Author Interview (and a Giveaway!): Joanna Davidson Politano & Lady Jayne Disappears

September 18, 2017 Author Interview, Christian, giveaway, historical, Joanna Davidson Politano, mystery/suspense, romance 90

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.

You can also connect with Joanna on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.

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.

 

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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:

apples or oranges

Joanna: Both! I love allllll the sweets. Even better if dipped in chocolate.

Carrie: Chocolate makes everything better!

winter or summer

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 🙂

dogs or cats

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)

coffee or tea

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.

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What about you? What aspect of Aurelie’s personality do you most connect with?

Carrie

90 Responses to “Author Interview (and a Giveaway!): Joanna Davidson Politano & Lady Jayne Disappears”

    • Joanna Politano

      Thank you, Janet! Congrats on your newest, too! I’ve heard wonderful things about Magnolia storms, and it’s so aptly timed.

  1. Jeanne C

    Thank you for introducing us to the new author, I love the description of her debut novel and the one in the works! They sound great. Thank you for the fun interview and for the chance to win!

  2. Jeanne C

    * I like the attribute of serving rather than being served (sorry I forgot to add this to my original comment

  3. Kim

    Adding to my TBR – again! This books sounds great! Thanks Carrie!!

  4. DeAnna Dodson

    I think this may be my favorite author interview of all the great ones I’ve read here. I especially loved the answer to the “superpower” question. Lovely.

    Must read this book! 😀

    • Joanna Politano

      Oh, thank you so much! What a sweet comment. Glad you approve of my super power 😀

  5. Lori Smanski

    congratulations. I can identify with the quiet introvert humble person she is

    • Joanna Politano

      Bookish people are often kindred spirits in that way 🙂

  6. danielle hammelef

    I love the “takeaway” message of this book. I am slowly learning myself that God is driving this life, not me and I need to listen more and only care about doing what pleases God and not people.

  7. Kay Garrett

    I, too, can’t stand coffee. I don’t even like the smell of it but smell I do every morning when hubby fixes his. Oh the little things we do for those we love. 🙂

    I loved the answer to the question – What do you most want readers to take away from Lady Jayne Disappears?

    • Joanna Politano

      YES! I’m not alone in my feelings toward coffee 😀 Kindred spirit right here. I’m so glad you like the theme. It was fun to write 🙂

  8. Winnie Thomas

    Wonderful interview, Carrie and Joanna! I’m so excited to read this book. Aurelie sounds like an amazing heroine.

  9. Brenda Murphree

    I love the part about the silence, because I think we could all learn a little more by observing and listening.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  10. English Lady

    Congrats on the debut. Your next novel sounds good too. I like the description ‘poorest wealthy family’. People don’t always realize how strapped for cash some of the old gentry and high society families actually were.

    • Joanna Politano

      I loved this concept and actually have a mansion symbolizing this in book three… beautiful meticulously kept gardens outside, a ruinous disaster inside. And thank you for your kind words!

  11. Debbie Clatterbuck

    The aspect of Aurelie’s character I most identify with is the “daughter-heart that looks up to her father as larger than life.” All my life I looked up to my dad, even though he was not in my life during most of my childhood, as a superhero. I got him back in my life when I graduated high school, but only had him for 10 years before he passed of Cancer. I miss him so, but I have a step-dad I love just as much. Thanks for the great interview and I look forward to reading this book by a new-to-everyone author.

    • Joanna Politano

      Oh!!! What a beautiful, bittersweet story. I love it so much, but hate that you had to go through the painful parts.

  12. Stephanie

    I can’t wait to read this book. It looks so great. I think I identify with her introverted silence.

    Thank you,
    Stephanie

  13. Sylvia M.

    I love that your heroine is quiet. She is the face of many readers. We can identify with someone like her.

    • Joanna Politano

      Quiet people have a lot of hidden spark to them, though! 😀 Yes, so many bookish people are introvert-kindred-spirits.

  14. Sabrina Templin

    That she is more comfortable serving than being served and being more quiet too is also like me.

  15. Brittaney B

    I too have the heart of a writer and a love of beautiful words. I am very much looking forward to meeting Aurelie!

