October 10, 2022

Island of Dreams

 


Island of Dreams

by Harry Duffin


GENRE:    Historical family saga



ISLAND OF DREAMS

In May 1939, when Professor Carl Mueller, his wife, Esther, and their three children flee Nazi Germany, and find refuge on the paradise island of Cuba, they are all full of hopes and dreams for a safe and happy future. But those dreams are shattered when Carl and Esther are confronted by a ghost from their past, and old betrayals return to haunt them.


The turbulent years of political corruption leading to Batista’s dictatorship, forces the older children to take very different paths to pursue their own dangerous dreams.
And - among the chaos and the conflict that finally leads to Castro’s revolution and victory in 1959, an unlikely love begins to grow - a love that threatens the whole family.
Having escaped a war-torn Europe, their Island of Dreams is to tear them apart forever.




Excerpt:


The deck was already full of passengers, mostly standing in silence. Like Anna, taking their last look at the island. She found a space at the rail facing the shore, as the rising sun turned the grand buildings of the Presidential Plaza to gold.

     

The ship was divided between wailing and deep silence. Somewhere Anna could hear a rhythmic chant – 


‘We cannot sail. We must not die -’       


Anna choked back tears. How she longed to set foot on the island. To walk under the palms, to be lost in the bustle, the sounds, the music of these vibrant people. She stood silently, the tears hot on her cheeks.  She looked past the line of police boats to the shore and remembered her first sight of the island. It had looked so welcoming, so free. She could make out the line of tall palm trees beyond the harbour, their long fronds waving in the gentle breeze. She had never stood beneath a palm tree. Were there coconuts clustered at the top? She’d never know, now.


‘We cannot sail. We must not die -’   continued the chant.   


But they were to sail. Were they also to die?


The ship’s klaxon startled them all. A long, mournful moan. A deeper silence followed the deafening noise. Then the panic and the prayers rose again, louder, from deep inside the ship. Suddenly, the note of the engines changed, higher, louder, more insistent. Anna knew it couldn’t be long now. 



About the Author:


Harry is an award-winning UK screenwriter, who won the Writers’ Guild Award for Best TV serial, while writing for Granada Television’s ‘CORONATION STREET’. Before that, in 1985, he was on the first writing team for the BBC’s ‘EASTENDERS’.  


Before beginning his career writing drama for television, Harry spent a dozen years working in British theatre, as stage manager, writer, designer and director, working with actors such as Nigel Hawthorne, Anne Reid and Lesley Manville. 

After script-editing the BBC’s HOWARDS’WAY, he freelanced for series like DISTRICT NURSE, THE BILL, BOON, THE BRETTS, EMMERDALE.  

In 1994 he became Head of Development at the UK independent company, Cloud 9 Screen Entertainment. As the script executive he was responsible for seven major television series, included ‘SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON’ starring RICHARD ‘JOHN BOY’ THOMAS, and ‘TWIST IN THE TALE’, featuring WILLIAM SHATNER. He also wrote the film, RETURN TO TREASURE ISLAND.

In 1998 he was the co-creator of the UK Channel Five teen-cult drama series ‘THE TRIBE’, which ran for five series, numbering 260 episodes. ‘THE TRIBE’ has been sold world-wide, and all series is on YouTube.

His first novel, CHICAGO MAY, is the first book of a two-part series.  He has also written JAIL TALES, about his wife’s 20 year career in the prison service, and the novel BIRTH OF THE MALL RATS, the prequel to THE TRIBE.

He has just finished his third novel, ISLAND OF DREAMS, to be published on December 1st 2022.

 

Q&A With the Author

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

Having spent some time in Cuba I knew quite a lot about its fascinating history and I enjoyed weaving the characters unique, individual stories against the backdrop of the Mafia-backed corrupt political scene on the island, which finally led to Fidel Castro’s revolution. 

Setting fictional people within real events over twenty years meant I could develop their stories and let them grow. What they did surprised me sometimes, as I hadn’t planned they would do some of those things.

Do you have any other books you are working on that you can tell us about?

I am working on a sequel to my first novel CHICAGO MAY. It’s called L.A. MAY and it’s about our heroine escaping New York to begin a new life in Los Angeles in the mid-1920’s. She opens a detective agency in a very enticing place and time, when the Hollywood film industry began to dominate the city. 

