- Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Jaleigh Johnson, and I’m a writer.
- What are you working on at the moment?
At the moment, I’m working on a young adult steampunk fantasy novel that I hope to sell for zillions of dollars. I’m willing to consider smaller offers. Or cake. I’ll sell a lot of things for cake.
- Who inspires you?
My family. They give me the extra push to do what I do, they support me when I fall apart, and they cheer me on when I succeed—and they’re also completely squirrel-brain crazy, but that’s okay because mostly I am too.
- Name an artist who has inspired you.
Ed Greenwood—for his talent, work ethic, and most importantly for compassion and kindness.
- Name a place that has inspired you.
Walking around Paris with my husband was awe-inspiring, but creatively, I’d have to say my backyard deck has been a source of endless inspiration. I’ve piled more words into my laptop while staring out at the bean field behind my house than I have in any city in the world.
- Name some "thing" that has inspired you.
I’m terrible about not throwing things away, so I’ve kept almost all the notebooks I used to scribble stories in when I was in high school, college, and throughout my twenties. Sometimes when I’m stuck on a project and don’t feel like working, I flip back through the pages of almost illegible writing and think that if I managed to fill up all those notebooks with (mostly bad) stories, I must have learned something along the way. And then I go back and start working on my project again. If that doesn’t work: coffee.
- What drives you to do what you do?
It’s hard to break it down sometimes, but mostly, I do what I do because stories feed me, whether I’m writing them, reading them, watching them on a screen, or acting them out at the gaming table. They have been a constant at the best and worst times of my life.
- What values do you wish your creativity to express?I want it to feel true. I want to make people believe in the possibility of dragons between the book covers. Not literally between the covers, though, because then the dragon would probably light the pages on fire. So a little true.
- What role does community play in what you do?
It’s funny; I’ve always been a pretty solitary creature, but in the past several years, this wonderful community of creative people gradually started coming into my life. First it was writers and editors I got to know through my publisher, then people I connected with at conventions, and then a local group of writers that got together and formed a critique group. They all help me to remember that I’m not alone in this game. I am very blessed to have them as friends.
- What is next for what you do?
More writing. And more coffee. Wait, switch that. There you go.