Today we have a treatâ€¦ we interview a new Author in the making. Jaleta Clegg. Her debut book is: Nexus Point, The Fall of the Altairan Empire (http://www.facebook.com/l/fd95c;http//www.nexuspoint.info)
Jaleta tell me something about you.
I’ve been married to the same man for over 24 years. We have eight children. We also have one ancient, toothless cat. I can kill zucchini just by planting it. I love to cook, mostly because I love food and the easiest way to get something really delicious is to make it yourself. Nothing quite satisfies the way serving a loaf of warm, fresh, homemade bread does. I also piece quilts mostly because I love contrasting colors and textures, painting pictures with fabric.
I have the world’s most awesome day job, too. I work at the Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center introducing hordes of school children to astronomy, physics, science fiction, and the sheer wonder of science. We’re upgrading to a digital planetarium system this summer. And I get to be the one to figure out how it works and how to program shows. I can’t wait!
Have any book(s) changed your life?
Many books have touched my life. One of the first I remember crying over was “A Wrinkle in Time”. That story spoke to me in a way that no other book had before. Andre Norton’s classic science fiction novels are still among my favorites. I loved the whole idea of traveling to other worlds, meeting aliens, exploring new and exciting frontiers. I still shiver with the sense of absolute wonder these books hold. Other than the scriptures, science fiction classics have touched me more than any other books.
What made you write â€œNexus Point, The Fall of the Altairan Empireâ€?
I set out to write the kind of book I enjoyed reading, one where you fall in love with the characters. When you turn the last page you think, “No! It can’t be over already. I want more!” It was also self-therapy. I was a stay-at-home mom with 4 children under 6 when I wrote the original draft. Writing was my link to sanity during those years. No matter what was happening in my life, I could always escape to my other universe. Not that things were under my control there, either. My characters did what they wanted. I was just along for the ride.
How long have you been writing?
As long as I’ve known how to put letters on a page. I’ve scribbled poems and stories. When we bought our first computer, a Commodore 128 from a garage sale, the word processor freed me. I didn’t have to worry about typing it correctly. I could make all the mistakes I wanted, and they weren’t permanent! That’s when I really started writing. I finished three novel manuscripts in less than four months. They were terrible, but it’s a learning process. I didn’t pursue publishing until 2008. 2009 saw my novel and four short stories in publication so I must have learned what I needed to in those years of writing just because I could.
Who are your favorite authors?
I love the classic SF writers – Andre Norton, Isaac Asimov, Larry Niven, Philip JosÃ© Farmer, Heinlein’s YA books, Madeline L’Engle, to name a few. I’ve also discovered some obscure writers that just tickle my imagination. Clifford Simak wrote some incredibly different short stories; if my characters could only ring so true! I’m also a fan of Julie Czerneda’s SF and Terry Pratchett’s Discworld. And so many others. My library needs more shelf space. Again. Except so many of my books end up in my kids’ beds, my bed, in the bathrooms, family room, etc. Every room in my house has books. Ask me which is my favorite child. That’s an easier question to answer.
Now tell us when your work of art (Book) came out and how you celebrated?
Nexus Point was officially released Dec. 23, 2009. I’m still partly in shock that it really happened. I’m also scrambling to figure out what it means to have a writing career. I’m not sure I’ve stopped to celebrate yet.
Are you touring or doing any appearances?
I’m going to be at ConDuit in Salt Lake City UT the end of May, SpoCon in Spokane WA the end of July, and FenCon in Dallas mid-Sepetember. I would love to do school visits or signings at bookstores but I haven’t figured out that part of the business yet. My publisher is a small press in Texas so they don’t do a lot of tours. I’m going to FenCon at their invitation, but like I said before, I’m still figuring this out.
What do you plan to write next, or do you have a WIP?
Nexus Point is the first in a series. I’ve got them all in rough draft, but they still need editing. I’m currently writing comic horror with a whole series of short stories. And I’ve always got at least six or seven novels simmering somewhere in my imagination.
What kind of impact do you expect your works to have on the reader’s lives?
If I’ve entertained the reader, I’ve done what I set out to do. If they learn something from my books, it’s a bonus.
Where can we get your books?
The only physical store that currently has copies is Smith’s Drug Store in downtown Pleasant Grove UT. But you can find it online at a lot of places. I have links to all of them here: http://www.facebook.com/l/fd95c;www.nexuspoint.info It’s available in print and ebook formats.
Where can we find out more about you and your works?
My website is http://www.facebook.com/l/fd95c;www.jaletac.com – info about me, free stories to download, links to everything I have currently in print, and links to other cool websites, events, and authors. I blog at least twice at week at http://www.facebook.com/l/fd95c;jaletaclegg.blogspot.com/ You can also find me on Facebook as Jaleta Clegg, or fan my books – Jaleta Clegg’s Altairan Empire series. I Twitter as ursulasquid and jaletac. I’m also a member of Broad Universe, a group dedicated to helping women speculative fiction authors.
Thanks for inviting me over to your blog, Anna. It’s been a pleasure.
We loved having you and congratulations on your books.
Tags: Andre Norton, astronomy, Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center, Clifford Simak, Heinlein's YA books, Isaac Asimov, Larry Niven, Madeline L'Engle, Philip JosÃ© Farmer, physics, planetarium, planetarium system, science fiction