AUTHOR INTERVIEW 121 – Julene Butler


Julene Butler

Canada

Age 46

Anxiety is becoming more prevalent among younger children, even those as young as five years old. Studies show that one in eight children today have some type of anxiety disorder, exhibiting a wide variety of symptoms. Unfortunately, it is more challenging to identify anxiety in younger children because they cannot yet recognize and clearly articulate the symptoms they are experiencing. Knots in My Laces, Knots in My Tummy is a children’s picture book that creatively and sensitively presents the symptoms of anxiety in children. This easy-to-read book allows the parent and child to identify these symptoms together and helps them to begin to effectively talk about the child’s feelings and experiences. In addition, Knots in My Laces, Knots in My Tummy provides parents with helpful information on commonly asked questions and details about what they can do if they think their child is displaying signs of anxiety.

Romelia:   WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START WRITING?

Julene Butler:   I was inspired to start writing because I wanted to provide a resource for children to learn more about the symptoms of anxiety in children. Also, to create more opportunities for conversation.

Romelia:   CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR WRITING SPACE?

Julene Butler:   My writing space is in my bedroom where I can relax and escape noise and distraction. This space includes a side table with a lamp.

Romelia:   HOW DO YOU HANDLE LITERARY CRITICISM?

Julene Butler:   After the publication of my book, there were some revisions that had to be made. This was quite difficult for me given that the book had already been uploaded and sold to a few individuals. Afterwards, I had to put a hold on my account and make the necessary changes and re-upload. In addition, I honestly felt a little embarrassed especially because copies of the old version were sold. Nonetheless, I am open to criticism because it’s all about learning.

Romelia:   WHAT IS THE MOST SURPRISING THING YOU DISCOVERED WHILE WRITING YOUR BOOK(S)?

Julene Butler:   I have discovered that your main supporters are rarely the people who are close to you, but often strangers.

Romelia:   DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE CHARACTER THAT YOU HAVE WRITTEN? IF SO, WHO? AND WHAT MAKES THEM SO SPECIAL?

Julene Butler:   My favorite character in my book is the little boy. I love this character because he goes through various scenarios in the book and really demonstrates what other children may be experiencing.

Romelia:   HOW MANY BOOKS HAVE YOU WRITTEN? WHICH IS YOUR FAVORITE? This is my first publication 7. IS IT EASIER TO WRITE A BOOK FOR CHILDREN OR AN ADULT BOOK?

Julene Butler:   I have never written an adult book so I can’t speak to whether it’s difficult or not. However, I feel that both may have its challenges. I think that the misconception may be that children’s books are easier. But writing a children’s book involves a lot of things to consider.

Romelia:   DOES ONE OF THE MAIN CHARACTERS HOLD A SPECIAL PLACE IN YOUR HEART? IF SO, WHY?

Julene Butler:   The main character holds a special place in my heart because the primary focus is on him.

Romelia:   WHAT IS THE KEY THEME AND/OR MESSAGE IN THE BOOK?

Julene Butler:   The key theme of my book is the symptoms of anxiety in children.

Romelia:   WHAT DO YOU HOPE YOUR READERS TAKE AWAY FROM THIS BOOK?

Julene Butler:   I hope my readers will take away more knowledge and information about the topic.

Romelia:   TELL US ABOUT THE PROCESS FOR COMING UP WITH THE COVER.

Julene Butler:   The process of coming up with the book cover was not a difficult one. I wanted the book to be colorful and inviting.

Romelia:   WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT WRITING STORIES FOR CHILDREN?

Julene Butler:   I love the option of writing creatively, using humor, and exaggeration to get messages across.

Romelia:   WHY DO YOU THINK IT IS IMPORTANT FOR CHILDREN TO DEVELOP A LOVE OF READING?

Julene Butler:   Because reading develops your vocabulary

Romelia:   DO YOU HAVE ANY ’’TOP TIPS’’ FOR PARENTS AND CARERS WHO WANT TO HELP CHILDREN DEVELOP A LOVE OF READING?

Julene Butler:   Continue to encourage children to read anything. Also, if possible read to their children and ask them to retell the story or passage written.

Romelia:   WHAT ARE YOUR HOPES AND DREAMS FOR THE FUTURE?

Julene Butler:   I hope to publish my other books and expand my business overseas.

Romelia:   WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE CHILDREN’S AUTHOR AND WHY?

Julene Butler:   Robert Munch is my favorite children’s book author. I love his illustrations and the content of his stories.

Romelia:   WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR CHILDREN WHO DREAM OF BECOMING AN AUTHOR OR ILLUSTRATOR?

Julene Butler:   The sky’s the limit! Don’t be intimidated by the work that may be involved.

Romelia:   IF YOU COULD SPEND A DAY WITH ONE OF THE PRENDERPALS WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY?

Julene Butler:   I would definitely love to spend the day with Clara the Chinchilla because she seems to have similar interest as me and has a loving personality.

Romelia:   TELL US ABOUT YOUR FIRST PUBLISHED BOOK. WHAT WAS THE JOURNEY LIKE?

Julene Butler:   The journey was initially very rough because I didn’t have some of the knowledge that I have now. I connected with an awesome marketer that taught me a few things and helped me gain the confidence to step out and allow people to know who I am.

Romelia:   CAN YOU SHARE WITH US SOMETHING ABOUT THE BOOK THAT ISN’T IN THE BLURB?

Julene Butler:   Some of the experiences of the character in the book, are symptoms are based on personal experiences.

Romelia:   DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT BOOK HERO OR HEROINE.

Julene Butler:   Spider man is my favorite book hero because he is always attempting to save and rescue others.

Romelia:   DO YOU BELIEVE THE NEW GENERATION OF CHILDREN WILL LOVE TO READ OR SPEND MORE TIME ON THEIR PHONE?

Julene Butler:   I feel that this generation is completely in love with their devices. Unfortunately, the desire to read an actual book doesn’t seem intriguing.

Romelia:   WHAT BOOKS OR AUTHORS HAVE MOST INFLUENCED YOUR OWN WRITING?

Julene Butler:   Robert Munsch, and Dr Seuss.

Romelia:   IF YOU COULD ASK ONE SUCCESSFUL AUTHOR THREE QUESTIONS ABOUT THEIR WRITING, WRITING PROCESS, OR BOOKS, WHAT WOULD THEY BE?

Julene Butler:   1) What inspired you to keep writing ?

2) What form of marketing did you find most successful with in promoting your book?

3) Did you use social media to promote your books?

Romelia:   WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO WHEN YOU ARE NOT WRITING?

Julene Butler:   I love interior decorating, cooking, and spending me time.

Romelia:   WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GREW UP?

Julene Butler:   I wanted to be a lawyer when I was younger. Then as I went through high school, I realized that I enjoyed helping children.

Romelia:   SHARE SOMETHING YOUR READERS WOULDN’T KNOW ABOUT YOU.

Julene Butler:   I am an educator. I work with high school students in one of the largest school boards in Ontario.

Romelia:   PLEASE DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN A FEW WORDS AND TELL US WHAT YOU HATE MOST ABOUT THE WORLD.

Julene Butler:   I am a wife and a mother of three beautiful children. I am a fun, loving, and kind person who enjoys helping others. I am passionate about working with children and youth who are labeled as high risk or vulnerable.

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