Introducing Joylene Nowell Butler, author of “Dead Witness” and “Broken But Not Dead”

Someone left a comment on my blog the other day, then apologized for intruding where he didn’t belong. This worried me. I wondered what I had done to make anyone feel unwelcome. Then it occurred to me that I have made so many friends here that perhaps it seems like a private blog. When you talk about the important things in life (writing, grief, life itself) you connect quickly, even though the commenters might live in such mythical places as Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and Georgia (USA).

Joylene Nowell Butler was one such commenter who has now become a friend. We have never met, might never meet (though I would like to), but the connection is very real. She eased a terrible time in my life with her wisdom and sympathy, with her steadfast presence. I’m ashamed to admit, I am remiss about returning the favor and visiting her blog, A Moment At A Time On Cluculz Lake, though I intend to get over there more frequently. She has insightful posts, wonderful guests, and gorgeous photos of Cluculz Lake in Canada.

Joylene is the author of suspense thrillers Dead Witness and Broken But Not Dead. In honor of our friendship and the publication of her second book, I am gifting her with a mini blog tour.

I am interviewing her today on another of my blogs. Click here to find the interview: Pat Bertram Introduces . . . Joylene Nowell Butler, Author of “Broken but not Dead.” I always enjoy hearing (seeing) how other authors view writing and the writing life. Don’t you?

Click here to read an excerpt from: “Broken but not Dead” by Joylene Nowell Butler

More than three years ago, I posted an invitation to interview characters, and she was one of the few who took me up on my offer. It impressed the heck out of me! (That was how and where we met.) Here is that interview: Pat Bertram Introduces . . . Valerie McCormick, Hero of “Dead Witness” by Joylene Nowell Butler

Click here to read an excerpt from: “Dead Witness” by Joylene Nowell Butler

Thank you for everything, Joylene. I hope you have a fantastic New Year, filled with hope and peace and many wonders.


I have a very special guest today, the wonderful Joylene Nowell Butler, author of Dead Witness. Not only is Joylene an indefatiguable blogger and generous friend to published and unpublished writers alike, she is a talented writer with one book published and a second on its way next year. I am thrilled that she consented to be a guest here today! Joylene says:

Have you ever wondered why you put so much time and effort into writing that story — only to receive enough rejections to wallpaper a small room?

Some writers say they write because that’s who they are. Some say it’s not a choice but a destiny. Others say it’s for the simple joy of writing a good book. I say it’s all three.

But how do you know if you’ve written a good book?

I had a conversation at my first signing that went something like this…

He picked up a copy of my book, looked it over, then set it down. “Nice cover. Dead Witness, eh? What’s it about?”

“It’s the story of a Canadian woman kidnapped by the FBI. They fake her death, make her family believe she’s dead, and convince her that if she doesn’t stay dead, the killer will go after her children.”

 “Sounds interesting.”

“It is. But what makes this story different is Valerie finds the courage to defy the FBI and go after the killer herself.”

“Sounds a bit daffy.”

“Not at all. She’s willing to risk her life to save her daughters.”

“She still sounds crazy. How much is the book?”

“Twenty dollars.”

“That’s expensive for a novel.”

“That depends on what a few night’s entertainment is worth to you.”

He shrugged and bought a copy.

The next morning he emailed to say, “Joylene, I stayed up all night reading your book. I could not put it down. Thank you for writing such a good story. Yes, it was worth every penny.”

I’ve received many responses like this since publishing Dead Witness in July 2008, but that first one – well, it was my first. Yes, I wrote Dead Witness because it was a story inside of me fighting to get out. And yes, I write because that’s who I am; I can’t imagine not writing.

Marketers tell you that you must believe in your work to be successful. But until I heard from my readers, for years (24 to be exact), I never truly believed in my ability. Those responses were a validation. If they loved my book, then it must be good. They weren’t family and friends; they had nothing to gain by lying.

One day I received a bad review, and something very special happened. Instead of becoming an emotional cripple and folding like an accordion, I realized that everyone is entitled to an opinion. I know Dead Witness is a good book, and I know I can’t please everyone.

If you’re a writer, then write. Learn your craft. Know that if you doubt your ability, time and effort will diminish that doubt. One day you’ll be overwhelmed with the most powerful and beautiful feeling ever: My book is worth every penny.  

* * *

Joylene Nowell Butler was born in Manitoba and raised in British Columbia, Canada. She attended Douglas College and Simon Fraser University. In 1992, she and her husband retired to a community in central BC called Cluculz Lake. There, Joylene wrote 4 other books and is currently working on her sixth. Her novel Broken But Not Dead will be released in 2011 by Theytus Books.

See also: Dead Witness Excerpt by Joylene Nowell Butler
                Pat Bertram Introduces Valerie McCormick, Hero of Dead Witness by Joylene Nowell Butler

Books Make Good Christmas Gifts

Of course books make good Christmas gifts. You know that. Here’s a list of books you may not have heard of by relatively unknown writers — at least they are relatively unknown at the moment. I wouldn’t be surprised if one or two or even all of the authors are household names by this time next year.

The Medicine People by Lazarus Barnhill is a deceptively lighthearted mystery with great characterization and surprising twists and turns.  Why has triple murder suspect and fugitive Ben Whitekiller returned to his hometown to give himself up? Click here to read the first chapter.

Staccato by Deborah J. Ledford is a well-orchestrated thriller about three world-class pianists, two possible killers, one dead woman and a great mental soundtrack for those who know music. Ledford draws you into her world and doesn’t let go until the final crescendo. Click here to read the first chapter.

