“Write the book you always wanted to read.”
As a former English teacher, I was already familiar with Thomas Wolfe and F. Scott Fitzgerald when I moved to Asheville, NC in 1988. I was then writing books and magazine columns about the American Arts and Crafts movement and the 1913 Grove Park Inn, which had been designed in the Arts and Crafts style and furnished with Roycroft oak furniture and hammered copper lighting.
As I did, I began collecting information about F. Scott Fitzgerald’s time spent in rooms 441 and 443 during 1935-1937, as well as his adventures in nearby Hendersonville, Tryon, and Lake Lure. Along the way I discovered that Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald had also lived here for several years of her tragic life, and that both had a connection with Asheville’s famous son Thomas Wolfe.
When I couldn’t find a book that detailed where they had each stayed and what had happened to them here, I took that advice and wrote the book I always wanted to read.