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 Self-publishing became respectable and relatively easy just in time to rescue me from the sad fate of the Unpublished Writer.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 : https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07H6CKB4M
A selection of other books by Audrey Driscoll
Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Audrey-Driscoll/e/B00J7X7QVC
And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Audrey-Driscoll/e/B00J7X7QVC
Read more reviews and follow Audrey on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4202146.Audrey_Driscoll
Connect to Audrey
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/”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: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/getting-to-know-you-sunday-interview-2019/