Joanna Davidson Politano: The Writer & her Book (with giveaway)


Delighted to be chatting with debut author, Joanna Davidson Politano, today! Joanna shares about Janette Oke, Laura Frantz, and her difficulties with titles. Be sure to enter the giveaway below for your chance to win a copy of Lady Jayne Disappears.

The Writer

Please describe yourself in three words (ask your best friend or family if you are struggling!)

Happy, eager listener, redeemed

What’s your favourite season, and why?

All of them—I simply love that we have varied seasons! Each one is an opportunity for new types of “adventures” with the kiddos so we never grow bored of the same ones. Sledding, berry picking, beach hopping, rainy library days, tree climbing… there is a season for each, and I love them all dearly.

What is the best part of your day?

Honestly, I love my entire day. My time is mainly divided between being “momming” and writing stories. However, the one part of the day that restores my soul is early morning before anyone else is awake and I can sit like Mary at Jesus’ feet and simply absorb his presence. It’s like the coffee of my day!

What do you miss most about your childhood?

Well, I sure had a lot of time to read Nancy Drew and Janette Oke! I loved being able to climb a tree and soak in the words of a wonderfully intriguing book. I still climb trees, but my reading time is severely limited.

Which TV talk show host would you like to be interviewed by? Why?

Oprah, because she seems like she’s looking so hard for spiritual abundance—just in the wrong places. I did that once, and boy, I’d love to talk with her about it.

You are at a fruit market – what do you reach for first?

Oh, anything. If it’s sweet, I’m a fan. I especially love peaches, though!

What was the first Christian Fiction novel you read?

They Called Her Mrs. Doc by Janette Oke. What a great number of readers that woman has drawn into Christian fiction!

What is one author and/or book you always recommend?

I’m quick to point out Kristy Cambron, Laura Frantz, and Jody Hedlund. Those ladies are soaked in Christ, and their stories reflect that beautifully. They never disappoint.

What book character has stuck in your mind from a book you have read this year?

Maria Ivanova from Kelli Stuart’s Like a River From its Course has a memorable story and voice. I also enjoyed Pearl’s voice from Susie Finkbeiner’s A Cup of Dust. Very poignant story made lighter by a delightful narrator.

The Book

Lady Jayne Disappears

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.

What was the working title?

Honestly, I’m really awful at titles. I’ll prove it to you—I started out calling this book “Aurelie” which is the main character’s name. This is pretty straightforward, but boring. It only got worse from there. I titled it “Nom De Plume” because she uses a pen name, but so many people didn’t know what that term even meant, so I had to axe that idea. Then I called it “Penned in Prison.” I thought it had an intriguing ring to it, and was proud of my little title, until someone asked me if it was about one of the letters the apostle Paul wrote when under house arrest. Oops. Ok, definitely not where I was going with it. Fortunately, one intelligent critiquer suggested using the title of Aurelie’s novel that’s unfolding within the novel—Lady Jayne Disappears. Perfect.

Describe your book in 5 adjectives

Victorian, whimsical, encouraging, bookish, character-driven.

Which character took you by surprise?

The hero, Silas Rotherham, had much depth buried in that quiet persona. He ended up with some interesting vulnerabilities and a slightly buried sweetness I didn’t see initially. He’s quiet and sometimes awkward, but he loves books and delights in the heroine’s oddities. That makes me like him more since I rather like the heroine, too!

What was the latest you stayed up working on this story?

There was one night I lost track of time and then just decided to stay up since my then-infant daughter would be waking up for a feeding soon. Only she didn’t, so I kept working and lost track of time again. I went to bed eventually in the wee hours of the morning, but I honestly didn’t do that very often! I now have two small children, so sleep is like chocolate.

Lady Jayne Every Girl

Which character’s name was the hardest to choose? Why?

Jasper Grupp, the villain, had an evasive name. I couldn’t quite land on one that communicated everything I wanted him to be—handsome in a rough way, poor and pitiable. I love naming characters so very much—I feel like it makes up for all the compromising I had to do in picking baby names with my husband, in which my first 150 suggestions were vetoed. I also love name meanings and their lyrical sound, and how a name can create an image of the person who bears it.

What’s something that didn’t make it into the final copy?

The original ending! At the suggestion of one of my first readers, I chopped off the last 50 or so pages that he deemed boring and rewrote them completely. Lady Jayne was completely bland in the original, and it doesn’t work to have a boring title character.

