Therese Anne Fowler (pronounced ta-reece) is the third child and only daughter of a couple who raised their children in Milan, Illinois. An avowed tomboy as a child, Therese protested her grandmother’s determined attempts to dress her in frills, and then, to further her point, insisted on playing baseball even though Milan had a perfectly good girls’ softball league. She was one of the first girls in the U.S. to play Little League baseball.
After a too-early first marriage and a stint as the single mother of two terrific (now grown-up) sons, she went on to earn a BA in sociology/cultural anthropology and an MFA in creative writing, both from North Carolina State University. Her first novel was published in 2008.
A book’s fate is almost entirely outside its author’s control. Some are published with a lot of marketing and publicity support, but most are not. After the publication of three contemporary novels, each of which sold fewer copies than the previous one, Therese faced a hard truth: her career was in a nosedive. Her editor at the time felt she should take on a pen name and try again with the same sort of book, but Therese was not persuaded. She decided, instead, to write a biographical historical novel about Zelda Fitzgerald, Z, which was published in 2013.
Therese’s work has been translated into more than twenty foreign languages and is published around the world. Z is now available as an original dramatic series for Amazon Studios starring Christina Ricci, with Killer Films producing.
What Therese has discovered is that she has an affinity for badass women from history whose stories have been either mistold or are largely untold. Her next novel centers on Alva Smith Vanderbilt Belmont, a determined, opinionated, compassionate, often amusing woman from America’s Gilded Age. A Well-Behaved Woman, a kind of homage to Edith Wharton with a dash of affection for Jane Austen for good measure, was published by St. Martin’s Press on October 16, 2018. Her forthcoming novel, A Good Neighbohood, explores the effects of class, race, and heartrending star-crossed love in a story that’s as provocative as it is powerful, and will be published in February of 2020.
Therese has been a visiting professor at North Carolina State University and occasionally teaches fiction writing at conferences and workshops. A member of Phi Beta Kappa and PEN America, she is married to award-winning professor and author John Kessel. They reside in North Carolina.
Talks and Topics
A Well Behaved Woman and the Vanderbilts Multi-Media Presentation
Z Author Presentation: Zelda Fitzgerald, the Lost Generation, and the Jazz Age
How Books Can Save Us
Personal Reinvention at Any Age
Craft Talk: How Writers can Create "The Uninterupted Dream" of Fiction
The Business of Writing and Publishing Novels
Why Do We Write?
Check Therese's Availability
Previous & Upcoming Events:
March 16, 2018: International Conference for the Fantastic in the Arts - Orlando, FL
April 21, 2018: Unbound Book Festival - Columbia, MO
Oct 26, 2018: Pawley's Island Writers Conference - Pawley Island, SC
In the News:
"Will Lightning Strike Therese Anne Fowler Twice?" - Publishers Weekly (Feb 2018)
"Beautiful and Damned" - New York Times (Apr 2013)
"Z Tells the Fitzgerald's Story from Zelda's Point of View" - NPR (Mar 2013)