Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like
One of the advantages of being an editor is that I get to read terrific books before they’re published. Then they come out and I’m thrilled, not only that they’ve come to fruition but also that I’ve already sipped from the well. It’s a blast.
Over the summer I had the chance to beta read Audrey Driscoll’s new novel, She Who Comes Forth. It’s a rousing paranormal adventure story set in Egypt, with the Cuban missile crisis in the background and all kinds of mysterious intrigue in the foreground. I’ll let the blurb speak for itself:
Recently turned 21, France Leighton travels to Luxor, Egypt, taking with her two legacies—an antique cello and an emerald ring. Instead of the archaeological adventure she expects, she gets a lecherous dig director, hidden agendas, a risky balloon ride, and an enigmatic nuclear physicist. In the mysteries of the ancient tombs, France realizes she and her gifts may imperil the world—or save it. More Details: 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. While the world teeters on the brink of nuclear war, France 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.
Audrey is a writer who has created an entire world—or, more accurately, an entire mythology—around her character Herbert West, derived from the work of H. P. Lovecraft. And although this book alludes to the vast backstory she’s built these last few years, you don’t need to have read her other books to appreciate it. It’s a standalone tale, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it lures you into Audrey’s entire milieu.
By the way, if I don’t say so myself, I give good beta. Contact me at kevinbrennan520(at)gmail(dot)com or indescribable.com(at)gmail(dot)com if you have a project that needs an objective once-over before you push the “Publish” button. An 80,000-word book will run you $80.