This week we would like you to meet one of our Individual Creator Members, Writer Billie Kowalewski.
1. What was the inspiration behind becoming a writer? What do you enjoy most about the creative process?
Growing up, I had a very active imagination that at times was wildly out of control. I also spent a lot of time reading, and searching for stories that were similar to what I was always cooking up in my head, but I could never find any that ever came close. Over time I began to realize in order for me to ever find the kinds of stories I was imagining, I’d have to create them myself. As soon as I started writing I was hooked. I was in love with creating the characters and helping them become “real people.” Developing their personalities and discovering the interesting way they would end up interacting and clicking with each other. I always felt like I was hanging out with close friends in a way. When I finally finished writing Enlightened I cried like a big baby because I was going to “miss working with them.”
2. Can you take us through your process? How long does it take? Does everything you produce make money?
Enlightened is my first novel. Honestly, I just jumped in at first writing the scenes that I was imagining. Over time I started to get an idea of who was going to be in the story and how it would all unfold. Then I made a kind of “cast list” I guess you can call it. I wrote small backstories for each one of my characters, describing their personalities and traits so I could get to know them better. The first draft of Enlightened took me a year and a half. I was also working another job around writing all the time. I have sales reported every month, but nothing that I can quit my day job over. Being a school bus driver, I am of limited means so paying for advertising is not always in my budget. I do whatever I can.
3. What do you think is the biggest misconception about your line of work?
The biggest misconception about being a writer is how long it takes. I don’t know how many times I heard “Ugh! You’re still writing that?” or “You’ve been saying this for years!” with whatever smug know it all tone. That drove me nuts at times.
4. When did you first become aware of copyright and why?
I think every writer is aware of copyright. I know I was, and have applied for it. You worry when you’re a “no one” about being taken advantage of.
5. What’s the best piece of advice you would give other creators in your field about copyright and how to protect themselves?
Applying for copyright for your work is smart. It helps to ensure no one takes advantage of you.
Are you one of our Individual Creator Members? Participate in our Creator Spotlight series! Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you aren’t already a member of the Alliance, you can join today by completing our Individual Creator Members membership form!