Three years ago, I went on a tour of Ernest Hemingway’s house in Key West, Florida. I’d always loved Hemingway’s work so I naturally had to tour his home. It was at some point between standing in the shadow of a chandelier in the master bedroom and staring at the typewriter on Hemingway’s work table in his writing cottage that I was overcome with inspiration. I knew that I would set my next book at the house in the thirties when Hemingway lived there.
Eager to put inspiration to application, I promptly began the Hemingway novel when I returned home. I had already started a sequel to my first novel, RECEIVE ME FALLING, and was jumping back and forth between the two manuscripts, unsure which deserved more of my time.
In the meantime, I had my third son. Writing went on hold for a few months, though my mind often wandered into the landscape of both of the books I’d started before the baby arrived.
It was during a late night feeding, in the haze of sleep deprived half-consciousness, that I had a dream. In it, I was sitting in Hemingway’s home in Key West in 1935. Hemingway, himself, walked into the room and sat with me on the couch. He said, “You have to write my book because I’ve become irrelevant.”
When I woke up I was certain which book I’d write.
Three years later, with my novel HEMINGWAY’S GIRL set for publication by NAL/Penguin, I returned to Key West to do a final research trip, make connections for the book launch, and spend time with my husband for our anniversary. It was very emotional for me to stand in the house that inspired this incredible journey I’ve been on and I could feel Hemingway wherever I went in town.
I’m so thankful that I’ve been able to occupy that space on several occasions, and I think the book is better for it. Below, I’ve posted some pictures from the trip. If you’d like to see the entire album, it’s on my Facebook Author Page: Erika Robuck, Author.
Thank you so much for sharing this journey with me. Enjoy!