Author Letter: Behind the scenes of Seven Days with Robert Rutherford

Author Letter: Behind the scenes of Seven Days with Robert Rutherford

Dear Goldsboro PREM1ER members
 
SEVEN DAYS marks the start of a new chapter (no pun intended) for me in so many ways. Back in 2020, only a month into the very first lockdown, I parted ways with my first agent after four books together. Many writers suffer from imposter syndrome, and having an agent had always felt like a stamp of authenticity for me - a sign that I must be doing something right to have someone other than my wife and parents believe in my writing. Losing that was a big blow to my confidence, and I did wonder for a while if I’d ever manage to find another one.
 
Cue a tweet from DHH agency inviting writers to pitch their books on line, which I duly did. I’d submitted to DHH years before, with David Headley firmly at the top of my wish list, but had been unsuccessful. Imagine then, the levels of excitement this time around when David got in touch and offered to represent me! 
 
SEVEN DAYS is a departure from my previous books. Instead of a Police Officer leading you through an investigation, I wanted to put family dynamics under the microscope. At its heart it’s a story about family, and the choices we can make out of obligation, duty and sometimes guilt. 
 
Next, I wanted to take one of the long standing favourite tools in a crime writers kitbag - a ticking clock - and take it to a whole new level. What countdown has more of a sense of finality to it than one counting down to an execution? 
 
This aspect sent my research off down a fascinating rabbit hole around the history of the death penalty in various countries - the moral and ethical dilemma about whether it should exist as a form of punishment. It’s a topic that can ignite debate, and divide opinions. Obviously we don’t have it any more in the UK, and the number of places that continue allow it is ever shrinking. In the US, forty of the fifty States have either abolished the death penalty, paused it, or had no executions in the past decade. Who’s to say it won’t disappear completely one day? 
 
Whatever your personal views, it allows me as a writer to put my characters through the emotional wringer on so many levels. I’m hoping as you get to know Alice Logan, you’ll feel every ounce of that emotion that she goes through as she grapples with her own version of that moral dilemma.
 
I do hope you have as much fun reading SEVEN DAYS as I did writing it. It still amazes me sometimes that people want to read stories that I make up in my spare bedroom, so thank you to each and every one of you in advance for simply being readers and giving up your precious time to read my ramblings! 
 
Robert Rutherford
 
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