Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Sunday Interview – Getting to Know author Audrey Driscoll

This week my guest is Canadian author Audrey Driscoll who shares the contents of her purse, her phobia, love of Tofino and how she would love to be invisible for a day….

First a little bit about Audrey Driscoll

I grew up reading books, and became interested in making stories myself. I worked out scenes and bits of dialogue, and made my friends act out little dramas based on my favourite book at the time – Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book.

With that background, it was inevitable I would become a writer. It just took a while. After establishing a career as a librarian – first at the University of Saskatchewan and then at the Greater Victoria Public Library in British Columbia – I had a meaningful encounter with H.P. Lovecraft’s character Herbert West.

Strangely fascinated by HPL’s corpse-reanimating physician and his friend the nameless narrator, I built a set of stories around them. In 2000, I was compelled to write them down. The result was The Friendship of Mortals and three more novels, which constitute the Herbert West Series. Self-publishing became respectable and relatively easy just in time to rescue me from the sad fate of the Unpublished Writer.

Reluctant to abandon the characters I had spent so much time with, I wrote and recently published several short stories as supplements to the Herbert West Series. I am currently at work on a sequel to the series.

My other interest is gardening a patch of earth on southern Vancouver Island. I post about that at least as often as I do about books and writing — with pictures! To me, writing and gardening are forms of alchemy — a mysterious process of creating excellence from the chaos of the world.

Time to find out what questions Audrey has selected to respond to…..

Welcome Audrey and perhaps you could begin by telling us what are the five things that you would always find in your handbag or briefcase?

Well, let’s have a look… Aside from the obvious, such as wallet, keys, and phone, I always have the following:

One. My Laguiole knife.  It’s an elegant folding knife made in France. You never know when you might need to slice an apple, cut a string, or… deal with an awkward situation.


Two. A bright red shopping bag that, rolled up, is no bigger than a hot cross bun. Now that plastic bags are banned where I live (a move I agree with), it’s come in handy on many a sudden shopping occasion.

Three. A tiny flashlight. Everyone knows you need a light in dark places.

Four. A piece of string. Well, actually it’s a boot lace, but it can do anything a string can. This is another of those “You never know” items.

Five. A notebook and pen, for writing down brilliant ideas. Of course, they’re never as brilliant as the ones that get away.

What was the one thing you could never learn to do no matter how hard you tried?

I’ve never managed to learn to swim properly, despite taking lessons several times. I can float, tread water, and execute a half-decent back stroke and breast stroke. I can’t for the life of me do the crawl. Sticking my face into the water to exhale just feels wrong. I end up holding my breath, which kind of limits endurance. For the most part this hasn’t been a problem. We live a short walk from a nice beach, but the water is almost always too cold for swimming, and I have to admit I’m not keen on swimming pools. You just never know what’s in that water.

Sally: Perhaps these guys might persuade you to change your mind about swimming pools Audrey

Where is your favourite holiday destination and why?

For relaxation-type holidays (as distinct from challenging ones), my number one choice is Tofino, on the west coast of Vancouver Island. It’s a half-day’s drive from Victoria, where I live, but getting there feels like a journey rather than a mere trip. You travel from the built-up, suburbanized east coast of the island, over its rocky spine, into what’s left of the temperate rainforest with clear, fast-running rivers and streams, and finally to the long beaches on the fringe of the world. The town has all the amenities you need, but the feeling of having reached the end of the road pervades the place. Many people have come for a visit and stayed forever. Whether you like surfing, kayaking, or just walking the beaches and watching the endless waves, it’s a wonderful, spiritually renewing place. Many WordPress bloggers get to enjoy photos of its birds, wildlife and scenery through Wayne’s blog, Welcome to Tofino

Sally: I have long been a fan of Wayne Barnes and his stunning photography and Tofino is on our list of ‘Must See’ places… here is a short promotional film by Tracker Productions

Do you have a phobia and do you remember how it started?

I’m not sure this is an actual phobia, but I have an irrational and uncontrollable fear of being in a sailboat that’s heeling over. This is a natural and expected behaviour of sailboats when sailing close to the wind. You really can’t sail without experiencing it. Most people think it’s great fun when the boat tilts at 20 or 30 degrees, water washes over the bow, the rigging clangs, and the wind screams. Me? I’m clinging to handholds and praying to get back to shore. This was a real disappointment, because after reading Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons books I thought sailing would be wonderful. My terror definitely put a crimp in several sailing expeditions, until I gave up and declared myself a landlubber by nature.

If you were to become invisible for a day, what is the one thing you would do?

