Thursday, April 29, 2010


I caught the first few moments of Into the Universe before the remote was cruelly torn from my hand (dramatic license). But the intro resonated with me. Stephen Hawking spoke about his physical limitations, but finished with the phrase " my mind, I am free."

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I'm Happy. Honest.

So lately I've been writing myself into and odd niche. The past six months and the past few projects (that weren't the book) have been fairly dark. No matter the spirit I start in, it slowly bends and twists into some sort of macabre offering. If this keeps up, I'm going to cement my reputation as "the dark one" of my writing guild. Hmm. Actually, as far as titles go, that one is pretty badass.

Ahem. A friend says that it's a subconscious outlet, an untapped fount. I'm not sure how to feel about that idea.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Ooo, Shiny.

It's been a bit of a busy week, so I apologize for the tardiness of the post. Most of the week was spent feeling like I was stuck in a game of Oregon Trail. The town I live in had a water boil order in effect for about a week. Guess who found out too late? I do have a new-found appreciation (or a re-found appreciation?) for municipal water usage. The whole thing got my mind side-tracked from my current project. I almost jumped ship and started to work on another piece, something with a post-apocalyptic vibe.

Discipline has been my biggest issue to date. But it's slowly getting better. Editing and a second draft is required before I move on to another big project. I'm serious. No messing around. No flitting from project to project like some weird, adhd hummingbird. Back. To. Work.

.....*twitch, twitch*

Gah! I guess I'll have to work fast to keep the hives to a manageable minimum. *twitch*

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Author Interview With Jaleta Clegg.

I'm pleased to introduce you to Jaleta Clegg.

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?).

Her day job involves an inflatable planetarium, numerous school children, and starship simulators. Her summer job involves cooking alien food for space camp. She writes a regular column in Abandoned Towers Magazine–fancy dinner menus for themed parties.

Her first novel, Nexus Point (, is now in print from Cyberwizard Productions. The first three chapters are free at or you can download half the book at Smashwords You can buy the ebook there, too. She has stories published in Bewildering Tales, Abandoned Towers, and Darwin’s Evolutions. Links are available at

Jaleta lives in Utah with her husband, a horde of her own children, and one ancient, toothless cat. She wants to be either Han Solo or Ursula the Sea Witch when she grows up. If she ever does. She also detests referring to herself in the third person, but sometimes she bows to necessity.

What inspired you to write Nexus Point?

I wanted a fun book to read, one where you don't want to say goodbye to the characters. So I wrote one. So much science fiction is either military technicalities or depressing dystopia stories. I wanted something with hope, like the classic sci-fi from the '50s. So I wrote my own series.

The way that you handle technology in you book is fun, how would you classify Nexus Point, genre-wise?

Retro space opera with a touch of romance. It isn't meant to be deep, expository literature. I like to believe the science is believable, but it isn't the main point of the story. The characters and the action take center stage.

I understand this is book one in a series, what can we expect with future installments?

More mayhem, destruction, wild chase scenes, explosions, fight scenes - total chick flick territory at my house. I subtitled it "The Fall of the Altairan Empire" for a reason. Nexus Point is the beginning, ground zero if you will. Much of what happens on Dadilan sows the seeds for the rest of the series.

And romance will continue to happen. My husband, my first reader, told me I had to have a happy ending for the first book. I told him he would get one, eventually. He's a confirmed soppy romantic.

You have an interesting cast running around. How do you develop your characters?

They grew on me. I love to watch people. We dissect tv shows and movies, picking apart the characters and the plots to figure out what makes them work and what doesn't. I've also had fifteen years to play with these people. I did a complete rewrite of Nexus Point a few years ago. By then I had the whole series written in rough draft, so I knew the characters intimately. Regressing to their more innocent state proved tricky, but they are so much more satisfying in this version.

Is Nexus Point your first published work?

My first published book, yes. Last year was a banner year for me. I didn't really pursue publication until 2008. I had a book and four short stories published in 2009. 2010 is looking up with more short stories. Book 2 will be out early 2011. The whole series is under contract. I've got more novels in the works. We'll see where those go.

When did you begin writing?

As soon as I could hold a pencil. I wrote a comic book in ninth grade. I dabbled for years. It wasn't until I bought my first computer, a Commodore 128 from a garage sale, that I really took off. Something about the impermanence of my mistakes on the word processor freed me. I wrote seven novel drafts in the first year. The first few were absolutely dreadful, but I'd caught the disease. I can't stop myself from dreaming up stories and writing them down.

