Skip to content

The Butterfly Collector

‘What happens when everything you have is not enough?’

I first penned The Butterfly Collector in 2007 in a couple of hardback notebooks. It started, as most of my novels do, with a single idea – in this case, a couple meeting for the first time in the kitchen at a party. Peter Calliet is a property developer who has all the material comforts he needs. But his life is far from satisfactory. His imminent marriage to fiancé Claudia is already fraught with tension. He’s restless, tired of competing with his Freemason father, and seeks release with a succession of available women. An illicit affair that ended in tragedy several years before catches up with him and threatens to destroy his future.

Natalie is a talented artist with her own fractured past. A failed relationship in London and subsequent mental breakdown has left her scarred and wary of any future commitment. In an attempt to introduce some normality into her life she moves to Bournemouth with her daughter Charlotte. Meeting Peter only adds to her problems and undermines her sense of security. At first she finds him arrogant and materialistic, someone at odds with her artist’s sensibility. But the attraction between them is instant, undeniable.

When the novel first came out in 2012, I was surprised at the reaction of many reviewers, who objected to what they perceived as Peter Calliet’s misogyny and general attitude to women. After my initial disappointment wore off, I saw this criticism as a positive and began encouraging the kind of negative press that might lead to book sales. After all, notorious womanisers have always been popular in fiction, so why not this one!

Thankfully, not everyone saw Peter in the same light. Some reviewers saw him as I had originally, as a man under great psychological pressure to conform to a lifestyle that was slowly crippling him.  His obsession with Natalie is fuelled largely by this growing discontent. He sees her as a distraction, a way of opting out – even temporarily – of the responsibilities he’s accumulated.

The Butterfly Collector has gone through many changes since that first draft. But after re-reading it fairly recently, I decided it needed an overhaul. That particular edit – at first intended only as a quick makeover – turned into a huge labour of love, ending with me lopping 10,000 words from the original.

This then is the revised edition, now available in e-book and in paperback soon.

Published inBlog

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply