taken the literary and Publishing World by storm. It has broken all records and continues to stun the book world with its unceasing popularity. Ninety six weeks on the New York Times best seller list, half of those twelve months, and more as number one and a best seller on four continents at the end of the year. Round up for two thousand and Nineteen, where the craw dad seeing had sold more print copies than any other adult fiction title that year, fiction and non fiction, I'm thinking, by half, and it's still going strong. On fact, Mariam Webster added Crawdad to the list of the top ten words of two thousand and nineteen. I think that's a stert hole. We'll should know this just doesn't happen every day. Even saying all these words, I have to blink in disbelief. But no author writes in a vacuum, and Delia is a shining example of how one can use one's education, one's work, one's personal experiences and bring them all to the page. Delia, or I should say Dr Owens, received her bea and zoology from the University of Georgia and her PhD in animal behavior from the University of California. She married a fellow Grad student, Mark Owens, and together they sold everything they had and had it headed to Botswana, Africa, where they were the only two people, except for a few bands of Roving Bushmen, in an area the size of Ireland. Their book cry of the Kalahari is a vivid account of their experiences there. They continued in their wildlife research in...

Zambia, where their work focused on elephants. The eye of the elephant details their work and their experiences to reclaim the wilderness from brutal commercial poachers. In all, Delia conducted research on endangered species in Africa for twenty three years and in addition to her nonfiction books, she published her research and scientific journals. So, oh, with experiences like that to draw up on, is it any wonder her novel has unparalleled resilience in publishing? So, Delia, welcome to this strong female act. Thank you. This is a great year make a great troop. Thank you. Well, we began friends and fiction in April when we were all seeking connection and sheltering in place, and since then we've been asking, I guess, how have you been dealing with the last several months? So we'd like to know, Delia, how have you been dealing the sheltering in place these last few months? Actually, I've been staying up in the mountains of North Carolina, which is a great place to isolate, but I have spent much of my life and isolation. When we were in the Calihari, as you said, we were the only two people in an area the size of Ireland and I spent much of the time in little longer all by myself and my own camp. So I've spent a life of isolation, so I'm used to it in a way, but I'll also learn how it can adversely affect you. And we are we have the genetic propensity to belong to troop, especially women, because most mammals live in female groups and it's so. It's when you are isolated it changes you and you're affected. That's the reason we do need to reach out programs like this. You should, you shouldn't. Just I so that you should always say in contact with your friends and do what you can to be part of a group. As much as that's really good advice. I think that we felt reassured by seeing each other and I think the response to friends and fiction, which is going out every week, sort of it imitates what you just said, that we are echoes what you just said, that we are reaching people and bringing them together. Don't Y'all think so? You have absolutely Mary Kay, how you've been this last week, busy, writing, writing, writing, writing. Today I killed someone. You love to do that. So I only my body count is only at one, which is you know, pretty bad. Yeah, I mean, I'm writing. My husband has a big backyard garden and so, you know, we're picking the squash and the cucumbers and zooks and figuring out what to do with them, how to cook them, and green beans, and so our life is our life has shrunk considerably and and maybe not in a bad way, but I I do miss I do miss being out in public. I really want to go to restaurant and have someone weight on me. Yeah, I know how much you Christie. How have you been? Well, all I can say is that I have been thinking about, you know, all of the memes that have been all over facebook and instagram about people being stuck in a house with their husband's for that long. They need to call deal yet, because she really has everyone be I mean forget the quarantine now. I've been doing really well. I've been working at time and yeah, I don't know if everybody knows, but y'all know that I have an interior design blog called design cheek and mom and I have been like redoing a lot of it this these past few weeks and we're sort of doing new features, and so that's been really fun. There's it's, you know, it's been a good time to get things done and we've just been trying to keep a little will entertained and be outside a lot and have no complaints. I know the little kids are a real challenge. Christen.

