Sometimes being thankful is hard. I’ve always had a tendency to wish my life away. As a teacher, I sometimes counted the days to the holidays and then the days until we were back again. Each year came and went until I’d somehow done thirty of them. My school was closed to save money which coincided with my arthritis becoming so bad I couldn’t do all aspects of the job I mostly loved anymore. When I finished work, I had some lovely gifts and letters from students and fellow teachers. Every so often I get them out and read them. A teacher early on in my career told me to keep them, and I have so many lovely reminders of great times, for which I’m very thankful. To be told I’ve helped someone gives me a wonderful feeling.
I started writing my first novel, Sporting Chance, in the holidays and in any spare time I found. I’d written fanfiction, but this was new. Creating my own story, putting characters together, pulling them apart, and giving them lives, and families, and ultimately love, proved addictive. I’m thankful for the new world I step into every time I write. I submitted the manuscript more in hope than expectation and was stunned when it was accepted and finally knocked into shape by my great editor, Faith. I can’t tell you how thankful I am for all the help I’ve received from all sorts of people, which means now I’ve four published stories, and another four to come – so far. Writing each story has presented a challenge. I’m not a quick writer, and I can’t plan to save my life, but I enjoy finding out about people and what makes them tick. I sometimes think the characters decide who they are and not me, and they introduce me to their families and friends. Daft maybe, but I’m thankful they’re willing to share.
Many of my stories cover Christmas. We meet Iestyn’s family in Sporting Chance just before Christmas, and Christmas features at the end of both Comfort Zone (out in February) and Not Every Time, with its lovely Christmas themed cover.
Growing up, Christmas could be tricky as my mother isn’t a fan. We got presents, and I’d eat Christmas dinner every day if I could, especially if my Mum made it, but we were never over the top. I certainly watched a lot of TV. Now I make Christmas dinner, and I love buying and receiving presents, and cooking and eating too much. I’m thankful for what I have, because even though my arthritis causes me pain, I’m lucky enough to have people willing to put up with my limitations. Some of them read my books for me, and my Mum has even got me sales! I’m also lucky to have found friends online who are fans like me of Doctor Who, Torchwood and Supernatural. Oh and there are the cats as well. Not much help when writing but watching a huge old female chasing her tail is funny – or is that me?
So, even though some days can be hard, my writing and my other interests keep me busy. With a new series The Call of Home, set in Scotland coming out next year, and ideas for other projects, I’m expecting next year to be as exciting.
I hope everyone has a lovely Christmas holiday. Eat, drink and be merry – oh and then write about it!
About Alexa Milne:
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.
Blurb for 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?
To win Alexa's Contest answer this question, What is true love mean to you?