Wednesday, July 09, 2014
Q & A with Alissa Callen!!!
1. Tell us about your newest release.
My latest novel, Down Outback Roads, is set in small town Australia and features the same small rural town of Glenalla that appears in my first book, Beneath Outback Skies. The drought has now broken but the close-knit Glenalla community still has many challenges to face, one of which is finding an American back packer who has gone missing.
2. What makes your story special to you?
All my stories are special to me because they reflect the real world in which I live. From bushranger murals, to an old Cobb and Co. coach station, to a tin hut standing alone and aloof in a canola crop, threads of my beautiful and unique local area are woven into Down Outback Roads.
3. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I have always dabbled with writing but it took until I was at home with my third child to seriously put my fingers to the keyboard. I've always lived in remote or regional areas so it was no surprise my imagination then played itself out against a rural and small town backdrop.
4. What is a typical writing day like?
I stay in my pyjamas until kids are off to school, then spend far too much time on Google and social media before settling down to write until lunch. I then write again till school pick up and if the family stars align, will then write some more after dinner.
5. Do you have an interesting writing quirk or habit?
I always read the ending of a book first, but write my own ending last. And I can never feel centred in a story until I have a title.
6. What was one of the most surprising things you learned as a published author?
That a book never really feels finished! Even when it is on a shelf and I can hold it in my hands, I know if I open it and read a page, I will want to change something.
7. What authors or friends influenced you in helping you become a writer?
As I am a geographically isolated writer it wasn't until I joined the wonderful Romance Writers of Australia that I discovered a community of like-minded and supportive people. From within RWA I was then lucky enough to find authors and friends who are the best buddies a writer could ever ask for.
8. What does your family think about your career as a published author?
My family are all super supportive but I'm sure my hungry teenage boys often hope I'll soon be off deadline so I will cook something besides grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner.
9. Besides writing, what other interests do you have?
At the moment, as it is winter here, I am really enjoying baking, reading, having inside time with the kids and travelling somewhere warm.
10. Can you tell us about what's coming up next for you writing wise?
I am thrilled to be part of Montana Born Books and will have a 76th Copper Mountain Rodeo novella out September 2nd, called Cherish Me, Cowboy. I used to live in Colorado and am so loving writing about the Rocky Mountains. I am now working on a follow-on series of cowboy and cowgirl novellas based around ranches named after Montana wildflowers.
11. How can readers connect with you online?
I love to hear from readers and writers and can be contacted via:
Face book page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Alissa-Callen-Author/355366704552838
Rural fiction face book page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Books-for-Country-Girls-and-Guys/409351725807505
When Alissa Callen isn't writing she plays traffic controller to four children, three dogs, two horses and one renegade cow who really does believe the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. After a childhood spent chasing sheep on the family farm, Alissa has always been drawn to remote areas and small towns, even when residing overseas. Once a teacher and a counsellor, she remains interested in the life journeys that people take and her books are characteristically heart-warming, emotional and character driven. She currently lives on a small slice of rural Australia.
Blurb - Down Outback Roads
Sometimes you need to give yourself permission to fall in love.
Kree Garrett's younger brother Seth is all the family she has left, so when he goes missing in the Australian outback, she doesn't think twice about leaving her American home to find him. When Seth is rescued Kree vows to find a way to thank the small town of Glenalla. It isn't long before she falls in love with the tight-knit rural community. But is it really the town she's falling for?
Ewan Mackenzie has given up everything for his brother's family, but he can never give enough to assuage his guilt at what happened one dark night, years ago . . . Ewan knows he doesn't deserve a second chance at happiness, but when beautiful, open-hearted Kree stays to fight to save his home town, he finds it hard to keep his distance.
Can Kree and Ewan leave their pasts behind for long enough to find a future together?
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