How are you handling them? You have a little for your age right. Yeah, my son know it is for and you know he's going a little stir crazy. And it doesn't help that it's so hot right now in Florida. I mean it's hot everywhere, but it's, you know, it feels like temperature as well, over a hundred every day, which is, you know, not very comfortable to play outside in. But we've been finding socially distance things to do, like there was a rocket launch yesterday fro Kennedy Space Center, which is about an hour aways, so we drove up to post. We just sat in the car, so we didn't get out expose ourselves to any expose ourselves. That sounds horrible. I never expose myself to people, not that way. Let's not do that. Okay, exposing her worst. I'm sorry, deal. Yeah, I apology. Oh know what you were saying. It's fun, but in a very innocent way. We did that. Expose ourselves we stayed in the car, we watched the rocket go off and today we did a fun little science experiment with Vinegar and Baking Soda to shoot off our own rocket in the front yard. So we've been trying to wait. I'm so proud of you for making them taking that moment to teach science. Good days. It's right, Daddy. How about you? I'm good. I feel like the beginning of all of this was so hard to focus and Delia, you, you said you're accustomed, a more accustomed to being quarantined or isolated. I just absolutely wasn't, and so the beginning was really hard and, sadly, or wonderfully, I don't know. Now I feel like I'm accustomed and now I'm almost hyper focused. You know, I'm part of that's our morning writing. But I feel like you said, Mary Kay, that things are getting small, like it's kind of pulling in and I'm more focused and with the family and working and just the sheer not unpacking and repacking. Right, yeah, child, that. Yeah, so I think we're all feeling that. At first we were all panicked about not having booked tour and now we're all sort of adjusting to my gosh, is the first summer home in a long time. Yeah, honestly, we're supposed to be in Europe now. Aren't you not uz the home by now? But yes, I'll miss one your pan tour. But finally, I was so exhausted that I was hope to do some of it later and I do hate to miss it, but I was tired. Yeah, actually, the supposed to be in Europe right now. It's this to be an Oxford next week, getting ready to know, and I cried when they canceled it, and now I'm thinking I can't imagine if I'm leaving it. So I think we're all shifting. I also think because we thought it was going to get better and now it's getting worse. We're going to get better. Really know, the only reason it was getting better was because we were isolating. As soon as we came out of isolation, it was going to get worse again unless we're just very, very, very careful. And it did open up until we're going to be very, very careful. So looks like we'll all be. I'm checking in with each other next week about how we're continuing our isolation. So, as you all know, friends and fiction is a passionate, supportive independent booksellers and each week we highlight one independent and tonight Delia chose malaprops books and Nashville, North Carolina, and Malat props is graciously giving all of you ten percent off the price of Delia Owens's books, as well as the recent titles from all of us. So use the code friends to get your ten percent discount, and the link to the book store is posted on our friends and fiction page. So we're going to start tonight with some questions for our guests and I'd like to go first. So, Delia, the world knows you are the author of where the craw dancing, but perhaps...

...not everyone knows all your nonfiction books. I've read them and I'm swept up by your signature lyrical writing and the beautiful detailed description. And this is unusual, but I'd like to give our listeners just a really quick peek at the opening of your narrative of secrets of the SAVANNA. Gift between the trees of the forest, amid the thorny undergrowth, under tangles of twisted twigs, is a space that is more color than place. It is a grain as painted by drooping limbs and distant branches that blurred together and fade into nothingness. It is not a shadow, but a pause in the landscape, rarely noticed because our eyes touched the trees, not the emptiness on either side of them. And elephants are the color of this space. I loved that, absolutely love that. In in this book, which the Savannah, secrets of Savannah, you introduce gift, a baby elephant in orphan discovered by your camp. You describe how female elephants in the Matriarchal Group are there for life, but they do not accept or dubbed Strangers. So this young orphan was alone. She had no family, no one to touch her. As you put to tangle trunks, with so little gift, kept her distance. She watched the females and family dynamics from afar, and you just cry, without slipping into anthropomorphism, how the orphan live done the edge of her society, never fed or nurtured by humans. I couldn't help but think of the parallel to Kaya and where the crow dance, seeing the marsh girl who lived and cared for herself on the fringe, never being a part of her society, a girl who longed for friends. Now since animal behavior is fundamental to your books, can you talk a bit about how you drew on all your experiences to create this really memorable character of Kaya? Mary Alesha is exactly right. That's where Kaya came from. I observed mammals in the wild for all those years and one of the facts that had the most impact on me, that fascinated me the most, is in social mammals, the groups are made up only of females. When tours see a product lions on Sarreghetti plays, they see females and cubs and some male. So everybody thinks it is a happy family. For the males don't live with the pride. The males come and go. The female groups say together for all of their lives, but the males compete with the for the opportunity to be with the females and they come and go, and so for maybe they spend the red they spell all their lives going from one pride to the next. And of course, is with my friends that come said to me you had to go all the way to Africa to learn that males go from one group to the next. So maybe, but the one that females like to hang out with one another. It was effected be so strongly to watch these females. I would watch the female lions on the Dune tops every evening, Lyne together with their paws over each other's faces and playing with each other's cubs, and I realized, after year after year after year of watching the elephants, with the female groups and the baboons, that I was isolated. For my truth, I was alone and I didn't have a group, and that's where the idea for my novel came from. I wanted to write a book that, a novel that would explore how much we are affected when we are isolated, when we are forced to grow up without...

