Billie Kowalewski Interview

Billie grew up in a small town in Connecticut where she still lives with her wonderful family. She drives a school bus for the town of East Haddam, and loves writing stories.

What inspired you to write?
I have a very active imagination and I always read a lot. I would always be looking around bookstores and libraries for stories similar to what I'd been imagining but could never find anything that came close. I became so fed up that I decided to try writing down one of my stories. Once I sat down and started, I couldn't stop! It was hard work, but I didn't care because I LOVED IT! I was constantly looking for ways to make my writing better and I finally got to "play" with my characters all of the time.

Was your inspiration sudden, or did it take time?
I would say both. The story I played with the most in my imagination definitely evolved over my lifetime before I ever made to decision to write it. The decision to start writing it came on suddenly one morning after waking up.

Did you use an outline, or just write your story from start to finish?
I started writing what I had first. This gave me an idea of how the story would unfold and who was going to be involved in the story. I then made up backstories for each character, so I could get to know them better. This made it easier to figure out how they would interact with each other. I did make outlines along the way too. I always deviate though.

Do you work alone, or get encouragement from family and friends?
I often bounce ideas off on my family members but for the most part I write alone.

What was the most difficult part of writing your book?
Getting the beginning right.

What was the most enjoyable aspect of writing your book?
Being able to spend time with my characters. Over time they became my friends. When I was finishing writing Enlightened I was crying like a big baby because I was going to miss working with them. I love this job.

After the book was published, were you changed?
Nope. I'm still the same silly girl who plays in her imagination and wears lots of tie dye!

Have you received any awards for your book(s)?
Yes. I have received an award from Independent press "distinguished favorite" and I received 4 stars from

Are you working on a new book at the moment?

Do you have any book giveaways, contests or events coming up?
I have an event coming up July 20, 2017 in Mystic CT at Bank Square Bookstore at 6:30 pm. That's it for now.

What gets in the way of your creativity?
The stupid bus... Whoops! I mean, my lovely job driving the school bus.

What strategies do you use to deal with criticism?
I take each piece of advice I get and think about it. If it makes sense then I follow it. If it doesn't then I don't. Pretty simple. Criticism is important. How else would you learn to become better at anything without it? Getting things wrong is how we learn to eventually get them right.

What is your favorite/worst childhood memory?
When I was very little I was sitting on our back deck on a warm sunny day, and my mother poured milk for me into a small yellow Tupperware cup. I took the cup and started to drink it and could see into the cup while I did. Then, I saw an ant in the cup and before I could react it was too late and I swallowed the ant.

This is borders favorite and worst childhood memory.

Do you have a favorite quote?
"If you're absent during my struggle, don't expect to be present during my success." -Will Smith

What is your favorite show on TV?
I stopped watching TV a few years ago so I don't know what's on there anymore. I used to like all those sitcoms like facts of life, growing pains, Roseanne, Family ties, etc.

Favorite movie?
Made in Heaven

Favorite book?
My own book Enlightened. I love all of my characters so much. I love a LOT of other stories too. Twilight, Harry Potter, Remember Me by Sophie Kinsella was funny. like all other book readers. My list is pretty long

Who would you want to meet if you could? Dead or alive.

Is there a talent you wish you had?
Singing. I wish I could that, I sound like a drowning cat!

What’s something about you that would surprise us?
I'm much older than you would think I am. That's what people tell me all the time, that I don't look my age at all. It could be possible that these people are a bunch of big fat liars but I'll take it. Oh and I am double jointed in my thumb!

Describe yourself in 3 words!
unusual. independent. charming.