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Siri Mitchell has lived all over the world as a military spouse. Together, she, her husband, and their daughter enjoy experiencing a variety of cultures-whether that means becoming fluent in French or mastering the art of sushi making.

Favorite Verse:  Deuteronomy 33:26 (NIV) - "There is no one like the God of Jeshurun, who rides on the heavens to help you and on the clouds in his majesty."



 Our Interview with Siri Mitchell


Please tell us a bit about yourself.

Some people might say that I lie for a living, but that’s not really true. I make things up. My award-winning inspirational novels have been published by Harvest House, NavPress, and Bethany House Publishers—four books, ten years, and 153 rejections after I sat down to write my first word. I know a little bit too much about discouragement, self-doubt, and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. But I also know that a personal preference isn’t a character flaw; God can make only good things; and just because you believe a lie doesn’t make it true. I have a special interest in addressing tough topics and cultural faith issues. And I love the synergy that develops at the place where doubt begins to ask questions of faith.

How did you come up with the concept for A Heart Most Worthy?

As I was researching fashion and dressmaking for She Walks in Beauty, I came across the A & L Tirocchi Dressmakers Project Web site. As I read about the women who worked in this Rhode Island dress shop, my attention was caught by several things. They formed a tight-knit family, vacationing together, even sewing each others’ wedding gowns. I was also struck by the fact that they were all Italian. Originally my intent was to form a story around the wedding gowns they made for each other, but after I began to research the Italian immigrant experience, my focus shifted and the story broadened.

Do you have a favorite character in A Heart Most Worthy? Why?

I’ve been trying to answer this question for the past ten minutes, but every time I think I’ve decided upon one, I remember all the reasons why I like the others. This book is a departure for me because I have three main characters (instead of my normal one or two) and three different—yet equally enthralling—love stories. I’ll have to let my readers decide!

How much research did A Heart Most Worthy take?
Usually, I read twenty to thirty research books for every one book that I write. This novel needed broader research than I originally thought it would because I had to immerse myself in Italian culture, of which I knew practically nothing. I read up on everything from folklore to food ways, religion to family relations. I even contacted the University of Washington Language Learning Center and the Italian Studies Department to make sure I was using Italian language and expressions correctly.


What is the most interesting fact that you learned while researching and writing A Heart Most Worthy?

That Italian-Americans, after African-Americans, were the most likely group to be lynched in America at the turn of the century. I also hadn’t realized that social workers at the time were trying their best to convince Italian immigrants that they didn’t eat enough starches—and that they ate way too many vegetables. Times sure have changed!
What are some of the challenges you face as an author?
As an author of historical fiction, I always face the challenge of interpreting history correctly. As a modern woman writing about historical women, I constantly have to lay aside my own attitudes and opinions to allow my historical sisters to maintain theirs. My hope is that the characters I write about would recognize themselves and their eras in my books. I strive to be true to the past.

What aspects of being a writer do you enjoy the most?

I enjoy the creative process—making something from nothing. What I don’t enjoy as much is taking that something and reworking and editing and polishing it. For me, the most fun is in dreaming up the germ of an idea and figuring out how to articulate it. The greatest joy comes in writing the first draft.

What clubs or organizations are you involved with that help you in your writing?

I’m a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Romance Writers of America (RWA). It’s always helpful to have access to the collective wisdom of other writers. Writing is such a solitary profession that I treasure fellowship with my peers. Even if it has to take place online.

What new projects are on the horizon?

I have two more historical fiction titles on contract with Bethany House. The first is set in eighteenth-century Philadelphia. The second is set in turn-of-the-century St. Louis. Both will take me to places and introduce me to people that I haven’t yet met in my writing. I can promise women in conflict with their culture and at least two men worthy of their affections.

What message would you like your readers to take from reading A Heart Most Worthy?

The underlying premise of this story is that being who you truly are leads to liberty and integrity; pretending to be someone you are not only leads to bondage and death. As with many of my previous books, I’d like the reader to realize that being yourself is the only person worth being.


What was your favorite book as a child?

A Time of Wonder by Robert McCloskey. I reread it recently and fell in love all over again with the sheer beauty of the language and the illustrations.

What is your greatest achievement?


What do you do to get away from it all?

I turn off my computer at about three o’clock on weekdays and I rarely turn it on during the weekends. Any creative pursuit can consume you if you let it. The trick is to give it boundaries and then try your best to respect them.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

As a writer of historical novels, I’ve often noticed history repeating itself. The reason it does is that people keep reacting to each other in fear. As long as people fear those who look or act differently, as long as we convince ourselves that “good” or “nice” people have to look or sound a certain way, then I believe that we are doomed to repeat history’s mistakes. If, however, we can remember that the God who created the desert also created the rainforest, if we recall that He created the smallest of frogs and the largest of elephants, if we can revel in our differences instead of trying to make everything conform to our own shape and size, I think we can begin to leave the mistakes of the past behind. The God who hears prayers in English also hears—and answers—them in Italian. And Spanish and Arabic!


 Don't Miss!

She Walks in Beauty
She Walks in Beauty
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A Constant Heart
A Constant Heart
Siri Mitchell
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