An Interview with ChiWriMo Member, Bree M. Lewandowski, Author of Under Winter Lights, Part One

I had the opportunity to interview one of our ChiWriMo members on her recent release, (well, okay, I kind of pounced on her and wouldn’t let her get away until she agreed to be interviewed).  So here, without further ado, is what we’ve all been waiting for:

Bree M Lewandowski

The ChiWriMo Interview

2016-11-25 Book CoverCWM: Which came first, writing or dance? How do they inform each other for you?

BML:  Dance definitely came first for me. It was one of those things my mom put me in because she liked dance, the same as her mother. And whether it be nature or nurture, I liked it too. A lot. And specifically Ballet. In Ballet, the dancer takes a melody and brings it to life. The invisible becomes physical and tangible. If that’s not the closest thing to real magic in this world, then I don’t know what is. Perhaps that wonder extends into my love of writing. Like Ballet, it should be impossible. When I sit down to tell a story, I lack touch, sound, taste, color. All I have are words on a blank sheet of paper. But through those words, I can take the reader to new places, introduce them to new characters and make them feel in new ways. It’s amazing!

CWM:  Your new book is Under Winter Lights: Part One. What was the inspiration for it?

BML:  There is a wonderful film from 1948 called, The Red Shoes. It is an imaginative re-telling of the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale and features my favorite ballerina, Moira Shearer. I can’t count how many times I have watched that movie and it made me want to take a world rarely portrayed in literature and bring it to life.

CWM: How many Parts can readers hope for?

BML:  Two. The story, as I originally conceived it, proved to be a bit too ponderous as a stand-alone novel.

CWM: How has participating in National Novel Writing Month changed your writing?

BML:  Oh my gosh, so much! Before I tried National Novel Writing Month a few years ago, my writing habits had capsized. I wanted to write, but I lacked the self-discipline to make myself sit down and flex those creative muscles. Then one day, while I was scrolling through my Facebook feed, I saw a friend mention she was doing NaNoWriMo. I asked what she was talking about. When she explained, I couldn’t shake the idea. Here was a chance to right a habit I wanted so much to reclaim. No excuses. I signed on and have not looked back. National Novel Writing Month gives writers a chance to flourish and fight for what they want most-to create. NaNoWriMo helped me take control of my sinking ship and steered me towards other writers trying to do exactly the same. And as if that wasn’t enough, I am now able to proclaim that I am a published author, a title I never once believed would be mine.

CWM: What are your plans for your dance and your writing in 2017?

BML:  Do both more and with increased creativity and efficacy. Hopefully.

CWM: Coffee or tea?


CWM: Dark or milk chocolate?

BML:  Milk chocolate. But the good stuff. Not some waxy $.99 chocolate bunny from 7-Eleven.

CWM: Deep dish or thin crust?

BML:  Deep dish, please. I like my gluten.

CWM: How ’bout them Cubs, man? How do you feel about the Cubs winning the World Series?

BML:  I can’t believe it actually happened. For as long as I can remember, my father has joked about what a hopeless mess the Cubs are. When I got married,even though my husband was a die-hard fan, he admitted what a disappointment the team was. But they did it! And it’s been really nifty seeing a city rally around the Cubs. Signs everywhere, people cheering in bars together. In such a social media world where people rarely look up from their devices, it felt wonderful to come together as a community, to feel that sense of camaraderie. Go Cubs, Go!

CWM: Your profile says, “furry baby mommy.” What’s your perfect furry baby?

BML:  All of them. If I had the space and disposable amounts of income, I would have sixteen cats and seven chow chows. My ideal snuggle fluff purrs, has a blue tongue, and holds my heart on a string.

Thank you to Bree for taking the time to share a little about her writing, and her new release, with us!  Guys, she’s even got a book trailer.  How cool is that?

Blurb: The world of Ballet had always been Martina’s world, made of music and magic. But the seasons are changing and like the snow tumbling over Chicago, Martina’s music-box world is swirling.  Director of The Bellus Ballet Company, Alan Jung, can offer her luxury and fame. But Russian rebel Maraav, “a wolf with gray eyes,” has everything Martina needs.  Three hearts made of hope, flesh, and stone…  With the curtain set to rise…

Under Winter Lights: Part One

Book Trailer


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