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Therese Anne Fowler

Therese Anne Fowler

Best-Selling Author of Z, A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald

Biography

A reader since age four, she often abused her library privileges by keeping favorite books out just a little too long. When domestic troubles led to unpleasant upheaval during her adolescence, the Rock Island Public Library became her refuge. With no grounding in literature per se, she made no distinction between the classics and modern fiction. Little Women was as valued as The Dead Zone. A story’s ability to transport her, affect her, was the only relevant matter. Read More >

Her own foray into writing came years later, after a divorce, single parenthood, enrollment in college, and remarriage. A chance opportunity during the final semester of her undergrad program led to her writing her first short story, and she was hooked. Having won an essay contest in third grade and seen her writing praised by teachers ever since, she knew she could put words on paper reasonably well. This story, however, was her first real attempt at fiction. Her professor told her she had a knack for it, thus giving her the permission to try what she hadn’t known she was waiting for.

After an intensive five-year stint that included one iffy-but-completed novel followed by graduate school, some short-fiction awards, an MFA in creative writing, teaching undergraduates creative writing, and a second completed novel that led to literary representation, Fowler was on the path to a writing career. It would take three more novels (all of which are published) and a great lot of new reading, though, before she began to grasp literature properly—experience proving to be the best teacher.

The inspiration to tell Zelda’s story came unbidden, on a day when Fowler was contemplating entirely different story ideas. Believing Zelda to be little more than F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “crazy, disruptive wife,” she was skeptical of the idea. But when a quick web search revealed that Fowler’s mother and Zelda had both passed away in the overnight hours of the same date, March 10th (though in different years), Fowler was compelled to explore the idea further—and then, seeing how wrong she’d been about Zelda, write a story that would, she hoped, bring a maligned, talented, troubled woman the justice she deserves. When Z sold first to a publisher in London on the 10th of April—the date The Great Gatsby was published in 1925—Fowler had to think it was fate. Read Less ^

Speech Topics

Z: An Intimate Look into the Life of Zelda Fitzgerald

Who was Zelda Fitzgerald, other than the wife of a famous—sometimes infamous—husband? How could she forge her own identity while fighting her demons and Scott's, too? With brilliant insight and imagination, Therese Anne Fowler brings us Zelda's irresistible story as she herself might have told it in the New York Times best-selling novel Z. Learn about the intense research that was necessary to write such a personal story, anecdotes and tales that did not make the book, and much more in this moving presentation.

Making It: How I Broke into the Library World

Therese Anne Fowler was introduced to the writing world as an adult after a divorce, single parenthood, college, and remarriage. A chance opportunity during the final semester of her undergrad program led to her writing her first short story, and she was hooked. After an intensive five-year stint that included one iffy-but-completed novel followed by graduate school, some short-fiction awards, an MFA in creative writing, teaching undergraduates creative writing, and a second completed novel that led to literary representation, Fowler was on the path to a writing career. It would take three more novels (all of which are published) and a great deal of new reading, though, before she began to grasp literature properly—experience proving to be the best teacher. In this candid, heartfelt presentation, Fowler tells the story of her own journey while providing insight and advice to those looking to start their own.

The Importance of Our Libraries

Libraries have always played an important role in Therese Anne Fowler’s life. As a young girl, she sought refuge from troubles at home at the Rock Island Public Library. With no grounding in literature per se, she made no distinction between the classics and modern fiction. Little Women was as valued as The Dead Zone. A story’s ability to transport her, affect her, was the only relevant matter. As a young military wife, books came to her rescue as the base library became her home away from home. Writers such as Jean Auel, Sidney Sheldon, and Margaret Atwood brought respite from boredom and heat. An avid supporter of libraries, Fowler makes the case for their crucial role in our communities.

Writing & Creativity

In this workshop-like presentation, Therese Anne Fowler shares an intimate look into her own creative writing process.

Books & Media

Books

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald

Connect with Therese Anne Fowler