“The Man With Green Fingers”
This morning somebody asked me how I thought of the story for The Man With Green Fingers..
Well, I have no idea.
I think I set it in Cyprus because we were staying there at the time I started to write it. No more complicated than that. The plot developed by itself. I certainly didn’t set out to write about Stella as she is, let alone John or Ashley. They sort of emerged out of the end of my pen, so to speak. The first draft was very short – perhaps 100 pages – and I gave it to my daughter, Pippa, to look at. She liked it, made a few suggestions, and it grew from there.
In writer/author forums they often tell you to work out your plot carefully in advance and to make sure that it is a subject readers will want to read. But that has never been my experience. Readers read all sorts of things and my plots always change as the story unravels. One publisher rejected it because, she said, the plot was too improbable – ! Most plots are improbable – The Da Vinci Code being one, yet it is a best-seller.
What was more difficult was getting Stella’s psychiatric condition right. It involved a lot of research and I spent many hours talking to psychiatrists (I am from a family of doctors, which helped) and wading through the internet. I think I got it about right.
Cyprus was a nice place to set the book because I know it quite well, having been there property-hunting several times, and also because it is largely English-speaking. There is a huge ex-pat community there and it was a totally plausible place for Stella. In my book “Saying Nothing” I had to translate bits here and there, which is always awkward to do without interrupting the flow of the story. So, Cyprus was handy from that point of view too.
I chopped and changed the ending several times, as it needed to hit home and at the same time had to encompass several people in the last few pages. The ending is slightly sinister, which I like, and readers can draw their own conclusions from there.
Catherine Broughton is a novelist, a poet and an artist. She is widely travelled and writes regularly for magazines and blog sites. Her sketches are on her web site http://www.turquoisemoon.co.uk . Her books are available from Amazon and on Kindle, or can be ordered from several leading book stores.
Click below for “The Man with Green Fingers”, a novel set in Cyprus:-