Today I am extremely excited to present to you debut author, Joanna Davidson Politano. Joanna is an amazing writer with such a heart for God. Her writing transports you to another time and makes you forget the stresses of contemporary life. From the first time I read her work before it was ever contracted, she became my favorite author. Now that I have a physical copy of her book in my hands, I realize she is even better than I remembered!
And because I want to share her wonderful writing with you, one lucky entrant will win a copy of Lady Jane Disappears. Check out the details below.
Without further ado, allow me to introduce, Joanna.
Joanna is a work-from-home mom of one super cute little girl and one handsome little dude. She is married to her hero Vince, who is her love and polar opposite. She writes, he tears it up with the red pen. She breaks cars and other mechanical things, he puts them back together. He’s nailed the “speak the truth” thing, and she brings the “in love” part. But the real spark to her marriage is that he does not like chocolate and she… like it a normal amount. They love and live from their little house in the woods near Lake Michigan, which is undergoing a constant renovation.
WC: Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy, crazy life to answer these questions. I am so excited for your debut release date! Too bad we can’t have a debutante ball to celebrate.
You have a beautiful, wonderful, young family. How do you manage to get writing done while chasing around a one year old and a four year old?
JDP: Two words: Nap time! I put important things first (God time, children), and somehow all the needed writing time materializes because God can do things like that. I live by the principal that children are never a distraction from the important work—they are the important work. When I’m living (and “momming”) well, I write well. So I guess it’s really about these two words: TRUST GOD!
WC: When writing a story, what is the most important thing to you? The plot, the characters, the journey, or something else altogether?
JDP: I enjoy the characters, especially their dialogue, but the entire process of writing is invaluable to my entire life. It’s the way God gets my attention, teaches me the nuances of his truths, and keeps me very dependent on him. There’s no room for self-reliance when you’re a slow writer who’s also trying to be a mom—and you have deadlines to meet.
WC: Writing historical fiction is a research heavy genre. What made you choose the Victorian era?
JDP: I chose this era because some of my favorite writers lived and wrote in those years. It’s a time of industrial change and interesting political shifts… and beautiful gowns and flowery writing.
WC: Your voice is amazingly refreshing! Like taking a stroll through a Victorian garden. What author’s inspired your writing?
JDP: Thank you so much! I think my conversations with God is where my writing voice originated. As far as writers, I’d say Daphne Du Maurier for atmosphere, Charles Dickens for characters, Martha Grimes for witty lines, and Mary Higgins Clark for tension. I could never hope to rival them, but I sure enjoy reading and dissecting their work!
Lady Jane Disappears is your debut novel. How does it feel to have something you wrote in other people’s hands?
A little like a voluntary invasion of privacy! I never intended this novel to be published—it was my practice novel in which I meant to explore all the elements of a book I truly enjoyed so I could find my own niche. Somehow the freedom of writing for practice loosened the most authentic storytelling in me, and it worked better than when I tried hard. Go figure.
It’s hard to release private thoughts and personal artwork into the world and open it up for critique, but I love being authentic and open, too. Hopefully something I say strikes a chord with someone else, and I believe it might, only because God put me on this path, gave me things to write about, and then facilitated the publication of those words. Hopefully he has a reason for it besides the exercise of me baring my heart.
WC: What has God taught you along this journey?
JDP: I can’t do anything—anything—without him. He can give and he can take away. Writing, mothering, or even breathing is all done by his say-so and can be taken away just as quickly. I’ve truly learned to trust-fall into God every single day. I’ve learned about writing, deadlines, marketing… but mostly I’ve learned how to have an intimate hand-in-hand relationship with God.
WC: What inspired you to write Lady Jane Disappears?
JDP: You know, it’s a funny story. As a kid, I had this way of meting out justice—I wrote kids in my class into anonymous stories that ended up getting passed around the class. How fun, I thought, if an overlooked girl did the same thing in a Victorian household? What sort of wonderful chaos would that create in a straight-laced era full of covered-up sins and thin facades? So I wrote about a serial novelist who writes everyone around her into her novels and publishes them under a pen name. Oh, the trouble she caused!
WC: Give us a high and a low. What was the best/easiest thing about writing Lady Jane Disappears? The worst/hardest part?
JDP: Honestly, I loved all of it. Because it was a “practice” novel, I simply enjoyed putting it on paper and it flowed quite easily. I included every element I love in a novel, not pausing to care about what should or shouldn’t go into a book. It was also published pretty easily (after many MANY failed attempts with previous stories—don’t get me wrong, I was no overnight success). I think the best part was writing the ending—oh, how I love endings! The lowest… wondering what to write next that would be as much fun!
WC: Last question and it is just a fun one that my husband asks when he interviews people. Would you rather fight one horse-sized duck or 100 duck-sized horses? Any particular reason why?
JDP: One horse-sized duck! I could never explain to 100 horses of any size why I was trying to fight them, because you could never get that many to listen at once.
WC: Thank you so much for taking the time to participate in this interview and for writing such an amazing book. I absolutely cannot wait for others to read it.
What about you, my reader friends? Would you rather fight one horse-sized duck or 100 duck sized-horses? Why?
Comment below and then enter the drawing through the rafflecopter link below for a chance to win your own copy of Lady Jane Disappears. (After having trouble reaching the winner in my last interview, I think this might be the easiest way to contact a winner.) Then come back next week to find out the winner and read my review on her official release day, October 3rd! *Open to residents of the 48 Contiguous United States* comments close at 11:59 PM, Oct. 2nd.