...a group, and that's where crowduds came from. And so Kaya was from gift in particular, or just from overall? It was there any overall, I think from gift was truly a gift. She was Um, the only survived in calf from a herd, and so she started hanging around our camp and we knew her from many years. In fact. It was so sad because she was all alone. And interesting biological fact is that she had her first calf at half the age that they usually reproduce, because there were no older females around. So she came in too. Estra sooner and had her calf. So by the time she was the age that she would have had her first cap, she had two caps and a grand calf. But by that, from that they started making their own heard. She was an Aweso. She has started having her offspring at a younger age. Before you knew it she had her own little heard and so hopeful. Yeah, so hopefully. Yes, right, that was one of the ways that that nature has to to come bat heavy die offs like watching is that the female start reproducing earlier and more frequently. It was. It was fascinated, but it was I loved all of that. But also it's very difficult to observe, I'm sure, I'm sure, and that sort of thing, but and so that was something that I had to deal with every day. But they'll all there was so much joy, also every day and observing with animals. I just I loved it to wake up and have lions in our camp up and elphants every day. It was loved. How I wish I was with you, I really do. I think that's like heaven for me. I can't imagine. Christen, you had a question. Yeah, and it actually kind of goes nicely with with which you just discussed Delia. I am such a big Fan of your book. I mean I certainly am obviously not alone in that. I've read it three times and I very, very rarely read a book more than one even so, and I think what kept drawing me to it was just obviously the plots wonderful, but the just the beautiful description and the way that the setting became a character in and of itself. I mean, the Mars just completely came alive for me, and so I was curious. You talked a little bit about writing the characters in the book, but can you talk a little bit about writing the setting and how you brought that alive and you made just the physical space feel so much like an essential character in the book in and of itself? Thank you for saying that. That was that was my goal. One of the marsh in the in the swampy areas, to be a character. The nature is very much a character in this book, because we talked about Mother Nature all the time, but we seldom actually treating nature like a mother and we said, and we don't actually. Mostly who don't go through their lives on a day to day basis thinking that much about nature. But we came from nature. It was our first home and a lot of what were the card heads is about is how much we can learn about human nature from nature itself, and so I wanted to have the natural background a big part of the book so that it became obvious to people that he was he was. Kaya learned from nature. She learned not only how to get food, how to fish, how to survive, but she learned about survival from nature. She learned we all have very deep instincts that are ancient, and a lot of these instincts that we have art the guide is to toward behavior patterns that aren't necessarily appropriate in today's world, but...

...if you're having to survive, you need these instincts, and it's very interesting what part of the book was a study on how close these instincts are to the surface and how they can be used when you need them, and it was. It's so for all of that to work, nature had to be a big part of the book, had to be very close by. So think you get in the credical job with that. It's to such. If you did, I'll Mary K you have a question? Yeah, Dlia, looking at the incredible success of this book, as a writer at one of the things I wondered was how you've been able to handle the disruption to your writing life and your personal life. And I think about Catherine stocket after the amazing success of the help and how her world was up ended with the Glare of publicity, and I wondered how you've been able to handle that. I mean you've told us a little bit earlier, for people who are just joining us, that you're living now in the mountains of North Carolina. But how have you and has it affected your life? Has it affected your writing life and your personal life? Well, yes, it was very difficult to write. I was basically promoting the book for a year and a half and and so that it was very difficult to write. Also, I was traveling a lot. I think it was on a hundred and seventy earplanes or something. I've forgotten it was. It was, it was hard Um but honestly I was I would never come even think of complaining because I was so thrilled right, so thrilled at the reception of this book. I was so appreciative and also said I think because I had lived an isolated life, I met a lot of friends. I was overwhelmed with this reaction and it just mean a lot to me. And so I came to terms with it, although it was so hard and I got tired of traveling, I came to terms with the fact that, okay, I'm going to have to delay writing the next book a little bit o over, I mean there were times I had my laptop out on the airplane and trying to write, but you know, it's it's difficult, hard, and so I just postponed it a bit and and and I enjoyed the ride. We would have all of a ride like that. I think, yeah, it's been and the rides keeps continuing going, but it's in the slow down and I think I might be the only person who's enjoying isolation. But actually we were saying, Dearya, that for some of us it's our life hasn't changed all that much. I'm red not going out booked or but isolation is definitely, you know, part of the writer's life, certainly at least mine. I think I speak for most of us, though, that you spent a lot of time alone, and me with animals and I enjoyed that. So it's not it's writing as a solitary sport and Um, right now we're in isolation. It's a good time to ride from from some points of view. HMM, Patty, I see you there. Hi, Paddy, How about your question? I know you have one. I do so, Telia, I think when I discovered, which I didn't discover till after I'd read your book and of course loved it, like everyone here, toad, and because I'm in the low country, South Carolina, a lot you know the march, the descriptions, I just was like, I'm going to need stop even trying to describe this be you know, you just you did such an amazing job. But when I discovered that you had written all this nonfiction, I was already a little envious and then I kind of doubled down on my head. Most of us can do one or the other right like we most people write either nonfiction or nonfiction narrative, or...

