Thank you so much Ofelia, for inviting me to visit today! I’m doing some guests post around and about to let people know the 1920s London Border Magic trilogy has relaunched in audio. The books are now available wide rather than just with Audible.
If you’ve never read or listened to any of my books before, I usually describe them as paranormal, historical and queer. There’s a scattering of contemporary short stories and a couple of novellas that are lacking in screaming monsters from beyond the void, but most of my books are set in 1920s England. The 1920s London trilogy features a gay couple—Lew and Alec—and a gay/non-binary couple—Fenn and Will.
Lost in Time was the first book I had published and I discovery-wrote it, meaning I had no clue what the ending would be when I began. Of course I knew Lew and Alec would end up together…but I didn’t know how I’d get there. It was 2015, the middle of the centenary of World War One and my driving motivation was to explore how the experiences of someone born in the 1980s would contrast with those of someone born a hundred years before. And to make it gay 😊.
Lew gets sucked back in time from 2016 for magical reasons and there he suddenly is, just after the First World War, rubbing shoulders with all these people who’ve been through something he simply can’t imagine. A hundred years might as well be another planet. Plus his sexuality is illegal, which is something he has to work really hard to get his head around—the need to hide. I tried to contrast him with Alec and Will, who are middle class and upper class respectively, and both gay. In the later books, Fenn appears as another contrast to the 1920s norms—they are non-binary, a fae to all intents and purposes, from a culture where their gender and pansexuality is completely the norm.
It sounds completely ridiculous now, but looking back six years I honestly didn’t intend to create an entire parallel England where magic is real, or a world that runs in tandem with ours behind a magical veil. I just needed a mechanism to displace Lew in time at the beginning of the first book, so I could have him floating around being confused in the 1920s. I started off with that and I kept writing. I like creating characters who are just doing their thing and who then end up having to cope with situations completely outside their experience. I suppose that’s what I began doing by making Lew time-travel in Lost in Time…and then I doubled down by throwing in malevolent creatures, magical power struggles and the like as I continued writing.
Callum Hale, my narrator, is brilliant at pinning down the tones of each of the characters, modern, historical or fantastical. Lost in Time was out in audio before I finished writing The Hunted and the Hind and I found myself hearing his interpretation of the characters in my head as I was putting them down on the page. I have four audiobooks with him so far and fully intend to use him for future projects if I can persuade him to put up with me! Lew comes across as a modern Londoner, and Alec and Will are perfect for their class and their time. Will is my favourite character of all the people I’ve ever written. He’s very upper class and comes from a monied background. Before the war he’d be off to country house parties each weekend, and his father was terribly confused that he wanted to actually work for a living…and as a policeman! Good grief! The clipped British drawl Callum has given him is wonderful.
You can find most of my audiobooks at my Authors Direct page—all three 1920s London books can be bought for $20!—but they are also available wide at Apple, Hoopla, Scribd, LibroFM, Kobo, Chirp etc. and I think Audible have them on Whispersync—I am perpetually confused by how they work. I know some audio-library services are carrying them too. I hope you enjoy listening to them as much as I’ve enjoyed hearing Callum bring the characters to life!
Lost in Time
You can listen to the first half hour of Lost in Time here at Bookfunnel!
Gruesome murders taking place across 1920s London draw Lew and Alec together through the desolation of the East End and the smoky music clubs of Soho. They both have secrets that could get them arrested or killed. In the middle of a murder investigation that involves wild magic, mysterious creatures and illegal sexual desire, who is safe to trust?
Not Lew, who is struggling to get to grips with life a century before he was born. Or Alec, who wants Lew in his bed, despite liking him for murder.
#1 in the 1920s London series. Gay paranormal, historical, romantic suspense of 53,000 words, set in the Border Magic Universe.
About A. L. Lester
Ally Lester writes queer, paranormal, historical, romantic suspense and lives in the South West of England with Mr AL, two children, a terrifying cat, three guineapigs, some hens and the duckettes.
She likes permaculture gardening but doesn’t really have time or energy these days. Not musical, doesn’t much like telly, likes to read. Non-binary. Chronically disabled. Has fibromyalgia and tedious fits.
Join my newsletter for a free copy of the novella An Irregular Arrangement, visit my website at allester.co.uk or find me on social media via my link-tree.