 
Can you tell us about what you have planned for the future?

Well, I enjoy writing novels more than writing screenplays, which I did for a long time, so I plan to carry on developing some other novel ideas, after finishing L.A. MAY. As I am not a genre writer so I go where my mind takes me.  I don’t know what the next novel will be about yet, but I’m sure researching it will be amazing.


How long have you been writing?

I began writing theatre plays, but when I was picked to be on the first writing team for EASTENDERS I switched to writing full-time for television. Moving from series to series, like from THE BILL to EMMERDALE keeps your brain active. I won a Writer’s Guild Award while writing for CORONATION STREET, but my biggest achievement was being the co-creator and lead writer for the teenage dystopian drama, THE TRIBE, which ran on Channel 5 for 5 years.


Anything more you would like to say to your readers and fans? 

There are many great books out there. Put down your phone and go out and read them! 


 


https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4674467.Harry_Duffin

 www.harryduffin.co.uk 

https://twitter.com/duffin26

The book will be free



GIVEAWAY


Harry Duffin will be awarding a $30 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


 

a Rafflecopter giveaway




38 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. People who have read think it is. I sent it to some Beta readers and one comment was 'Wow! What an epic!' I liked that.

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  2. I enjoyed the Q&A. and the excerpt, Harry, Island of Dreams sounds like a fantastic family saga for me to read and share with my mom! Good luck with your book and the tour!

    Thanks for sharing it with me and have an awesome week!

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    Replies
    1. Better warn your mum it has some quite raunchy stuff as the story continues.

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  3. Thank you for sharing your Q&A, bio and book details, I have enjoyed reading about you and your work and I am looking forward to reading Island of Dreams, it sounds like a great story

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  4. Picturesque cover! Sounds like a great read. Love the time periods this is set in

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    Replies
    1. If you don't know anything about Cuba at that time, you will learn quite a lot, mostly as a back story.

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    2. I think it's an excellent cover. People don't notice there is a gun there firstly. They think it's the island. It is a fascinating time period.

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  5. Great excerpt and giveaway. :)

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    Replies
    1. If you like the excerpt I think you may like the novel, and Anna's life as she grows up.

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  6. A turbulent time in both countries I'd have to say.

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    Replies
    1. Very. But that's the backstory. The main part are the characters and how they develop together, or not.

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  7. The excerpt sounds very interesting.

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  8. A lot goin on in cuba these days.. cool theme.

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    Replies
    1. A very exciting time for the island, and the people.

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  9. Thank you very much for hosting. It's nice to see there some comments. The book isn't published until December though I could send anyone a Word copy if they want to have a first read. I am still revising the opening just a little from a comment someone made.

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  10. Love the cover and the title - best of luck with the tour

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    1. I think the cover works well, because many people don't see the rifle at first, they think it's the island. Thanks for your good luck with the tour.

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  11. Thank you for sharing your book. I'm fascinated by the historical element. Sounds interesting

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Katrina. It was a very interesting time in Cuba.

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  12. Very beautiful cover! Eye-catching!

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  13. It's really neat that you write for television. It must feel amazing seeing your writing acted out on screen

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  14. It can be. Depends on the director and the actors, of course. But generally I've had a good time with them. I hope that ISLAND OF DREAMS is picked up as a long-form TV drama series.

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  15. Your other book Jail Tales also sounds Interesting

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    Replies
    1. Those are true stories about my wife's career as a prison governor in the UK. She was the first woman governor into Strangeways and Dartmoor. They are mostly funny but with some sad stories as well.

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  16. Beautiful cover! It helps establish the setting for book.

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    Replies
    1. I think it is brilliant. It was created by my friend, Rod Davis, a graphic designer who lives in Spain.

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  17. I see you have worked with actors..who is the most famous person you know?

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  18. It is one of the ironies of history that many who flee one form of danger and oppression often find themselves in another area of many of the same dangers--even if the impetus behind the danger may be different.

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  19. Thank you so much for answering all the comments and questions. I appreciate you engaging with us readers. You seem to have a very interesting and fruitful life!!

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  20. Thank you for taking an interest, Katrina.

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  21. L.A. May sounds like it'll be interesting. I love old Hollywood and the 20s era too!

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  22. L.A. May will be published next year.

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