Over the years, Orland-raised author Steve Callan has churned out two novels inspired by a career as a game warden.
His second novel, "The Game Warden's Son," highlights his childhood growing up in Orland and the inspiration behind his career choice — his father.
But Callan's latest novel is special for another reason; this year, his narrative was awarded Best Outdoor Novel of the Year by the Outdoor Writers Association of California — a group of professional writers dedicated to the great outdoors. "I was flabbergasted when I won," Callan said. "The organization is composed of pro writers and media broadcasters from all over California; to be recognized by this group is exciting."
The organization recognizes written work in various mediums, including newspaper and magazine articles, in addition to screenplays. Among those in attendance was Tom Stienstra — an outdoor columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle.
"The Chronicle was doing a story about my first book, and Tom suggested I join the association, too," Callan said.
Kathy Callan — Steve's wife — said she wasn't surprised when her husband's novel took first place, especially given his success as a columnist.
Callan's columns for the online magazine Outdoor Buddy earned him the title of Best Magazine Column three years in a row at the writing association.
"I was sitting there when they announced best outdoor book of the year; they read an excerpt from the novel and I knew right away," Kathy said. "I started crying, I'm so proud of him."
Callan continues to pen outdoor-themed columns, but he's currently engaged with a much larger project — his third book. Unlike the previous two, this next novel will be purely fictional, but it will retain the same emphasis on protecting wildlife. He won't give away too much of the plot at this stage, but Steve hinted the third novel's genre will be mystery.
"It's suspenseful; it's fun to watch him work on it — constantly evaluating and putting together the pieces of the puzzle," Kathy said. "He has the instincts for it."
Although the manuscript is nearly finished, Steve said it will take a little over a year before the book hits shelves.
But in the meantime, Steve and Kathy will host more signing events. They'll be in Glenn County celebrating the Bayliss Carnegie Library's 100th anniversary on Nov. 21. The event takes place at 7 p.m., community members are encouraged to attend.
For more information about Callan and his written work, visit steventcallan.com.