Today we’d like to introduce you to Jenn Bouchard.
Hi Jenn, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I finished a major volunteer role–President of my college’s alumni association–in 2014. I needed something to do next that was just for me. I am always busy, as I have two kids, a husband, and a full-time job teaching high school social studies, but I was looking for that creative outlet. I decided I would see if I could write a novel. I had no idea what I was doing, but I started coming up with ideas while also going to hear authors speak at events. I found that to be very inspiring but also practical and helpful. Many people struggle in their publishing journeys. It’s good to know you’re not alone in that. It took me 2.5 years to write a first draft, followed by an additional year of self-editing and learning about the nuts and bolts of the publishing industry. After more than a year of searching for the right publishing path for my book, I was offered a contract by my publisher TouchPoint Press. FIRST COURSE was released in June of 2021.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Some things have been easier than others, that’s for sure. I had many full and partial requests for my manuscript, as well as many “almost yes” responses. Coming so close so many times was tough but it also pushed me forward. I knew that I would find a path for FIRST COURSE. Publishing during a pandemic has also been a challenge, as in-person events have been tough to schedule. I have had to be more creative. I have been sending my friends out to put copies of FIRST COURSE in Little Free Libraries as a way to expand readership. I post their pictures on social media, using the hashtag #FirstCourseLFLProject. It’s been a great way to connect with readers and independent bookstores!
Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
My writing is women’s fiction with romantic elements and TONS of cooking and food. I think this is my niche. I am an avid cook and enjoy incorporating it into my writing. People tell me that my writing makes them hungry, which is a huge compliment for me. The biscuits that I feature in the book have their own following now! We served samples of them at a book event in Bath, Maine at an awesome cookware store called Now You’re Cooking. I give out recipe cards at my in-person events, and we also highlighted the recipe in the virtual event I did for the Fall for the Book festival in October. You can find the recipe at jennbouchard.com/recipes.
We’d love to hear about any fond memories you have from when you were growing up?
I love to travel, so any place I got to go with my family would be a favorite memory. We spent a week in Italy when I was in sixth grade, and I still remember how delicious the food was, especially the pizza, rotisserie chicken, and gelato. Oh, and those rolls in Rome for breakfast! I also have vivid memories of visiting Boston for the first time when I was in eighth grade. I’ve lived here now for many years and consider it home.
- Paperback of FIRST COURSE – $14.99
- E-book of FIRST COURSE – $3.99 (free if you have Kindle Unlimited)
- Website: jennbouchard.com
- Instagram: @jennbouchardbos
- Facebook: @jennbouchardBOS
- Twitter: @JennBouchardBOS