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Jaleigh Johnson

Jaleigh JohnsonJaleigh Johnson is a quiet, unassuming accountant/tax preparer, but she has several secret identities: gamer girl, geek, and writer. She is the author of five novels set in the D&D Forgotten Realms campaign setting, published by Wizards of the Coast. When shes not hunched in front of her computer writing, you can find her gaming in her basement, messing around in her garden, or happily ensconced in a movie theater. She lives with her husband at the edge of a cornfield in the Midwest.


Jaleigh Johnson: Writing for kids

We've got Jaleigh Johnson with us today. I recently enjoyed her new Middle Grade novel, The Mark of the Dragonfly, which has a wonderful premise and setting. Johnson is best known for her contributions to the FORGOTTEN REALMS shared universe, so Middle Grade is a new realm for her. Curious about how she approached this challenge, I asked her what she does differently when she writes for kids. Her response is below and, at the end, she wants to know what YOU are looking for in a story for children. One commenter from the U.S. or Canada will win a copy of The Mark of the Dragonfly.

I’m asked this question fairly often, and I understand why. Now that The Mark of the Dragonfly is out in the ... Read More

The Howling Delve: Worth the wait

The Howling Delve by Jaleigh Johnson

In The Howling Delve, Jaleigh Johnson, unlike Erik Scott De Bie in Depths of Madness, does not rely entirely on the dungeon as the setting. Set in Amn in the Year of Lightning Storms, The Howling Delve’s plot revolves around two protagonists: a nobleman’s son who seeks revenge for the overthrow of his family, and a fire elementalist who once lived on the streets of Amn and who seeks something unknown even to her.

Although this is Jaleigh Johnson’s first novel, she has previously published short stories. One can be found in Sails and Sorcery: Nautical Tales of Fantasy published by Fantasist Enterprises. Another appeared in Realms of the Dragons II from Wizards of the Coast.
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Stardeep: A setting little explored

Stardeep by Bruce E. Cordell

Kiril Duskmorn, who first appeared in Darkvision, has returned. Compelled by a love lost, and a self-righteous sentient sword, Kiril must return to the Dungeon of the Traitor to fulfill her role as a Keeper of the Cerulean Sign. Once a star elf, the Traitor gave himself to an evil, primeval influence and has since been confined and magically bound in a pocket dimension, guarded by magical and mundane guards. But when the traitor influences one of his guardians, it is up to Kiril and Raidon, a half-Shou-half- star elf with a desire to know his mother’s past, to stop him.

Bruce Cordell has always been able to reach into the lesser know areas of the Forgotten Realms campaign setting, and give us a story about characters and powers rarely seen. Drawing on his own expertise as a campaign setting writer, he weaves a tale that adds depth and b... Read More

Crypt of the Moaning Diamond: Opera?

Crypt of the Moaning Diamond by Rosemary Jones

What happens when an writer who works for an opera company turns to writing fantasy? Does the story take on qualities of the epic? Do people take forever to die? Or does everyone just walk around singing loudly and wearing funny costumes? If these are questions you have asked yourself (or even if they aren’t) you ought to turn your attention to Crypt of the Moaning Diamond by Rosemary Jones. An opera writer and first time novelist, Jones has created a dungeon delving story both humorous and out of the ordinary set in the Forgotten Realms mythos.

Ivy is the leader of the Siegebreakers, a small band of sappers who hire themselves out to armies needing to have walls come a’tumblin down. Ivy’s crew consists of a 300 year old dwarf who loves dogs, the dog Wiggles, two sisters with very differen... Read More

The Mark of the Dragonfly: Enjoyable, misses chances to be better

The Mark of the Dragonfly by Jaleigh Johnson

The Mark of the Dragonfly, a Middle Grade novel by Jaleigh Johnson, starts off with a wonderfully evocative premise and setting: a world where at regular intervals over a particular region, “meteor storms” rain down artifacts from other worlds amidst a haze of poisonous green dust. After the impacts are over and the dust has settled, “scrappers” head out in a mad race to claim whatever odd (and usually broken) objects might be sold to traders. Entire towns have risen up at the edges of the storm region and it is one of these that we are introduced to our protagonist, Piper. A 13-year-old girl with a talent for fixing machines and the occasional artifact, Piper has been living on her own ever since her father died far off in a factory in Noveen, capital of the Dragonfly territories, a rival kingdom.

Trying to save a young friend desperate for a big strike, Pi... Read More