Meet Author Jackie Bouchard

Jackie Bouchard and Rita
Jackie Bouchard and Rita

An author and her dog! Look at that face (I’m talking about Rita, of course). 🙂 I adored reading Rescue Me, Maybe and have Jackie’s first novel, What the Dog Ate, near the top of my to-be-read pile. You can win the book via a giveaway at the end of this post.

Jackie Bouchard was trapped in the hamster wheel of corporate America for longer than her sanity would say was good for her. She escaped and now writes Fido-friendly fiction. American Jackie, her Canadian husband, and her Mexican rescue mutt Rita form their own little United Nations. They live happily (hopefully ever after) in San Diego.

Welcome, Jackie! I have questions for you! To begin, who is your favorite author? If you have multiples, that’s fine. Tell me why you like them.

JB: I don’t tend to be the type of reader who enjoys a book by an author and then thinks, ‘Now I want to read everything else he/she wrote.’ (Although isn’t that what we hope for as authors?) I think it’s because I’m a slow reader and have amassed more books than I’ll probably ever be able to get through, so I like to jump around and read different works. I’m more inclined to have favorite books than favorite authors, but if I had to pick, it would be:

  • Jane Austen. I’ve read everything she ever wrote. She was a master of character development. She could take a small, quiet story, but make you care so much about the characters; you love this one, hate that one, and pity this other one. Love her.
  • Charles Dickens. Love that he was a great storyteller and could be quite funny. A Christmas Carol is my fave.
  • Ian McEwan. Total genius, and a master of the perfect ending. Love love love Atonement and Enduring Love. On Chesil Beach also was excellent.

How did you make the transition from working full-time outside the house to writing full-time?

JB: The transition was really easy for me. The last time I worked full-time in an office was in 2000 in Philadelphia. When we moved to San Diego, I started telecommuting to my old job in Philly. So, I worked from home for 10 years. Since I was an analyst and wrote our department’s monthly newsletter, I mainly spent my days at the computer doing research or writing. So it wasn’t that much different from researching and writing a novel.

I’m such an introvert that working from home suits me perfectly. I know extroverted writers who go stir-crazy and need to take their work out to a coffee shop, but I have no problem being home alone (with my trusty pooch) for days and days on end. I get out every morning for a long walk with the dog, but other than that, I’m a homebody!

Do you feel you must write every day? And at a certain time?

JB: My writing day in general is not super-structured. When I really get going on a project, I barely stop to get up for a drink of water. I become obsessed and get back and arm pain because I’m practically glued to my desk! (**Remembers she’s been sitting at desk for hours. Stops and stretches, as advised by acupuncturist.**) Because of that, I don’t write every day. I take the weekends off, and on weekdays, I do my chores and errands first, because once I start writing, it’s likely nothing else will get done. Also, I’m one of the odd writers who loves to revise! I find it hard to sit down and write new stuff, but give me something to revise and I’m happy to spend hours obsessing over it.


Jackie has offered to gift a digital copy of What the Dog Ate to one lucky winner. Just click on the link to the Rafflecopter giveaway at the bottom of this page.

Connect with Jackie:

Website: (There’s a sign-up on the home page for her newsletter)





What the Dog Ate
What the Dog Ate

When Maggie Baxter, a practical, rule-following accountant, finds out what her chocolate Lab ate, her world turns upside down. Maggie thought she had the rest of her life meticulously planned out, but now she needs to figure out Plan B. With her dog Kona as her guru, Maggie embarks on a funny, heartwarming quest to find tail-wagging joy.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Elvis, Mimi, and Bonnie

Today is August 16th, and for a girl like me who still has a knack for remembering dates (and addresses and telephone numbers), today is pretty special.

In 1977, my dad and I were heading home from Bonnet Shores, a beach in Narragansett, Rhode Island.  We had a membership there, not because my parents were snooty and exclusive, but because my mother liked to stay late and have supper at the beach, and at Bonnet Shores you could do that, thanks to a cabana with a refrigerator and hot plate.   It was the middle of August, that time when you realize the sun sets earlier, the mornings are cooler, and the return to school is just around the corner.  My dad drove a Ford Maverick, four doors, dark green with a ginger roof.  He turned the knob for the radio and we heard, among all the songs, that Elvis Presley had died.  I don’t know that my dad was much of an Elvis fan. Elvis was born in 1935; my dad was already seventeen then.  By the time Elvis’s first single, “Heartbreak Hotel,” was released in 1956, my dad was 38 years old, married, with a baby.  Elvis didn’t really fit into his lifestyle.

In 1983, the only grandmother I ever knew died.  Dorothy Kenyon Handy was my mother’s mother, and a remarkable woman.  I wrote about her in a previous blog, which you can read about here if you want.  She was an only child, born in 1905, to Wilford Cameron Kenyon and Marguerite (Farrell) Kenyon.  In July 1910, her mother died (she was five), and in April 1926, her father died (she was twenty-one).  She married Earl Raymond Handy two months later. She raised a daughter and two sons, all of whom are gone now.  Memories live on, though.

In 2009, after putting our beloved pug, Jessie, to sleep forever, we took a break from dog ownership. It enabled us to travel, stay out late, not have to hurry home to walk the dog. But there was an emptiness. Jessie came to us shortly after we learned that children wouldn’t be a natural part of our life together.  So, in October of 2009, we found Bonnie in Connecticut.  She’s three years old today, but still a baby.  She’ll always be a baby. Milan Kundera said, “Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring–it was peace.”  How true.