Elise McCune is an Australian, Melbourne-based international author.
Welcome to my website where you can see images of the places which inspire me and learn more about my stories.
Born in New South Wales, Australia, I moved to Perth, Western Australia where I raised my two children. I worked for ten years in the Western Australian Museum and during this time I travelled to Egypt and stayed in Cairo and Alexandria for an extended visit. I loved Egypt, its people and culture, and its history.
In 2016 I graduated from the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program on fiction writing, centered on female authorial voices and female literary characters.
The online program was taught by Margot Livesey, Professor at the acclaimed Iowa Writers’ Workshop and author of seven novels and one short-story collection; and Christopher Merrill, Director of the International Writing Program, Professor of English at the University of Iowa, and author of six collections of poetry, five works of nonfiction, and many works of translation
I have a fascination for the beautiful landscapes of Australia which I weave through my stories. A sense of place is important to me and I like to explore how characters are shaped by unfamiliar places. I enjoy writing dual narrative stories set in two time periods: the past and the present and I also explore the theme of how the past impacts on the present.
Love, regret and yearning, and nostalgia for the past are things that most people can relate to and love is the most important of these.
I receive wonderful letters and emails from my readers, I answer every one, and I am grateful that through my stories I have, in some small way, given people something special.
Castle of Dreams is a poignant, luminous novel about two sisters, about a mother and daughter, a loved granddaughter, the past that separates them and the healing that comes with forgiveness.
Norwegian publisher Cappelen Damm published Castle of Dreams in translation in April 2017.
With the castle setting and family secrets the novel fits into the gothic genre, but ironically sans the cold and dark of the customary gothic, swapping it instead for tropical rain forest setting. Elise has given us a novel of rare beauty that matches that of the exquisite forest setting. Paula Xiberras, Tasmanian Times
I am currently writing my second novel. One narrative thread is set in southwestern Australia and the other in the lovely Tumut Valley in New South Wales, Australia with some chapters set in 1920’s London.
Book Club discussion questions are on this blog at the Castle of Dreams page.
You can buy a copy of Castle of Dreams here:
And please visit my Facebook author page for updates and to chat with me.