A Letter from Alissa Callen

Loretta’s Pen Pals : Letter 5

Well, Easter is over and I’m back home after a very relaxing holiday in Australia’s south west. Damn! 

As is always  the case when I return home from an extended trip, my letter box is jam packed with catalogues, bills and unsolicited advice. I don’t know why I don’t get more invitations, post cards and newsy letters. I would enjoy those much more! Thankfully, amongst all the debri, there was actually one letter I did want to receive from my good friend and fellow Random Romance author, Alissa Callen. I was amazed by her news. She seems to lead such an exciting and dangerous life compared to my quiet suburban existence. Check out the helicopter photo she sent with her letter. What a great shot! My sons will be very impressed. It’s pretty easy to figure out where she gets her inspiration from….


Dear Loretta,

Hope this finds you well all the way over there in WA. Also hope the autumn weather has arrived. We’ve had such a long and dramatic summer (bush fires, snakes, hungry cattle) that it was quite exciting to see a hint of autumn colour this morning on the virginia creeper that climbs our old gum.

IMG_0307 aI know how much your kids would love fire trucks and sirens so here is a photo from our January bush fire. We’d just sat down to dinner when a neighbour raced up our driveway in his ute to tell us our front paddock was on fire.  It seems a car pulled over on the side of the road and the hot exhaust ignited the brittle summer grass. We’d just time to move the stock and thanks to the rural fire brigade, twelve fire trucks, two helicopter water bombers and one aeroplane the blaze was eventually contained. I’m busy planning my next rural book, working title Across Outback Plains, and no doubt a fire will feature in it somewhere.


Book cover RHIt’s funny how real life can creep into our books. My current Random House release, Beneath Outback Skies, is set during a drought and charts the struggle of a family and a community to keep hold of the hope that it will again rain. It seems like yesterday my eldest was a baby and we lived further west where water was like liquid gold. My daughter’s bath only ever used to be centimetre’s deep. Maybe that’s why I’m now forever telling her to get out of the shower. Or maybe it’s just because she’s a pre-teen.


Beneath Outback Skies also features an adorable and mischievous blue-heeler puppy called Bundy who the not-all-he-seems city-boy, Tait, gives to the heroine, Paige Quinn. Bundy is based on our own beautiful blue-heeler Bella. As a pup Bella would chew any and everything and my son would often wear mismatched thongs. Unfortunately we lost Bella almost a year ago. At first we thought she’d been bitten by a snake but now we suspect a spider bite resulted in her system shutting down. This is how we remember her as a cute and cuddly bundle of fluff but with very sharp teeth.


Have a lovely Perth autumn and had best sign off so can go and do the school run as well as check the letter box. We only get mail three times a week and the kids are expecting a parcel so fingers crossed it will have arrived.


Take care,



Alissa Callen x


Face book page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Alissa-Callen-Author/355366704552838

Beneath Outback Skies

Book/buy link: http://www.randomhouse.com.au/books/alissa-callen/beneath-outback-skies-9780857980397.aspx


4 thoughts on “A Letter from Alissa Callen

  1. Oooooh, you’re a clever girl. Okay, now I am guessing…… Book three…… ABOVE Outback ….. ??????? 😉 Love it. Love this series, Loretta.

    • I’m afraid next week I probably won’t do a letter 🙂 Not expecting another message for a couple months 😦 and I don’t think readers will want to see my latest bills. They’re shocking! Guess I’ll have to blog about my own news!

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