Interview with Jaleta Clegg

Please help me welcome Jaleta Clegg to my blog today. Jaleta will be giving away a copy of her book to one lucky commentor, so be sure and leave her a question or a comment.

Jaleta has a FREE ebook of Nexus Point for everyone! Just go here – – and use the code AA47G (expires 5/31/13)

front_small_2How did you get started writing?
My first real attempt at writing a novel happened after reading a long series of unsatisfying books by other authors. I couldn’t find the kind of book I wanted to read, so I decided I’d write it myself. It turned out to be much harder than I thought. But also much more addictive. I can’t stop myself.

What genre(s) do you write in and why?
So far, my novels have been science fiction adventure but I’m not ruling out fantasy or even romance. I fell in love with SF way back in second grade when I found A Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet buried in my parents’ bookshelves. That led to A Wrinkle in Time, which eventually led to anything by Andre Norton, which led to anything with SF on the spine at the library.

My short stories tend to be silly horror. I could do dark and serious, but I don’t want to go there. I’d rather make someone laugh while their skin crawls. An anthology I edited with a friend just released in November – Wandering Weeds: Tales of Rabid Vegetation ( I love my story in it. I posted “Lassie, Go Home”, another short that didn’t make it into the collection, for free on my blog if you want a taste of my silliness.

What is your favorite part of writing?
Making up stuff. I love to create worlds and characters to fill them. I can daydream all I want, because it’s part of my job. I also get to research all sorts of weird and bizarre things and call it part of writing. Did you know that baboons have a very strict social heirarchy? Or that rulers of Greek city-states were called Archons? Or that deep-sea creatures are more like aliens than the creatures in SF movies?

weedsebookcover_2What is your least favorite part of writing?
The pressure to create something really good, right now, first draft. That’s impossible. Good writing takes time, lots of time, and lots of editing. It isn’t easy. Anyone who tells you the writing in your first draft is marvelous either didn’t read it, or is related to you and wants something from you. First drafts are horrible. That’s why editing was invented, to polish those rough drafts into something beautiful.

Tell us about your current series.
The Fall of the Altairan Empire is a space opera – a huge story told mostly from the perspective of one person unlucky enough to get caught in the middle. Dace is like a catalyst. She triggers the events that lead to the ultimate destruction of the Empire and everything she knows. It all starts with one world, one mistake. Nexus Point begins her story. She’s finally got her dream of owning her own trading ship, but her crew betrays her and blows it up. She crashes on Dadilan, a world trapped in a feudal society and low technology level where she is accused of being a demon. That’s chapter one of book one…

I believe in lots of action. I also believe in giving the reader a complete story in each book. No cliff hanger endings. But not a final ending. Each book builds on the next one in the series to make an overall story far grander than any one book could hold.

Book two, Priestess of the Eggstone, continues Dace’s misadventures, adding in an alien race of giant lizardmen. Book three, Poisoned Pawn, sets her up as an unwitting and unwilling pawn for the Patrol.

Give us an elevator pitch for your book.
With their own ship and freedom, life is sweet; until Dace disappears and Jasyn learns the truth about their new copilot.

poisonpawn (1)_2Tell us about your heroine. Give us one of her strengths and one of her weaknesses.
Dace is fiercely loyal to the people she cares about. But she has a hard time opening up enough to admit she cares for someone. She’s a survivor, but she’s not as tough and savvy as she thinks. She’s really very naïve about a lot of things, including love.

Do you have any words of inspiration for aspiring authors?
Keep writing. Don’t listen to that inner voice that whispers your writing is horrible and no one will ever want to read it. That voice doesn’t go away. It’s a self-doubt that everyone struggles with. Ignore it and keep writing. You will get better. Your stories will find an audience. But only if you keep writing and keep sharing.

Having achieved your goal to be a published author, what is the most rewarding thing?
Connecting with readers. Finding that email in my inbox from a reader who was touched enough by my stories to write me is the most wonderful thing. It can pull me out of a slump and motivate me to get writing again. Someone loves my characters as much as I do. That means the world to me.

Are you a member of any writing organizations and, if so, have they helped? is a great group. I’m not active on there now, but I was when I was starting out. I got some great writing critiques and made some friends that helped push me where I wanted and needed, but was too afraid, to go.

BroadUniverse ( is a wonderfully supportive organization for women who write science fiction, fantasy, or horror. I’ve made good contacts with other authors that have really helped me. I’m still pretty new to the publishing side of things. They’re great for aspiring authors, newbie authors, and established authors.

The Science Fiction Romance Brigade ( is a fun group. My books are not Romance, but they are science fiction with romantic elements. It’s nice to hang out with people who enjoy science fiction adventure stories as much as I do.

BestsellerBound ( is another wonderfully supportive group. They welcome anyone – reader, writer (published or not) of any genre, editor, or just someone who wants to talk books.

I’m also a member of a writing group based two states away from where I live. Good thing we have the internet.

What’s next for you?
The future awaits! Book three, Poisoned Pawn, is due to release April 19. The other eight books in The Fall of the Altairan Empire are under contract and wait for my editing pen. I’ve got other novels nibbling at my head as well as lots of short stories. I’m editing an anthology for Flying Pen Press. It’s an exciting time to be an author. So many stories to write and so many ways to get them to the readers.

Thanks for hosting me. It’s been a pleasure!

Jaleta Clegg loves to paint pictures with words, since she sucks at painting pictures with paint. She’s always loved space and folktales. Combining that with writing her own stories was an easy leap. Writing stories that someone wanted to publish and people wanted to read was a lot harder. She’s published science fiction adventure novels and numerous short stories ranging from silly horror to fantasy to everything in between.

Twitter: @Jaleta_Clegg

5 thoughts on “Interview with Jaleta Clegg

  1. Thanks for sharing, Jaleta. I too love hearing from readers. It lets us know that we accomplished our tasks in touching someone. I wish you all the best in your writing career. Sell tons of books!

  2. Jaleta, I’m chuckling about the reason you started writing. I think a lot of us became authors for that very reason. And I agree with you on world building–it’s the best. Wishing you mega sales and thanks so much for sharing all the wonderful facts and tidbits.

  3. Thanks for sharing, Jaleta. I love science fiction, too, and remember reading the Mushroom Planet book and A Wrinkle in Time when I was a kid. I grabbed a copy of your book at Smashwords. Thanks!

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