Today, I’m pleased to have Joylene Nowell Butler join us for this edition of Behind The Scenes. Her suspense-thriller novel Broken But Not Dead won the 2012 IPPY Silver Medal for Canada West, and she’s here to talk to us about what’s ahead. You can find her blog here.
1. Tell us a bit about your writing journey. How did you get started, and how did you get to where you are now?
When I was 30 my father died. I think I knew I needed to do something to cope, so I began writing what I thought could be his story. Turned out I didn’t know his story beyond him being my dad. I ended up writing our story. It took 7 years. After I shelved it, I realized I was hooked on the process of writing.
2. Anything you would’ve done differently if you could do it all over again?
I think we’re all destined to take a certain path, whether it be straight or curvy. But I wish I’d paid more attention in school. If I’d understood the importance of research, I could have made it easier on myself.
3. What advice would you give to new and aspiring writers?
Learn your craft because you owe it to yourself. Pay close attention to the classics. They’re classics for a reason. And never assume you know everything. If you do, you’re doomed for failure. I know you ache to be published, but it’s seldom an overnight process. It takes years and years of study, editing, rewriting, and revising. Don’t rush. Write the best possible book you can write, then write another, and another one. Don’t think of blogging or even querying until you know your final project is near perfect.
4. Is there any book you’ve written that is particularly special to you? Which one and why?
Book #3 is a collaborative anthology with 6 other authors called Break Time. To say my part of the story was a challenge is an understatement. Because I didn’t have the entire novel to allow my character to evolve, I struggled constantly trying to determine his motivation. It’s also a steampunk and until I’d been asked to participate, I had no idea what steampunk was. Today, I’m very proud of my character Dakota David. He’s an Aboriginal Seer with impeccable standards. Oh, and he looks a lot like Canadian Saulteaux actor Adam Beach.
5. Who would you say is your favorite character(s) from your books, and why? What is it about this character that makes him/her tick?
My favourite character is RCMP Corporal Danny Killian in the sequel to Broken But Not Dead, Omatiwak: Woman Who Cries. Danny is gentle and kind, but bitter and suspicious. He’s investigating the murder of Canada’s retired Minister of Defense and believes the victim’s wife, 60-year-old Sally Warner may have murdered the Minister. She was abused, betrayed and has suffered the greatest tragedy a mother can endure. Danny thinks Sally probably had good reason to kill her husband, and hopes she gets away with it. What he’s forgetting is that to murder someone you love leaves you broken and extremely dangerous.
6. Tell us about your latest project. What are you working on at the moment, and what can we expect from it?
I’m trying to finish the sequel to my first published novel Dead Witness, called Shattered. It’s the story of Jason Sinclair, a man bent on finding the driver who ran down his wife in Gastown, BC. His investigation leads him and the PI Mike Canaday (Dead Witness) to England where Jason learns that his wife was mistaken for his sister-in-law, who may be an accomplice to a horrendous crime.
7. Are you self-pubbed or traditionally published? What made you go for this model? What advice/tips can you share with writers working towards the same goal?
I self-published Dead Witness, signed with a distributor, who in turn introduced me to a publisher, who in turn made it possible for me to sign with an e-book publisher for Dead Witness. Sometimes it’s just about the circle. In the end, it’s part luck and a hockey sock full of hard work.
It’s a great pleasure to have you over in my blog. Thank you!
Thank you, Maggie! You’re a true advocate for all of us. Bravo!
Author Bio: Joylene, Métis, has been writing her entire life. She began her first novel in 1983 to honour the passing of her father. Today she and her husband live in the home they built with their own hands on Cluculz Lake. Her first novel Dead Witness was a finalist in the 2012 Global eBook Awards. Her suspense thriller Broken But Not Dead won the 2012 IPPY Silver Medal for Canada West. Her newest novel Break Time, the steampunk anthology is now available on Kindle and in print. Joylene is currently applying final touches to two suspense thrillers. Contact her at cluculzwriter at yahoo dot ca