This NICU nurse is also a thriller writer


Audrey J. Cole is the pen name for Audrey Pflugrath, a registered nurse and writer of thrillers set in Seattle, US. Although born and raised in the Seattle area, Audrey now lives with her husband and daughter in Port Stephens and works in the NICU at the John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle. When she’s not working or spending time with her family, Audrey’s writing a psychological thriller.

Audrey: I’ve always had a dream of someday becoming an author. Last month, my dream finally became a reality with the publication of my medically-based crime thriller, The Recipient. I’m having a blast self publishing, working on the next one and having another baby in September.

I got the idea for The Recipient just over four years ago when I was still living in the States. I read an article about an Oregon serial killer who was about to be put to death. He had petitioned to donate his organs after execution, but after a review of his case medical ethicists deemed it would be wrong for the state to kill him and then use his organs to benefit others. Additionally, they felt being an organ donor was a privilege this killer should be denied.

The article got me thinking, how would you feel if you received an organ from a serial killer? From this, I got the inspiration to write The Recipient. In the novel, Seattle serial killer Michael Rhodes becomes the first death row inmate in US history to be allowed to donate his organs. A year later, Sergeant Wade McKinnon gets called to a crime scene that shares uncanny similarities to those of the late Michael Rhodes.

Elle is thrilled when her husband Brian gets a second chance at life when he receives a partial brain transplant after suffering a debilitating stroke at the age of 37. Their lives seem to return to normal, but Elle notices a disturbing change in Brian’s behavior. When Elle learns that her husband’s brain cell transplant came from Michael Rhodes, she fears Brian now has the mind of a serial killer.

My husband Brett and I moved to Australia in 2013 from Washington state, where The Recipient takes place. We came to Australia for Brett to complete a PhD in Environmental and Civil Engineering at UNSW and have since fallen in love with this amazing country. Brett has submitted his doctoral thesis for review and we are in the process of applying for permanent residency.

It was a few months before I started working when we moved here to Australia and I used that time to write the majority of the first draft of The Recipient. I had a lot of fun intertwining a medical mystery into this crime thriller. Over the next few years, I learned everything I could about writing and attended a writer’s conference when we went back to the States for a visit. Finally, after a three-year process of writing, rewriting and editing, I sent my manuscript to a professional editor in Seattle. With his help, I was able to polish The Recipient and get it to the final stages in order to make it ready for publication.

I then decided to make the bold leap to independently publish it and the response so far has been amazing. On June 13, The Recipient became available worldwide on Amazon and at local bookstores in the Newcastle/Port Stephens region. Not only have I had incredible support from friends, family, and my coworkers, but The Recipient has received seven 5-star reviews from book review bloggers and 12 5-star reviews on Amazon US. It’s also been great to receive emails and reviews from people I don’t know who’ve enjoyed my book. The Recipient is the first book in a series of Emerald City Thrillers and I’m looking forward to publishing the next in this series in early 2018.

Visit her website to learn more about Audrey and her new release.

The Recipient is available at Harry Hartog Bookseller in Westfield Kotara, McDonalds Booksellers & Stationers in Maitland, at Homebody gift shop in Nelson Bay and on Amazon.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here