Matowak Woman Who Cries by Joylene Nowell Butler
I’d like to welcome Joylene Nowell Butler to Writer’s Gambit. I’m part of her book tour and as such I get to interview her about her new book, Matowak Woman Who Cries releasing November 1st.
INTERVIEW WITH JOYLENE NOWELL BUTLER
1) If you were pitching this book idea to a publisher what would that pitch be? Include your logline. (You can also include a brief premise to help sell the reader so they comprehend the overall story if you feel it is needed.)
Mâtowak: Woman Who Cries, a murder enveloped in pain and mystery…
When Canada’s retired Minister of National Defense, Leland Warner, is murdered in his home, the case is handed to Corporal Danny Killian, an Aboriginal man tortured by his wife’s unsolved murder, who wants justice for Aboriginals, not rich white politicians.
As the story progresses, Danny finds himself with a difficult choice—indict his prime suspect, the dead minister’s horribly abused wife or find a way to protect her and risk demotion. Or worse, transfer away from the scene of his wife’s murder and the guilt that haunts him…
2) What was your favorite part about writing this story? Include any ritual or a special place you write when you begin your day in the answer.
I wrote Mâtowak on an old laptop that was constantly freezing. Every day it booted up was a miracle. When it ran properly, I reveled in spending time with these fascinating characters. I never knew what they would do next. Without warning one of them would say or do something shocking, and my fingers would race to catch up. One of my characters spends most of the story trying desperately to hang on to her sanity. Being in her presence was quite a ride. I was constantly faced with honouring her existence by not making her plight seem ridiculous.
I worked on Mâtowak for several years. During the final year I spent six months working on it at a desk overlooking Cluculz Lake. The other six months were spent polishing it while overlooking the Bay of Banderas in Bucerias, Nayarit. I feel very privileged to have been able to do that.
3) Tell us about your main character in Mâtowak: Woman Who Cries, Corporal Danny Killian.
While he grieves the lost of his wife of seven years, Danny throws himself into his job, apprehends a serial killer, is promoted, and transfers to Prince George, BC. He chooses Prince George because he believes he’ll now be working the cases on The Highway of Tears, the highway where over eighteen women are presumed missing or dead. Within three months, he’s transferred from district to municipal policing where he’s assigned the biggest case of his career, the murder of Canada’s retired-Minister of Defense. If Danny doesn’t find the killer he risks being demoted and transferred hundreds of kilometers away. And, his prime suspect is the mentally abused widow of the deceased. Danny finds himself hoping to prove her innocence before he proves her guilt.
4) How much research did you do and what type? Include most interesting or most unusual.
Lucky for me my neighbour was a RCMP corporal at the time and was a huge source of information. Mâtowak didn’t require as much historical and factual research as some of my other manuscripts. But that didn’t make the writing any easier. The emotional depth my characters reach was often exhausting. The research I did do gave me a renewed respect for law enforcement.
5) What was the most significant thing you learned writing this story? Your take away in your own personal growth as a writer or person.
There is a lot of prejudice in Canada. The only difference between us and other countries is our history isn’t as well known outside of the country. Film, television, and novels are changing that. I learned through these characters that we must become more tolerant of all peoples, while becoming less tolerant of abusers and criminals.
When Joylene’s father died in 1983, she wrote her first full–length manuscript to channel her grief. The seven-year process left her hooked and she began Dead Witness within a few weeks of finishing Always Father’s Child. Today Joylene is the author of three suspense novels: Dead Witness, Broken But Not Dead, and the steampunk collaboration Break Time.While she’ll admit being published didn’t fix all the wrongs in her life, she wishes her parents had lived to see her success.Dead Witness was a finalist in the 2012 Global eBook Awards. Broken But Not Dead won the 2012 IPPY Silver Medal and its sequel Mâtowak Woman Who Criesis due for release November 1, 2016.
Joylene lives with her husband and their two cats Marbles and Shasta on beautiful Cluculz Lake in central British Columbia. They spend their winters in Bucerias, Nayarit, Mexico.