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Thursday 15 October 2020

ℚ Everywhere to Hide - Siri Mitchell

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Everywhere to Hide (, Thomas Nelson, 352 pages), a Suspense.

“A heart-stopping ride . . . Mitchell’s deft hand with characterization and the twist y plot made this a compelling read I couldn’t put down.” —Colleen Coble, USA TODAY bestselling author of One Little Lie and the Lavender Tide series

|| Synopsis || Teaser: KCR Preview || Author Q&A || About the Author || Giveaway & Tour Stops ||

A very warm welcome to Siri Mitchell; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

What was the inspiration for Everywhere to Hide?

"This novel came about because of an interview I heard on NPR.  A couple was telling the story of their relationship.  He had a condition called prosopagnosia (face blindness) and she did not.

It’s estimated that about 2% of the population has prosopagnosia.  It affects the part of the brain which maps facial features and then stores those memories.  A person with face blindness might remember that someone wears glasses or has a beard or a moustache.  Hair colour and hairstyles might also be recalled, but the memory of how facial features relate to each other is absent.  A person can be born with this condition or it can be acquired from a head injury or trauma.  Some people who think they have trouble remembering names actually have trouble remembering faces.  But face blindness exists on a spectrum.  Those with the condition can also have difficulty in mapping geography, noting differences in skin colour, and distinguishing within groupings of similar objects such as cars.

All that to say that the couple had some challenges due to his condition.  At the end of their conversation, they talked about their breakup.  For the first time, she revealed that sometimes she went to the restaurant where he worked so that she could still see him.  It was an electrifying moment in the interview.  He had absolutely no idea; he’d never recognized her.

The thought that she was effectively erased from his life, unless she chose to identify herself, haunted me.  They had known each other intimately and yet she was unrecognizable.  My writer’s mind turned that idea backward and forward, upside down and right side up.  And at some point I thought, ‘When you can’t recognize someone close to you, that’s tragic.  But when you can’t recognize someone who might be a threat to you? That’s dangerous!’  That’s how my main character came to have face blindness."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"Everywhere to Hide is my 18th novel.  I’ve found that the longer I write, the less my books are about me as a person and are more about my thoughts.  I seem to create stories in order to figure out what I think about things.  I wish I didn’t have to write a novel in order to do that but apparently, that’s the way I’m wired!"
Why should we read Everywhere to Hide and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your book unique?
State of Lies - click to view it on
"This is my second contemporary suspense novel.  In some ways, as I did with the first one, I predicted the future.  Novelists are eerie like that sometimes.  We seem to have an invisible antenna that gathers information and then feeds it to our subconscious for synthesis."
Can you tell us something quirky about Everywhere to Hide, its story and characters?
"I had to recast my characters several times for this book.  That meant name changes in addition to personality changes. 

As I was writing my first draft, I wrote the story into a rabbit hole.  I had about 40,000 words by the time I realized it.  (For reference, my novels usually come in around 90,000 words.)  Scrapping that draft was difficult; I had to send myself back to the beginning of the story, back to the seed of my idea, and re-imagine everything.  I was writing under a deadline, so it involved a lot of sweat and tears.  And even after I turned the manuscript into my editor, there was work to do.

Also, because I write from the first-person point of view, I place myself in my character’s head when I tell my stories.  Since my main character, Whitney, couldn’t recognize the villain (due to her face blindness), I couldn’t either.  I could only see the things that she could see and I only knew the things that she did.  Due to this, through most of my drafts of this story, even I didn’t know who the villain was!

Careful readers will note that I didn’t describe characters by reference to their faces or convey character interactions using facial body language (at least I hope I didn’t!).  By taking those tools out of my writing toolbox, I realized just how much I had relied on those for character development and to add colour and description to my stories in the past.   Writing without those tools was a big challenge for me."
Who would you recommend Everywhere to Hide to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"Readers of suspense should love Everywhere to Hide.  But I should also give a trigger warning for domestic abuse."
If you could / wished to turn Everywhere to Hide into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"That is such a great question, but I don’t have a good answer.  Mostly because I don’t really know what my characters look like since I experienced them all through my main character’s eyes…and she has face blindness."
What do you like to write and read about?  Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"I’ve written in many different genres.  I started out writing chick-lit and women’s fiction. 

Kissing Adrien - click to view it on Chateau of Echos - click to view it on Something Beyond the Sky - click to view it on The Cubicle Next Door - click to view it on Moon Over Tokyo - click to view it on
Then I moved on to historicals. 

The Constant Heart - click to view it on Love's Pursuit - click to view it on She Walks In Beauty - click to view it on The Heart Most Worthy - click to view it on The Messenger - click to view it on
The Ruins Of Lace - click to view it on Unrivaled - click to view it on Love Comes Calling - click to view it on The Miracle Thief - click to view it on Like A Flower In Bloom - click to view it on Flirtation Walk - click to view it on
After an eleven-book run with those (writing under both my own name and Iris Anthony), I’m now writing contemporary suspense.  Suspense makes a lot of sense to me because that’s what I prefer to read.  The old cold war thrillers are some of my favourites."
What is in store next?
"I have absolutely no idea!  I have a list of story concepts that I was going to pick from back in March 2020, but we all know what happened then. 

Since I write political thrillers I try to stay tuned in to the national zeitgeist by taking in information from all sorts of places.  As I mentioned above, the books I write have a way of predicting the future and at the moment – due to the pandemic and the contentious nature of politics – it feels like my brain is recalibrating. 

Some of my ideas won’t work in this new world we’re living in.  Some may be adaptable.  I’m letting my sub-conscious sort all of that out while I do the pandemic closet reshuffle and knit myself a few pairs of pandemic socks.  And maybe a pandemic sweater."
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"Writing is hard work.  It’s exhausting both mentally and emotionally.  There is nothing else I’d rather do, nothing else that makes my soul sing, but it can take some coaxing to get my butt to make firm, extended contact with the chair in front of my desk. 

I don’t really have a writing mantra, but I do have a writing bracelet.  The rule is that whenever it’s on my wrist, I’m not allowed to do anything but write.  The quote stamped on the bracelet is ‘She believed she could, so she did’.  That bracelet has gotten me through a lot of books so far."
I like that.  Thank you for sharing, and we hope you are having a great tour!

Be careful what you wish for...

Everywhere to Hide
Available NOW!

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Siri Mitchell said...

Thank you so much for hosting me! I had fun answering your questions.

James said...

This book sounds amazing!

BooksChatter said...

Hello Siri, thank you for popping by!
I never knew about that condition and I loved looking into your back catalogue.

I look forward to reading the book!

Have a great tour :-)


BooksChatter said...

Welcome back, James!

CMash said...

I have never heard of prosopagnosia so am now intrigued and want to read this book.