  16. Paula S.

    I like to be quiet. Without noise blaring all the time. I also like to plot not come uppance but surprises. Hubby’s birthday is on Wednesday and I’m giving him some Blurays that I won. I had to sneakily suggest that we get a Blu Ray player! I have a secret prayer partner that I like to gift some of my books to. I win a lot of books! This sounds so good and unusual! I would love to see how this works out! Thanks

    • Joanna Politano

      Yep, hubby is the recipient of many of my surprises 🙂 When my kids are old enough, they will be too! I can’t believe you convinced him to buy a Bluray player, though. That’s talent!

  17. Linda Romer

    I’m not sure, but I would love to read Lady Jane Disappears. Thank you

  18. MH

    I totally understand being more comfortable serving than being served. What a great book this sounds like!

  19. Connie Scruggs

    I think I will like reading about her creating characters based on her relatives. It sounds sneaky and fun!

  20. Evangeline

    I identify with her love for her father and the desire to complete his novel. I was definitely a “daddy’s girl” as I grew up and looked up to him all my life. He died over 20 years ago and I still miss him. I am intrigued by this new author and would love to win a copy of this book. Blessings on youbas you continue to write, Joanna.

    • Joanna Politano

      So sorry you lost your daddy! That’s something a daddy’s girl never completely gets over, but I’m so glad you had that sort of dad.

  21. Pam K.

    I can relate to the love of beautiful words. This sounds like a fascinating book that I’m very much wanting to read.

  22. Kristi Ann Hunter

    I can’t wait for this book!!! I think I relate to the fact that writing seems to be her therapy.

  23. Debra

    Your book sounds enthralling! I also love being in the woods. We had the best and biggest tree outside our window during college and I probably spent hours just taking in its beauty.

  24. Vivian Furbay

    This sounds like an interesting and intriguing book what with the secrets being hidden. Would like to read it and win a copy.

  25. Jeanne B.

    Thanks for introducing us to another intriguing book. I especially like the “serving rather than being served” aspect of her character.

  26. Brenda W

    This sounds like a good mystery! I relate to Aurelie as I was quiet when I was young and I like being incognito.

  27. Linda

    What a great interview! I connect with her serving over being served preferences. I am a quiet person but am always listening, and then I can ask people about their story. This sounds like a great read!

    • Joanna Politano

      We’d probably get along well 🙂 I bet you hear many interesting things!

  28. Patty

    This and her upcoming book both sound very intriguing!

    Love the part at being more comfortable serving rather than being served. I think I am like that, but my husband is like that to the extreme.

    • Joanna Politano

      Haha, mine too 🙂 He’s quite good at serving, though. Thank you for your kind words!

  29. Veronica

    The book sounds wonderful! Like Aurelie, I enjoy helping people.

  30. Andrea

    I loved this: “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.” ❤️ Beautiful! I have felt that many times. I am looking forward to reading this book too!

  31. Amy

    I’m a server by nature and feel like a slacker if someone’s serving me. Anxious to read this book whether I win or not, but fingers crossed I do.

  32. Dianne Casey

    I like Aurelie’s determination to finish her father’s family and to uncover family secrets.

  33. Laura W.

    I like that she is brave. I mean truly, would I be brave enough to be surrounded by people I didn’t know or even trust while trying to secretly finish my father’s book? Nope! Sounds like a great book and I can’t wait to read it!

  34. Penny Mooney

    It was nice to meet Joanna and her about her new book. I am jealous of her house by the woods. I have her book on my TBR list. It sounds awesome.

  35. Penny Mooney

    I think I identify with her being introverted. I have always been. She also hasn’t given up and I never do. I believe this is going to be a great read and I think I have found another author to follow.

  36. emilee

    This sounds really good! I hope to get a chance to read it. Good interview!

  37. Rachael

    I’d agree with Aurelie that it is definitely easier to serve than be served; being served seems like it implies either a)the vulnerability of genuine need, or b)laziness/selfishness–neither is a position that one generally wants to be in. Yet it is a blessing to be served as well as serve.