Thursday, March 13, 2014

Fabulous Friday Feature-Siri Mitchell

Today I welcome an author who has an amazing ability to craft words: 
author Siri Mitchell

Enter to win Siri's March 2014 release,
Love Comes Calling
and April 2014 release,
The Miracle Thief, 
penned under a different writing name: Iris Anthony

Scroll to the end of the post to see how to enter.

I met Siri through my Writer Alley Cat friends. They told me about her book She Walks in Beauty. What an absolutely wonderful Christian historical fiction book. Now, I can't wait to read another and hope to post a book review later this summer. I asked Siri to share how God has led her on her journey. Here is what she said:

A Book by Any Other Name

I came to publishing, in 2005, with two books I’d written straight from my heart: Kissing Adrien and Chateau of Echoes. Both were set in France, a place I had lived from 1996 – 2000. A place I had fallen in love with. Though those books are still reader favorites, with subsequent novels, I started to learn about the publishing landscape that I was becoming part of.

I learned that France doesn’t really sell very well as setting and neither does most of Europe. I learned what made heroines attractive and what time periods readers were most interested in seeing. I learned what type of POV was most common and what kinds of plots and themes were most typical and I learned, most of all, to wish I could just write the kind of books that I was being told people really wanted to read. The kind of books that everyone else seemed to be writing.

It’s not that I didn’t like the books I was working on. I did. I poured my soul into them. But I started compiling a list of ‘just in case’ ideas in the event that all those ‘rules’ some day changed. And slowly, when I had time, I started developing one of them. It was a story which broke all those rules, so I decided to write it for the general market. It took ten years to do it, but with grace and perseverance, my agent found an editor who believed in the story and contracted it for publication.

Under a pseudonym: Iris Anthony.

Why? Because it had all the elements my readers weren’t supposed to appreciate. Set in France, it had multiple points-of-view, it was written in first person, and it explored some very complex themes. It asked a lot of questions and it didn’t necessarily provide a whole lot of answers. And it lived in the gray areas that people of faith sometimes find to be so unsettling.

It was a chance to re-launch myself. A chance to write without the constraints I was used to chafing against. But a funny thing happened. I found out that under any name, my books are still very much the same. The storylines of my Iris books might be more complex. My POV characters might have multiplied, but I still write in first person about people who clash with their prevailing culture. And my writing is still centered on questions of worth. As long and as hard as I tried to run away from myself, I’ve come to discover that I’m still me.

As I step into territories unknown, I feel as if I’m circling back to where I started. God has provided me the chance to be wholly myself. To write about all of the ideas that I’m interested in. In this place of new beginnings, I feel as if I’m finally settling into myself. The biggest lesson of all? Learning not to despise the voice that I’ve been given.

My twelfth Siri Mitchell book, Love Comes Calling, was released this month. I think you’ll like it. My second Iris Anthony novel, The Miracle Thief, will be released next month and I think you might just like it, too!

~ ~

Siri Mitchell is the author of over a dozen novels, among them the critically acclaimed Christy Award finalists Chateau of Echoes, The Cubicle Next Door, and She Walks in Beauty. A graduate of the University of Washington with a degree in business, she has worked in many different levels of government. As a military spouse, she lived in places as varied as Tokyo and Paris.

To learn more about Siri Mitchel, visit:
Facebook: Siri Mitchell and Iris Anthony
Twitter: @SiriMitchell @IrisAnthony

Pinterest: SiriMitchell and IrisAnthony

~ ~

Love Comes Calling (available now):

A girl with the best of intentions. A heart set on Hollywood. An empty pocketbook. That's all it takes for Ellis Eton to find herself working as a telephone operator for a look-alike friend. For Ellis, this job will provide not only acting practice but the funds to get her a start in the movies. She's tired of always being a disappointment to her traditional Boston family, and though she can't deny the way he makes her head spin, she knows she's not good enough for Griffin Phillips, either. It's simple: avoid Griff's attentions, work, and get paid. But in typical Ellis fashion, her simple plan spirals out of control when she overhears a menacing phone call...with her very own Griff as the target.

With an endearing heroine as her lead, Siri Mitchell takes readers on a madcap tale of love and discovering one's true desires!

The Miracle Thief  (coming April 2014)

Do you believe in miracles?

Sister Juliana does. She's seen miracles happen as she tends Saint Catherine's altar and guards her relic. Yet she doesn't quite dare to believe that even Saint Catherine could help her atone for her wicked past.

Anna does. And she so desperately needs one. In a time when a deformity is interpreted as evidence of a grievous sin, in a place where community is vital to existence, Anna has no family, no home, and no master.

Princess Gisele wants to. A miracle is the only thing that can save her from being given to a brutal, pagan chieftain in marriage.

