Friday, February 17, 2012

Jaleta Clegg: Writing is like burping...

I'm very pleased to welcome Jaleta Clegg, who loves to play with words and tell stories. Jaleta writes whatever strikes her fancy. Most of her short stories are silly horror, although they sometimes wander into romance or fantasy or science fiction. Her novels are science fiction adventure, at least so far.
You can find links to her works at
Her novel, NEXUS POINT, is at

And if you'd like to hear Jaleta read an excerpt from one of her stories, "Sweet Sally and a Ghost Named Jim," check out this month's Broad Universe podcast, THE BROAD POD.
The Writers’ Lens is about Bringing fiction into focus–what brings your writing into focus, the characters, the stories, the love of words? For me, my stories come into being by asking What If... and following the ideas that flow. Characters bring the stories alive and give them depth and emotion. Ideas alone are stark and sharp. Characters can get hurt by ideas, which is where the story happens.
How much fact is in your fiction? Facts? I need facts? One reason I write science fiction/fantasy/horror is I don't have to use real places. I try to make my science believable, but it isn't always real. I tried writing a thriller romance once. I couldn't do it. I couldn't stay in reality. I had an overwhelming urge to add spaceships, aliens, or unicorns.

What are your top three reasons for writing? Sanity, sanity, and sanity. Really. I write to keep the voices in my head sated. I write to escape into a world where I can control everything, or at least believe I can. Not that my life is horrid or awful, just very stressful. I started writing in earnest when I had just moved to a new neighborhood and was a stay-at-home mom of four kids ages two to seven. I wrote as a coping mechanism. I didn't know it at the time, but three of those four kids were autistic. I've had four more kids since then, most of them autistic as well. I write because it keeps me sane, gives me a focus, and lets me talk to someone adult, even if they just live in my head.
What's the highest compliment someone could make about your writing?" You write just like Andre Norton or Elizabeth Moon. I *love* your stories!" I write to entertain. If my story touches you in some way, I'm happy.

Please share one cheesy “writing is like XXXX” thought. Writing is like burping. Everyone does it. Some are much more impressive than others. Training can help, but talent does matter. Drinking carbonated soda also helps. Writing lasts longer than burping, and people tend to appreciate and admire writing more than burping talent.
What tune/music could be the theme song for your book? I write to music. It sets a mood and keeps my stories flowing. For NEXUS POINT, I wrote it mostly to Air Supply. No, the story isn't a drippy romance, it's action adventure with lots of fights and chases and explosions and more fights and chases and explosions. But Air Supply set the mood I wanted. The best part was writing a very intense fight scene and realizing as I finished it that my speakers were singing, "I'm all out of love, I'm so lost without you..." I was rolling on the floor with the complete and utter unsuitability of the song for what I just wrote.
Book 2, PRIESTESS OF THE EGGSTONE, will hopefully be out later this year. I wrote that one, action adventure science fiction, mostly to Alan Parsons Project songs. Yeah, I was in high school in the '80s. Is my age showing?
Well, when I quit laughing I'll try to say "thanks for being our guest" more properly! I wish we lived closer to each other--I'd love to hang out with you. :) 


  1. Oh, Jaleta, you make me laugh, too! Awesome blog post and congrats on Nexus Point!

  2. Thanks! It was a fun interview. You should hear me burp sometime. Or my son who sings double bass. His burps can rattle windows.