FUSAC Interview by Janet Skeslien Charles

FUSACJanet Skeslien Charles, author of Moonlight in Odessa interviews FUSAC on her blog.

When you come to Paris and you want a job, an apartment, or a date, the best place to look is FUSAC, which is available in print and online. After living in Paris for over ten years (and no longer in need of a job, apartment or date), I still pick up FUSAC every month to check out the gorgeous photos and book reviews. Today, I feel very lucky to interview Lisa Vanden Bos, one of the founders of the magazine. Like me, she spends time in Paris and Montana. Here, we talk about the challenges and rewards of working in France.

What brought you to Paris? What keeps you here?

I came for love… my not-yet-husband John had set up here, he was starting a business on a wing and a prayer or more literally a bicycle and friend’s computer, an idea he named FUSAC (France-USA Contacts originally). I stay because Paris is where we have our livelihood. In January 2012 FUSAC is celebrating 500 issues and 25 years! There are now 3 delivery vans and half a dozen computers. I’ve been in Paris all of my adult life. Not quite French, but no longer really American either.

What books are on your nightstand?

Ride with me Marriah Montana by Ivan Doig & I was a Dancer by Jacques d’Amboise.


How did you decide to start FUSAC?

John had been back and forth between Paris and the US for quite a number of years. While in Paris he taught English and sought odd jobs. Finding housing was always an issue too. Back then you either posted a note with those little tear-off fringe tabs that had your phone number at the boulangerie or on the pell-mell American Church or American Center bulletin boards. He always thought there could be a better system. In 1988 he read an article about a man who created a baseball magazine using a new technology called desktop publishing. DTP allowed the every man to be able to layout pages, something that was previously cost prohibitive for a start-up because it had to be done by typesetters at print shops. The idea of improving on the cluttered bulletin boards joined the new technology and so he created FUSAC. I joined him at issue 10 in January 1989.

read the full interview here