Monthly Archives: July 2021

The Castle in the Rainforest

There are some places in the world that are magical and Paronella Park in far north Queensland, Australia is one of them.

Jose Paronella was an immigrant from Catalonia who came to Australia in 1913 to build a new life for himself and his fiancé who was waiting for him back home. He worked first as a labourer cutting sugar cane, saved his money and bought farms, improving them, and selling them.

It was an impossible dream but the young man remembering stories his grandmother had read to him as a child about romantic castles decided to build one in the rainforest alongside a waterfall.

I was staying in Mission Beach not far away when I visited the now ruined castle. It was the inspiration for my novel Castle of Dreams. I was so fortunate that it was sold at the London Book Fair to a Norwegian publisher and thrilled when I saw the cover for The Castle in the Rainforest (the title for the Norwegian translation).

Jose and Margarita

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