Clearing out some papers recently, I came across this mud map of the plot of my novel Cairo Mon Amour. It’s undated, but I estimate that I was about two-thirds into the writing.
I make these mud maps when I’m stuck. I write down the names of all the characters and then connect them up to see if there is a gap that I can exploit.
What I noticed is a circle enclosing the words ‘real plot to assassinate Kosygin’. What could it mean? Then I remembered: Soviet Premier Aleksei Kosygin was sent to Cairo to persuade President Sadat not to pursue his invasion of Sinai to regain territory seized by Israel in 1967. My idea was that a rogue Egyptian intelligence officer would inveigle himself into Sadat’s meeting with Kosygin and set off a bomb.
I chickened out! Why? I’m not quite sure, but I seem to remember that I rejected the idea of a boilerplate terrorist plot starring stereotype Bad Arabs. That’s why you got a poignant love story instead!
Good decision? I reckon!
Want to read Cairo Mon Amour? It’s got 26 five-star Amazon reviews as of today, so it’s not too shabby, as we say in Sydney. Here are the links:
In Australia, go to Booktopia for the paperback.