I’m Listening


Cartoon from Mimi and Eunice: http://mimiandeunice.com/category/advice/

It seems every question here at the Café is tricky lately, for one reason or another. This non-fiction question had me stumped at first—not because I couldn’t think of anything, but because we’re a bunch of writers, most of us writing in similar genres, so other people kept grabbing my answers.

My go-to answer was to say I’d write about depression. I was not alone in this response, so I moved on. I write urban fantasy. I read a lot of cryptozoology articles and know way more than I should about aliens, Bigfoot, and chupacabras.

Again, that subject got snatched up for this assignment pretty quick, too.

So, I had to dig a little deeper and be a bit more honest. I have to confess something a little weird about myself.

Have you read my novel, Monster in My Closet? It’s about an empath. She feels the emotions of people around her. Because of this, people gravitate to her with their problems.

Now, I’m not saying I’ve got any wacky supernatural powers (though I will say I can’t wear a watch or use an electric toothbrush because the battery drains in under a month), but I will tell you, people blurt their problems at me every time I leave the house.

And in the case of one pizza guy last year, I don’t even have to leave the house for it to happen.

So, yeah, some of the weird stuff that happens to my main character, Zoey, is based on my own life. And when a clerk at the grocery store blurts out her life story while ringing up my cupcakes and tampons, sometimes I open my mouth without intending to, and I say what seems to be exactly what she needs to hear at that moment. Super power? Therapist in a past life? Channeling Ann Landers? Who knows. But my family thinks it’s hilarious because it happens all the time.

So, my totally honest, bizarre answer to the original question, what would I write if I wrote non-fiction? I think I’d kick ass at being an advice columnist. I’m reasonable, open-minded, non-judgemental. More than anything, I guess, I listen. My advice might not always be exactly what people want to hear, but it’s usually what they need to hear, because I’m good at hearing what people mean, underneath what they say.

So. What’s your problem? I’m listening. 

Rachel is the author of the urban fantasy Monster Haven series from Carina Press. She believes in magic, the power of love, good cheese, lucky socks, and putting things off until stress gets them done faster at the last minute. Her home is Disneyland, despite her current location in Kansas.

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