An office overlooking paddocks provides daily inspiration for rural romance author, Alissa Callen, whose best-selling storylines pivot around secrets, small towns, dusty roads, hope and healing. Living in central New South Wales, her writing is underpinned by a background in teaching and counselling, and a love of country living. She also draws from her time spent overseas and uses memories of the rugged Rocky Mountains to frame her Wildflower Ranch series. When she’s not writing and running about after four teenage children, Alissa champions aspiring authors and gives back to the writing community, including volunteer roles with Romance Writers of Australia, and ‘paying it forward’ with assistance and advice for newcomers to the writing industry.
Alissa has published eleven books, and her settings range from the Australian outback to the snow-capped mountains in Montana. Her newest offering ‘The Red Dirt Road’ was released by Harlequin in February and quickly climbed the Australian bestsellers list. Readers are reunited with characters from the ‘Town of Windmills’ series when Dr. Fliss Knight returns to the small town of Woodlea. Reeling from the shock of losing a patient, Fliss buys a rundown farm and tries to insulate herself from the world. But when an injured family friend needs a place to heal, and Hewitt Sinclair enters her solitary life, Fliss is forced out of her comfort zone. The warm setting and mysterious sub-plots grabbed my attention right from the start, and as a Border Collie owner, I adored the surprise canine storyline. I enjoyed Alissa’s relatable characters and authentic rural issues, plus the interesting facts about DNA testing. I’m already looking forward to reading her next novel The Round Yard (out in Feb 2019) after a sneak peek on her Facebook page.
Current book on your bedside table: The Italian Wife by Kate Furnivall Favourite Australian holiday destination: Snowy Mountains Guilty pleasure? Planning travel itineraries Pet peeve: People denigrating romance as a genre If you could pack two non-essential items for a deserted tropical island, what would they be? Milk frother for hot chocolate and a reading light Best thing about being a writer? Managing my own time Worst thing about being a writer? Days where writing a paragraph is like getting blood from a stone Favourite perfume: White Linen by Estee Lauder Top three tips for aspiring authors? To read far and wide, to have courage, and to take the time to enjoy the writing process without the pressure of deadlines What theme do you hope shines through in your writing? Hope and healing Proudest author moment? Finishing my first book My favourite thing about writing romance is… being able to deliver a happily-ever-after for a reader who might need an escape at that moment If anyone gives me flack for writing in the romance genre, I tell them… I’d never write anything else and that the world needs far more feel-good fiction
Connect with Alissa online
Facebook @Alissa Callen – Author