Daniel Hurst is a British thriller writer who has taken the Amazon psychological thriller charts by storm over the last two years, publishing around 40 books in lightning speed.
Although he's been writing since he was a child, it was the Covid pandemic that finally spurred him into a writing frenzy.
He's been discussing word counts, getting up at 7am to write and how a title for a book often comes ahead of writing the story...
Where do you live?
Bolton in the sun-soaked region of North West England.
How many books have you published?
I'd say it must be 40 now. Half of them are standalone psychological thrillers, the other half part of a 20 book series that involves a bit of everything! I started writing seriously a few months before lockdown in 2020, used it as a massive distraction during all things COVID, and by the time it was over, I had a lot of books on my hands!
How long have you been writing?
Since I was a child. My parents still have the evidence in their attic, unfortunately! I dabbled on and off with it in my twenties before taking it seriously in my thirties.
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Yes, it was one of those things that I told myself I would do when I was older. Getting married at 32 and having the subsequent mortgage/kids conversations made me realise I was probably old enough!
Do you write full-time?
Yes, I've been full-time for just over a year now and am grateful to be so every day.
Who are your favourite authors?
I read a lot of Roald Dahl as a youngster. These days, I tend to read more non-fiction as it's easier to unwind than by reading something in my own genre, sadly! I enjoy all of Ben Mezrich's books as he writes about real events but in a fictionalised style.
What does your writing day look like?
This changes by the month! Recently, I have been getting up at 7am, writing furiously until noon and then having the rest of the day off away from a laptop screen. I nearly always set a word count target before each day and it's generally around 7,000 because in my mind, that's around 10% of a book, give or take a few thousand!
Do you plan your books in advance or discover as you go along?
I used to like to jump into the writing and see where the story took me but now I outline each chapter beforehand. It's slightly less stressful that way!
Where do you write?
At my desk in a spare bedroom overlooking the back garden that really needs some TLC!
Which has been your most successful book to date?
The Passenger became the number one psychological thriller in the UK in October last year, which was a nice surprise as I was stripping wallpaper at the time and needed something to cheer me up!
How do you come up with your ideas?
A lot of daydreaming! I was always writing things down on my phone when I was commuting to my old job and there's hundreds of story ideas on there that I'll probably never get around to. I also like to come up with a title for a book first and then build a story from there, which might be a little unusual!
If readers are new to your work – which book of yours do you recommend starting with?
Til Death Do Us Part. It was the book that allowed me to go full-time, so it will always be my personal favourite, and the final twist has proven to be popular.
What are you currently working on?
I finished a book last week, so I'm in that weird state now where I catch up on admin, go for lots of walks/pub visits and generally procrastinate before plucking up the courage to start writing thousands of words a day again!
Tell us about your latest release.
It's called The Couple At Table Six, and tells the story of a damaged waitress who becomes obsessed with a seemingly perfect couple who visit her restaurant, only to learn they are potentially more dangerous than she is.
Daniel Hurst is the bestselling author of numerous fast-paced psychological thrillers including The Passenger, The Wrong Woman and We Used To Live Here. He lives in Bolton with his wife, watches lots of sport and tries to talk himself into using his treadmill on a daily basis.
Daniel Hurst was talking to AJ Wills, the bestselling author of multiple psychological thrillers. He was a journalist for more than twenty years and has been writing full-time since March 2021. He's married to fellow thriller writer, AJ McDine.