Meet My Muse with Mardi Alexander
Growing up, I read traditional romances and fell in love with love, along with millions of readers the world over. Trouble is, growing up I didn’t have access to “my kind” of books, and to find something Australian was as good as unheard of.
Moving forward in years and social leaps and bounds, LGBTQ fiction and romance is not only alive and readily available nowadays, it is indeed a thriving genre. Having said that, I am proud to be the first Aussie to be signed up by one of the US’s largest LGBTQ publishers of fiction, Bold Strokes Books, and even better still, I am making my debut in March with “Twice Lucky” alongside another freshly signed up Aussie Michelle Grubb. We are dubbing March as Aussie Author Month.
While I have a soft spot for the underdog, I predominantly find myself identifying with heroic characters, who range from saving the day to overcoming significant personal hurdles. Some of the most inspiring heroes in the world are just ordinary people, doing extraordinary things, with no cape or spandex body-hugging suit in sight. Over time, what I discovered is that inside everyone lives a hero, as well as flaws and weaknesses. So that’s what I set out to create in my stories, characters that have that mix of a little bit of everything, minus the nylon tights.
“Twice Lucky” centres around Mackenzie James, a local firefighter and Dr. Sarah Macarthur from the local hospital. Mackenzie ‘Mac’ James is a firefighter at the local station who has been reassigned, away from the front line, to present community education and safety inspection programs. Her nickname is ‘Mouse’ – she’s confident at her job, but a quiet, shy individual.
Sarah is a doctor and in charge of the local Emergency Department. She knows where her life is at and is completely immersed in her work. She’s never had a long term girlfriend, she’s not looking for a relationship and falling in love has never been on her agenda.
Both are well established in their ways of life. So it seems only fitting that fate steps in and turns that all on its head.
Australians on the whole are colorful characters and have wonderful rhythms of speech, with enough sayings to melt your average international dictionaries. I am very excited about giving life to small essences of Australia to a largely international audience. I play a mental game with myself now, wondering how many slang phrases and descriptions I can add to a story. I want to make it fun for me to write as well as fun for the reader to experience. My good editor keeps me in line, but I’m always up for challenging the boundary to see what I can get away with. I know the day when I can slip in “Fair suck of the sav mate” to a story line that I can put my pen down, as the world over will all be completely versed in how to speak ’Straylian.
“When you love someone, there’s suddenly a whole lot more to consider, to risk, to fight for.”
Mackenzie “Mouse” James’s life is all about firefighting. Being a firefighter fills her waking hours, leaving her too tired to think, to socialize, or to put herself out there.
A large part of Sarah Macarthur’s success as a doctor is due to the structure and control that that she has established to help her cope when all the elements are thrown her way.
As danger draws closer, Mac and Sarah will be tested in ways neither had ever imagined. Both will need to fight far more than fear – they will need to fight for life.