A warm welcome to author Alexa Milne joining us today here at our blog to talk about new release “My Highland Cowboy”. Alexa talks about fanfiction and there is a giveaway to participate in!
Welcome Alexa 🙂
How fanfiction influenced My Highland Cowboy
I haven’t always been a writer, but I have always told stories. As a teacher, students used to tell me I had a story for every occasion. The truth is, if I didn’t have a life experience when I was teaching PSE – personal and social education – then I would make one up, but I didn’t write. All that changed after an event on 9th July 2009. This wasn’t a real-life event, but the death of a TV character, one Ianto Jones from Torchwood.
When Ianto was killed it broke my heart and the hearts of many others. Eight years on, there is still a shrine to him, a fictional character at Cardiff Bay where Torchwood was filmed. Before this event, I had no real idea about fandoms, but I went to YouTube to find films which lead me to fanfiction, and I read, and read, and read. I became obsessed with the need to fix the death of Ianto Jones and decided to write my first story – a fix it story, which became my first piece. I wrote 22K words of a story called Consequences and got hooked.
Now, you may ask what this has to do with My Highland Cowboy so I’ll explain. A branch of fanfiction is the creation of AU – alternative universe – stories. In these stories, characters are used, but in a different way. I can’t tell you how many stories I’ve read with Ianto as a barista. I decided to try to write an AU story and produced my longest piece of fanfiction, Torchwood High, set in a school with Ianto as head of RE, Captain Jack as deputy head and, John Smith as head teacher – I’ll leave the Doctor Who fans to work that one out. I wrote others, but this story grew and grew until it reached 250K. I realised a little way into writing My Highland Cowboy, that this was an AU story as well.
In the mm genre, I’ve read many cowboy stories set in the modern day American West, and as one of the reviews of my story said, who doesn’t love a man in tight jeans and a flannel shirt? I wanted to write a cowboy story, but my books are set in Britain, and I didn’t feel confident enough to suddenly choose to write about chaps in chaps in Colorado or Wyoming, so I came up with an alternative – a cowboy story set in Scotland. On Duncan’s ranch, they do all the things cowboys do – driving cattle, rope throwing, wrangling, but the cattle are Highland Coos, Belted Galloways and Aberdeen Angus.
Instead of vast plains, there are mountains and lochs. Duncan has taken a failing farm and turned it into a successful business, but living where he does has made it hard for him to find love, with either a man or woman – from his limited experience, he is aware he likes both. Into his life walks Drew Sinclair. Duncan expects a typical city boy, but Drew both confirms and confounds that view. Both men decide a summer fling might be a nice idea, but when it becomes more, each needs to work out how they can bring two such opposite lifestyles together. If you like cowboy stories, perhaps you’d like to give this AU story a try.
May 9 – The Novel Approach
May 15 – Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Making It Happen, Books Laid Bare Boys, Sarandipity, Keysmash
May 23 – Bayou Book Junkie
May 30 – V’s Reads, BookLove, Padme’s Library, The Geekery Book Review, My Fiction Nook, MM Good Book Reviews
June 6 – Love Bytes
June 8 – Dog-Eared Daydreams, Oh My Shelves, The Way She Reads, Engaging Secrets, Book Lovers 4Ever
June 10 – Diverse Reader
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Length: 69,000 words
Duncan McLeish owns a ranch. Unlike most ranches, this one is in the Scottish Highlands. Having inherited a failing farm from his grandfather, he turns it into a successful business. He has friends and he loves his home, but he’s lonely, and not even infrequent trips to Glasgow and Edinburgh slake that thirst to find someone. Then Drew Sinclair walks into his life.
Drew Sinclair is tantalizingly close to getting his clothing brand noticed in the industry. He and his business partner, Joy, create individual dresses, while, on the side, Drew produces a line of men’s lingerie. He visits Scotland to design a bridal gown for his sister, Jenna, who is marrying Duncan’s best friend at Christmas.
Duncan and Drew have nothing except their Highland upbringing in common, but they say opposites attract, and the attraction is immediate. Is this simply a summer fling, or can two men who live such opposite lives miles away from each other find a way to love?
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.
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