Interview with Joylene Butler

Where can people find out more about you and your writing? and

Tell us a bit about your latest book?

Dead Witness is the story of a woman whose life changes forever when she witnesses a drug lord murder two FBI agents. When the FBI fake her death and leave her family mourning, Valerie goes along with their plan to protect her children. When it's clear their plan is failing and her children are in danger, she discovers an inner strength that enables her to take matters into her own hands. She goes after the killer.

What advice do you have for other writers?

Never stop improving your writing. Read every self-help book you can. Even the bad ones will teach you at least one good thing. Read your work aloud. It's amazing how many errors pop out. Never query an agent or a publisher until you're absolutely certain your manuscript is clean and publish-ready. You can't undo the wrong move. And write what you care about, not what you think the masses want to read. Readers may not understand the creative process, but they know when something's missing.

Do you belong to a writers group? How does it help your writing career?

I'm currently down to two writer's groups. One is with well-established writers; the other is a mixed group of professionals and new writers. The art of exchanging critiques is the most valuable tool available to any writer. People pay big dollars to editors that do the same thing as these experienced critiquers can do. And learning how to give a solid, professional critique helps any writers fine-tune their skills. How better to learn what works or doesn't work than by witnessing it firsthand? I don't think I'd be the writer I am today without the support and help from knowledge of several online writers' groups. The secret is to participate. Give the kind of critique you'd like to receive.

How do you prepare for author events?

Over the past year, I've learned to do little in preparation. I have my bookmarks, my poster and a bowl of goodies in hand before I leave the house. I do deep breathing exercises and remind myself to stay in the moment. I appreciate every potential reader I meet by giving them my undivided attention. I make every effort to enjoy myself. And why not? People are interesting.


  1. thanks for the interview, Jo. And thanks for all you do for writers and authors. You've got a great blog and some fascinating interviews. I'm thrilled to be part of it.

  2. I, too, find the help of other writers and critique groups of the utmost importance in creating a very nice, final manuscript.

  3. Joylene, I'm so happy for your success. I love to read the "behind the scene" of authors lives, especially those I call "friend."

  4. I'd pay to be in a writers group with Joylene but the commute would be REALLY tough. Don't tell her I said any of this, but she's a terrific person, great talent, always encouraging & helpful, even w/ nitwits like me, & has a great blog. On the down side, she lives on a lake with a great view & that makes me jealous. I don't know if she's any good at hockey. Probably.

  5. Great advice, Jo! I especially liked what you do to prepare for author events. I'll keep that one in mind! I also liked the one about the critique groups where you said, " give the kind of critique that you would like to get." May I use that?
    Deb :-)

  6. Hi Katie. So true. Critiquing groups are invaluable.

    Thanks, Marta. Right back at you!

    Dave! I can't skate! But I can cheer very very loud. Thanks for the kind words, old man!

    Thanks, Deb. Of course, you can use that.

  7. Good interview, Jo and Joylene. It's always nice to get an inside look at another writer's revelations and advice. Thanks for this.

  8. You make me realize all the stuff I may hve to do one day... Yikes. And I think I'm busy now! Hah!

  9. Thanks for stopping by, Carol. Vicki, don't worry, you'll do great!

  10. Great interview! The stuff every writer has to learn, but people just starting don't tend to think of.

    I've joined three critique groups already. Unfortunately one doesn't work well for novels, but its worth the time to shop around. So far I've managed to save my money for book publicity time after publication.

  11. Great interview! The words "authentic" and "geunine" were created to describe Joylene. She as real as one can be.
    Thanks for the insights.
    Jo Ann Hernandez
    BronzeWord Latino Authors

  12. Hi Joylene:

    Sorry I'm a day late. I'm up to two writing groups again and always more dependent than I like to admit on what others bring to my writing.

    Chris H.

  13. Hi Jo Ann & Chris. Thanks for stopping by. And no Chris, you're never late.


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