Photo Courtesy of K.A. Bledsoe

In “The Kelton Cases: The Lost Princess,” a spacefaring family trying to make a living while evading their enemies embarks on a mission to find a lost princess before the current prince takes the throne. But during the search, the family members find themselves involved in kidnapping, theft, planetary politics, assassinations and a galaxy-wide slave organization.

Lenore Kelton felt the vibration and consulted the screen on her wristcomp.

Neg 3 lvl. Q.

Lenore was so used to the codes that she translated it without conscious thought: Nothing to report on the third floor. Quinn.

She acknowledged her son and sent her own message back. -1 neg. Main, u 4th which meant there was nothing unusual in the basement, and she would inspect the main floor next while Quinn checked out the fourth level.

A single pulse indicated his reception, and she climbed the stairs to the main floor of the academy. Three schools in this city had been attacked by a lone gunman who opened fire then disappeared before any security was enabled. Eleven people had been killed so far. Her information indicated that this school was next, so she and her son Quinn were scouting ahead. There was a reward that had been posted privately for anyone who could give information on the killer.

Despite being only fifteen years old, it was easy for Quinn to use his talent at disguise to become a transfer student and was on his second day of studies. She had simply signed on as a substitute teacher, since the usual staff had been calling in sick, to nobody’s surprise.

There was plenty of time left in the lunch period to check in with the ship. She tucked her long, light brown hair behind her ear as she tapped her hearing implant twice and gave the subvocal command to call the ship.

“The Kelton Cases: The Lost Princess” by K.A. Bledsoe

The first of a three-book series — with a fourth installment due out this fall — was written by Arizona resident K.A. Bledsoe, whose writing journey began at the age of six with a short story about kids growing up on a space station.

Images Arizona recently caught up with Bledsoe — whose other jobs have included scooping ice cream, shoe salesman, pharmacy tech and band director — to ask the author a few questions about “The Kelton Cases: The Lost Princess,” the latest selection in its summer book club.

From where did you receive your inspiration for this book?
I love many different genres and mediums — from books to TV to movies. But science fiction is definitely at the top of my list. But so often, in all genres, there are stories about “found families.” While I love these, I always thought that there can be just as much drama and story with a real family, but those stories were few. Almost overnight, the characters sprung to life in my imagination, and the Kelton family was soon part of a series.

Aside from that initial inspiration, were there any other experiences from your life that played a part in the setting, characters or trajectory of the plot?
There is always some of me in my characters and novels. But since I have yet to travel to other planets on a space yacht, I had to use my imagination for the more fantastic aspects. I am not an ex-mercenary, but I am a mother and have experienced the daunting task of trying to raise children the right way — no matter the setting.

What themes did you aspire to tackle with this particular work? Did any other themes reveal themselves to you during the writing process?
I never really set out with a theme when I start a book. I simply like to tell a story. But sometimes themes do present themselves and this one showed a few such as how one person can corrupt a government, that powerful people can get away with horrible things like slavery and that in order to save lives, sometimes the rules need to be bent.

What or how are you hoping your book makes readers feel? What other takeaways do you hope they have?
All I ever want is for a reader to enjoy my stories and possibly find a connection to one of my characters. If they find something else along the way, that is simply a bonus.

What are some of your own takeaways? Specifically, did your characters teach you anything?
Every story, as well as every character, teaches me something. With this book, I realized that parenting is not easy and though mistakes are made — and as a parent, I have made many. But as long as there is love and an effort to make things right, most families will make it through.