A young Dunstable entrepreneur who started his first company at the tender age of 20 is well on the way to making his first million as a blockbusting crime writer.
In just five years Adam Croft, 29, has achieved astonishing success through the independent route of self-publishing.
His latest book, Her Last Tomorrow, is out-gunning big names like Stephen King, James Patterson and Lee Child and clocking up 1,000 sales a day.
Market research has revealed that the majority of his readers are middle-aged women.
Adam admitted: “That did suprise me.”
Best known for his Kempston Hardwick mysteries and Knight & Culverhouse thrillers, he says all his books start with the premise ‘What if?’
The former Queensbury pupil explained: “I’m always inspired by hooks.
“I’m fascinated by the idea of ordinary worlds being turned upside down and unthinkable things happening to perfectly normal people.
“It’s something Stephen King did with horror - bizarre situations that could easily happen to you.
“That’s what I’m trying to do with this brand of thrillers.” His most recent psychological cliffhanger is about a five-year-old being kidnapped on her way to school and poses the impossible question: Could you murder your wife to save your daughter?
Stephen King has been a big influence but Adam also likes the style of former film writer Peter James.
He said: “His chapters are short and snappy, like scenes from a movie.
“It makes you want to read another chapter, and another, and that builds the tension.” And he has his sights set on adapting one of his own stories for a film or six part TV series.
Adam’s rapidly being recognised as a huge talent in the field of gripping crime fiction. But what’s not so widely known is he’s also a published playwright and sketch writer.
In addition, he’s an enthusiastic member of Dunstable Rep and enjoys acting almost as much as writing.
The hard-working young author aims to pen 2,000 words a day – “Sometimes it takes an hour, sometimes it’s like getting blood from a stone” – and is now making approximately £500,000 a year. He keeps 80 per cent of the profits by self publishing but admits it requires a technical brain: “I know my target market and do quite a lot through Facebook, which generates up to 300 comments a day.”
He added: “I love being involved in a story. I love reading, I love writing. And even if I wasn’t earning anything, I’d still be doing this.
“It’s become a way of life, rather than a job.”