What is your preferred genre to write in? Why?

Definitely science fiction. I've always heard you should write what you know, so I do. I write aliens and weird planets and space battles. Wait, those aren't real?

Do you plan out your work or let inspiration drive you?

A bit of both. I'll get the seed of an idea and start writing without any idea where I'm going. Two or three chapters later, I stop writing and start dreaming. I write a general outline, usually about two pages or less, then start on the rest. Things happen. I've had to completely revise the whole last half of a book, before I wrote it fortunately, because of something my subconscious dreamed up.

Any surprises with being published?

I guess I was a bit naĆ­ve. I thought once I was done writing and editing the manuscript, I was done. I'd sit back and watch the sales happen. It doesn't work that way. I've had to learn marketing, website building, everything, just a flood of information and things I need to do to promote the book. Where is the time for new writing? I've had to learn a whole new way to balance life, work, and writing.

Do you have any writing rituals?

Typical writing session: 1. Announce I am going to write. Interruptions had better involve blood or flames. Nothing less will be tolerated. 2. Remove cat from bedroom. Close and lock door. 3. Settle on the bed with laptop. Realize battery is dead. Retrieve power cord from family room. 4. Repeat step 2. 5. Child pounds on door with an emergency. Unlock door to find emergency is the other bathroom is occupied and child needs to go. 6. Wait while child does his business in bathroom. 7. Repeat step 2. 8. Phone rings. Child insists person needs to urgently speak to mom. Growl at solicitor on phone. 9. Repeat step 2. 10. Type one sentence. Laptop unable to save or retrieve files. Panic. 11. Shut down laptop and run every piece of anti-virus software installed. File nails while waiting for process to complete. 12. Child knocks on door with emergency. Wants to know if they can eat chocolate cake for dinner or is mom going to cook something? Scream and tell them they can eat whatever they can find in the house. 13. Laptop now functioning. Settle on bed and open WIP. 14. Husband now home from work, wondering why bedroom door is locked from the inside. 15. Give up and go watch latest episode of NCIS while eating chocolate cake for dinner.

Obviously not every session is that way. I found time to write books and stories and interviews. Some days writing works and some days it doesn't. I push when it's working. I wrote 27 hours straight once. I have no idea what my family ate for meals.

Your blog says that you have multiple jobs and 8(!) kids. When do you find time to write?

See the answer above. I squeeze it when I can.

Authorly advice, or things I wished I'd known? :)

Writing is art. Publishing is business. If you're pursuing professional publication, know what you're in for. Authors are responsible for pretty much all of the marketing anymore, unless you're already established and on the NYT bestseller list. Even then, you are expected to have an online presence so your rabid stalkers, I mean fans, can find you.

My rabid stalkers can find me at with links to everywhere else you can find me listed on the site. I would love to have rabid stalkers, I mean fans.

Thanks again for visiting my blog.

Thanks so much for inviting me. It's been a pleasure.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Stranger, Indeed.

Sometimes I feel like the things I write are just too much to believe. Sure, everything that I committed to paper or computer screen is make-believe. That's the point of storytelling, but I don't want my readers to have their suspension of belief pushed to the breaking point.

I felt bad about the way I portrayed the teenage sister of one of my characters. She was whiny, obsessive, and a ginormous pain in the butt. "Surely," I thought, "this is has way too much snark-fu. This is unfair and I've stacked the deck. Bad Lynn, bad." A few days later (I'm not even close to exaggerating), my writer's groups was cornered and held hostage by a rabid teenager that made my fictional teen look like Nancy-freaking-Drew. Hand to God, I'm telling the truth. I have witnesses to back me up (scarred and horrified as they may be).

Everyone has their preferences, I guess. Which isn't bad, just immensely interesting. I recently read a review of a book that I loved that was written by an author that I admire (waves). The reviewer had a slight qualm with the extraordinary bad luck of the main character, coupled with the ability to for said main character to miraculously wriggle out of the trouble she got into. I think the reviewer thought the author may have been pushing believability (that's the impression I came away with, anyway). That aspect of the character happened to be completely believable to me, and I loved it. The bad luck didn't phase me one bit. I know people with the bad luck and the phenomenal ability to make it work in their favor, eventually.

No matter how off the wall I think I get, reality always has a way of showing me otherwise. Which is good. It helps to get rid of the self-censorship. So any time I get a little worried about some of the weird things I write, I go out for coffee or a bit of shopping and just listen. I soon feel better.