DR. MEL'S MESSAGE - From my novels to my other projects, no telling what you will read. This is the only place you will get to read about how I developed a screenplay into a novel and what is the driving force. I will talk about many things from films to books to acting to producing. It really will depend on where my mind takes me. I hope you will join me on this journey.
Tragedy seems to follow Harmony like a rain cloud. After five long years mourning the loss of her soulmate, she meets her own tragic demise. But she’s surprised to awake in the afterlife, flooded with memories of former lives, each ending in accidental deaths…
As a student of the hereafter, she works with her spirit guide to find answers to the troubling pattern. And Harmony is perplexed by the clues that point to a charming classmate and a fateful promise to tie their destinies.
Can Harmony reveal the deeper truth behind her star-struck love affairs and put an end to her unlucky streak?
Enlightened is the first book in a fascinating YA paranormal fantasy series. If you like emotional journeys, memorable characters, and enduring romance, then you’ll adore Billie Kowalewski’s mind-bending novel.
Tell your readers a little about yourself, where you grew up, where you live now, where you went to school etc. Let them get to know the personal you.
I grew up in Connecticut and I still live here. My son still lives at home and my daughter is currently away at grad school. I love where I live but don't like the cold weather so I dread the winter here every year. There is such a rich history here from the early settlers that just fuels my imagination every day.
What inspired you to author this book?
A lot of things. My parents first were a big influence. I grew up in the '80s and they had very modern beliefs about religion for the time and that I'm sure was a big part of what helped to create Enlightened. Then, right around the time, I was about 10 years old, I was starting to get heavily into reading and I first heard the term soul mates and what it meant. I thought it sounded so magical and not only did I want it to be real but I wanted to read stories about soul mates finding each other. I was obsessed with trying to find a fiction story like this. I recall asking the librarian at school if there was one and she laughed at me and said, "No, there are no books about soul mates." which I replied, "Well, there should be!" Over time I realized I would have to write it myself. I just wish I tried to write it sooner.
Where did you get the inspiration for your book’s cover?
From my story. "We were hurdling towards each other like comets at light speed, coming at each other so fast we were literally crashing into each other. We gave new meaning to the phrase bumping into each other because in actuality we really were"
Who has been the most significant influence on you personally and as a writer?
This will be my secret for the rest of my life.
What were your struggles or obstacles you had to overcome to get this book written?
I wrote this story around lots of obstacles. My dad got diagnosed with dementia and passed from it and then a divorce. Plenty of financial ups and downs and always working. My parents gave me a laptop for my birthday when I first started writing this which was the last gift I received from both of them before my dad passed away. I drive school buses for a living and often took my laptop with me too work and wrote while the kids were playing whatever sport or event I brought them too. I wrote on the bus, or in the teacher's lounge, cafeteria, on the grass, etc.
Tell your readers about your book.
When Veronica lost the love of her life in a horrible accident, she was sure he was gone forever and she would never love again. Then, five years later, she meets her own tragic demise leading her back to the man she loves but with an unexpected twist...
Who is your target audience, and why?
Enlightened is geared towards young women and teens but is also enjoyed by many others outside of the YA genre.
What do you consider your greatest success in life?
My children. Those two make me proud every day.
What one unique thing sets you apart from other writers in your genre?
I don't follow strict rules about how a story should be told. I also won't follow what sells just to make money either. I'm just not a follower in that way. Someone has to be the one who starts the next latest trend.