Gregg Hurwitz‘s latest thriller, TRUST NO ONE, is the youngest sibling to a veritable team of internationally bestselling books, a pack of screenplays, a gaggle of comics, and a coven of published articles. Mr. Hurwitz is a busy man. As such, we’d like to thank him for taking the time to be part of our “5 Minutes Alone” interview series.
AuthorScoop: What was your very first publication credit?
Gregg: Well, my first book is called The Tower, and it came out in 1999. But the first thing I ever got into print was a piece of my thesis—an analysis of Orson Welles’s Othello in Word & Image journal from UPenn. It is a sleep-inducing essay, but man was I proud to see my name in print.
AuthorScoop: Tell us about your latest release.
Gregg: Nick Horrigan, an average guy, awakens in the middle of the night when he thinks he sees a watery blue light along his ceiling. He blinks, and it’s gone. He gets up, rubbing his eyes, crosses into the main room, and looks through the sliding glass door onto the balcony. A black rope is hanging over the lip of the roof and lies coiled on the balcony floor. He opens the slider, steps out, closing the screen behind him.
Down below he sees dark sedans lining the curb on either side, and cop cars with their lights now turned off. Before he can react, the rope twitches, and a guy clad in full SWAT gear rappels off the roof and—not seeing Nick—hammers him in the chest with both boots. Nick soars back into his apartment, ripping the screen from the frame, and lands on his back. His front door flies out of the frame like a hurricane hit on the other side, and slides to within an inch of his nose. And before he can catch his breath, a full SWAT team storms the apartment.
The lead agent grabs him, asks, “Are you Nick Horrigan?” Nick still can’t catch his breath, so he nods. They shove a photo in front of his face. “When’s the last time you’ve had contact with this man?” Nicks says, “I’ve never seen him before.” They tug him to his feet. He’s barefoot, in pajama bottoms. He’s dragged outside. Cop cars everywhere. Neighbors lining the sidewalk. A loud thrumming shakes the air and then the palm trees behind his building light up. A helicopter rolls into view and sets down on the end of his cul-de-sac. He’s dragged toward it, and finally he stops, says, “You can’t just take me. Where the hell am I going?”
And the lead agent replies, “A terrorist has just seized control of the San Onofre nuclear power plant. He’s threatening to blow it up. And the only person he’ll talk to is you.”
That’s the end of chapter one. I did my best to keep the rest of the book moving at this pace, but I also didn’t want to sacrifice character. It was important to me to dig into Nick Horrigan so readers really cared about his impossible predicament (which only gets worse from here!). Trust No One was inspired by the Hitchcock everyman thrillers I loved so much growing up, and I hope readers will find the same suspense and pacing here.
AuthorScoop: Aside from your own hard work, who else do you feel has contributed to your success?
Gregg: More people than I can name. English teachers, my lawyers, agents, an editor with whom I worked very closely, my wife, friends—anyone who was ever intimate and honest with me, because all that goes into the blender of a writer’s brain. Intimacy and honesty are the ingredients a writer uses to craft a story.
AuthorScoop: At what time of day or night do you do your best writing?
Gregg: I write all day every day—7:30 to 5. When I’m up against a deadline, I’ll sometimes push past then.
AuthorScoop: Finally, what advice would you give to new or unpublished writers?
Gregg: Ass-in-chair time is key above all else. Write, write, write, and write. Then rewrite and rewrite some more.
TRUST NO ONE is available now at bookstores everywhere and clickable at all online book retailers, as well. If you haven’t seen it, then you haven’t been in a bookstore recently.