About the Author
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 manuscript for Lady Jayne Disappears was a finalist for several contests, including the 2016 Genesis Award from ACFW, and won the OCW Cascade Award and the Maggie Award for Excellence. She is always on the hunt for random acts of kindness, people willing to share their deepest secrets with a stranger, and hidden stashes of sweets. 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 https://jdpstories.com/.
1. If you could travel anywhere in the world for book research (expense covered for you by an anonymous donor), where would you go and why?
Italy! I've always wanted to set a book there and visit, too. My husband's family is from Italy and it seems so rich and beautiful there, full of family and life. Although, I definitely wouldn't turn down a trip to Scotland or England!
2. What does a "day in the life of Joanna Politano" look like?
Lots of little socks on the floor, smears on the table, and muddy footprints. My life is full--in a good way. I'm a stay-at-home mom with a writing hobby on the side, so most of my day is full of muddy, bug-filled, tree-climbing adventures with my kiddos. Before my kids are up I saturate myself in God's presence, and that's a necessary part of my day. Then the kids and I are up and singing songs, like "this is the day," and we have tons of fun together with interesting talks and inspired tea parties. After lunch comes naptime and when I tuck my babies in bed, I curl up on the couch and fall down my little rabbit hole into a story world. I pack as much writing as i can into naptimes, then I get sucked back up to reality when the kids wake up. We have family time when my husband comes home, then when the kids are tucked in bed again, it's back to writing, often while sitting beside my husband.
3.How did you decide that you wanted to write historical/mystery novels?
I write the type of books I like to read, so when I was infatuated with Daphne Du Maurier, Martha Grimes, Wilkie Collins and others, I guess that's just naturally what came out of my brain! It's hard for me to write a book without a mystery thread, because I'm not sure what else will pull me back to the story every day. If I'm not pulled in, I certainly don't expect readers to be, either!
4. What did your writing process look like for A Rumored Fortune?
Honestly, this one was more frustrating and wheel-spinning than other books. I had to understand how to live well outside of writing in order to write well, and with a newborn and two year old on top of a contract, that was hard to do. Sleep wasn't happening, and creativity felt scarce. As I wrote about branches connecting to the vine as their source of life and a heroine connecting to her true vine, I found my way back to the life source I truly needed and quenched my heart. I started this book by researching vineyards, both in practical terms and in Scripture. I looked carefully at how it fit together and how the practical study peeled back the layers of the Biblical parables concerning vines. I based my story journey around that research, and wrote a (very bad) first draft. I then sent it off to my first reader who totally upended the plot and made me change direction and rewrite about 80% of it. This process felt like the necessary pruning vines undergo, removing useful and good things to make what's left more effective. It took a lot of work, but the story finally came together!
5. What inspired the idea for A Rumored Fortune?
This book is actually the combination of two true life stories--a family friend's missing treasure story, and my own personal love story. I wove them together because they had a connection in real life, too.
6. What did you as an author take away from writing A Rumored Fortune?
This book brought me much precious time with God, untangling the truths concerning vines in Scripture, then battling to get this story to lay flat on the page and cooperate. It was a battle, but I ended up with more than a completed book. I gained intimacy with God that has rippled onto my entire life.
7. What is your curent WIP? What can you tell us about it?
My next book coming up, which is just now turned into my editor, is about a rag girl who stands in as a replacement for a wealthy lady, and comes to find out the scary truth about the woman she's impersonating. There's a really fun book-based romance in there too, with a couple who leaves secret messages for each other through books. That was immensely fun to write--well, this whole story was--and I can't wait to share it with readers next summer!
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