Audrey Cole, a Sequim native now living in Australia, recently released “The Recipient: An Emerald City Thriller.” Submitted photo

Audrey Cole, a Sequim native now living in Australia, recently released “The Recipient: An Emerald City Thriller.” Submitted photo

Sequim native sets Seattle thiller from afar

Making her home in the antipodes, author Audrey J. Cole is quite comfortable seeing her characters live out her thrillers in the familiar Pacific Northwest.

Using her pen/maiden name, Cole — a Sequim native who now lives in Port Stephens, Australia, under her married name Audrey Pflugrath — uses her experiences in Washington to help set the scene for “The Recipient,” her debut thriller and the first book in a series of Emerald City Thrillers that debuted on Amazon on June 13.

“Being from the Northwest definitely it’s easier to recreate that setting,” says Cole, a 2004 Sequim High School graduate.

“I love how Ann Rule brought the Pacific Northwest to life in her books, and I hoped to do that as well. There is also something about serial killers and the Pacific Northwest that seems to go together.”

Cole also brings into her writing her other profession as a registered nurse, which sometimes can help with her prose. When she’s not looking after her 17-month-old daughter or working two days a week as a nurse, she finds time — at least an hour a day, if possible — to write.

“(My background) does make it easier when it comes to medical terminology and bringing a medical mystery into the story,” Cole says. “I still had to do a bit of research for this book, but being a nurse does impact my writing and I enjoyed bringing some medical aspects into the plot.”

A reader from an early age, Cole says when she got the idea for “The Recipient” a few years ago, it encouraged her to write more seriously and consistently.

“Now writing is a daily part of my life,” she says.

And that isn’t all taken up by writing thriller novels: Cole also offers advice, insights and other links in a blog through her website (

“I’ve been learning as much as I can about writing and publishing over the last few years, so blogging about it seemed an easy way to share what I have learned with others who are maybe just starting out,” she says.

When it comes to subject matter, Cole finds she enjoys to write what she reads — thrillers.

“I love a mystery and suspenseful story that you can’t put down,” she says. “I write what I enjoy reading and what I think other readers will enjoy, too.”

In “The Recipient,” Sergeant Wade McKinnon looks to unfurl a mystery of a murder that has uncanny similarities to the murder scenes of Michael Rhodes, a serial killer who was executed but allowed to donate part of his brain as an organ transplant. When evidence found at one of the crime scenes points to Wade as the killer, he races to find the real culprit before it’s too late to clear his own name.

Cole also has available for readers “From Death to Life,” a free, short story prequel to “The Recipient” via her website.

Cole earned her high school diploma in Sequim and an Associate of Arts degree through Peninsula College’s Running Start program in 2004 and went on to become a registered nurse.

Her husband Brett was awarded a scholarship to complete a PhD at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, so they decided to make the move nearly four years ago from Washington.

“It was a big change but has been an amazing experience,” Cole says.

Their daughter Elise was born there and the couple is expecting a baby boy in September.

Cole says she still has ties to Sequim, including family, and last visited the area on the couple’s visit to the States in 2015.

Learn more about Cole at or follow her on Twitter at

Sequim native sets Seattle thiller from afar

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