...they write fiction, and you somehow managed to do both, and I'm curious about that transition for you, the transition from nonfiction to fiction. Was it deliberate? Did you go into this with an idea of I want to tell a story with a very particular theme, or did you go into it with the image of cut of your character in your hand, or like, what was the impetus for the transition? Was it more thematic or was it that this young girl just came to you? I'm so curious about that transition. I will the dumb fiction books from Africa, of course, had to be nonfiction because they were the story. There were the stories of our lives there, and to me, writing nonfiction is first of all, we wrote our nonfiction books with a very strong beginning, middle and and we told them the story form, so they were more like fiction than some nonfiction books. I weren't just accounts of our observations we make. We wrote them in story form. So I feel like I had a little bit of experience with the format of fiction. But I wanted to write fiction because I felt like I could reach more people. I had this burning desire to tell the story. I felt like this was a story that so many people needed to hear to try to understand where we came from and why we feel the way we do, and I wanted to reach people. And writing non fiction natural history books is sort of the bottom of the feeding chain. You know, I mean card of the KW hardy was a best seller and but in that category it just doesn't sound bury me in books, and I don't mean that. I just wanted to reach people. I wanted Kaya to to find a way into a lot of people's hearts because I had something I wanted to say. And there are a lot of things you can say in fiction that you can't say in nonfiction. And actually I love the transition. I've described it before, but to me writing non fiction, I've ridden horses a lot in my life and right writing non fiction is like riding your horse inside of a corral because you have to stay within the facts. You can't just be there's a character you want to change or a timeline, you can't you have to say that the fact. And then writing fiction is like riding your or through the gate and go a wherever you want to go. The only limitation is your own imagination. And if you want a guy to be cute, to making cuter, if you want something else to happen, if you want so, it's it's Um the freedom of writing fiction. I loved it. My Imagination Sword sometimes a little bit too high, but I just I just found it exhilarating to write fiction. And did you feel like you had? You know, I started my life and and two of the other women here on friends and fiction also started their careers as journalists, and I know when I started writing fiction I felt like I had been given permission to tell just the wildest lie. And I the first thing, the first book I wrote, I told in first person because you know in journalism you know allow, you know, not allowed to do that. And then I also put in a lot of bad words, because I do all those years write about sex and nonfiction. That your own life. You know, it's I just I just was so curious and you answered it. Whether it was this burning story that needed to get...

...out or whether you just wanted to try now I had this burning starting. That's amazing. I want to tell yeah, but I think what's really interesting, Delia, is and I wanted to read that exert from that was from your nonfiction. To me. I and I we've all read a lot of nonfiction for the search and a lot of it is pretty cut and dry. But I think what I wanted to show is that your beautiful lyricism is there in your nonfiction as well. It does read like a story. I mean I've read them all on they're all just really beautiful books. Thank you. You know, it's interesting to me to think about. It's almost in correct. Me If I'm wrong, because this is just something I've been thinking about lately. It's almost like descriptive writing has become a dirty word in literature. I mean, we live and we live in such a fast paced world and as you all know, probably much better than I, that literature involves with our current lifestyunds and our culture. And you know, when we live in the Callahary, sometimes we'd only get our mail, what's every six months? Why? It's yeah, wow, I want to download something and it says it's going to take sixty seconds. I got sixty seconds. Wasn't going to take sixty also impatient now and we want everything right now. And so description. We all know you can't have too much description. It's like too much sugar in your teeth. But it's also life that literature. People don't want to read that. They want to get to the point really fast. So for the last twenty, thirty years, I don't know, it's like there's less and less description and I think I think description is great as long as it moves the story forward. I think it's great if it sets the the reader, in place and and and help them smell and see and feel like they're there. So I think you have to be very careful. But do you agree with me? With me, I mean I just feel like that this is discrimination. That gets description now, but I can write a novel without it. That's their characters in my books. And you know, because the nature factor, and I think, I think it's it does depend on what kind of a book you're writing too, but I think certainly when landscape is so critical to the story, to move it forward, absolutely you can't. But there's a difference between writing fiction description where you are just saying that the tree is green in the waters blue. It's you look at it, you know, you use it and I think it good writing, is when the description is from the point of view of the characters and it en busy emotion. Yes, that's the whole point. Is some of words, the right words, not how many words, but the right word, so that I call them Zingers, a word that can springs a picture into the reader's mind. But you need many that flutter in your heart. But the stay. I'm going to go to you because I know you have a question about poetry and I think that is the key of poetry, is how well it's saying. So, yes, speaking of the flutter in your heart, that was a really good song. Right. So I absolutely love the poetry and crawdads and Mary Alice and I were discussing before you came on that as we're reading the book, we both thought that this was a real poet and you know, we're going to go look for this poetry and I was thinking, how have I never heard of this poet? I am so den this is so interesting. So so I have sort of a multipart question, but I just you did write the poetry and the book. Is that correct? I wrote the poetry, all the poetry of a man the Hamilton that I did quote a few real poets, sure, a man to Hamilt, yes,...

