An Interview with the author of 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.

The suspect, 60-year-old Sally Warner, still grieves for the loss of her two sons, dead in a suicide/murder eighteen months earlier. Confused and damaged, she sees in Corporal Killian a friend sympathetic to her grief and suffering and wants more than anything to trust him.

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…



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 Witnesswithin 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 steam-punk 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 Cries is 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.

For more on Joylene and her writing, visit her website and blog then connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and her Amazon Author Page.


Interview with the Talented Author of Mâtowak – Woman Who Cries

Me: The title of the book, Mâtowak – Woman Who Cries, is quite intriguing, to say the least. I am expecting there must be an interesting story behind this title. Care to share how did you come with this title for the book?

Joylene: I looked long and hard, then a friend lent me her Cree Dictionary, and the first thing I saw when I opened the book was Omatiwak: One Who Weeps. After I found my publisher, I checked with a Cree Linguistic Professor to see if I had the spelling correct. I didn’t. He explained why and showed me the correct spelling. I love the name Mâtowak: Woman Who Cries. I think because it so eloquently depicts a mother’s anguish.

Me: Every time I read a murder mystery, I wonder where did the author get this much insight into how law and order works. This time, thanks to this amazing tour, I have the chance to ask the author herself. Joylene, would you mind throwing some light into this topic?

Joylene: When I began the prequel back in 1999, I did months and months of research. I interviewed two members of the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police), besides a local Prince George Crown Counsel; he would be equivalent to a district attorney in the States. Because so many years had expired by the time Mâtowak was ready for publication, I sat down with my neighbor, a corporal in the RCMP, and grilled her. She was great and even answered questions I didn’t think to ask.

Me: Did any real life case help you in getting started with this murder mystery? I mean, if there was any ongoing police case that inspired you to come up with the plot of the book?

Joylene: The Highway of Tears mentioned in the story is an ongoing investigation that spans from 1969 until 2011. I travel Highway 16 several times a month to reach the city and can’t help but think of those who were murdered or have gone missing off this highway. For many years not much was done about these cases, until finally, the government launched E-PANA, a special task force in 2005.

Me: The concept of a dysfunctional family is not a new subject but the way you have described it in the book has a personal touch to it. Have you ever known any such families?

Joylene: Not to this degree, but I have known dysfunctional families in my role as an emergency response member. The Warner family is completely fictional and has no ties to any of our Minister of Defense families. For whatever reason, I seem to get very attached to my characters, as if they are real people. That’s probably due to how long it takes me to write their stories. Years.

Me: There are many Mrs. Warner out there who continue to stick to their abusive husband for a number of reasons. If given a chance, what advice would you give them?

Joylene: I don’t know that she would listen. But I’d offer to take her and her children to a secure location until she was able to decide what to do next. I’d remind her that there are several facilities in our area willing and capable of giving her the aid she needs. I’d also remind her she is worthy of being happy and has every right to be. No one can take that away from her.

Me: I found the dialogues of Mâtowak – Woman Who Cries particularly amusing and, sometimes, thought-provoking. My favorite one is,

“Every time you feel your mind going back to something painful, you just pinch yourself and come back to the moment. Always the moment. In the moment nothing is ever wrong…”

Do you really believe in it? If yes, then in this fast paced life, how do you continue to live in the moment? Any special suggestion for the welfare of the readers?

Joylene: As a T’chi instructor, I believe in gratitude, appreciation and being grounded. I sit every morning for 15 – 18 minutes in meditation. Every day I count my blessings, rivaling in the wonder around me. That’s not to say that bad things haven’t happened; they have. But when they do, I choose to focus on the belief that everything always works out for me. In my life, my glass is half full.

Me: The character of Professor Brendell Meshango is very engaging. Everything, from her personality to her dialogues, is very well crafted. Is she a figment of your imagination or a replica of a real life lady?

Joylene: I copied Brendell after Cree activist, actor, producer, and formal member of the Canadian House of Common, Tina Keeper, from her days as Michelle Kenidi, an RCMP officer in the TV series North of 60. Adam Beach was part of the show from 1993 – 1995. Tina’s character was uptight, rigid, and so afraid of losing control. The Brendell in Broken But Not Dead was similar but also full of rage. In Mâtowak, Brendell’s healed, which is another reason why she wants to help Sally so badly.

Me: Now, taking a break from the book! Is there any ritual that you follow while trying to write a book — perhaps, a routine or a pledge of writing minimum 3 pages, every day?

