Interview & Giveaway – Lady Jayne Disappears – Joanna Davidson Politano

22 Comments on Interview & Giveaway – Lady Jayne Disappears – Joanna Davidson Politano

Don’t you just love the word play on this cover? I sure thought it was clever. Now that’s a cover that intrigues. 


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Lady Jane 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.

Joanna’s Website

Joanna Davidson Politano


Questions about Joanna’s Story

What inspired your story?

When I was young and I’d see kids treating other kids terribly, or adults relentlessly harping on children to try to make them adults and rob them of normal childhood adventures, it bothered me. Being really quiet, I couldn’t simply walk up and tell the person all the spiteful things I wished to say, but neither could I let it go. So like any resourceful girl with a wild imagination, I simply wrote every one of those people into stories—and then punished their characters mercilessly. In my novel, the main character is equally quiet and equally merciless in her fictional punishment of the people around her. She finds herself in a household of wealthy “bullies” who need to be put in their place. She’d be homeless if she falls out of favor with them though, so she takes up her only weapon. Using the pen name Nathaniel Droll, she writes everyone into her serial novels and deals with them on paper. However, unlike my story, Aurelie is found out when the people around her start recognizing themselves in her characters.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

This book is about a writer, and I poured myself into her character. I am fascinated with the concept of story and historical writing because, like my heroine, I love to encounter people’s stories. I want to know all the pieces of their background that fed into who they are and inform the decisions they make. I regularly approach strangers and ask, “what’s your story?” The answers are often surprising and always delightfully intriguing. People want to be known, for it gives them a sense of value. Sharing their story and their life somehow validates their experiences. Very little eclipses the feeling of sitting at the feet of an older person whose body has all but stopped working and delving into their minds so alive with decades of life, watching their faces light up as they share themselves and realize their story is still very relevant. Each time I write a story, I sit at the feet of someone and I listen to their story. It was an immense blessing for my writerly heart to convey through this novel my love for story and the value of the people behind each one. Aurelie cares deeply about people and that always figures into the novels she writes. Writing this book allowed me to share my heart in a way few other writing projects have.

Did you stumble upon anything in your research for this book that made you sad?

“Anyone can walk into debtor’s prison. It’s getting out that’s hard.” That paraphrased dialogue from a Charles Dickens book was painfully true. Debtor’s prison completely baffled me. Charles Dickens actually spent a small portion of his youth in one of them (Marshalsea Prison) because his father, the family breadwinner, had become a debtor. The place was run like a business, with the prison guard essentially taking bribes from his inmates for edible food and blankets. Well-meaning relatives or friends gave “contributions” to the inmates when they visited, but the money was soon handed over to the man running the prison, and the inmates seldom climbed out of their situation. How is one supposed to pay off his debt if he’s locked up anyway?


Questions about Joanna’s Reading

What Christian Historical Novel taught you something about the craft of writing because it was so well done? And tell us a bit about what it taught you.

Laura Frantz’s A Moonbow Night is brilliant in both the laying out of gorgeous scenes and the expansive historical detail. What draws me to this book however, and every book by this author, is the warmth that gently cradles you as you step into her story and walk around with her lovely characters. The historical details ground you and set the scene, but Frantz has an incredible command of language—the color, the texture, and the feel of each word is gently drawn out like artful brush strokes. Laura Frantz books are to be savored and experienced as she skillfully draws you into the scene, attaches your heart to her characters, then lets you watch them firsthand as they experience heartache and hope and everything in between.


Which was the last Christian Historical Novel you read, and what was your favorite thing about it?

Kristy Cambron’s An Illusionist’s Apprentice is a masterpiece. Cambron writes historical novels with themes that deeply resonate with us today, because she realizes that human nature, as well as the hope God offers, never changes. With a unique vintage backdrop to give the story flair, The Illusionist’s Apprentice takes you through a contrast of light and dark, hope and despair. As always with Cambron’s novels, you are left with a supreme sense of hope because of God, who is always evident in a big way with each of her stories. Aside from vibrant spiritual themes that nearly always give me the chills, her unique setting and immense historical research make her book unique and fascinating.

Joanna is giving away a copy paperback (usa only) and I’m giving away winner’s choice of ebook of any of the books mentioned above. Enter the Rafflecopter below!

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