Getting to know Jaleta Clegg – An Interview

Please welcome Jaleta Clegg to my blog today. Jaleta is giving away a coupon to get Nexus Point free? It would be available to anyone who reads the post from Smashwords with the coupon code AA47G.

front_small (2)_2What genre(s) do you write in and why?
Science fiction, specifically space opera adventure stories, and silly horror. I dabble in fantasy of all shades and have tried my hand at Romance (with the capital R). The Romance didn’t work. I had a very hard time NOT adding unicorns, barbarian warriors, laser guns, starships, or multi-dimensional wormhole gates. I love being able to play with my imagination. If I’m making stuff up, I may as well go for broke and make it awesome. I also like big explosions and lots of action. And I really, really, really want my own starship.

Tell us about your current series/WIP. Give us an elevator pitch for your books.

The Fall of the Altairan Empire – Thousands of worlds, trillions of citizens. One woman’s destiny will destroy it all.

Dace’s wants are simple – her own trading ship and freedom – but the entire universe seems dead set against letting her have what she wants. Nexus Point, book one, starts the series by destroying her ship and stranding her on a low-tech planet. Hunted by drug smugglers who think she’s a rival, the Patrol who thinks she’s a smuggler, and the natives who think she’s a demon; she’s got one chance to escape – convince the Patrol agent hunting her that she’s innocent. Bad goes to worse in Priestess of the Eggstone, book two. Dace is working as a courier pilot for Belliff, a front for the Targon Crime Syndicate, but she doesn’t know that. By the time she figures it out, she’s got the Patrol and the Syndicate after her. Her co-pilot Jerimon has an entire sentient species hunting him. He stole their god and they want it back. In Poisoned Pawn, book three, Dace is being hunted by Targon. The Patrol is intent on recruiting her as an agent. And Luke Verity kidnaps her, thinking she’s the reclusive daughter of a rich businessman. Her life depends on a deception she’s ill-suited to carry out. The Kumadai Run, book four, is due for release January 2014 and promises just as much action. Dace must unlock the mysteries of the Kumadai Run before she and her crew vanish forever into its hazards.

I wrote the whole series before I thought about publishing it. One story grew into two, then three, then almost a dozen. Pitching an eleven book series to publishers when I hadn’t a single publication credit to my name was an experience. Fortunately, I found two small presses willing to take a chance on me. The first, Cyberwizard Productions, got caught in the economic crunch and had to scale back. The second, Journalstone, picked up the series from book 2 on. The series is all under contract and in edits.

Where can readers find you? Where can readers find your books? Print/Ebook?
Find my books and stories listed at (some are free!) and my series at (drop by and feed the fish!)
I blog recipes and random things at

Tell us about your heroine. Give us one of her strengths and one of her weaknesses.
Dace is short, scrawny, and tougher than overmixed biscuits. She is loyal to a fault to those she considers her friends. She’s naïve, though. She knows a lot less than she thinks she does.

priestess (2)_2Where do you get the ideas for your stories?
I get ideas all the time. A random phrase or picture, a glimpse of a stranger who catches my interest, science shows. I love science shows. Some of my best aliens were based on baboon societies, monitor lizard biology, and birds. All it takes is some imagination and a twisted sense of humor.

What is most difficult for you to write? Characters, conflict or emotions? Why?
I love writing characters and conflict. Emotions trip me up all the time. I have a bad habit of shying away from them in my writing. It’s much easier to blow something up than to deal with the emotional backlash of the action. I prefer to keep my emotions private, but in writing, especially first person, you have to let it all hang out.

Are you a full time writer or do you have a “day job”?
My full time job is being mom to my horde. It’s getting easier as they get older, the youngest turned ten this year, but it still takes a lot of time and energy. I currently have three part time jobs that I don’t want to give up. I work at space centers – with starship simulators and interactive story telling. It’s almost having my own starships. – is the one I started at, run by the school district. – is a new one that opened last spring. – is due to open in a year, but is hosting classes and other programs until then.

poisonpawn (2)_2I steal time for writing when I can. With a flexible work schedule, it’s not too hard. Teaching my kids to respect that time is the hard part. I’ve had to resort to a lock on my bedroom door and a sign that reads: If there isn’t open flame, squirting blood, or bones showing, don’t interrupt!

How does your family feel about your writing career?
They put up with me because they all love my stories. I recently found out one of my sons read my books and did book reports on them for his English class. He’s been recommending them to his friends. That makes me happy. No, I didn’t pay him to do it. I sometimes pay him to mow the lawn.

Having achieved your goal to be a published author, what is the most rewarding thing?
I love finding an email in my inbox from a new fan. It doesn’t happen very often, yet, but hearing how I’ve touched someone through my writing always brings a smile to my face. I also love all the new author friends I’ve made. I’ve met the most interesting people because of my stories.

Will you share some encouraging words for authors still struggling for that first contract?
Keep writing, no matter what. Never stop learning and improving. If a critique or rejection stings, cry in private, learn what you can from it, then move on. Life is too short.

Do you have other talents? Or is there a talent you don’t have that you wish you did?
I can burp on command. Wait, that said a talent I don’t have that I wish I had? Not a talent I wish I didn’t have? I play piano and organ. I sew, crochet, design costumes, cook, piece quilts – it sounds so normal until you look at what I’m really making. Cthulhu toilet paper cozies and beholders, anyone?

What did you want to be when you were a child? Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?
I wanted to be a race car driver. I practiced all the time on my Big Wheel. Then when I was seven, I decided I’d rather be an astronaut. But I grew too tall, plus I’m female. This was the late seventies. NASA had some strict guidelines for astronauts. I also get motion sick on a swingset. It just wasn’t going to happen. Then personal computers came along. I took electronics in high school. I ended up getting a degree in Geology – Earth Science Education. Being a writer never really crossed my radar until one summer when I was a stay-at-home mom of four young kids in a new neighborhood. I was going insane. I did self-therapy by writing novels. I got addicted. Writing is fun. It’s hard work, true, but I love writing. The four kids are now eight, and the stories and novels had multiplied, too.

biosmall (1)_2BIO

Jaleta Clegg was born some time ago and has filled the years since wishing for her own starship. Since that hasn’t happened, she’s settled for telling stories about starships and watching B-movies about starships. Her bad video collection is only rivaled by her music collection. Eclectic barely begins to cover them. Spacehunter in the Forbidden Zone or Accordion Disco Polka Folk Songs, anyone? Jaleta lives in Utah with a horde of her own children, two dogs, an obese cat named Chunkalicious Rex, three zombie frogs (a gift from a fellow author and friend), numerous other strange things, and a very patient husband.

Thanks so much for letting me stop by. It’s been great fun!

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