Joylene: I used to be disciplined. Until we put our house on the market. Everything changed. We live on a lake. There is only a small percentage of buyers who can adopt this lifestyle, which doesn’t stop them from viewing our home almost daily. It just makes them more cautious and hesitant to put in an offer. To write I need to be uninterrupted, which is why, although I’m a slow writer, I write every single day once we reach Bucerias, Nayarit for the winter.  I write a chapter or more a week, in between editing what I’ve already written. I also read good novels to improve my own writing. And I’m a member of the La Cruz Writer’s Group. Hanging out with other writers is always inspiring.

Me: Are you working on your next assignment? Would you like to share some tidbits about it for the readers of Mojito With a Twist blog?

Joylene: I’m working on a suspense thriller tentatively titled Shattered, about Jason Sinclair, a man hunting for his wife’s killer. He hires Michael Canaday from my first novel Dead Witness, and their investigation takes them to London, England. I feel like I’m really challenging myself with this story, though I’m currently stuck on the ending.

Me: Who is Joylene when she is not a writer?

Joylene: Wife, mother, grandmother, and friend, I live a simple life. I am grateful to be a published author. I also love a challenge and hope to improve as a writer with each new novel. I think life is wonderful, and I can’t wait for what’s coming next.

Me: Thanks a lot for taking the time to answer these questions. I wish you a great success with Mâtowak – Woman Who Cries

Joylene: Ankita. I appreciate you taking the time to interview me and to showcase Mâtowak: Woman Who Cries. Thank you so much.




Here is the schedule for Joylene’s upcoming tour:

Oct 17 – Mojito With a Twist – Review & Interview

                A Creative Mind – Excerpt

                La Vita On The Sea – Review, Excerpt, Feature

                What Is That Book About – Excerpt

Oct. 18 – Rockin Book Reviews – Review

                 Mello and June, It’s a Book Thang! – Feature

Oct. 19 – Medeia Sharif – Social Media Post

                 The Owlery – Interview

                Just Reviews – Review

Oct. 20 – Patricia Stoltey, Author – Guest Post

                  Quesarasera Book Blog – Review

                 Just Us Books – Excerpt

Oct. 21 – The Silver Dagger Scriptorium – Review, Excerpt

Hearts & Scribbles – Excerpt

 Julie Flanders – Excerpt

Oct. 24 – Thoughts in Progress – Review

Oct. 25 – Hank Quense’s Blog – Excerpt

                 Sandra’s Blog – Excerpt

Oct. 26 – Books and Spoons – Review, Excerpt

                 JoJo The Bookaholic – Feature

Oct. 27 – Mel’s Shelves – Excerpt

Oct. 28 – Careann’s Musings – Excerpt

Oct. 31 – All the Doodles ‘n Scribbles – Interview

Nov. 1 – Ali – The Dragon Slayer – Excerpt

                Writer’s Gambit – Interview

Nov. 2 – A Bluestocking’s Place – Excerpt

Nov. 3 – Deal Sharing Aunt – Review

Nov. 4 – Writing in Wonderland – Feature, Excerpt

Nov, 7 – – Feature, Excerpt

                Storybook Reviews – Excerpt

               Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams – Review

Nov. 8 – A Holland Reads – Feature

Nov. 9 – Author Annette Drake – Interview

               The Five Year Project – Interview

              Crystal Collier, Author – Feature

Nov. 10 – Bookworm 1102 – Excerpt

Nov. 11 – The Book’s The Thing – Guest Post

Nov. 14 – Christine Rains – Writer– Excerpt

                  Bish Denham – Excerpt

Nov. 15 – Rosie Amber – Review

Nov. 16 – Bookjunkie’s Book Blog – Excerpt

Nov. 17 – The Girl With Book Lungs – Excerpt

Nov. 18 – Celtic Lady’s Reviews – Review

Nov. 19 – Brooke Blogs – Review, Excerpt

Early ReviewsStuart Aken

You can check out the giveaway HERE. It will begin Oct. 17 and end Nov. 22.


5 Comments Add yours

  1. Mason Canyon says:

    Ankita, great interview. I always enjoy learning about ‘behind the scenes’ type information from authors.

    Thoughts in Progress
    and MC Book Tours

  2. Thank you so much for the interview, Ankita. You asked some awesome questions. Made me think hard. Which is never a bad thing. Blessings.

  3. spunkonastick says:

    Shame so many tour your house just to look. Tell them you’re busy writing.

    After publishing a book about domestic violence, I know it’s difficult for the battered to leave, but there are resources available.

  4. The story sounds good!
    Wow, I’m impressed by the amount of research, Joylene!

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