Thunder Bay's romance author makes Perfect Sense

June 2016

Mark Twain once said ‘Write what you know.’ Local author Amanda Cowen has taken that advice to heart and has found success writing stories about friendship, relationships, romance and love. “I love love,” says Cowen, her smile beaming like the sun. “I love drama, scandal, relationships, racy things, that rush of chemistry. I just love that!”

And it shows. Her first novel, Between Friends, raced up the Amazon charts, selling over 40,000 copies in a few short months. Even though she has a family history littered with successful writers, her own success was a delightful surprise. “I’ve been writing since I was a little girl,” she says. “I still have old duotangs filled with stories. Princesses and ponies, friendships among girls in the 1950s. Fun, fluffy stuff.” Cowen’s aunt is playwright Dina Morrone (of Moose on the Loose fame) and she laughs to admit that her first novel is written very much as a screenplay.

“She’s one of my first influences,” says Cowen. “I was 10 years old when I sent her my first ‘novel.’ It was written just like a play, so I must have thought that’s how you wrote books too!”

With the unexpected success of Between Friends, Cowen found herself racking her brains to come up with a second novel. This time, the inspiration came from a surprising source.

“My whole family is into hockey,” says Cowen. “One day, I was complaining to my husband because a story I was writing at the time lacked depth, he challenged me to read about the life of the NHL’s Theo Fleury. Fleury struggled with addictions because of a messed-up childhood, and I thought, wow, that would be a great type of character to work into a book!”

She took the idea and ran with it, creating the plot for her latest novel, Perfect Sense, in which a young woman finds scandal and romance aplenty in the world of professional hockey.

“It’s a little racy,” Cowen admits, “And there’s drama and conflict, but ultimately, it’s about two broken people finding love. That’s what romance novels are, aren’t they? How people meet! No one wants to read about after the wedding, about the kids, the taxes, the pukey child. No, the story is in the meeting. I love that.”

Cowen’s books fall in the hot new genre called New Adult Contemporary Romance, stereotyped by E.L. James’ Fifty Shades series. Unlike typical romance novels, they are not always categorized by the traditional ‘happy ending.”

“Hopefully they find their happy ending,” says Cowen. “But what if they don’t? A story is never over. The book Me Before You does not have a happy ending, but it’s a great book. People love characters who are broken, because we all have a story that will break your heart. When books are too happy, we’re like ‘meh.’ People love the love, but we love the struggle, the first meeting, the rush. There’s a reason all superheroes are orphans.”

Along with writing, Cowen (whose real name is Trevisanuto – Cowen is a pen name) works full-time at Lakehead University, and is married with children. Her 2 young sons are the reason she keeps writing. “I wanted to encourage my kids to follow their dreams,” she says wistfully. “But how
could I if I didn’t follow my own? When a family friend passed away unexpectedly I realized that life’s too short. I want to live with no regrets.”
With her first novel, Between Friends, Cowen tried finding an agent but while agents seemed to like her style, none wanted to sign her as an author.

“It wasn’t happening in the way I wanted it too,” she says, “So I started researching self-publishing. I could have gone with a small indie press, but I discovered I wanted to do it myself. A lot of people quit once their first book isn’t a NY Times bestseller, but I’m happy with the way it’s rolled out. Of course, it would be nice to have someone doing it all for me, then I could just focus on writing my stories, but I just love doing it.”

With the sequel to Perfect Sense, called Perfect Love, soon to be released, Cowen has a few other works on the go. Her New Adult Contemporary Romances, Tainted, From A to Z and Wingman, are scheduled for 2017 and 2018, tentatively.

Until then, you can find Amanda eating cupcakes, singing off-key, listening to country music or writing. Check out her website at, say hi on Facebook, or follow her on Instagram @authoramandacowen. Her books are available on Amazon and Createspace.

Heather L. Dickson is a photoshop guru, zoologist and author of 6 novels.

Visit her website at

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