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.
Welcome to the October 19th stop on the blog tour for Island of Dreams by Harry Duffin with Goddess Fish Promotions. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for spotlights, reviews, author guest posts, and a giveaway! More on that at the end of this post.
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Author Guest Post
I was over forty when I got a three-month contract reading scripts for the BBC. While there I heard about a new soap opera being developed. It was loosely based on Tony Holland’s family, who was creating the series. Every day, at 10 o’clock sharp, I pestered Tony on an internal phone asking to be considered for the writing team. My contract was almost up when one day, Tony said, “Can you come and see us?”
Tony was in his office with the producer, the legendary, dragon-like, Julia Smith, who often reduced young girl assistants to tears in front of the whole studio for some minor mistake.
Tony said he and Julia were burnt out having created all the characters, the backstory and the first twenty-odd storylines for the series. So, Tony said, “Would you like to write the next dozen storylines by Friday?” this was Wednesday…
Well, I had spent over twenty years trying to break into television, so naturally I said, “Okay.” So, I took all the stuff they had created back to my flat, made myself a gallon of black coffee, stocked up with cigarettes, and started making up storylines.
After burning the midnight oil for forty-eight hours, I took in the storylines, and then held my breath while they read them in front of me. Over twenty years of hard graft, tons of rejections, and a few tears, were riding on those twelve one-page storylines. I was over forty and I felt this was my very last chance.
When they’d finished reading, Tony looked at Julia, then he said to me, “do you want to carry on writing story-lines, or do you want to write scripts?”
That’s how I became one of the first writers on “EastEnders.” it was a lucky break, just because I was in the right place at the right time. And I made a bloody nuisance of myself by not taking “no” for an answer.
About the Book
Island of Dreams
by Harry Duffin
Publishing December 2022
Genre: Historical Family Saga
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 ornate cemetery looked deserted, but he knew they were there. Invisible, deadly, concealed among the lavish tombs of Havana’s famous and wealthy dead; crouching beside the weeping angels, the praying Madonna’s, the mock castles of granite and the towering black pyramid, last resting place of the city’s most celebrated and scandalous lovers – they were there. Hiding behind those final monuments to vanity, cradling their weapons, believing she would take up the challenge.
His heart thumped heavily inside the damp cotton shirt and linen jacket. Reaching inside, he felt the butt of the gun he had brought from Hans. He hadn’t fired a gun since he’d fought against Franco in the Spanish Civil War. It felt foolish to have one now, but he was prepared to give up his life to defend her.
She was brave and headstrong, and she would come, somehow. Freddie craved and feared it at the same time. ‘Craved’ – the word revealed his age as much as his feelings. Foolish old man, harbouring such dreams. Dreams he had promised himself she would never know.
They were dreams she had given him. For he had none when the ship sailed into the harbour all those years ago. She had brought him her dreams, bright as that May morning, as innocent as he was corrupt…
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.
Harry Duffin will be awarding a $30 Amazon or B&N gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.a Rafflecopter giveaway
|Oct 10||Literary Gold||Oct 11||Candrel’s Crafts, Cooks, and Characters|
|Oct 11||Lisa Haselton’s Reviews and Interviews||Oct 12||Long and Short Reviews|
|Oct 13||Hope. Dreams. Life… Love||Oct 14||Fabulous and Brunette|
|Oct 17||The Avid Reader||Oct 18||Gina Rae Mitchell|
|Oct 19||Westveil Publishing||Oct 20||All the Ups and Downs|
|Oct 21||Paws.Read.Repeat||Oct 21||It’s Raining Books|
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