I cannot wait for y’all to read Joanna Davidson Politano’s debut novel, Lady Jayne Disappears! It’s so good!!
Joanna Davidson Politano freelances for a small nonfiction publisher but spends much of her time spinning tales that capture the colorful, exquisite details in ordinary lives. Her debut novel, Lady Jayne Disappears, releases October 3 from Revell. She lives with her husband and their two babies in a house in the woods and shares stories that move her at www.jdpstories.com.
Joanna’s debut novel, Lady Jayne Disappears, is already getting rave reviews!
When Aurelie Harcourt’s father dies in debtor’s prison, he leaves her just two things: his wealthy family, whom she has never met, and his famous pen name, Nathaniel Droll. Her new family greets her with apathy and even resentment. Only the quiet houseguest, Silas Rotherham, welcomes her company.
When Aurelie decides to complete her father’s unfinished serial novel, writing the family into the story as unflattering characters, she must keep her identity as Nathaniel Droll hidden while searching for the truth about her mother’s disappearance–and perhaps even her father’s death.
Author Joanna Davidson Politano’s stunning debut set in Victorian England will delight readers with its highly original plot, lush setting, vibrant characters, and reluctant romance.
Hi Joanna! Welcome to the blog!
Joanna: It’s a true honor to be on RIMSP!
Carrie: The honor is mine. Trust me 🙂
I start all of my guests out with a fast four:
Joanna: Both! I love allllll the sweets. Even better if dipped in chocolate.
Carrie: Chocolate makes everything better!
Joanna: WINTER! Sledding, snowball fights, fireplace fires, cozy blankets, snuggles, and HOT CHOCOLATE!
Carrie: YAY!!! Hardly anyone loves winter along with me, but it’s so DELIGHTFUL. We are clearly kindred winter spirits 🙂
Joanna: I am an equal opportunity collector of strays. I have two of each, and I love them all dearly. I’ve always considered myself a dog person, but I have to say, my cats have been totally amazing with my babies. They welcomed two babies into their lives as senior pets and have allowed my toddler to carry them around like teddy bears, hug them too hard, and otherwise unsettle their quiet lives. Any cat who puts up with that while still purring is very dear to me.
Carrie: I totally support that kind of cat! (Don’t tell Zuzu)
Joanna: Why isn’t ice cream one of the options?? I suppose tea, with that lovely British/vintage flair. But it does need sugar. I may lose my writer card for this, but I really can’t stand coffee!
Carrie: Me. Either. But I’m not a writer so it’s ok 😉
Q: Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?
Joanna: My superpower? Ok, don’t laugh. It’s SILENCE. I’m very quiet, which some people see as a fault, but it does two very powerful things for me. One, it heightens my awareness of other people’s hearts. I notice the left-out people, the overlooked and undervalued, and often I see beyond what people say because I’m actively listening to them. Second, it allows me to be super nosy. I gravitate toward peoples’ stories, unique characters, and interesting quirks. It’s amazing what people will share with you if you are interested in them, and it’s also amazing what the simple act of opening up about their story can do to them. Watch their chin lift, their eyes sparkle with life, and their story suddenly take on new value because someone wants to hear it. God created me with this “superpower” for my benefit as a writer, but also as a way for Him to use me where needed, so he can see and hear and love people through me.
Carrie: Oh Joanna, I love this answer so very much. It may be my favorite response for this question. What a great gift God has given you in silence ♥
Q: Who is your favorite book character from childhood?
Joanna: Peter Pan! I could totally get on board with the idea of never growing up, because there’s little about adulthood that outweighs the richness of childhood. I loved daydreaming and climbing trees and running barefoot as a kid. I never wanted to grow up and be responsible, but eventually I did. Then I slipped into the role of “mom” for the first time at age 32 and left my job to become a kid again. I now get to be really goofy, do lots of pretending, and have “adventures” all the time. 🙂
Carrie: It’s official. You have the best answers!!
Q: Writing spaces are as diverse as authors and books. Where is your favorite space to write?
Joanna: My back porch! After growing up in the suburbs and the city, I am so excited to now be living in the woods. My wonderful husband built a big deck behind the house so I can sit out in the woods and be completely immersed in everything God created. Here’s a picture of my chair, currently occupied by my little girl, but writing only happens out here when she (and her brother) are napping.
Carrie: What a delightful place to read or work or just meditate on God’s grace ♥
Q: Your debut novel Lady Jayne Disappears is being called ‘haunting and romantic’ (Kristy Cambron), ‘wonderfully unique’ (Laura Frantz) and ‘heartfelt and elegantly penned’ (RT Book Reviews). Congratulations!! Is there any of you inside the heroine, Aurelie Harcourt, or did she materialize mainly out of your imagination?
Joanna: Why thank you! It’s hard to believe all those beautiful words were said about my writing, but I’m sure thankful for them! Aurelie is very much like me—she has a writer’s heart and she feels more comfortable serving than being served. She lets her books say what she’s too quiet to say. Her draw towards overlooked people, her desire to help, and her love of beautiful words are all pages torn out of my own life story. The most similar aspect of her nature, however, is the daughter-heart that looks up to her father as larger than life, enjoying his stories and time spent with him.
Carrie: ‘the daughter-heart’ , oh how I love Aurelie!
Q: The story within the story, both with the same title, is such a creative idea! What inspired you to include this element? And … will we ever get to read the entirety of the serial novel? (Because I totally want to lol)
Joanna: Actually I can’t take credit for the idea. When one of my first readers first read the manuscript, he said, I got to wondering what was so great about this girl’s serial novel. They’re famous novels, and I want a peek inside them to see what all the hype is about! I went back through and wrote little snippets—one of which makes me laugh very hard as she writes a very rotten villain from her past into the story and exacts revenge on his character.
Carrie: Like I said, I love Aurelie – and that snippet you’re referring to is one of the reasons I do 😀
Q: What do you most want readers to take away from Lady Jayne Disappears?
Joanna: I want readers to take an eternal perspective on their lives and work. We may be a little counter-cultural, we may even feel like we don’t fit into this world, and that’s all right. The truth is, we’re not here to impress anyone, but to dive wholeheartedly into whatever God’s given us to do with all the enthusiasm of one who is greatly loved by Him. In the novel, the hero asks the heroine if she would care what people thought of her swimming abilities and the way she looked to those on shore if she were going to rescue a drowning boy. She is a natural rescuer of people, but she’s become too focused on what those people on the shore think of the way she looks while swimming. The kind hero gently refocuses her heart onto her work and purpose. I hope readers will renew their enthusiasm to pursue whatever work they’ve been given without regard for the onlookers of this world.
Carrie: All my yeses! Amen!
Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.
Joanna: Next up is another Victorian era novel from Revell (releasing summer of 2018) called A Rumored Fortune. It features a well-to-do heroine whose father has hidden his vast fortune somewhere on his vineyard estate—and then died suddenly without telling anyone where he put it. She and her mother are suddenly the poorest wealthy family in all of England. The heroine works together with their blunt and rugged vineyard manager to locate her father’s money while debts pile up, unpaid workers strike, and family members show up to “grieve” with the family in the house that contains the missing fortune. The love story in this book is loosely based on my own with my husband, to whom I refused a second date. Readers will also get a little inside view of cultivating vineyards and the spiritual implications of this work.
Carrie: EEEEEE!!! Is it summer 2018 yet??? Can’t wait to read this one!
Joanna is graciously offering a copy of Lady Jayne Disappears to one of my readers! (US/CAN only) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What aspect of Aurelie’s personality do you most connect with?