Siri Mitchell is one of my current favorite writers. Her novels take to places I will probably never go, and explores the lives of interesting people. She lightly approaches serious subjects, and you find while you are chuckling you are thinking long and deep about relationships, as well as your relationship with God.
I met Siri at a writer's conference when I was still reviewing books. I had her book in my pile (that teetered toward the ceiling) of review books and her chance meeting with me, intrigued me into reading Chateau of Echoes. I was in love--with her settings, characters, food descriptions. I now have all of her books and am, not working--because you don't work your way through Siri's writing--but being delighted by each book she's written. May she long write. I think that I love her books not only for the settings, but she also talks about FOOD. Yes, I love the food descriptions, and sometimes a recipe, but she also has restaurant links on every book. You gain weight just reading her books--but it's alllll good.
If you leave a comment (and you live in the United States--sorry,) I will put your name into a drawing to win her book, Kissing Adrien, set in Paris, France. You will love it. But hurry if you don't win--some of Siri's books are going out of print. It's getting harder to find them, though you may be able to get a copy by contacting Siri on her web site. And yes, I bought a copy of Kissing Adrien because, sorry, I would not part with my copy! In your comment let us know if you have ever visited Paris, France and your impressions. Siri's descriptions of the art there and the culture makes me actually want to go!
Here's how Siri grew up:
Did you want to travel as a child?
Yes. Did you? Yes! All over the U.S. and Canada.
Places where you lived as a child?
Everett, WA; Anacortes, WA; Wilmington, DE; Portland, OR; Newcastle, New Brunswick; Kenora, Ontario; Portland, OR (again). I had the coolest parents. When we lived in DE, they took my sister and me out of school for two weeks one fall to drive up to New England and see the fall colors.
To live in the ‘olden days.’
Fondest Memory (then):
Celebrating the bicentennial on the East Coast: dressing up like a colonial girl in the 1st grade; being at Valley Forge during a thunderstorm and having to take cover underneath a covered wagon; talking to ‘Ben Franklin’ in Philadelphia.
(CM: Just to show you how much older I am than this talented author, I graduated from high school in 1976!!)
Proudest Moment (then):
When I was…six? seven?...and on the neighborhood swim team, I swam the last lap of a freestyle relay. When I dove into the water, we were in last place. As I swam along, I heard people clapping and cheering. Thinking everyone else was finishing, I kept my head down and swam as fast as I could, hoping I wouldn’t be too embarrassingly slow. Turns out, we won!
Biggest Challenge as a Child or Teen:
Geometry. Algebra was easy. Geometry was a foreign language. So was chemistry, come to think of it. I actually missed out on Physics altogether, although now I wish I’d been able to take it (The school I’d moved from was going to do it in 11th grade. The school I’d moved to did it in 10th.)
My First Job:
McDonald’s. Oh yes, it was!
Hostess fruit pies. Lemon was my favorite.
Favorite Outfit as a Child:
My mom made my sister and me matching Little House on the Prairie dresses. With sunbonnets. And white aprons. Mine was blue calico. My sister’s was green.
The Real "Little House" People
Favorite Childhood Book: The Anne of Green Gables series…right through Rilla of Ingleside. How did those books affect me? I started assigning names to the rocks in our backyard.
Childhood Hero: I really liked Speed Racer. (Here he comes, here comes Speed Racer, he’s a demon on wheels…)
Favorite Childhood Pets:
Duchess, our miniature schnauzer. Gingerbread Man, my hamster. He got eaten by one of Duchess’s friends…
Anything else you'd like readers to know about you as a child that affected the writer today?:
I loved moving. Loved seeing new places. That’s probably why settings figure so prominently in my writing. And my love affair with history continues!
A novel about finding God where you least expect him, it's filled with exotic sights and sounds, from the clamor of Tokyo and the temples of Nikko, to the shores of Kamakura and beyond, it follows the protagonist as she re-discovers her voice, re-thinks her past, and re-shapes her future.
In Kissing Adrien, new romantic fiction author, Siri Mitchell, demonstrates one of the clearest, most original voices of any debut novel I’ve read. Period. Her deft hand, skillfully wrapping serious subjects and vibrant, mature characters into the story, leaves one hopeful that her next books will continue the amazing promise put forth here. By all measures, I’d expect exciting things from this new master of “restrained romance” in the next few years... Kissing Adrien is a French excursion into nuance, pleasure, and experience. Board a plane and prepare to leave the North American Christian mindset. This book is a ticket to the pleasure of living, an adventure you’ll be pondering for weeks to come.
—Mick Silva for FocusOnFiction.net
Other Books by Siri Mitchell: