A contemporary Wuthering Heights, THE HURTING is a young adult psychological thriller about twisted love, obsession and sacrifice, set against the stunning backdrop of remote Norwegian fjords and an abandoned wolf reservation.

Nell's family arrives in Norway in financial disgrace. She is dominated by her family - her religious father and her sister, whose cancer stops Nell from embracing her dreams of a musical career. She doesn't believe in love, either, until she falls for Lukas. But Lukas has his own dark agenda, and in this tale of hidden secrets and shocking twists, he manipulates Nell closer to the point of no return. How far is she willing to go for love?

Praise for THE HURTING

The FT : “The grandeur of a Norwegian setting is not the only thing that sets  Lucy van Smit’s debut apart…The Hurting becomes a tale of raw survival when Nell has to navigate the icy, wolf ravaged wilderness…”

The Bookseller: “Shocking twists and secrets aplenty in an intense, compelling, epic noir thriller played out against an atmospheric Norwegian setting.”

‘It’s brilliant!  Really, really good – and I’m not just saying that.  I finished it last night and was genuinely sad it had come to an end.  It’s very powerful and so vivid;  some authors are good at characterisation, some at setting…you seem to excel at both.  I’m seriously impressed.” Katy Fletcher, Dulwich Prep. Librarian.

“Compelling, dark, enthralling – read it now! Don’t you just hate it when you fall in love and steal a baby? Seriously, Lucy Van Smit takes an ‘out there’ premise and draws the reader in, via layered plotting and nuanced characterisation. The Nordic backdrop is fabulous and Nell is an enigmatic lead, complex and flawed and absolutely compelling. I can see this as a movie, for sure. Loved it and very, very much recommended.”  L.V. Hay, Script Consultant, Author, Script Editor.

“There are no words to describe the beauty that is The Hurting … but I will try. I was instantly sucked in by the beautiful prose and atmospheric setting. The reader is effortlessly transported to the freezing wilderness with Nell and the dangerous wolf boy. Smit has an authentic teen voice and does a fantastic job of taking the older reader back to their teen years. That all consuming infatuation, the guy you can’t stop thinking about – the text pulsed with teenage obsession.” Amazon Reviewer.

“Have I said how much I really love ‘The Hurting’? I have read it twice now – just a gorgeous, gorgeous piece of writing. My niece (who’s at Rugby) has completely flipped for it and made all her friends buy it – it’s totally intense and cool is her review.” Cat Muir, Screenwriter, Children’s Novelist.

“And the WRITING.  Oh my goodness your writing.  You don’t miss a space for punch and power.  No fluff.  Some absolutely beautiful ways of saying things that make you almost breathless with description, followed by another and another – all in the same paragraph.  Till you’re overcome with the intensity of your feelings and how you can put them across.” Pamela Townley, Author, Screenwriter.


Empowering and bursting with kindness, A Writer's Journal Workbook is a must-have for writers. I've been using it alongside The Artist's Way and it's a real game-changer. I've recommended it to all the writers I know!

Rashmi Sirdeshpande, Author


In A Writer’s Journal Workbook, (Bloomsbury 2022), you discover surprising new techniques from acting, neuroscience, psychology, philosophy and spirituality to re-wild your creativity and empower your writing craft.  

A writing journal is one of the best-kept secrets. It is all about you. Your superpower that gives you agency over your writing and self-mastery over your emotions and thoughts. It shows you how to see yourself and the world with a new lens.

Writing can seem overwhelming. You long to be a writer, but where do you start? How do you bridge the gap between where you are right now and where you want to go? A Writer’s Journal Workbook helps you find your spark. 

This is not a book about getting published or finding an agent. This is a book about finding you. Finding your voice. Trusting your talent. Your creativity. It is about putting your heart and soul into your writing practice and doing it your way.


This is a brilliant book to help get those creative juices flowing. The book has lots of exercises which will help experienced writers and beginners alike. Highly recommended as a resource to help focus the mind and find your creativity in new ways.

Catherine Emmett, author.

Invaluable, thought provoking, full of insight, but above all…practically useful for writers.

Christopher Vick, Carnegie Shortlisted YA writer

This book will totally change your approach to writing, it is truly a masterpiece in the most user-friendly practical style. I love it. It has everything to get one started on their writing journey with heaps of affirming “you can do it” approach thrown in. This book is like an invisible hand on one’s shoulder supporting and empowering the writer as one takes the first tentative step on their writing path. “I bought your book a month ago and I felt you wrote it, especially for me Thank you so much for writing it I can so relate.

Emma B.

This excellent book gave me the necessary help to fine tune my writing. The author is insightful and a great communicator of ideas to help refine, clarify and improve the jumble of words that can pour out when first engaged in the creative process of writing. She helped me overcome the dreaded ‘block’ when doubts creep in and dismantle your belief in what you are doing. Thoroughly recommend this book. Thank you, Lucy Van Smit for writing it.

Cerin A.

A gem of a tool for any writer (and indeed any creative, of any discipline, format and genre) to have in their toolbox. As well as practical steps to aid and assist your own storytelling processes, this book is a also a very helpful guide to reframing your mindset, so as to better enable your muse to have more freedom to play, and releasing your inner storyteller to be more confident and shout louder than your inner critic(s) so their interfering negative whispers can more easily be ignored. I was so inspired by one exercise I had to immediately stop reading and get writing on something that I was struggling with at the time having realised the solution to my problem. I highly recommend this invaluable book.

Amazon Customer.

I’ve been waiting for Lucy’s workbook to come out and I’m thrilled it’s now in my possession! It is jam packed with inspiring exercises to gain creative connection, as well as space for reflection (and don’t worry, you’re given useful things to reflect on too). Not only a must have for any writer, but for anybody looking to connect with their creative side, and in doing so open up new ways of thinking and possibilities.

Nikki Swan, Transformational Life Coach