Jock Stewart and the Missing Sea of Fire by Malcolm Campbell: Though Jock Stewart is a throwback to the Hollywood’s film noir reporters, Campbell’s delight in words and wordplay shows through the hardbitten shell, and the novel has a gleeful undertone. Click here to read: an excerpt or the first chapter.

Heart of Hythea by Suzanne Francis is an epic novel full of romance and adventure, with a strong female protagonist who isn’t always sweetness and light. Suzanne’s world is filled with colorful details and captivating characters. Click here to read a synopsis and an excerpt.

Dead Witness by Joylene Nowell Butler is a novel of international intrigue and danger with a hero who fights criminals and the FBI to take control of her life “with every ounce of fury a mother can possess”.  Click here to read the first chapter.

Lacey Took a Holiday by Lazarus Barnhill is an unlikely romance between a man who has lost everyone he ever cared about and a womanwho has been betrayed and abused by every man she has ever met.  Click here to read the first chapter.

And be sure to check out the books from Second Wind Publishing Company. You might even see a familiar cover or two.

Sharing a Thanksgiving Day Card With You

I received this card from Joylene Nowell Butler, author of Dead Witness, and decided to share it with all of you. Thank you, Joylene!

Haven’t a Clue about Cluculz

My blog tour is really starting to heat up! Lots of activity, more than I’m used to, that’s for sure. To start out, I am a guest at the blog of my good friend Joylene Nowell Butler author of Dead Witness. We first met when she submitted a character interview to my Pat Bertram Introduces . . . blog. Usually I have to twist people’s arms to get them to send me an interview to post, but she voluntarily responded  to a link I left on a discussion on Facebook — which impressed the heck out of me — and now here we are, a year later, virtually visiting in Cluculz.

Where is Cluculz? you might ask. Good question. It’s 67 km west of Prince George and 32 km east of Vanderhoof, in central BC, Canada. I had to Google it, which was fun since it fit right into the theme of my guest post — writing about places you have never been. So, come to Clucluz, listen to the loons, and don’t forget the mosquito repellent. Click here to find the guest post at Cluculz Lake.

As if that weren’t excitement enough, today is the debut of my writing column — ASK PAT. Way cool! Since it’s in an ezine, there’s no place to leave questions and comments, so I’ve set up a special blog post for that purpose. You can find it here: questions and comments for ASK PAT. If you have a question you’d like me to include, be sure to let me know. If you have an answer you’d like me to include, let me know that, too. I certainly don’t presume to have all the answers.

And there’s more excitement! (I’m trying to sound like an info-mercial.) Tomorrow I am a guest at Reviewers Roundup on Facebook. Glenda Bixler, you, and I will be having a live chat about blog tours, my books, writing in general. So if you are a member of facebook, please pop in to the discussion between 3:00pm and 5:00pm ET tomorrow. It should be a lively chat. What’s it called? What else: Blog Tour 2009.

Don’t forget, my books are available in all ebook formats at Smashwords. Even better, you can download the first 30% of each book free. And speaking of free downloads, stop by Second Wind Publishing for a free sampler or two. One sampler includes the  first chapters of all Second Wind’s romances, the other sampler includes the first chapters of all Second Wind’s mystery, adventure, maitstream novels. The first chapter of A Spark of Heavenly, More Deaths Than One, and Daughter Am I are in the Mystery Sampler.

If you’d like to do a character interview for my Pat Bertram Introduces . . . blog, you can find the instructions here: Character Questionnaire.

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My Wonderful Surprise!

Among the people coming to my blog for sex with sister tips (it’s up to about 60 a day now) are those who actually pay attention to what I write. I’ve often said I blog for myself, using this space to try to get in contact with the creative within me. Whenever I am stumped at something, whether the direction of my current WIP or my struggles to learn how to become a selling and excelling writer, I come here and let the words flow. Except for that ultimate puzzler — how to promote effectively without annoying everyone to the point that said promotion becomes ineffective — I usually manage to find a way out of my difficulty. That I’ve managed to attract readers is a bonus. That they (you) actually like what I say or how I say it is beyond my ability to describe.

Today I had a wonderful surprise. Joylene Nowell Butler, author of Dead Witness, nominated me for a Kreativ Blogger Award. She said: You have only to look at Pat’s blog to realize she’s an inspiration to the world of writers. Pat questions everything. Her wide-eyed enthusiasm and her deep desire to understand the world of the real and unreal has fascinated me from day one. I think she’s covered every aspect of writing there is, only to stop by and see she’s discussing yet another subject that would have never occurred to me. Pat loves writing. Her quest to become the best possible writer she can be is contagious. She loves books. She loves authors. She’s brave, determined and the way she strings words together to form sentences is amazing. Here’s to you, Pat Bertram for venturing into the sometimes scary, but always creative world of creative fiction.

Thank you, Joylene. I appreciate all the comments you have left here on Bertram’s Blog. I also wish you every success — you are my role model.

Passing on the torch, I nominate . . .

James Rafferty has a great blog that ranges from fabulous photos of his travels to informative essays about OneNote
Malcolm Campbell combines a wonderful and poetic way of using words with intelligence and practicality.
Second Wind Publishing — this might be a bit of a cheat since I’m one of the contributors, but when you combine two dozen different authors all with different outlooks and experiences, you end up with a great blog.

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