...but Amanda Hamilton was was your poetry. So it was. It was absolutely beautiful. You did such a great job with that. And did you always know that that was going to be an important aspect of the story or was that something that sort of unveiled itself to you as you were writing it? Okay, I was not. I did very early in fact, when I was still just planning the story. I thought it would be so fun and I have to be very careful here about not giving the spoilers, but I mean there's a reason that the poetry is in there and um part of the plot, and so I can't say too much. I mean we try not to give school ass you're right or we not? Curious, I thought, I don't know whom. Yeah, exactly, know spoiler. So okay, I thought it was so fun to put the poetry in there and and have it be part of the plot in a way. The way it turned out the boot this and it did. It did enhance the novel and honestly, I wanted to buy Amanda Hamilton's you probabish your lowtry. Yeah, it was wonderful, I really was, but I always went. I always wanted to go back and have another chance to sort of a fun to the portray a little bit better and if he got word to you know, it's just it is perfect. So did we all ask questions? I just want to make sure. Yes, I thought so. All right. So we're going to just take a moment to highlight our bookstore so it continues to be a tough time for all locally owned book stores and as people who love books, as we all do, we want to try to encourage people to support their local book store. So, if you're interested in picking up one of our new releases tonight, so Delia's where the crow dancing and all the nonfiction books cried, the Kalahari secret of the Savannah and I the elephant my on Ocean Boulevard. Christie's feels like falling, Mary Kay's hello summer, and Patti's becoming Mrs Lewis and Christens. Upcoming very soon, the book of lost names. Please take advantage of the great ten percent discount right now offered by Malaprop's books. The code is friends and the link to the bookstore is on our friends and fiction page. So we've had a chance to ask some questions for Delia. Patty. Would you like to ask Jelia the reader questions? So we stole these off our feed and if we asked all the questions that people put on that feed, we'd be here tomorrow morning. Still. People are so excited about talking to you, and so these had to be chosen randomly because there were still many great questions, but the first one is from Mary Lynn, set in a Queen O. I've bet I said all of those wrong. She said. My question is this, this map all has to be made into a movie, I hope. Who Do you see in the role of Kaya? Well, first of all it is going to be made into a movie with is the producer and it's being the studio Sony and the screenplay has been written. There choosing directors now and Um, you know, I just this is embarrassing, but I appreciate the question. I'm I don't never get to go to a movie, then I don't know any young actresses. I need to learn some and so I can say it when people ask this question. I really don't know who could be who would be appropriate. So I'm sure they'll do someone great. But Um, in with some of the some of the books on these, people have asked me who I thought should play...

...tate, you know, the really cute guy, and Um, I said, I'm sorry, it's been so long since I've been the movie I have no idea. In the last person I know who would be appropriate would be Robert Redford. I think he still holds up aged out for tape actors. But thank you for the questions. Don't come on you girls, Dude. Who Like do you guys? Yeah, who do you see as Kaya? Oh, I'm so bad at I'm so bad too. I'm said, I do, but I do want to say really quickly because I do think we're going to have time for a couple of questions live from the feed. So I am sitting here watching y'all comments come in. So if you have questions, answer that we ask them now so that I can pull them out for you. Hollywood and Dad. Yeah, really, do you know who? When the when the movies expected to come out? Do you have any target things? No, but they want to move along very quickly. They're already talking about places to film and that sort of thing anywhere along the coast, whether my not be in North Carolina, be might be South Carolina, Georgia, a lot of the mare she's the same throughout that area and I know they want to get started right away. But of course also with the virus, that could complicate filming, as were. All right. So the next question is from Ashley. Current crowd ads was such a huge hit. Yeah, when will your next book come out? On next book, I am writing my next book. I have. I was told Mary Alison that they are thrilled. She she's helped me so much with Um the importance of the first draft and I have finished the first raft and so envious step because I feel like I don't have a canvas until I have the first rat and it me so long because of all that traveling, and they I'm thankful that idea work some during that time, or otherwise I would have finished my tour and we've been starting at scratch instead. I had, you know, quite a bit done, but I have the first raft now and I am going to so I hate to say when it's going to come out. I just don't know, but it would be a wow. But I'm working on it every day and I'm going to do it as soon as I can. But I don't like to rush. I'm going to take my time. I'm it's going to be modeled after crowduds in the sense it's going to be another treatus on how our behavior came from nature, and the theme of this book is going to be exploring the evolution of male dominance in mammals and are I first line for that, and most mammals the males are dominant and we can go back in evolutionary time and know when and why that happened. With I think it's fascinatings on the I can hardly wage. They're not many, very, very few, but one are the few mammals in which the females are dominant, or spotted highness, one of their always laughing, very ring that in you gotta somehow got that away. Hilarious, Christian, can you pull out two questions from the laugh? I can. Okay, so the first one lea to Haney, wants to know do you have conversations with your book characters? I wonder if she means you mean like currently all, you mean as I'm writing or as I'm walking around the house? I mean I feel I feel...

