Character Interview & Contest: Alissa Callen

Today we welcome Alissa Callen to Romancing the Book as she tells us all about her newest release Beneath the Outback Skies.

Paige Quinn will let nothing and no one distract her from caring for her wheelchair-bound father, Connor, and fighting for her remote, drought-stricken property, Banora Downs. Least of all a surprise farm-stay guest named Tait Cavanaugh, whose smooth words are as lethal as his movie-star smile. Except Paige can’t help noticing that, for a city-boy, Tait seems unexpectedly at home on the land. And he does ask a lot of questions…It doesn’t matter how much he helps out or how much laughter he brings into her life, she soon suspects he is harbouring a big secret – the real reason he has come to Banora Downs…


Interview with Paige Quinn, character from Beneath Outback Skies.

Welcome Paige to Romancing The Book. We’re so pleased to have caught you before you head out into the paddocks again. How about we sit at the kitchen table under the air-conditioner? It must be at least 110F outside even in the shade of the old rainwater tank.

How did you celebrate Easter?

Just like in past years Easter unfortunately was a non-event. It still hasn’t rained and I still have cattle to feed. Dad threw a few sausages on the barbeque and as we have pretty city-boy, Tait Cavanaugh, staying Dad whipped up one of his famous pavlovas topped with cream and fresh fruit.

What do you love about living in Australia?

The scent of eucalyptus after rain. The flash of pink and grey as galah’s fly over head. The peace of living in the bush. Well, the peace I used to have before Tait attached himself to my side like a burr to a saddle blanket. For a man who came out here for solitude he sure goes out of his way to seek my company. And you and I both know it isn’t for my fashion-sense or smooth small-talk, Dad is the social one. I’d bet my last row of emergency chocolate there is another reason why Tait has come to the outback.

What is a must-see place for visitors to Australia?

Can I be biased and say my home? Banora Downs in a historic homestead built by my great-grandfather and when my mother was alive, and we had plenty of water, we had one of the most beautiful gardens in the district. One day … the house will be surrounded by lush lawns and fragrant gardens again.

What is your favourite Australian saying?

Considering we haven’t had a crop for five years, have only a trickle of a cash flow and that I promised my mother I’d take care of my father, no matter what, my favourite Australian saying would be, ‘She’ll be right, mate.’  I have to keep believing in good ol’Aussie optimism.

img117 aWhat do you think of as iconic and uniquely Australian?

My blue-heeler puppy called Bundy who is forever chewing things, least of all Tait’s shiny new boots. The Australian Cattle Dog breed was developed in Australia and bred for their toughness, loyalty and herding instincts. Even though at the moment Bundy is just too little and too cute to round up anything. I mean look at him, he’s just adorable.

Thanks so much Paige, I can see you’re eager to head back out in the ute. Is that Tait I hear coming in from your father’s shed?

To read more about stubborn Paige, pretty city-boy, Tait and little Bundy, a free sample is available via Random House Australia at:

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Alissa Callen xBeing a rural fiction author I’m lucky enough to live on a small slice of country Australia in New South Wales. When I’m not writing I play 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. Once a teacher and a counsellor, I remain interested in the life journeys that people take and my books are characteristically emotional, character-driven and heart-warming. I’m currently working on a small town series based in a bush town that holds an annual Elvis festival as well as another full length rural novel set in the same vivid and beautiful area as Beneath Outback Skies.

Website | Author Facebook | Rural Fiction Facebook

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24 thoughts on “Character Interview & Contest: Alissa Callen

  1. Marcy Shuler says:

    Just over a year ago we had to let go of our kittyboy, Curry. He was 17 yrs old and an original scaredy cat, but he was also the sweetest thing. We got him at the pound and he just seemed to need us the most. He was my first little boy because we got him the year before we had our first son. I still miss him.

  2. Chanpreet says:

    I’ve always wanted a dog, but was never able to have one. My siblings and I had lots of fish as pets when we were children. Sadly they didn’t last very long.

    I’m the oldest of three siblings. When I used to get asked, I tell people I had two brothers, but we considered the younger one as the family pet. I got lots of laughs for that one. :p

    • Hi Chanpreet, thanks so much for stopping by:) I don’t know what it is with goldfish – we had 10 a month ago and this morning there is just 1 left to feed! Lol – I’m the eldest too and have a younger brother who sounds very similar to yours.

  3. Leanna H says:

    I have my dog Jaxxon who was my brothers dog but when I had to move into my parents because of heslth problems he adpted me he barks at my brother. We moved almost 1200 miles last summer snd when I was packing he was scared I was leaving without him.

  4. Maureen says:

    We have two cats that we adopted when they were kittens. They are often in trouble but they are still sweethearts.

  5. erinf1 says:

    I have a small herd 🙂 But they are my babies and they give me such joy. The youngest, who is my avatar, is Sammie. He’s 3 and spoiled rotten. I also have his parents who are a German Short Hair Pointer and a beagle. So Sammie is a Peagle or a Bointer 🙂 Thanks for the sharing this fun book! Definitely going to be adding it to my wishlist!

  6. JoAnne says:

    We have a cat named Fluffy that we adopted as a rescue when she was a few weeks old. She’s become a part of the family!

    Loved the interview and excerpt. Visiting Australia is one of the things on my bucket list.

    • Hi Joanne,

      Fluffy sounds adorable and it is so lovely that she has found such a caring home:) Australia is a beautiful country and all the best fulfilling your bucket list wish!

  7. Mary Preston says:

    One that stands out. My brother-in-law brought over a FERAL kitten. The whole idea was we needed a cat to keep any mice away.(We lived out in the countryside.) As soon as we opened the cage of this hissing, spitting, clawing ball of piss & vinegar it just took off. We never did find it.

    Hi, from not so sunny QLD.

  8. Debbie Sad says:

    I too am interested in peoples life journeys, there is so much to learn from all the emotions and the events that fill peoples life’s. I have a chocolate lab named Lacey who is loyal , so loyal she would probably lick to death someone who was breaking into to my home!

    • Hi Debbie, thanks so much for commenting and all the very best with your own life journey. Lacey sounds a treasure:) Our little jack russell is called ‘licky dog’ by my daughter’s friends as all she does is lick them when they visit.

  9. Shamara Catama says:

    When I was young I had always wanted to own a cat and after years and years of begging, my parents returned home one day with this cat in a basket which I called Lucky. He was so loving and tender and even though I have had other pets since then, he still holds a dear place in my heart!

  10. Meghan Mack says:

    I have two little dogs, Dulce and Bubbles. I have had Dulce since I was in college and she was the best roommate ever 🙂

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