I live in the rural SW of England and I write queer romance with a paranormal element. I have one published book that is not #ownvoices and a couple of others in the pipeline that have enby and bi/pan characters . My current WIPs are all set in 1920s England.
A little bit more about A.L.; I've written since I was a kid, but big life changes in the last decade made me knuckle down more seriously.
I live with Mr AL and we've got two children under ten, one of whom is life-limited and needs a lot of care. I am disabled. I have fibromyalgia, I slip in and out of depression and I have stress-related seizures, which can be hilariously ill-timed but are mostly grim. I keep poultry, I make beer from nettles and I try and grown as much of our own food as I can.
I've got a degree in history and archaeology, a masters in IT and half of an undergrad course in science-fiction under my belt. I've worked at lots of things... coding, admin, technical theatre, teaching IT to both retirees and people who had been in prison. Most recently, selling eggs at the farmers market, breeding hens and teaching people how to keep them.
I like reading and knitting. I used to make wine but I can't drink it any more and that made me cross so I stopped.
Being open about who I am is a relatively new thing for me.
I realised I liked girls as well as boys in my mid-teens and over time I realised it was more the person inside than the body they came in that I found attractive. I've swung between presenting as quite femme and quite butch over the years and I now present as a tired middle aged person with two exhausting children, who doesn't have time to brush their hair.
Over the last couple of years though, Things Have Happened that have allowed some self-reflection. And I have realised I am non-binary. This has slotted in to place like the last bit of a wooden puzzle and all of a sudden things feel right. All of a sudden I don't feel weird and uncomfortable about myself. It's brilliant.
A.L. Lester identifies as Pansexual and Enby and prefers the pronouns She/Her.
We sat down with the illustrious A.L. for an interview
1. Besides LGBT+ OwnVoices, anything else in your books OwnVoice (mental illness, physical disability, etc.)
I think these are going to be worked in to future stories. It looks like my subconscious has suddenly decided that writing is an wonderful opportunity for therapy. I have a character with depression in mind, for example.
2. What is the best money you've spent as an author?
I spent out to have my manuscript edited before I sent it off to publishers.
3. Do you view writing as a "spiritual" practice?
Not per se. But I do find the stillness and immersion in the creative process almost meditative, if that doesn't sound too wanky.
4. Have you ever googled yourself? Anything interesting?
God no. I can't even read my reviews.
5. What part of life do you write most about? (Child, Teenager, Adult, etc.)
6. You've been transported to the world of Harry Potter! What House do you want to be in? Who do you try to date (if anyone)? Is Harry your BFF or the antagonist?
Ravenclaw and I would seduce Snape in an instant.
7. You meet your favourite author! They tell you they've read your book and LOVED it! What is your reaction?
I am unable to either meet their eyes or speak to them.
8. You're at the club (I know we're both probably introverts but like, play along) Your favourite song comes on! What is it?
Midnight Train to Georgia by Gladys Knight and the Pips. I am OUT THERE ON THE DANCE FLOOR. For about thirty seconds, before I have a seizure.
9. You're transported to your WIP! What is your relation to the MC?
I work for Alec as a stenographer at the police station and worship him from afar.
10. Anything else the readers of this world should know about you?
I can't think of anything you SHOULD know. ! [I didn't ask your favourite colour, can I know that!?]
If A.L. Lester seems like your kind of author, you can find her on Twitter @CogentHippo
Where Can We Find Your Books?
I have a list of links to buy or download on QueeromanceInk.
We thank Ms. Lester for joining us today!
Tune in tomorrow for our next author, J.R. Gray