...very I feel very much like I know them. I know them very well. They're very personal to me. I I can't say that I've had actual conversations with them. I'd like, you know, I love to have a conversation with take. No, I don't feel like I think, but I feel like I know them very well. Yet that we're almost too close. We don't need to talk. We you just have that mind. Mala. Could there's that joke that people think writers are schizophrenic because we're always talking these people in our head. But go ahead, Christen. Yes, somebody wants to ask me at a book event if I thought I had like a problem, and I was like well, but do I needed to not stop because I want to have a career anymore. When the page wants to know, and I don't know if you can answer that's but she wants to know quite a Kaya lived her life and not have children. Okay, that's a good question. The main reason for a plot perspective is that the point of her life was to show how isolation affects us. If she had had a child, that changes that, and so I thought I thought it was important for the plot, for her to beat, the story to be complete, that she did live that life of isolation. Yeah, that means that's very good. I never thought of that, but that makes sense now. Yeah, also, I'm sure you all understand very well that you can't have too many things happening at the end and and right a lot of things that happen at the end of this book. Baby, no, I would have just been one more thing, and this a joy Armstrong wants to know if you could be any of the characters from crawdads, who would you be and why? That's a great question. Yeah, well, I feel like I am Kaya in a way. I think that there's a lot of me in Kaya, but I think there's a lot of Kaya in all of us, so I think it would have to answer to that. Would Be Kaya, and I know that she had a hard life, but I don't know anybody who's had an easy life and I just think that she shows us we could do so much more than we think we can, to so strong and powerful against so many different odds, and I just I love that. So yes, I'll be Kaya. Okay, I'll be Kay. Well, yeah, she was so strong and if she was like gift, she created her own herd, so to speak, to do this. She survived, so that's very cool. Anyone else have any question? Do we have any more questions before we move on to the writing tip? Christian, there anymore that you want to do? I mean we could, we can do as many as you want to, so you wander. Ask One more. Okay, perfect. Melanie stickler falconer wants to know. What do you like to read when you're not writing? You know I we need a lot more non fiction than fiction, to be really honest, and so I love books like Peter Matheson the snow leopard, Um Barl more come west with the night out on Leopo. I love to read nature books and he dillard. I love a good novel, but I just actually read a lot of science related journals and so forth. So that's mainly what I mean to answer your question. That's what I like to read, and that actually ties in with your research for the book that you're writing to so it all goes hand to hand. All Right, I think we've had enough of the questions. Thank you all to everyone out there who had questions. I deal you if you'd like to join us on friends and fiction page. There are a gazillion questions that you can just freely answer...

...any time. I'm sure everyone would love it. Now every week we have a writing tip. Now, I have to say you've already given us any number of writing tips, but when they ask you, for all the viewers out there who are interested in learning how to write or just wanting to hear, what is your writing tip? This is sort of an odd one, but my writing tip is that always stay very conscious of the reader. Sometimes I almost and not literally very often, but imagine the reader sitting next to me and I don't every paragraph, I write almost every sentence. I'm always saying, okay, am I boring the reader? I do not want to bore the reader, I do not want to confuse the reader, I do not want to insult the reader by over explaining something, and so I really think about the reader a lot and it terrifies me. I sometimes I'm going through paragraphs or something I think, oh no, nobody, nobody's going to really want to read this. I'm in salt. I mean I'm boring my reader, and so I don't know why, but that works for me to really feel strongly and feel the reader close by and they you're conscious of that during your first draft as well. Oh yes, Oh wow, so that's great and that's Um getting a lot of trouble and the first draft, but the reader a lot of trouble. It's so interesting because there's some things. People don't think about this, but there's some things the reader doesn't want to read and the writer doesn't want to write, like background stuff. Yeah, okay, here's this family in the marsh and how did they get there? Well, how do they actually get into the more? Well, the reader needs to know that. But they don't want to know. They don't know three pages of back way all Mahammy got there. They just want to know how to happen. Yeah, so certain things you have to be have to answer. We have to write it, but you realize nobody really wants to read and that's just don't like that part. But so always keeping the reader very much in my mind when when it comes to writing that part of it. Big Tip, just like it's different than what we've heard before. Yeah, it's a really good tip. We're all thinking. Yeah, I say. No, I mean to say I feel like those are the parts in the book that I tend to like skip over and like make myself a note, like explain how Blah Blah Blah, because I don't want to talk about it. Nobody wants to read it. It's like you're just like it's a necessary part of the story, but it's not inspiring, and that you know. Yeah, and that's hard. With the description in particular, I think to know when's too much and when's enough. It really is almost sometimes you have to have someone else told you and there's always somebody to tell you. Oh Yeah, they will let you know. Thank you. That was a great tip. All Right, Mary Kay, I'm curious. We always like to know what we're all reading. We heard from you, Jelia. So, Mary Kate, what have you been reading, lady, lately, that you have been reading this great book. It's called the Sweeney sisters by Lean Dolan and it's a book about the stories about three sisters. Or father is a very famous novelist and he passes away unexpectedly and they discover right at the funeral and there are three sisters. But at the funeral, or I'm close to getting to the funeral, they discover there's a fourth sweeney sister. So I think, I mean I have had sisters, a lot of us have sisters, and so so far it moves. I love it and it's LEAN...

