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Prior to being an author, Fisher had taken jobs as a journalist, gossip columnist, documentary filmmaker and ad agency/PR executive.
After Hurricane Katrina, in late 2005 Fisher authored the narrative work Orléans Embrace, for which she received praise for her prose. Orléans Embrace is a three-part compendium: the first and third parts are by Fisher, and the middle part is the companion book, The Secret Gardens of the Vieux Carré by Roy F. Guste, Jr. with photography by Louis Sahuc. She was not paid for her work on the (post-Katrina) French Quarter fundraising book, a crusade for New Orleans.
Fisher received awards for Best New Voice Nonfiction and The Bill Fisher Award for Best First Book Nonfiction for Orléans Embrace with The Secret Gardens of the Vieux Carré at the PMA Publishers Marketing Association Benjamin Franklin Awards in 2007. At the Independent Publisher Book Awards it received a gold medal in the Home & Garden category. The title also won the Best Books 2007 Awards in the Home: General category.
Fisher's works center on New Orleans and the historic French Quarter (Vieux Carré). She was nominated for a Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance SIBA Book Award for her poetry in Hearsay from Heaven and Hades: New Orleans Secrets of Sinners and Saints. The title won the Best Books 2009 Awards Poetry: General category.
Beyond personal experience, her first post-Katrina work "imprinted a style reminiscent of Lafcadio Hearn". Gris Gris Rouge, a paper in Louisiana, wrote that FIsher's narratives celebrate and capture the elusive quality of New Orleans.
Real estate and controversy
In 2007 ex-NFL Raven football player Michael McCrary added Fisher to a lawsuit aimed at her husband and others for $60 million. The Circuit Court for Baltimore City civil litigation concerned a hurricane-derailed New Orleans real estate venture at the New Orleans landmark (Crescent City Towers) Plaza Tower site. McCrary's case targeted a tangle of Louisiana limited liability companies. The soured real estate and development investment deal netted McCrary and a web of partnerships millions of dollars in post-Katrina profits within a few months. McCrary reaped $2,384,639 in profits and the return of his $3,550,000 capital investment.
In June 2008, a Baltimore courtroom rendered a $33.3-million-dollar default judgment against Fisher and others, in favor of McCrary. Precedent to the award, all defendants and their attorneys were precluded from speaking or participating in the damages hearing inquisition. Legal analysts cited U.S. Constitution and Due Process violations.
Fisher was unable to post a $33.3-million-dollar supersedeas bond to stay execution of McCrary's default judgment against her during the pendency of the appeal. Nearly a year after the trial court default, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals granted a stay against the judgment without a bond being posted.
In June 2009 the Maryland intermediate appellate court tossed the $33.3-million-dollar default judgment against Fisher and others.
In earlier Pre-Katrina litigation on eminent domain site expropriation by the New Orleans Morial Convention Center, Fisher retained Johnnie Cochran to represent herself and a partner. On a separate but nearby parcel of property, Fisher turned over her winning-bid auction contract on a multimillion-dollar Mississippi River riverfront ex-casino property to Tulane University, at no profit, for future development of the Riversphere project. The former River Gate Casino tract was previously associated with hotelier/developer/dreamer Christopher Hemmeter and Louisiana ex-governor Edwin Edwards.
On several joint-venture projects Fisher aligned with Philip Pilevsky of Philips International, the on-off financier/partner of hotelier Ian Schrager. The Schrager/Philip pairing began with Studio 54. Later, in conjunction with designer Philip Stark, they founded original boutique hotels, including NYC's Paramount Hotel and Royalton Hotel, Miami's Delano Hotel and Shore Club, and LA's Mondrian Hotel.
- Publishers Weekly, “The Year in Awards,” 31 December 2007, Benjamin Franklin Awards, Best First Book (nonfiction) Orléans Embrace with the Secret Gardens of the Vieux Carré; Best New Voice (Nonfiction) Orléans Embrace with The Secret Gardens of the Vieux Carré.
