Meet the Author: Jenn Bouchard

What inspired you to write your most recent novel?

Palms on the Cape, which will be published in early 2023 by TouchPoint Press, was

inspired by my love of Mayflower Beach in Dennis on Cape Cod. It is one of my very

favorite places to be, and I knew I had to set a book there. Low tide is amazing; the beach

goes on forever.

What is your writing routine?

I am a full-time high school social studies teacher, so I do a lot of writing in the summer

when I’m not teaching. During the school year, I must be very disciplined about

scheduling it like a doctor’s appointment. As I am working on my third novel now, it’s

getting a little easier for me to squeeze it in, but I still need everyone to leave me alone to

write! It’s not easy with a busy family and so many other responsibilities. I escape to my

front porch when the weather allows it. Colder weather is around the corner, and I am

always trying to find ways to write at home without too many distractions.

What are your top 3 favorite books?

There are so many! I think I’ll narrow it down to books I read and loved this summer. I

really enjoyed The Beach Trap by Ali Brady, That Summer by Jennifer Weiner, and

Beach Read by Emily Henry.

Which authors inspire you?

One of the best things about becoming an author has been the other authors I have gotten

to know! Leslie Rasmussen (After Happily Ever After), Christina Consolino (Rewriting

the Stars), Melissa Scholes Young (The Hive, Flood), Sarahlyn Bruck (Daytime Drama,

Designer You), Emily Belden (Hot Mess, Husband Material), and C. D’Angelo (The

Difference, The Visitor) are just a handful of authors who have been an important part of

the past few years. I am grateful for their support and always inspired by them.

What are you currently reading?

The Visitor by C. D’Angelo. It’s set in New Orleans and is so much fun. I have a huge

stack of books waiting for me to read!

Do you use any life experiences to inspire your writing?

I set my books in places I have visited and enjoyed. I am lucky to spend time on Cape

Cod several times a year, so this was a natural place for me to set Palms on the Cape. My

debut novel First Course is set in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. I went to college in Maine in

the mid-to-late nineties and fell in love with it. I am now working on a novel set on the

New Hampshire seacoast right by Portsmouth, which is another place I love to go. I also

enjoy including other favorites, like Chicago, Lake Tahoe, and Burlington, Vermont in

my books.

How did you get into writing?

It was a bit of a midlife crisis, as cliché as that sounds. I had just finished a major

volunteer role as the president of my college’s alumni association. I had a big hole in my

life, and I wanted to create something. Sitting on the beach one late August right before

another school year began, I had the wild idea to try to write a novel. I had no idea what I

was doing.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Read lots of books, go to author events, read/listen to author interviews, and try to go to

inspiring places. Mountains, beaches, interesting towns and cities, you get the idea. Even

a trip to a museum or a restaurant could provide inspiration. Learn about how publishing

works, but don’t get discouraged. There are so many paths to writing and publishing

books. Listening to various authors tell their stories was very helpful to me. And reading

in your chosen genre and outside of it will make you a better writer.

Do you have any marketing tips for authors?

Marketing First Course has been overall a ton of fun. I have really enjoyed getting to

know podcasters, other authors, booksellers, etc. It’s hard work though, and plenty of

people don’t respond to your queries. One of the best things I’ve done is placed the book

in a ton of little free libraries and promoted it on social media. First Course is literally all

over the United States because of this effort. It has a readership I never would have found

otherwise, especially since I launched in 2021, which was a challenging time for

scheduling author events.

What’s next for you?

Palms on the Cape is with my editor now, so I look forward to hearing her thoughts. I am

almost halfway through drafting Considering Us, which is a romcom set at a fictitious

boarding school on the New Hampshire coast. It is so much fun to write, as I get to come

up with some ridiculous situations and focus a bit more on the romance than I did in my

two women’s fiction novels. After that, I have a few initial thoughts about a story set in a

bookstore on the North Shore on Massachusetts, but I need to develop it much more.

That’ll be my focus in early 2023.

What’s a fact about you that might surprise your readers?

As much as I love to cook, Thanksgiving is not a holiday I particularly enjoy. For years

when we lived in Chicago and it was a quicker flight, we would go to Phoenix/Scottsdale

for the long weekend. I would have tortilla chips and guacamole and a prickly pear

margarita for Thanksgiving, and I absolutely loved it. I know this is somewhat

controversial!

About Jenn

Jenn Bouchard’s debut novel FIRST COURSE was the recipient of fourteen awards and distinctions. A graduate of Bates College and Tufts University, she lives with her husband and two teenage children in the Boston suburbs. She has been teaching high school social studies for twenty-three years. PALMS ON THE CAPE is her second novel. Find her at jennbouchard.com and on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @JennBouchardBOS.

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