About (Archival)

Owen Essen by a rushing river
Owen Essen at the Haw River in North Carolina. Photo by Bett Wilson-Foley.

Owen Essen was born in Durham, North Carolina, thus beginning several decades of colorful adventures and exploits. Much of his early childhood was spent living off the grid in the mountains of rural Colorado, where he was homeschooled by his mother. Essen has also traveled extensively in Latin America and some in Europe. He wrote most of his literary debut, Three Eyed Man, while staying with family near Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Press inquiries please write to contact@owenessen.com. 


Owen and his sister Elia being silly.
Owen with his sister Elia. Photo by Bett Wilson-Foley.


Even before he knew how to write, Owen loved dictating stories to his parents and insisting they write them down.

He was born in 1995 in Durham, North Carolina to Jeff and Bett Essen. Jeff Essen was a home renovator, found-art creator, lawyer and adventurer. Bett Essen was a journalist and flight attendant turned stay at home mom who later went back to work as a librarian, a floral designer and a local politician.

The Essen family spent much of Owen’s early childhood living in a geodesic dome in the mountains of rural Colorado on the edge of a massive wilderness area, including some time without indoor plumbing or extensive electricity (just a little from a solar panel).

Essen’s parents divorced when he was eight. His mother later married John Foley, and Owen now has three wonderful siblings: Patrick, Kelsey and Elia. 

Owen and his sister Elia graduated from Woods Charter School in North Carolina, often regarded as one of the top high schools in the country. Owen got a scholarship to study film and television at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia, which he did for several years before leaving to pursue other interests.

Essen has spent time traveling in both Latin America and Europe.

At twenty one, he is publishing his first book.  


Read an interview with Owen Essen.

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