lissa carlino


I’m an American expat who grew up in a family of newspaper publishers in the Midwest, lived for ten years in the Northeast while completing my education, and moved to New Zealand five years ago. We are now permanent residents!

I must admit I never even thought about visiting New Zealand before relocating here. I had met a friend years ago in San Francisco from New Zealand (check out my Where’s Joe Wellington blog for that story) but it always seemed like a dream country way off the grid that I’d never see. You can read in depth about this move under The Knackered Truth section, in a six-part series “Our Move To New Zealand“.

Previously an addictions treatment counselor, I love being a full-time mother now. It was part of our plan that if we moved abroad, I’d be able to fulfil my dream of staying home with our children, and also focus on my writing. I grew up in the theatre but my secret passion has always been for the written word. It wasn’t anything I ever talked about openly with others- writing was a male-dominated profession in my family. But that didn’t stop me. I kept it as my secret, something I’d do privately for my own benefit.

Woman Enough is available now! For more information on how to order directly from me, go here

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Are you on Goodreads? I’d love to connect on there. Are you on Twitter? You can find me at @EWallerCarlino. I just joined Instagram but am not sure how to make use of all the features yet. Show me!

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Creativity is at the core of my soul: I was in my first play when I was four and racked up a decent resume by the time I was 24; I’ve been a backup singer touring Vermont and NYC; I’ve tried modelling and film work years ago. All those opportunities fulfilling, nothing as much as getting the stories out of my head and onto paper.

I balanced creativity with serious work. My Bachelor’s degree is in psychology and I was only a few credits shy of receiving my Masters in counselling before we moved to New Zealand. I’d like to finish that someday, too, but not sure how that would work living down here. I’ve worked as an advocate for Sexual Assault Survivors, have supported individuals with developmental disabilities, and as an addictions treatment and assessment counsellor. Every person I’ve worked with has enriched my life in some way and I will always advocate awareness of such topics and continue to fight for their rights. I’ve just started my own business, Grace Note Literary, Ltd with hope of publishing more work about, with, and for underrepresented voices and offer unique perspectives. More on this as time goes on.

I think by reading through some of my posts on this website, you’ll get a good snapshot of who I am. Thank you for reading!

For New Zealand interviews, author appearances, and book signings please contact my publicist, Elizabeth Heritage

For USA information, please contact my North American representative via the contact page. Thanks!




India Lopez, Stuff: “The book’s greatest feat, I think, is making the reader confront their own lazy assumptions.”

“Woman enough is an excellent read. I was captivated from the moment I started reading and struggled to put it down. Apart from being a really enjoyable read, the theme of this book and the important issues raised will be recognized by everyone, regardless of the readers background. For the female readers, they will likely recognize aspects of Becca’s experience of not feeling good enough and the impact of misogyny with their own past experiences.” – Amazon reader

“Lissa Carlino wrote a book that challenged me in several ways. As a man it challenged me to look at how I treat the women in my life. Do my words and actions build them up or tear them down. The consequences may go deeper than what I may realize. As a friend it challenges me to be a better support for those women I call a friend. The world tends to objectify women and often pushes them into situations they never intended for themselves. It may take something as simple as a kind word or something as hard as an intervention, but as a man it is my responsibility to be what the friends in my life need. Finally, as a father of three girls it challenges me to exemplify what they need to look for in men and except nothing less. My words need to build confidence in them for what it means to be a woman. That they are strong, beautiful, independent, smart, supported, can be whatever they want to be, and loved no matter what happens in their life. That as their dad I will always be there. ALWAYS! Thank you Lissa for writing one of the few books I have read that challenges me as a person!” -Ryan Smith, Facebook


A reader photo from NYC who uh, kinda looks like the woman on the cover!

In The News:

India Lopez reviews “Woman Enough” for Stuff , May 4, 2019

Lissa is featured on the Strong Beautiful Woman blog June 30, 2019

Brainerd Daily Dispatch 

Echo Journal 

eYs Magazine as part of Wham Bam Author Jam, photo & quote page 32

Auckland University’s Student Association’s Feminist Magazine, KATE, excerpt published with permission

Stuff  article about the blog, “Where’s Joe Wellington”, February 2016

Stuff & Dominion Post (includes video), February 2016

Brainerd Daily Dispatch, “Darkly Farewell” profiles, 2006

Brainerd Daily Dispatch, “The Long Farewell”, 2006




Lissa is one of twenty women who are featured in the exhibit.

The exhibit “is intended clearly to demonstrate the very special competencies of these BPS women from all walks of life and of all ages, to lift them up in the names of all women, to provide role models to male and female BPS students, to inform the BPS community found near to BPS and around the world of these truly legendary women, and to stimulate thought and discussion within BPS and beyond regarding the living histories of these BPS graduates and the acute relevance of those histories and women in communities extending out from Brainerd Public Schools and improving the lives of countless others far beyond this place and their times in this place.”


Other Writings:

THE DIVINE IN THE DAILY, Adventures in Uncertainty 

Inside Wellington (Wellington-LIVE),

Inside Otari Wilton’s Bush 

Inside Wellington Botanic Garden


Radio Interviews:

KAXE July 9, 2018

AM 1240 WJON July 3, 2018

See Events page for more info