I am delighted to have Joanna Davidson Politano on the blog today to share some thing she learned while writing A Midnight Dance!
A MIDNIGHT DANCE
GENRE: Inspirational Historical Romance/Mystery
RELEASE DATE: September 7, 2021
All theater romances are tragedies. Ella Blythe knows this. Still, she cannot help but hope her own story may turn out different than most–and certainly different than the tragic story of the Ghost of Craven Street Theater. Yet as she struggles to maintain her tenuous place in the ever-shrinking ballet company, win the attentions of principal dancer Philippe, and avoid company flirt Jack, Ella cannot deny the uncanny feeling that her life is mirroring that of the dead ballerina.
Is she dancing ever closer to the edge of her own tragic end? Or will the secrets that are about to come to light offer release from the past?
Mystery and romance make the perfect dance partners in this evocative story from fan-favorite Joanna Davidson Politano.
by Joanna Davidson Politano, author of A Midnight Dance
I knew I’d have a lot to learn with this book, since ballet isn’t my area of expertise. I spent ten months saturating myself in biographies, theater history, and technical books on dance. What struck me was the strength required for ballet, and the vibrancy and color of dance. All that energy and beauty went into the book and I loved writing it.
But then, my enthusiasm began to fade. I went through a series of losses in my personal life, and the beauty of ballet grayed for me. I couldn’t help but look at this project through the lens of big-picture life and death gravity and feel it was pointless. Silly, even. Why was I pouring so much of myself into fiction? A fleeting piece of entertainment? With all the burdens and hurts in the world, what good was making up stories?
That attitude leaked into my heroine as she poured herself into keeping up with the other dancers. She encountered Seven Dials, a terrible slum. She watched her mother die. Her sister’s life was a mess. Yet I spend all my energy, she thought, all of my days, and torture my body for some silly performance. How did dancing ever solve anyone’s problems?
When I reached the end, the story took an unexpected turn that redirected my (and the heroine’s) vision. It started with God showing himself to be a father rather than a master—and there’s a huge difference in those roles. A master values what his servant does. A father is simply excited about connecting with his child, and sometimes that is the “point” of the work more than anything.
As my heroine refocused her dance as an encounter with God, an act of worship for and with him, my heart began to remember what it meant to write with God—an ongoing conversation, a connection and untangling of big questions. I’d lost sight of that as I struggled to keep up with deadlines amidst the losses, and it was time for a shift.
I began to fully grasp this father-daughter dynamic as I took my own little ballet-obsessed daughter to live performances as research. I think we attended seven or eight, and I delighted in her company more than I can describe. After a particularly stunning performance by a Christian dance company in Chicago, we had an hour and a half long conversation on the car ride home that I will never forget. She asked question after question, and her little heart was so ready—she grasped onto the Gospel and asked me how to go about following Jesus with her life. We prayed. I cried. I took notes for my book of course, but the beauty of that late-night car ride is indescribable because of that time spent with my girl.
With that on my heart, I sank into the creative process, and into connection with my Father. I saw writing for what it was—and what it was not. It was never about the audience, the finished product, or checking off boxes. As I walked my heroine Ella through her journey, writing and creating became a balm to my spirit again as ballet was to her, an inroad for God’s presence, and a source of pure enjoyment from a father who deeply loves his child. And let me tell you, it changed everything.
Joanna Davidson Politano is the award-winning author of Lady Jayne Disappears, A Rumored Fortune, Finding Lady Enderly, and The Love Note. She loves tales that capture the colorful, exquisite details in ordinary lives and is eager to hear anyone’s story. She lives with her husband and their children in a house in the woods near Lake Michigan. You can find her at www.jdpstories.com.
Revell is offering a print copy of A Midnight Dance by Joanna Davidson Politano to THREE of my readers! (US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) 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 makes you want to read A Midnight Dance by Joanna Davidson Politano?