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