Behind the Story: Elise McCune

Elise McCune (33).jpg

Photo by Alex Fevola

It my pleasure to introduce the fabulous Elise McCune who is an Australian author born in Cronulla, NSW, Australia. In 1973, she moved to Perth, Western Australia and raised her two children, Lisa and Brett.

She worked for ten years in the Western Australian Museum and after this she lived on a 5000 acre farm, two hundred kilometres north of Perth.

The type of story she likes to read has passion and intrigue and a family secret at its heart.  Exactly the type of story she likes to write. Elise now lives by the bay in Melbourne, Australia.

Tell us all about your story behind the story, Elise!

Thank you Alli for the opportunity to share with your readers how I came to write about a castle in my novel Castle of Dreams and also how I research.

The inspiration for Castillo de Suenos in my novel Castle of Dreams came to me some years ago when I was staying in Mission Beach in far north Queensland. I visited the castle ruins at Paronella Park a magical place in the rainforest near Cairns.

I’m sure lots of WW2 romances started there when the Australian and American servicemen came out to the Saturday night dances with their Cairns and Innisfail girlfriends.

CastleOfDreams_HighResCastle of Dreams has two narrative strands, one set in WW2 Australia and the other in contemporary times. It’s full of all the things I love in a novel: romance, mystery and betrayal, everything to keep you turning the pages to find out what happened next.

For my research I read primary sources like diaries, letters and newspaper reports (Trove is wonderful!). I read books written about and of the period I am researching. I use Google but online information can be inaccurate so be careful and check more than one source. I use my wonderful local library and inter-library loans for books I don’t necessarily want to keep on my bookshelf, and also, I always read bibliographies carefully in each book as they are a source of more information on the subject you are researching.

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Photo by Luke Evans

Luke Evans, son of owners, Mark and Judy Evans, was always willing to answer my many questions about the fascinating history of the park.

I talk to experts in the area I am writing about. I have a military friend who is also a writer of novels and as one period of Castle of Dreams was set in WW2 during the Pacific War I asked him many questions and most importantly I could rely on his answers.


Photo by Luke Evans

I write about the things and places I love: mystery, England, Cornwell, and history all sprinkled with a touch of magic.

You can find more information about Elise and her books at



2 thoughts on “Behind the Story: Elise McCune

  1. Hi Elise, hubby and I visited Paronella Park 7 years ago and we fell in love with the castle ruins and the extraordinary trees that line the pathway – very romantic and magical. We did the day and night tour – both spectacular. We’re off to North QLD on Wednesday, hoping to revisit Paronella Park.

    The cover is beyond gorgeous and I’m looking forward to reading this book!

  2. Thanks for sharing my story, Alli.

    Sue, I’m sure you will enjoy Castle of Dreams.

    Alli, I am looking forward to reading all the previous posts on your wonderful blog and also reading your own books which have such lovely covers.

    Thanks again,

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