Joylene Nowell Butler Interview

Tell us about your book 'Dead Witness'.

Valerie McCormick is a wife and mother from small town Canada. While visiting Seattle, she becomes the only witness to the brutal seaside murder of two FBI agents. When she flees to the nearest police station to report the crime, she becomes caught up in a web of international intrigue and danger. Suddenly, she and her family are in the sights of ruthless criminals bent on preventing her from testifying against the murderer. Even with FBI protection, Valerie is not safe. Whisked away from her family and all that is familiar to her, Valerie fights back against the well-intentioned FBI to ultimately take control over her life with every ounce of fury a mother can possess.

Any self publishing tips to share?

Before contemplating self-publishing, make sure your book is publish-ready. Read. Study. Join critique groups. Have at least 3 critiques done from knowledgeable critiquers. They say self-publishing isn't for the faint hearted for a reason. There is so much work required before your book is ever printed. Networking is essential. Find a good solid printing company, and make sure your distributor will send your book where it needs to be. And when it's released, be prepared to work 16 hours a day for up to a year to make certain your novel is on the lips of every reader you can possible reach.

How do you go about promoting your book?

There's no end to do it. I belong to some very good online writer's groups. I network at Book Place, Ning, Goodreads, Facebook, Gather, Author's Den, just to name a few. Then there's the online interviews, blogging, book fairs, book signings, advertising, door to door sale's pitch. Next I need to do a virtual book tour. It goes on and on.

Is your family supportive of your writing?

Very. My best friend is also my accountant. It's because of her daughter that my books will be in every Save-On Food store in northern B.C. in such a few weeks. She gave a book to her boss, and as a result, Dead Witness will be stocked on their shelves before Christmas. My husband is my own personal driver. He's responsible for getting me to my book signings on time. Our youngest, stationed in Afghanistan, has been passing my book around to his buddies. I couldn't have written this book or any of my other manuscripts without knowing my family was behind me all the way. My mother was my first reader. She caught my spelling mistakes. My brother, a gun expert, was my consultant on Dead Witness

What is the most important thing you've learnt since being a writer?

I think the most important thing I've learned is to never become complacent. Never stop learning. I think being a writer has made me appreciate the most minute things in life. Unfortunately, I think it also has left me never satisfied with my written word.

Anything else to add?

It's sad how many authors choose self-publishing before their book is ready. I knew when I decided to publish my book that there would be stigmas attached. And for good reason. We're a high-tech generation. We want what we want when we want it. Writing is a long process. Sometimes it takes months to revise and edit a manuscript. But more often than not, it takes years. It's something that can't be rushed.


  1. Joylene,
    Dead Witness sounds fascinating. Is it available in the Kindle edition? I love my new Kindle and prefer to read everything on it.

  2. Dead Witness went to press a few weeks ago, so it's not actually available until the end of the month. I don't think it'll be in the Kindle. My distributor is in Canada, and as far as I know, DW is at Chapters.Indigo across the country. But I could be wrong. I'll have to wait until it comes out to find out.

    Thanks for asking, Lillie. Have a great day.


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