Spy on people, what else? I’d mingle with crowds, people-watching and eavesdropping, without being suspected of creepiness. In my trusty notebook (which would, I hope, share my invisibility), I would record impressions and snippets of conversations for future writing projects. I’m thinking outdoor venues would be best, to avoid awkward collisions. And unless I could be certain the invisibility would last for the entire day, I’d have to be ready to look uninterested in case I suddenly popped into view. In fact, this scenario in itself might make a good story!

Books by Audrey Driscoll

About She Who Comes Forth

The novel is a standalone sequel to the Herbert West Series. Readers who enjoy a combination of realistic adventure and supernatural elements in an exotic setting — Luxor, Egypt and the Theban Necropolis — may wish to have a look.

October 1962. The developing nuclear missile crisis in Cuba is of no concern to Francesca “France” Leighton. Recently turned 21, France travels from her home in Providence to a job at an archaeological dig in Luxor, Egypt. She takes with her two legacies—an emerald ring from the grandfather she never knew, and an antique cello from his friend, a man she loved like a grandfather.

The dig disappoints. France is relegated to sorting chunks of stone, the dig’s director makes unwanted advances; rivalries and mistrust are everywhere. And it’s too darn hot! Tasked with playing her cello at a gathering of archaeologists, France meets the enigmatic and fascinating nuclear physicist Adam Dexter. She’s smitten, especially when he promises to show her the secrets of Egypt, including a hitherto undiscovered tomb.

After a risky balloon cruise ends in a crash landing, France is forced to leave the dig. Despite warnings against solo explorations on the west bank, she finds herself with Adam Dexter in an eerie house near the Theban Necropolis. Adam’s promises are alluring, but he is both more and less than he seems and his motivations are disturbing. Fleeing his house, France makes a horrifying discovery.

Through an image of Osiris, France discovers the true reason for her presence in the Theban Necropolis. As the world teeters on the brink of nuclear war, she must call upon resources both within and beyond herself to meet the perils that await her in the world of the dead beneath the Western Peak.

One of the recent reviews for the book

I absolutely loved the Herbert West series, and ‘She Who Comes Forth’ kind of picks up where the 4th book ends.

The protagonist is related to Herbert West and shares some of his occult ability. It is this ability, and a mysterious ring, that cause young France Leighton to become involved in a supernatural tussle of wills…in Egypt.

Along the way she meets an intriguing stranger who is not at all what he seems.

But before you think this will be a standard romance set in an exotic location, think again. There’s that twist, right?

I found She Who Comes Forth to be a very enjoyable read and I highly recommend it.

Read the reviews and buy the book :

And Amazon UK :


A selection of other books by Audrey Driscoll

Read the reviews and buy the books:

And Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow Audrey on Goodreads:

Connect to Audrey

Barnes & Noble:”Audrey%20Driscoll

Thank you for dropping in today and I know Audrey would love to hear from you.. thanks Sally

If you would like to participate in the Sunday Interview Series and share your blog and books, then please check out this post:

47 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Sunday Interview – Getting to Know author Audrey Driscoll

  1. Thanks for the great presentation, Sally! The dogs in the pool video makes me wish for a pool of my own. I’ll bet our Newfoundland dog, Nelly, would love to go swimming with her humans. She could rescue me if I started to flounder. And a nice reminder of Tofino; should go there again soon.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Great answers, Audrey!! Just remember to take the knife out of your purse before you fly anywhere. I lost a treasured Swiss Army knife at airport security that way. Tofino is one of my favourite places as well. Your books sound amazing.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Pingback: Read an E-Book Week Sale at Smashwords | Audrey Driscoll's Blog

  4. Oh, another pocket knife person! I have several (because, for some reason, men in my life, felt as though they made great presents) These days, they stay in my home, since it we are “caught” with them in public, we can get into so much trouble. Carry on!

    Liked by 2 people

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  6. You’d be arrested for carrying a knife like that in the UK, Audrey! Which I think is a shame as they are so useful to keep in your handbag. I almost lost my Swiss Army knife in, of all places, the Vatican. At security they were going to take it off me and when I asked if I could claim it back at the end they said no so I decided we’d come back next day. We’d queued for ages to reach that point so the DH and my son were not amused at having to do it again next day.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I’m just a couple of chapters in reading ‘She Who Comes Forth’ and I’m really enjoying it. I like the character of France, setting out in the world on her own, looking forward to adventure and romance, but of course not finding things quite how she expected.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. It’s lovely to read about Audrey. I’ve also visited the site about Tofino and enjoyed it. It sounds like an amazing place. And now you got me thinking about carrying a piece of string… Thanks, Sally!

    Liked by 2 people

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