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 seven 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.

Not any more.

My name is Lissa Carlino and I am an author.

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

Screen Shot 2018-04-07 at 6.57.04 am

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!

Screen Shot 2018-04-05 at 7.43.34 pm






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.” – Amazon reader

“Thank you Lissa for writing one of the few books I have read that challenges me as a person!” -Ryan Smith, Facebook


“Great debut novel! The characters felt real and vulnerable, and the storyline grabbed my attention and kept me reading. Can’t wait to read more from this author!” Jodie Norquist


“This story is a reminder that you are in control of your own life and you need to own it, because you are enough. You will always be enough.” –Stacey Broadbent, author





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 was named a Legendary Woman of Brainerd Public Schools in May 2019 and her name and books will always be part of Brainerd Public Schools archives.

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