Interview with A. L. Lester

Published 2019-12-30.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Rural Somerset in the UK, which is where I live now. I went away for about twenty years and then came home. I feel that I wax on about the seasons and pastoral idylls given half a chance and that's probably because I've always had my feet in the soil.
When did you first start writing?
The first piece I remember writing was in Primary School at about the age of seven. I got told off for repetition, which is something I still have to watch out for today!

My first book was published in 2017 by JMS. I didn't really have the confidence to submit before then and feel I was very lucky they thought me worth the risk.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The Flowers of Time is coming out in February. It's a story set in the 1780s, in the Himalayas. A non-binary explorer and a lady botanist travel through the mountains making various paranormal and romantic discoveries. It's based in my Lost in Time universe but a hundred and fifty years earlier than the previous two books. The non-binary character is very much an #OwnVoices character. And my mother is a lady botanist, who went to a ladies horticultural college in the 1950s. So I suppose both characters grew from my own experiences and conversations with my family.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
My greatest joy is being able to disappear into a different universe. It's pure escapism and I am so pleased that other people find that too.
What do your fans mean to you?
I love feeling that I bring other people pleasure. I try and take the view that once the book has gone to the publisher it's not mine any longer, it's out there and people can take what they will from it. If the work touches people personally, in whatever way, then that's wonderful.
What are you working on next?
I have a serial set in rural England in the 1920s in the Lost in Time universe to finish! It's called Inheritance of Shadows and it's free for my newsletter subscribers. It's the sequel to The Gate, a free 7,500 word story available from Smashwords.

Newsletter sign-up:
Who are your favorite authors?
Dorothy Dunnett, Ursula Le Guin, Cat Sebastian, Alyssa Cole, Foz Meadows, KJ Charles, Ajax Bell, Cole McCade. And I keep a copy of Gilbert White's 'Natural History of Selbourne' by the bed and read it when I need soothing. Nature doesn't change that much and neither do naturalists.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Hunger, usually.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Reading, talking to the chickens. Parenting. I try and exercise a bit, largely unsuccessfully.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Twitter recommendations, usually. I love the variety.
What is your writing process?
I use Scrivener, which lets me basically throw scenes at a page and then move them in to order. Once I get to about thirty-thousand words it all seems to make sense and I have an actual linear narrative to follow.
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Latest books by This Author

Reading It Wrong
Price: $3.49 USD. Words: 17,690. Language: English. Published: September 12, 2023 by JMS Books LLC. Categories: Fiction » LGBTQ+ » Gay, Fiction » Romance » LGBTQ+ » Gay
A date turned down. A stolen letter. A reminder that nerds don’t just play board-games. Reading it Wrong is a gentle MM romance set in the small-town world of Theatr Fach.
Second Wind
Price: $3.49 USD. Words: 17,570. Language: English. Published: November 19, 2022 by JMS Books LLC. Categories: Fiction » LGBTQ+ » Gay, Fiction » Romance » LGBTQ+ » Transgender
What do a shy French-horn-playing accountant and a single-dad trans trumpet player have in common other than both being members of the community orchestra at Theatr Fach in the little town of Llanbaruc? A gentle m/transm romance in the Theatr Fach universe.
Naked Gardening Day Box Set
Price: $5.49 USD. Words: 87,240. Language: English. Published: November 11, 2022 by JMS Books LLC. Categories: Fiction » LGBTQ+ » Gay, Fiction » Romance » LGBTQ+ » Gay
Celebrate World Naked Gardening Day with five gay romance novellas! The Naked Gardening Day stories are a collaboration between Holly Day, Nell Iris, A.L. Lester, K.L. Noone, and Amy Spector. They comprise five MM romance novellas featuring being naked in a garden somehow, somewhere, to mark World Naked Gardening Day on the first Saturday of May.
Warning! Deep Water
Price: $3.49 USD. Words: 16,740. Language: English. Published: May 17, 2022 by JMS Books LLC. Categories: Fiction » LGBTQ+ » Gay, Fiction » Romance » LGBTQ+ » Gay
Spring 1947. England has just come through the worst winter in living memory. Peter’s been drifting since he left the army a year ago. George is lonely, despite the busy horticultural nursery he owns. Peter’s decision to take a swim in the irrigation tank presents them both with the chance to reach out and help each other. Can two misfits find a way to fit together with someone after all?
Out of Focus
Price: $3.49 USD. Words: 18,160. Language: English. Published: March 29, 2022 by JMS Books LLC. Categories: Fiction » LGBTQ+ » Gay, Fiction » Romance » LGBTQ+ » Gay
Alex and Luke have always been at odds at work in the theatre. Alex can’t get Luke to like him. Luke doesn’t want to get too close to someone he knows only does casual. Will Alex’s broken wrist give Alex and Luke the push they need to bring them closer together? Or will Luke’s inadvertent discovery that Alex has a secret job offer push them further apart?
London Calling Box Set
Price: $10.49 USD. Words: 152,980. Language: English. Published: March 8, 2022 by JMS Books LLC. Categories: Fiction » LGBTQ+ » Gay, Fiction » Romance » LGBTQ+ » Gay
London Calling is queer British Lovecraftian historical romantic suspense set in 1920s London. It has murder, time-travel, grumpy detectives, the blues, magic, gay romance, m/enby romance, tea, and not-quite-elves.
The Quid Pro Quo
Price: $5.49 USD. Words: 50,830. Language: English. Published: November 28, 2021 by JMS Books LLC. Categories: Fiction » LGBTQ+ » Gay, Fiction » Romance » Historical » 20th Century
Village nurse Walter Kennett is content with his makeshift found family in tiny Bradfield. However, when a body is found floating in the village duck pond one midsummer morning, danger arrives too. Between his attraction to detective Simon Frost, concealing Sylvia and Lucy’s relationship and not knowing how much to reveal about the paranormal possibilities of the murder, Walter is torn all ways.
The Fog of War
Price: $5.49 USD. Words: 50,870. Language: English. Published: August 14, 2021 by JMS Books LLC. Categories: Fiction » LGBTQ+ » Lesbian, Fiction » Romance » Historical » 20th Century
Will her friend Lucy’s visit to Bradfield be the catalyst that allows Dr Sylvia Marks to put her wartime hospital experiences to rest? Unbelievable magical happenings at a local farm -- lights, mysterious illness, and a patient with hallucinations -- give her hope that her dead lover Anna is still alive. But what does that mean for Sylvia’s nascent relationship with Lucy?
Eight Acts
Price: $4.49 USD. Words: 20,670. Language: English. Published: March 19, 2021 by JMS Books LLC. Categories: Fiction » LGBTQ+ » Gay, Fiction » Romance » Historical » General
London in 1967 is swinging. It’s the summer of love and consensual gay sex in private has just been decriminalized. Percy and Adrian meet through friends and over the summer their relationship deepens and grows. What will happen in September when it’s time for Percy to go back to his job as a boarding school teacher?
The Hunted and the Hind
Price: $4.49 USD. Words: 40,800. Language: English. Published: December 30, 2020 by JMS Books LLC. Categories: Fiction » LGBTQ+ » Gay, Fiction » Romance » Historical » General
Inadvertently tumbling through the border after Fenn, Sergeant Will Grant of the Metropolitan Police has spent three months in prison. When Fenn frees him, they step through the border to the Egyptian desert. It’s a two week trip back to England, with the possibility of pursuit. Will the journey give Fenn and Will time to resolve the feelings they have been dancing around since the day they met?
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