For those who come in faith, saints offer the answer to almost any prayer. But other forces are plotting to steal Saint Catherine's relic, to bend the saint's power to their own 

To enter the contest for an autographed copy of 
Siri Mitchell's book: "Love Comes Calling"
or Iris Anthony's book: The Miracle Thief:
leave a comment (and email address)
AND become a follower of this site, 
if you aren't already.

Sorry  US  only

Winner announced on my facebook page.

Thank you, Siri, for Joining us This Weekend!

Did you figure out how Siri chose the name Iris for her other books? It's a puzzle. 

We all have different names. We might be called mom, daughter, wife, your given name, aunt, niece, cousin, etc. Under each name we have different roles, yet we are one person. The one God knows.

How can we pray for you today?


Susan Johnson said...

That was a great interview. Yes, I figured out how she chose her pseudonym. I would love to win one of these books.
susanmsj at msn dot com

Patty said...

I've read several of Siri's earlier books, I especially enjoyed Kissing Adrien. I haven't read Unrivaled or this most recent book.
Thanks for sharing a bit of your writing journey Siri! The Iris Anthony books look very interesting...

I wouldn't have even noticed it, by Iris is Siri spelled backwards=)


Wendy Newcomb said...

I love Siri's books, thank you for the chance to win "Love Comes Calling".


Amy C said...

What a lovely interview with Siri! I've only read The Messenger and loved it.
I'm a bloglovin follower. :)
campbellamyd at gmail dot com

Siri Mitchell said...

Thanks, everyone, for your kind comments! I guess the first name 'Iris' was pretty easy to figure out :) Since I took my husband's last name when I married, I decided I should use his first name in my pen-name. Any writer will tell you the support of family is critical and my husband has always been my biggest fan!

Mary Vee Writer said...

Hi Susan!
I'm so glad you stopped by. I thought Siri was pret-ty crafty choosing Iris.
Have you read any other of Siri's books? They are simply wonderful.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Good to see you again. I'm reading Kissing Adrien right now. I agree, it is a great read. Don't spoil the ending for me. I have a couple chapters to go.

Ah hah, you did what I did. A wait-just-a-minute....she reversed the letters. So if I wanted to pen different stories I might try...Yram. NOT. Not all of us can do what Siri did. LOL

Thanks for joining our chat. Can't wait to see you again.

Mary Vee Writer said...

So nice to see you here today. Since I am currently in sunny Arizona, we are meeting on a beach and serving ice cold sweet tea. (I'm still searching for the beach in the sea of cacti!

Excited to chat with you again.

Mary Vee Writer said...

What a sweet couple. My hubby does the same...being a great supporter. Even today we get the awwws when people see us walk hand in hand.

I'm so glad your visiting with us today, Siri. We are truly blessed.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Great to see you again. Well, looks like you have a lot of reading to do. Siri is quite a fabulous author. You could easily fill those evenings before bed with her great reads.
Thanks so much for joining us today. I look forward to your next visit.

Connie Porter Saunders said...

I loved this interview and it wasn't until I reread it that I saw that Siri spelled backwards is Iris. My first thought was that iris was pertaining to sight and that she realized that her writing was basically the same, even when she chose to write in a different style. Thanks and blessings to you both!

Mary Vee Writer said...

I love your thinking! Maybe in an indirect way the name was pertaining to what you said. What great insight! :)
I'm so glad you stopped by today!

Pam K. said...

I've read quite a few of Siri's books and really enjoyed them. I like that they are written in first person and tend to be rather unique. I always learn quite a bit about history when reading her historical novels. I haven't read any of her books written as Iris Anthony but it's good to know it's really Siri who wrote them, so I can look for them.
I'm a follower of your blog.

Andrea said...

I would love to read either of these books. I have read others by Siri and did not realize she also wrote under Iris Anthony. Thanks for the interview!

strgth4yu said...

Both books sound great! Will be putting these books on my TBR list.

Linda Ortiz

Siri Mitchell said...

I hope you enjoy them!

Siri Mitchell said...

I love history, so I'm glad to know that comes through in my writing!

Mary Vee Writer said...

Hey Pam!
Nice to see you today. So interesting that you point out the first person books that tend to be rather unique and that you learn from them. The book I'm reading of Siri's is not historical. It takes place in France. I have learned so much already and am only halfway through the book. So even her non historical books are great reads.
Loved chatting with you today, Pam.

Mary Vee Writer said...

I know! Seriously, Andrea, isn't fun to learn these details?
Thanks so much for joining our chat today, Andrea.
Looking forward to seeing you again, soon.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Hi LInda!
I agree. This visit from Siri has helped me to not only desire her current titles, but to read her other titles that have been on the shelf.
So glad you could stop by and chat with us today!
Hope to see you again, soon.

Anonymous said...

I hope I am not to late to enter . Already a follower. I love her books.

Mary Vee Writer said...

It is never to late to share your enthusiasm for a wonderful writer like Siri. Thank you so much for stopping by. Unfortunately the time to enter has already passed.
Blessings on you.