Will Write for Cash

fairy cashWithin the cozy, virtual walls of the Confabulator Café, I write whatever genre takes my fancy. The monthly writing prompts let my imagination grab whatever idea floats by on the wind, and I can fly off wherever it takes me. I push myself to come up with something different whenever possible. This is a playground. It’s our playground. We can fill it with whatever toys and games we want to play with, and it makes us better writers when we explore uncharted corners.

Outside the Café, I write urban fantasy. I chose that genre for several reasons, not all of them creative. I’m going to lay a little honesty on you here, and I hope you don’t think less of me for it by the time I’m done.

I read a lot of urban fantasy, so naturally, when I decided to write a full-length novel, that was the genre I chose. I love magic, but lack the finesse and ability to write lengthy descriptions necessary for writing high fantasy. I’m also in love with the idea of crazy, magical things going on all around us in our world. I want to find a fairy in my dishwasher or catch sight of a unicorn running along the service road next to a major highway.

But here’s where the honesty comes in. Urban fantasy is hot right now. It sells. Sure, other genres sell, too, but I had more confidence that I could sell an urban fantasy. I was right. I’m a writer first, but this is a business. My head may be filled with dragons and closet monsters, but it’s also filled with royalty checks and contracts. I’ve treated this as a business endeavor from the beginning, and I’m pretty sure that attitude is what’s carried me through. I write for the joy of it, but I have a plan to go with it.

Which is why, for now, I won’t be writing anything but urban fantasy outside the Café for the foreseeable future. I’m building a career. It’s in the beginning stages at the moment, so I can’t afford to muddy the waters of audience expectation by surfing from one genre to another. I’ve seen other authors do it, most with little success.

Unless they have a separate pseudonym for each genre. Frankly, I don’t have time for that. One thing at a time, folks. I have enough to do with one persona without having to divide my time. Focus. You wouldn’t open a pet store and then decide to open a dry cleaners before you got the pet store up and profitable, right?

So, that’s my bit of whorish honesty for you. I love urban fantasy, which makes it easier to write. I write it because it sells, and I will continue writing it in order to make a name for myself in that genre.

Cold and calculating? Maybe a little.

But I do love what I’m doing and, in the end, isn’t that what really matters?

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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