May 18, 2010

Grleep Jaleta Clegg! Lift a Glass of Hari's Ale!

Jaleta Clegg was born some time ago. She’s filled the years since with many diverse activities, such as costuming, quilting, cooking, video games, reading, and writing. She’s been a fan of classic sci-fi books and campy movies since she can remember. Her collection of bad sci-fi movies is only rivaled by her collection of eclectic CD’s (polka, opera, or Irish folk songs, anyone?). She feels privileged to join the ranks of science fiction authors.

I feel privileged to have discovered her. Bubbly, fun and infectious, her personality shows up in her prose.

For more, visit Jaleta at her website:

Her first novel, Nexus Point: The Fall of the Altairan Empire Book One, came out very recently. Chronicling the adventures of Captain Dace, the book is a fun romp across the planet Dadilan. Dace has a knack for finding trouble. Aboard her first ship with her first crew and her first cargo, things go wrong from the start. The escape pod takes Dace to an off-limits world and things go from wrong to worse very quickly. Adventure after adventure, the fun never stops. From page one to the end, Jaleta keeps it going. A colorful cast enriches the story. The author has a great knack at painting vivid characters who stick with you. Somehow she makes the baddies delicious. I enjoyed spending time with them all.

Nexus Point: The Fall of the Altairan Empire Book One Available at:

1) In the author's words ...

If you haven't downloaded the sample [Nexus Point] to try, please do so. I had so much fun writing it. I wrote the kind of book I like to read - lots of adventure, action, and excitement and just a touch of romance. I had a lot of fun juxtaposing classic fantasy elements with futuristic tech, and playing with some well-known legends.


2) Nexus Point is first in a series. What scrapes does Captain Dace stumble into next? And, when can we expect the next adventure?

Book 2, working title "Priestess of the Eggstone", is undergoing final editing. Dace has a contract to fly a courier ship for Belliff Inc. She hires Jerimon as her copilot. She realizes only too late that Jerimon is being hunted by the Sessimoniss for stealing the Eggstone, their god, and that Belliff Inc. has ties to the Targon Crime Syndicate. With the Patrol, the Sessimoniss, and Targon all chasing her, Dace runs across the Empire, determined to untangle the mess. Mayhem and disaster follow, especially when her personal feelings get involved.

The book is tentatively scheduled for release early in 2011.

3) What makes a sci-fi hero desirable?

For me, it's the same thing that makes any hero or heroine desirable - integrity and passion for what they believe. A really cool ship and uniform also help. Science fiction heroes also have a reputation for being bad boys with hearts of gold. Think Han Solo or Malcolm Reynolds. In Nexus Point, Tayvis is definitely a desirable hero - dark, dangerous, sexy, but someone you can trust implicitly. Unless you're on the wrong side of the law.

With heroines, it's similar. I like mine feisty. Not whiny or wimpy, but not so tough that they don't have a vulnerable side. Dace was fun to play with. She's in so far over her head the moment she crashes on Dadilan, and she doesn't even realize how bad the situation is until much later. She's so real to me, I was surprised by some of her reactions. I admire her strength and her determination.

4) What about sci-fi called to you, or how did it call you?

I've been reading sci-fi most of my life. I discovered A Wrinkle in Time in fourth grade. Instant favorite book. I was reading Andre Norton by sixth grade. I loved the sense of wonder and adventure. I loved exploring new worlds alongside their heroes. I'd look at the stars at night and dream of traveling through space. I still do.

I tried writing a contemporary romance once. I kept wanting to add space battles and aliens and exotic locations. The hardest thing for me was to keep it in a real setting on a real world. In sci-fi, I can just make up whatever I need. As long as it's consistent with the rest of my made-up universe, I'm good.

5) When a story strikes, what bites you first?

Sometimes it's a chance phrase, or an image, or a character that triggers an idea for a story. Lately I've been writing a lot of short stories. I take a sentence or a prompt or an anthology topic and let it run wild in my imagination. I also watch a lot of monster movies, sci-fi movies, and classic sci-fi tv shows. You'd be amazed how much fun you can have mocking them and how many ideas that can trigger. I write comic horror as well as sci-fi. I love twisting ideas upside-down and finding the humor in the bizarre.

6) Jaleta combines her passion for cooking with her passion for writing.

I've had a little training with survival. I'm involved with the Boy Scouts of America, have been for years, and I'm a certified school teacher. I did substitute teaching in a junior high. If that doesn't qualify me as a survivor, nothing can. I could definitely survive the zombie apocalypse.

On the subject of food, I love food. I love cooking. Food is important on so many levels. Of course food is going to creep into my writing. I write a recipe column for Abandoned Towers print issues, dinner menus inspired by books. The editor asked me to spotlight Nexus Point. I had a hard time finding recipes I wanted to create, most of the food is bad on Dadilan. The good stuff is easy. Grapes and cheese, anyone? I created a non-alcoholic version of Hari's ale that was weirdly good. My kids have a love/hate relationship with my column. They have to taste the food to see if I got it right. Usually it's great, but every once in a while... Let's just say the cat tried to bury it.

Hari's Ale - Mix 1 quart apple juice, 1 quart orange juice, 1/4 c. fresh lemon juice, 2 T. grated lemon peel, 2 t. grated fresh ginger, 1/2 t. root beer extract, 6 crushed cinnamon candies. Cover and refrigerate for at least 12 hours to let everything blend. Add 2 liters of cream soda just before serving.

7) Jaleta's thoughts on writing.

Writing is hard, but addictively fun. Editing is horrible but necessary to make the writing better. The biggest surprise with getting published is the sheer amount of marketing authors are required to do. Publish your book and they will line up to read it? Not hardly. Not unless you find a way to connect with your audience. Thanks for giving me this opportunity to blather on your blog. Somedays I feel like a pimp - you know, for a good time, try reading my book! I did sales, enough to know I hate pushing product. I'll let my book speak for itself. Download the free chapters and try it for yourself.

8) What's your favorite campy sci-fi movie?

Hands down all-time favorite bad sci-fi movie - Spacehunter in the Forbidden Zone. I saw the original theatrical release, in 3D no less, at least five times in the theater. I've got one of the original VHS release tape, and the DVD. It's got everything I love about sci-fi: monsters, heroes, cool tech gadgets, fun characters, completely evil villains, and a story. Second favorite - Flash Gordon; the bad 80s movie with the awesome Queen soundtrack. The movie just oozes camp. And then there's The Last Starfighter and Space Balls and The Brain That Wouldn't Die and Ice Pirates and Time Bandits and Live Action He-Man and the Masters of the Universe and... I have no idea how many bad movies I own, I'm afraid to count!


Well, I'm definitely adding Spacehunter to my list. Why not the others? I've seen them. My siblings and I, dorky as it is, give each other the greeting from Masters of the Universe whenever we see each other, "Good journey." Appropos as we grew older as none of us lives in the same state.

Good journey to you, Jaleta. She told me she has loads more Captain Dace adventures in the wings. Excellent. If you enjoy a fun read, I would reccommend giving Nexus Point a whirl. You can't help becoming a Jaleta fan.

Jaleta's blog:
Far Edge of Normal


Nexus Point: The Fall of the Altairan Empire Book One

Thanks for stopping by, Jaleta. It was a joy having you.