Thanks Joanna!

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. She lives with her husband and their two babies in a house in the woods near Lake Michigan and shares stories that move her at

Relz Reviewz Extras
Joanna’s Author Alert
Read the first chapter of Lady Jayne Disappears
Visit Jo’s Website || Facebook || Goodreads
Buy from Amazon: Lady Jayne Disappears or Koorong

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33 Responses to Joanna Davidson Politano: The Writer & her Book (with giveaway)

  1. Historical mystery and intrigue! I’m definitely looking forward to reading this book–thanks for the giveaway!

  2. The title hints at a mystery involving a aristocratic lady. But it also makes me think of Lady Jane Grey.

  3. It looks like a book about a mystery and it makes me wonder if she was ever found.

  4. The cover screams sophistication, intrigue and mystique which is reflected in the title. It isn’t just any person who’s vanished… it’s a lady!

    At least, that was my initial thoughts on looking at the cover.

  5. The cover makes me think it is a historical novel and the title suggests mystery. Who is Lady Jane and why did she disappear?

  6. This cover is so striking…I think historical drama when I see the cover.

  7. The cover and title Promise intrigue and mystery….

  8. To me it speaks of mystery and intrigue. It looks so good. I’m excited to read it. Thank you for the giveaway.

    Stephanie C.

  9. By the title and cover I thought the book would be about a wealthy woman who goes missing…but was it by her own accord or did someone take her??

  10. The cover and the title speak of mystery, intrigue and aristocracy. I enjoyed the interview! This sounds like a book I would like to read. Thank you for the chance to win! Best wishes on the success of your new book!

  11. Victorian, mystery, aristocracy, and more…

  12. The cover grabs my attention and lets me know there is a mystery in the pages.

  13. a sophisticated lady goes missing. the cover says to me that there is a mystery to be solved

  14. I really like this cover and it makes my wonder why this lady disappeared and if she’ll be found. Very cryptic and shadowy.

  15. danielle hammelef

    The cover shows mystery as we don’t get to see into this lady’s eyes–she’s turned away as if she has a secret or is searching for a secret. The title and font definitely go well with suspense, secrets, and mystery.

  16. I love the cover! It gives the impression that it’s historical and includes some kind of mystery. Very nicely done!

  17. This is a striking cover and title that speaks of mystery! 😉

  18. Met Joanna at ACFW Conference! She is so nice! Just downloaded the audio version of this book! Congrats, Joanna! Blessings to Rel!

  19. Mystery, heartache and elegance were the first words that popped into my head!

  20. To me it says Victorian and mystery. Makes me want to find out more about this character on the cover. Who is she? What secrets does she hold, if any? What is her role in the book? I’m drawn in and want to know more! Makes me say hmmmm, interesting🤔

  21. Gorgeous cover that says the book is about a beautiful feminine young woman who has great hair. And I love her earrings. 😍

  22. I can’t wait to read this book….will be m first book from Joanna D. Politano!

  23. It says to me mystery and a bit of romance

  24. Historical drama of intrigue, mystery, and some element of aristocracy….beautiful cover! I can’t wait to read it!

    What a wonderful review! I always enjoy getting to know more about an author and the story behind the story :)

    Thanks for the opportunity of this giveaway!!!

  25. The cover is hauntingly beautiful. The title is mysterious and compelling.

  26. When you read the title, you wonder is the lady pictured Lady Jayne? Disappears how? You can tell that she is dressed and hair styled in a different time period. The entire thing draws you in and makes you want to find out what is going on. Definitely a mystery!

  27. Who is Lady Jane and why did she disappear? That was my immediate thought on the cover :-) I’ve heard a lot of great things about this book, thank you for the author interview and giveaway chance!

  28. I agree with many other commenters—the title invokes mystery and makes me wonder who Lady Jayne is and why she disappeared!

  29. Great cover! Really enjoyed the description of the book and the cover draws my attention and makes me want to read the book. Like reading historical fiction.

  30. It’s so unique, and that it’s a mystery! I’m looking forward to reading it!

  31. I love this cover! It is so mysterious!

  32. These two Authors are new for me. So I am really looking futo Reading their work. the book covers are beautiful. The synopsis sounds like my kind of read.

  33. Before I knew anything about the book’s content, the cover did not speak “mystery/suspense” to me. I imagined it was more of a turn of the century historical – at some point between 1900-1920. Gorgeous and unique, though.

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