DOLAN DEAL LA in la and the Sweeney sisters and I'm really enjoying it. And I think a couple other people had some books they wanted to mention. Christen, you had a book. Yeah, so this is called Lake Life. It's by David James Poissant. I know my light shining on it, but it comes out next week and it's just a really lyrical, beautiful novel about a family in crisis over the course of a single weekend at their North Carolina Lakehouse. So it's actually a debut novel. The author is an acclaimed short story writer and he had a wonderful collection of short stories a few years ago, but this is his first novel. Lake Life David James Poissant out next week and it's fantastic. Thank you. We and will be sure to post the titles of those books on the friends in fiction page as well as I'll put the titles of all the non fiction of Delia up on the not on our friends and fiction page. So you can all follow up on this if you go to our page and and I hope you, all of you out there, do join our friends and fiction page. We have a show every week Wednesday night at seven o'clock and we hope you'll join us. All right, we have an am speaking of which we have an amazing roster of authors coming to friends and fiction. Kristen, you're the host next week. Can You let us know about your guest? I'm actually hosting the next guest episode, which is not till July fifteen. Next week I think. Is it just US episode? Just yeah, which I think. I'm Verry Kate, very K are you hosting that one? I can't remember and needs to look back at the schedule. Well, you know all of you out there. If you're new to us, if you're new to friends and fiction, definitely come back next week. It's a great chance to know the five of us who founded friends and fiction back in April and we've been going strong. We've been doing this every Wednesday night at seven PM Eastern. And then on July fifteen, the week after next, we have Jasmine Gillery, who's party of two just came out last week and debuted at number eight on the New York Times list today, but congratulation so great. And then the week got that, July twenty two, we have Kennon drew from the platinum selling band sister Hazel, who have more than three million albums sold and who are going to talk to us about storytelling in songwriting and they might even sing for us, which would be right, which I mean, we can't do. That's a first. Can we put in Song request? Kristen is not mentioning something, because the important thing about that episode is all book is going to be out on that day. Birthday Times. I handled. We have right here the book. Thank you. That's nice to Barry. So next week with a lot with the trust UST. It's always a lot of fun because that's when we get to just talk amongst ourselves, as they say. But I have to say, Delia, this wasn't so hard, was it, to talk to join this crazy group of strong females. This is wonderful, this is great. I really feel like I'm in the middle of a I don't know, maybe behind a clan. We do not want to be Hyena's. We could be anything else. How about a PRIG? Be Proud of lions, be like the crickets better. Okay, I love hid this, but anyway, so Um Lions, Ella Futt it was a great you are great herd. It was. Thank you. Well, pretty much we have. I really appreciate you having me. It was so great to get to know you better and it was a lot of fun. One of the things I wanted to tell our viewers this was Delia's first zoom appearance. Yes, the first time one zoom. I was so scared. Wonderful, I was so scared, since the woman who lived alone in Africa. Okay, come on, you know, but we did. We're just amazing and very agree.

We want one one final thing before everybody goes. We want to remind you too, if you haven't already, follow all of us on Instagram, where you can get a glimpse into our lives, what we're doing, what we're writing, what we're growing, redecorating, what we're yes, all of those things, and what we're reading. We talked about that too. So the links to all of our instagram pages are up on the friends and fiction site. So, if you haven't already, please start following us. You know you got everything now. Yes, I do. You have instagram. Oh good, will follow you. Hey, are you? Are you looking at bears in the North Carolina Mountains? The bears are looking at me and I'm looking the bears that there's a lot of bears here. I had one of them say the winner in a tree den. Seriously, twenty yards on my deck. I want to one of the things that's so great about your deck, though, as you can see from so far over the into the fun the mountains, and there was a red channel Hawk that literally just dog down right beside my head and went down you remember that was your way up. You're like in a treehouse, which is super cool. That's also the sons are safe place to be during all this. That's our program for tonight. Everybody. Delia, you are a joy. I mean I've been holding back because there's so many things I want to talk to you about. You just have such a wealth of knowledge and information. The way you look at the world is so fascinating, which I think is why your books are so beautiful. So I hope everyone tonight will order where the crowd dancing and go to Malaprop's books, which is an Ashville a wonderful bookstore, and they're offering you a ten percent discount on all Delia's books, as well as the books of all of us. And remember, we want to support our independent book stores. They're having a tough time, just like a lot of small businesses, and we want to support them and visit us on our friends and fiction page. It's a group page on facebook and our instagram pages, and thanks to all of you for joining us. This is friends and fiction and we will see you right here next Wednesday night at seven o'clock. Much love to all. Thank you, Delia. Thank you so much. Thank you too tonight. Okay, so wonderful was that? Yeah, it's just the way she sees the world. It all brings all that experience in. It's just where how at half mate, you can see why she wrote about Kayak here, about how she lived. It just makes so much sense because when you're reading the first time, you're like a girl alone in the marsh. Why would you that? But once you hear about how she lived, right her help to get her mail, we're talking. I that's Gad, that's that's serious isolation. I when I would not do out with that. When she was talking about matriarchal societies, I was thinking about I used to love the Tony Hillerman novels, which are about the Nava hose and they have a matriarchal society. Everything about the NAVA Hos is traced down through the matriarchal lineage and I thought, wow, that's kind of interesting. There aren't many about Western societies that roll that way, not at all. And you know what I thought about? I remember with Kaya, when I first started reading it, I actually had to suspend my belief, like you, Patty, where I thought,...

