Let's start with you telling us a little bit about yourself, Alexa.
I live in Lancashire in the north of England, though I’m originally from Wales. I’m over fifty. I was a teacher for thirty years, teaching a variety of humanities subjects. I love reading, cats, the sea, mountains, and genealogy.
What would people be most surprised to learn about you?
Most people wouldn’t imagine looking at me that I’m a big sports fan. I love football and rugby, and will watch every event in the Olympics at all hours of the day and night.
When did you start writing, is it something you've always been interested in, or did it develop later in life?
I used to tell stories in school when I was young, but I started writing fan fiction in 2009 in the Torchwood and Doctor Who fandoms. After a few years, I decided to try writing original fiction and was lucky enough to get published.
Has it been everything you thought it would be or not?
I’m not sure what I expected to be honest. I didn’t imagine I was going to suddenly be a best seller, although I had a dream the BBC would read Sporting Chance and want to make a series/film. I had fun casting it in my head. I had no idea about many aspects of writing when I started, and the pressure you can feel when a story comes out. Are readers going to like it? Are they going to spend their hard earned cash on it?
I can also say that this time last year, when my first novel came out, I didn’t expect to have more stories published.
How did it feel when you realized that your very first book was going to be published?
I remember getting the email in March 2014 from Totally Bound Publishers. I had to read it several times, then I cried, and then I phoned my best friend. Every time I’ve been offered a contract since, I still have to pinch myself.
What's your favorite part of writing a book?
I like writing The End! Mostly I like writing dialogue. Sometimes conversations between characters can take them to places I didn’t plan or expect, and that can be exciting. I’m a pantser not a planner, so I often end up going somewhere else with a story, and having to deal with the consequences.
Do you get time to read for pleasure? If so, which books do you enjoy?
I read a lot, and have since I was very small. I used to get in from school and grab my book. The first story I cried over was Black Beauty when I was eight. As a teenager, I read so many classics. I used to read a lot of fantasy books, my favourites being by Julian May, Robert Jordan and Stephen Donaldson, but my favourite book will always be Lord of the Rings. Now I read mm romance, and probably get through two to three books a week, but I dip into others genres for a little variety.
Are there any other genres you'd be interested in writing?
I’d like to write something historical as history was the subject I taught, and maybe crime fiction. I also have an idea for a YA story, but I have other stories on my writing list to complete first.
Please tell us a little about your most recent release.
My most recent release is a friends to lovers Christmas story, Not Every Time, which has a bit of a secret twist. I wanted to write a holiday story, and the idea for this one came from the film It’s a Wonderful Life which was a favourite of my mother’s, and the first video tape I bought her when we got a VCR. In the story Raz and Jack have been friends for years, ever since Raz saved Jack’s life on their first day at university. Jack has been searching for love in all the wrong places using Raz as his wingman, when he realises it’s been right in front of him all the time.
What can we look forward to in the future from you?
Comfort Zone, the follow up to my first novel, Sporting Chance, is on general release in February, next year. This is the story of Aron Roberts and Joe Welsh. I wanted to give Aron, Dan Morgan’s ex-boyfriend, a story of his own, and to write a bisexual character or two. I hope I’ve made Joe believable as well as Rhodri, one of the side characters.
After that there will be a sequel to Not Every Time called A Bell Rings, which is out in May, and I’ve also had the first two books in a series accepted for publication. The title for the series is The Call of Home. The stories will be set in Scotland and have different MCs, with other characters appearing, in all the stories.
Anything you want to say to your readers?
Just thank you for the support I’ve had so far, and I hope they enjoy the new stories. I’d also love to hear from people.
Alexa Milne’s recent releases
Not Every Time
What would you give up for love?
Raziel Slade and Jack Hastings have been best friends since Raz saved Jack’s life twelve years ago. Jack has spent years searching for the perfect woman with the help of his wingman, Raz, the man he thinks of as his guardian angel. At a company Christmas party, the world Jack thought he knew turns on its axis, and feelings he didn’t know he had punch him right between the eyes. Can Jack learn to see his friend in an entirely different way?
Openly gay, Raz loves his best friend and has given up more than Jack will ever know to be with him, but he’s never dared to tell Jack how he truly feels, or to reveal his true identity. For twelve years, he has waited in the wings.
Now, with Jack’s sudden epiphany, can these two best friends work out if they have a future together?
Sometimes keeping hold of love is just as hard as finding it.
Dan and Iestyn are looking for romance. A school trip, a love of history, a wedding, a tango, the game of chess, and their friends and family all help the two men to realise that they’ve finally found true love with each other.
Iestyn thinks that he’s completely ordinary and that Dan is the only out and currently gay rugby player anywhere. Being gay can be difficult enough. Being famous also has its problems. But being gay, famous and a sportsman can make finding love complicated. So when Dan Morgan meets Iestyn Jones and gives him his phone number, their road ahead has more than a few bumps to overcome.
Will Iestyn and Dan overcome the obstacles thrown in their paths? Or will fame destroy their lives as well as their love?
An act of kindness is never wasted.
Ben Harwood loves his grandmother. When he visits her in the hospital, another old lady, Ivy, expresses a longing for an orange, so Ben, who works in a supermarket, takes her oranges the next day.
Later, after attending his grandmother’s funeral, he discovers that Ivy has died too, and decides to pay his respects.
There, he meets Ivy’s grandson, Martin Riley, and the attraction is instant. To his amazement, Ben finds he has become a bit of a hero to the Riley family, who have traveled over from America. For Martin, Ben breaks his three-date rule more than once. Is this simply a holiday romance with great sex, or can he and Martin build something more permanent?
Excerpt from Not Every Time
“Oh, Raz. Anyone with eyes could see how you feel about him, well, except him. A man as sexy as you are with your dark blond hair and blue eyes, not to mention a body most men would give a limb to have, should have a different man in his bed every night, but you don’t. Do you know what he calls you?” Raz shook his head, not sure he wanted to hear.
“His guardian angel—Angelo. That’s your first name, isn’t it? And Raziel is the name of an archangel. I Googled it. He was the keeper of secrets apparently, and let’s face it, no one keeps secrets like you do. Everyone at university came to you, including me. You never told and never spilled any beans on anyone.”
Raz clasped her arm. “Don’t tell him,” he pleaded.
Kay covered his hand with her own and patted it. “Don’t worry, I won’t. You’re not the only one who can keep things to themselves, but remember, you deserve happiness as well. You’re like a younger brother who can’t find someone for himself until his older sibling is married off, like in The Taming of the Shrew.”
“Is it so wrong for me to want him to be happy?”
“No, and you will, even if it breaks your heart.”