It's Wednesday, it's Hump Day, it's Alexa Milne's turn in the Hump Day Hot Seat, welcome Alexa…
What's your favourite TV Show and why?
My favourite ever TV show is Torchwood. For those who do not know, this is a sci-fi show set in Cardiff and an offshoot of Doctor Who. Torchwood is an organisation that investigates aliens who come through the Rift. The Cardiff team consist of Captain Jack Harkness, Ianto Jones, Toshiko Sato, Owen Harper and Gwen Cooper, and they operate from the Hub, an underground facility in Cardiff Bay.
I fell in love with Jack Harkness when he first appeared in Doctor Who. Here was a character who was labelled omnisexual in a leading family TV show. Jack flirted with everyone, including the Doctor and even kissed him.
Torchwood ran for four series, although many fans don’t acknowledge anything after series two. Why is it important? For me, the answer is simply because the LGBT representation was wonderful, and it was set in the area I was born. Then, there was the relationship between Jack and Ianto. When Ianto died fandom exploded. There is still a shrine to the character in Cardiff Bay nine years later. I started writing fanfiction after Ianto’s death to find a way to bring him back and I haven’t stopped writing since. I still love the show and watch regularly.
What book/s are you reading at present?
I’ve just finished reading The Not So Subtle Art of Being a Fat Girl by Tess Holliday. This is not a novel but an autobiography. I decided to read it for two reasons. To begin with, I am a fat girl, or fat woman, and I always have been. Tess is such a role model for anyone who has issues with their weight. Some may want to argue with me about that, but I would say, don’t bother. The second reason I wanted to read it is because I’ve had this idea for a f/f romance in my head for ages. In this story, a photographer discovers a beautiful woman working in a garage and suggests she attends a photo call for models for a new and inclusive fashion line. Of course, the woman thinks she is too big to be a model but, encouraged by the photographer, goes anyway and is chosen. One day, I might get beyond throwing the idea down on paper.
Do you have a character in your head that you have yet to write a story for?
Other than the story above, I have a few. There’s the closeted footballer whose boyfriend dies in terrible circumstances, and he takes time off to live with his grandmother in Cornwall. Another is someone who time travels to the 16th century to find himself caught up in the murder of Lord Darnley, the husband of Mary, Queen of Scots. A long term one is the character whose female best friend dies leaving him with her young son only to have the biological father return. There are more.
How do you select the names of your characters?
I have a problem with names. In my stories, the best friends are often called Matt and Dan. In fact, the story I submitted recently has those names which I need to change. It seems I have go to names! My usual way of finding names is to look at lists of the most popular from when my character was born. I also scan the credits on films and TV shows to check those names. As I have stories set in Wales, Scotland and Lancashire, I use names that reflect those areas. My next book will be Two for the Road, set in a Lancashire village. One MC has the first name Riley. Like in Wales, last names are used a lot as first names. For surnames, I check out local names, or as I was a teacher for 30 years, I simply think of all the students I’ve taught and that gives me a few to use.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
At the moment, I have 108K of a story I don’t know what to do with. This one was going to be a trilogy, but I’m not sure. The MCs are Jonah, a larger than life character who was thrown out as a teenager by his religious family, but taken in by a social worker who found him a home and work. He makes beautiful things from wood and I love him so much. He has his problems, but he’s kind and generous and loved by his friends. He gives a lot back. The other MC is Owen, he’s mixed race and was adopted. The idea for his character came from a programme I watched about someone who was mixed race and adopted into a white family. Owen is a librarian. He too is kind and gentle. He fosters cats and kittens. The story is essentially about both men coming to terms with their pasts while facing uncertain futures. It’s set in Norfolk.
I’m also 20K into a story that came from an idea in the news. Two men meet on a bus. One man finds he’s attracted to the other, but he’s never been attracted to a man before. He’s confused. Does he just like him or like him?
I also have a complete 80K story that probably won’t ever be published. This is a rewritten fanfiction set in 1960s America. The MCs are both members of the Secret Service in the White House – one black and one white. But this is the 60s and their relationship is illegal. It’s a bit of an unconventional romance with an unconventional HEA. I’ve been told it needs work, which is true. Maybe one day.
For your chance to win a backlist signed paperback from Alexa or a chance to read an ecopy of Alexa's upcoming novel before anyone else answer this question…What's your favourite TV show and why?
Two For The Road (Out later this year)
As a teenager, Dylan Hargreaves fell in lust with a man who had been his father’s childhood friend. On his return from university, Dylan is surprised to discover Riley Ormerod has returned to their small Lancashire village. All Dylan needs to do now is find a way to bring them together.
Giving a lift to Dylan Hargreaves is the price Riley is willing to pay to recover his friendship with Dylan’s father. After living in London for twenty years, Riley returned home a year ago to escape heartbreak and take care of his dying father. Here, no one knows his secrets.
With Dylan determined to discover more about Riley, and Riley finding himself drawn to this intriguing young man, will they find what they need in each other? And if they do, will they be able to overcome Riley’s doubts and the attempts of others to tear them apart?
Originally from South Wales, Alexa has lived for over thirty years in the North West of England. Now retired, after a long career in teaching, she devotes her time to her obsessions. Alexa began writing when her favourite character was killed in her favourite show. After producing a lot of fanfiction she ventured into original writing. She is currently owned by a mad cat and spends her time writing about the men in her head, watching her favourite television programmes and usually crying over her favourite football team.