...come on, an eight year old, really nine year old and then I read her history and I thought, okay, I can believe this. But when I was reading this secrets of the Savannah and I heard about that little gift, my inclination was to all, feed that baby, take care of that little baby elephants. But in nature you have to let it roll out it the way nature would demand, and she did. That had to been so hard not to see with my twenty two year old. Listen, I'm going to feed you anymore just because you're in the house, because I actually read it and I remember people being like, I mean, how could I think she was six like when she when this I first started, and maybe her mother laughed, and I remember thinking, I think a little well with six of the time, and I was like we can actually see him kind of surviving in the wild and occasion my grandson can't even take off his swimsuit by himself, but he's for very like he builds things and he just knows things that I don't know. It's just you. And I was like we do all right, but let's let's not find out. But yeah, that's not find out, please. Yeah, I'm so glad you brought up, Christy, about the poetry. Oh Yes, thank you for that point. That was such a great question and I did love it. And that was so funny that we both thought that was a real poet, because I really did. I was like, wow, this is so great, I need to buy a book of this woman's poetry. I know and I always think that poetry is one of the highest forms of writing because, you know, each word is so important, and when I read that I just thought, wow, who is this beautiful writer? And of course I'm sure's just an I mean, you read the Non Fiction. It's just you know. That's why I want to Jed. That's a real triple threat. I mean, can you guys write poetry? Are you poet? I know you can patting, I know you're laughing, I know you can write poetry. I I firmly disagree because actually, because of where the crow dancing I put my I write some poetry, not a lot. I'm not not a lot, but I've always been really shy about it. And because we know Marjorie Wentworth, he's a brilliant poet. And I put a poem in the Front of an ocean boulevard and it's the first time I ever did that. I'm I was shaking in my boots, I'll be honest. Scary. It is something totally different. It's a fact. Sorry. I read poetry every day. Yeah, Patty's a great poetry I don't know, I think unfortunately a lot of us, maybe not Patty, but a lot of us, I think, over the years lose our thirst for poetry. You know, the day to day details of everyday life, I think kind of ring that out of us. But I know for myself when I do go back to poetry, I remember in high school I love poetry, loved we in Carlting sw up. I have found poetry to be a saving grace for me during the during this pandemic. I start every morning, and I've been living with my sister's and my husband up at the mountain house and we start every morning by reading. Each of us through a reads a poem and it just elevates the day. It just brings it to another level and I think maybe any anything we can find that elevates our spirits during the time. I just write fake song lyrics, if you'll all recall all from Mary at work. I work and if you were here last week you know that I dream about them because I'm writing songs with James Taylor and my dreams. So I mean I don't know that I can actually write them in my dreams. I write killer songs and my own head. That's the Chapel Hill connection, I think. With with James Taul it must be he his father was, what, head of the MED school? Yeah, chump. Yeah, yeah, that's a great book. If you guys, if anybody out there hasn't listened to it, he has a new audible original out. I can't remember what it's called, but...

I listened to like a day came out, I do was it was wonderful. It was one of the first concerts I ever went to. I don't want to say how long ago it was, but I will say that James Taylor was touring on Sweet Baby James and the warm up act was a woman no one had ever heard of called Carol Kan. Carol Tread, nobody written respect. Tapestry had not yet been released. So that's my rock concert. Yeah, worry, that was actually one of the first concerts that I ever went to. Also was James Taylor, forty years later, but I'm just saying like that is a career. I mean you know, to be able to sustain that kind of success. I mean it's like where the crowd ads. I mean, can imagine having written your very first book and have that kind of response? I mean it's almost, I would think, be daunting to write your second. You know, I think it's well, you know Margaret Mutual, Patty, you studied her. You don't know where, but you studied her. She never choked that old she never wrote another novel. Did she ever describe why? I'm harvardly never wrote another book. Well, harberly, it started another one and Oh yeah, yeah, there is a book about it that came out last year and now I can't think what it was. Yeah, he had. She had started working on another novel inspired by a True Crime Story, and the book that came out last year, Patty, do you know, came out last year and it was it has had a watch movie she did. Yeah, well, different now. This was a there's a nonfiction book about the true crime story she wanted to write. Right, yeah, but I think, and Margaret Mitchell said, that the reason she couldn't write was because she was too busy keeping up with her correspondence. Right, the letters were but, you know, and then of course she was hit by a cab and killed before she tried out a book. It's the terriblest ending ever. But yeah, she just said that that, that that book took over her life. Between her and her husband, they all they did was answered course fondents and deal with foreign rights and and all of that. She could never write a again in that period of time. They're gone with the wind. was sort of like where the crowd dancing. It just hit the world by storm. Yeah, so that makes sense. Well on that. No, ladies, I know we all have dinner waiting. Thank you. See You. Yeah, I think that what will be a great, just as question is what everybody's first concert was. So we're going to save that. All right, embarrassed Jo, I have embarrass next week. Has To ask you the host next week. I think it's okay. Yeah, think I am all right. Ladies, good night everybody. Good night's great. See you in the morning. Yeah, early by you've been listening to the friends and fiction podcast. Be Sure to subscribe to the friends and fiction podcast wherever you listen and, if you're enjoying it, leave a review. You can find the friends and fiction authors at www and fictioncom as well. As on the facebook group page. Friends and fiction come back soon. Okay, there are still lots of books, writing tips, interviews, publishing news and bookstores to chat about. Goodbye,.

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