- Kenner, Ron (2007-04-05). "Book Review - 'ORLÉANS EMBRACE:' A MAGNIFICENT TRIBUTE TO A CITY'S SOUL" (PDF). The American Reporter. Retrieved 2009-10-01.
- McMahon, Regan (2007-03-15). "Oh, the places you'll probably never go. Except in photos.". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 31 January 2010.
- Hogan, Rob (2007-08-24). "TJ Fisher & Joshua Clark". Beatrice. Retrieved 2009-10-01.
- Sjostrom, Jan (2007-05-02). "A CRUSADE FOR NEW ORLEANS". Palm Beach Daily News. Retrieved 2009-10-01.
- "Benjamin Franklin Award Winners and Finalists 2007". Independent Book Publishers Association. Retrieved 30 January 2010.
- "Announcing 2007 Independent Publisher Book Awards Results". Independent Publisher. Retrieved 30 January 2010.
- Library of Congress librarian/ALA New Orleans Conference quotation, 2006
- Norton, George. Gris Gris Rouge, March/April, 2007.
- Kearney, Brendan. Baltimore Daily Record, archived articles, 2007-2009.Kearney, Brendan. "Former Baltimore Raven Michael McCrary win is on appeal." Baltimore Daily Record. March 9, 2009.
- Kearney, Brendan. "Maryland Court of Special Appeals finds ex-Raven can't collect while award is on appeal." Baltimore Daily Record. May 11, 2009.
- Kearney, Brendan. "Retired Raven Michael McCrary loses $33M award in Md. Court of Special Appeals." Baltimore Daily Records. June 9, 2009.
- Jensen, Lynne. “Jury award upheld in fight over home.” Times-Picayune, May 2, 2003; Jensen, Lynne. “Warehouse defeat stuns state lawyers.” Times-Picayune, February 27, 2003; Jensen, Lynne. “Doctor seeks $12.5 million for exprorpriated property.” Times-Picayune, February 21, 2003; Jensen, Lynne. “Convention Center wins lawsuit.” Times-Picayune, February 5, 2003.
- Thomas, Gregg. “Tulane secures ex-casino property.” Times-Picayune, August 27, 2004; Thomas, Gregg. “Convention enter property maneuver created suspicions.” Times-Picayune, August 24, 2004; Thomas, Gregg. “Tulane may get riverfront land despite recent auction outcome.” Times-Picayune, August 24, 2004; Thomas, Gregg. “Developer's bid lands ex-casino site.” Times-Picayune, August 4, 2004.
- Dubos, Clancy and Winston, Sam. "In the last 25 years, New Orleans changed dramatically in some ways. In others, it remains as constant as the Mississippi River. Gambit Weekly. March 21, 2006.
- Piscopo, Nicole, "A Salute to the Little Black Dress." Palm Beach Post; December 27, 1997.
- “Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union Releases Report Analyzing Hidden Risks of Proposed Ritz-Carlton Project.” The Center for Hospitality Research, June 9, 2001.
- Zarco, Cyn. “Strange bedfellows: South Beach hotel confidential.” South Florida CEO, May, 2003; “Schrager signs deal to manage Miami's Beach Shore Club.” Hotel Business, July 10, 2002; Miller, Susan. “And now, Miami nice. (Ian Schrager reopens Miami Beach, Florida's Delano Hotel, designed by Philippe Starck).” Newsweek, July 10, 1995.
- KSUCVM Rufus Fisher Dog Angel Program
- Bagwill, Bill. WLAE-TV, Greater New Orleans: Road to Recovery, PBS, May 3, 2007; Orleans Embrace with The Secret Gardens of the Vieux Carré, ISBN 978-0-9773514-7-3, Part Three pg. 66/388.
- Henderson, John. Palm Beach Daily News, "Howdy Comes to Town." January 11, 1997; Henderson, John. Palm Beach Daily News, "PBer Won't Sell Howdy Doody,” August 20, 1997; Ron Kessler. The Season: The Secret Life of Palm Beach and America’s Richest Society, 2004 [page 31].