Amanda Bouchet: Turns Science Fiction/Fantasy into Can't Put Down Addictions!

I was first introduced to the amazing talent of Amanda Bouchet years ago when I picked up her Kingmaker Chronicles books (a testament to fabulous book covers!) I was immediately surprised at how quickly and thoroughly immersed in those stories and how in love with her characters I became. They are rich and nuanced, creative and addictive! I knew from that very first book, Amanda was an author to adore and a woman I would love to meet. When the opportunity finally came, it was even more fun than I imagined. She is incredibly sweet, super fun to visit with, but a bit unsure at first - which just makes her even more likable.  Amanda is the epitome of best-friend material!  Read on and you’ll understand why.

InD: You are an American, born and raised, but you are living in Paris. Oh my gosh! That is like a dream come true! First, tell me where did you grow up?
I’m from Woodbury, Connecticut, although I did live all over New England and I went to college in Maine. Now my family is in Maine and Vermont, but I was in Connecticut until I graduated high school.
InD: What was growing up there like?
Woodbury is really cute—small-town New England—beautiful, known for its antique shops. I miss it. I’m not a huge fan of city life, so even though Paris is romantic and nice, it is very urban. You can’t step out the back door and go for a walk in the woods.
InD:  Were you a reader growing up?
I don't remember being a reader very young, but around nine or ten years old, I really got into horses, so I read every horse book I could find. That’s what sparked my love of reading.
InD: What kind of child were you?
Probably not really all that interesting. I was pretty sporty. I wouldn’t call myself a tomboy, but I was definitely not a bookworm sitting in a quiet corner of the house. I liked being outdoors. I was very imaginative. My sister, my only sibling (she’s older by almost 4 years), and I were always at different stages and didn’t play or spend much time together until we were older. So I spent a lot of time in my own head making up stories. I think I was actually a visual writer from very early on because I’ve always imagined things in my head. I would make up elaborate stories that always had a bit of romance.  I especially loved Han Solo and Leia, I have to admit. A lot of my adventures featured them. I would set up scenes and act them out and talk to myself. Growing up, I was always into stories with a big dose of danger and adventure. I feel like it was inevitable that I would start writing this kind of story down at some point.
InD: Did this always continue?
It petered off when school got more intense and working and studying kind of took over everything else. It wasn’t until later that I realized I still enjoyed making up stories in my head.
InD: So what were your interests in high school?
I was a good student, and I dedicated a lot of time and energy to doing well in school. I was always part of a sports team, too, like volleyball and tennis, but I did find time to read for pleasure. I started reading romance novels when I was probably a junior in high school, and then I was like, “Wow, I like this!” Of course, my parents had no idea, but I distinctly remember reading until about two in the morning, even though I had school the next day. I could not put those stories down until I knew what was going to happen!
InD: So you graduated high school and then you went to college and earned a Masters degree in French. Why that major?
I went to school at Bowdoin College in Maine. Two of my favorite things in high school were French and history, but almost everyone I met at college said they were going to be a history major, so I thought maybe I should go with French. I love both, but I didn't want to follow the herd.
InD: Did you have a goal with what you wanted to do in French?
I definitely planned on being a French teacher. I’m sure that’s what I would've done if I’d stayed in the US. I actually got a minor in education. But I ended up going back to France as part of my Master’s. I spent two years abroad—one as an undergrad and the other as a graduate student.
InD: How was your first time going abroad and living somewhere completely different?
I really liked it, although I missed my family and friends. When I came back to the US, I only had my senior year of college left, and my friendships had evolved and changed. It was hard to reintegrate for that last year after being away from campus and friends for a whole year plus two summers.
InD: How did you do when you were in France?
It was hard at first. I could understand people, and I could read and write in French, but for the first few months, I barely opened my mouth to talk. Actually speaking a language among native speakers is very different from learning a language in a classroom. But then one day, it just clicked!

Read the entire interview in the June 2020 issue of InD'Tale magazine.

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