Joanna Politano loves story. Especially from people who are overlooked or undervalued by the world. She is the award-winning author of Lady Jayne Disappears, A Rumored Fortune, Finding Lady Enderly, The Love Note, A Midnight Dance, and The Lost Melody.

She is a work-from-home mom with two adventurous littles. and she married her hero, Vince, who is her polar opposite. She writes, and he tears it up with the red pen. She break cars and other mechanical things, and he puts them back together. But, she says, the real spark to their marriage is that he does not like chocolate and she…  likes it a normal amount.

They live in a little house in the woods near Lake Michigan.


If someone asked you to describe yourself with one word, what word would that be?

Story-hungry. Listener, maybe. I hear more than people think. They tell me more than they should. And I absorb it all.

The Author and Creator of our lives often writes in a twist that ultimately blesses us more than our original plan. Have you ever experienced such a “Divine Detour”?

With every book I write! I’m asked all the time if I know the “surprise” ending in my stories before I start writing, and the answer is YES! But I’m always wrong. My entire publishing career was a twist in itself—I set aside trying to find publication when I started having kids, thinking it was time to focus on my family and that I’d return to it in another season. I’d been getting rejections for a few years by then anyway. But when I actually had a conversation with God about it, He ultimately said guess what! Time to publish—right now! After years of waiting, it all happened very quickly because God said it was time. And He does nothing halfway, including executing twists.

I’m fascinated by the premise of your new book, The Elusive Truth of Lily Temple (Revell, April 2024). Please tell us about it.

This is an Edwardian story about a fairytale loving actress in the very early silent film era, when movies were created by illusionists and special effects came about with physical film manipulation. Lily is an illusion herself, having come out of nowhere with seemingly no background. She’s being scouted out by a rule-following detective and she teaches him the value of a story—and how even fiction carries truth.

You’re a multi-published author, a mom, and a wife. What has kept you on your writing journey when life tried to get in the way?

I’ve learned two things about juggling writing along with all the other things: 1. Be fully present in whatever you’re doing and 2. Real people before imaginary ones. When I’m a parent, I’m fully a parent. When I’m writing, I put on headphones and sink into the story as a spiritual practice—this is time spent with God. I only write for a short time, usually while kids are sleeping or doing independent work, but I will sit with my back to the unwashed dishes in the sink and ignore the toys on the floor and give myself fully to the story. As long as I keep my priorities straight (see #2), God redeems the margins of time. Books get written, and dishes (usually) get done.

What’s next for you as a writer?

I have another historical novel releasing next spring, and it has a fun clockworks/automaton theme. Almost a steampunk feel. Totally outside of my comfort zone, but a great project to take on alongside my engineer husband!

A few fun questions…

When the words aren’t flowing—or when you want to celebrate if they are—what is your favorite comfort food and why?

Some sort of cereal, eaten like popcorn. Usually something with cinnamon on it. And between you and me, I keep a running bag of dark chocolate chips to grab on my way through the kitchen.

What Bible passage or story best describes your journey of faith?

That’s a tough question! I’m not sure there’s one that describes me, but my understanding of God really evolved as I studied the book of Isaiah. We get to see so many aspects to God’s character in extremes! My story would be a cross between Jacob, who felt he needed to “handle” things himself until he pretty much encountered God, Nicodemus who was hungry for truth, and Peter who loved Jesus immeasurably, messed up, and was dispatched on God’s work anyway.

In the story that is your life, are you the strong, female lead; the girl next door; the mysterious woman behind dark glasses; the super heroine; or the little girl trying to walk in high heels?

I’d say the super heroine hiding out with a girl-next-door cover. I can cause a lot of damage or rescue a whole lot of characters on the whim of my imagination!

Thanks, Joanna! It’s nice to have you as a guest at Divine Detour.

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For more information about Joanna, visit her website or follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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