Samuel Johnson famously said No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money. Which to my mind is one of those observations that is both masterful and moronic, right along the lines of you only live once (which is no excuse to act like a selfish jerk) or if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all (which explains so much that is wrong about the human condition.)
Of course money matters. The world is full of staving artists, whose condition would certainly be alleviated by an expansion of their cash flow. And there are few in this world who ever writes a novel (particulary genre fiction) without the hops, if nothe expectation, that it will be a massive bestseller, the kind that will ensure comfort and luxury for the next three generations of the writers family. And I would be a liar if I didn’t have some expectation of profit from my scribblings.
But I don’t chase trends. If banging out a bestseller was all that mattered, then my back catalog would be full of vampire tales, werewolf in high school stories, or these days post apocolyptic zombie stories, with a werewolf/vampire/bug-eyed Venusian love quadrangle thrown in. People who chase trends often find that the trends out run them.
So why write anything? In my case it has to do with a love of the genre. To put it bluntly, I love fantasy fiction. I was in high school when I first cracked open Tolkien, David Eddings, Robert Jordan and the Dragonlance Chronicles (the gateway drug of chocie for readers of my generation…) drawn into a world that could not possible exist, filled with characters thatw ere utterly improbable…and far more interesting than the real world in which we actually live. In time oe moves beyond living in the worlds created by others, creating one’s own. Worlds in my head, begging to be put on paper.
Hence Gaebrel’s Gamble, which began as a rough concept in my head after a visit to New York Comic Con (back in the days when one could actually buy a ticket the week of for price that did not require the sale of a kidney…) Or the Thief of Galadorn (born after a particularly intense session of Dungeons and Dragons involving a madcap chase through the streets of an imaginary city.) Or my upcoming series, the Tale of Azaran, whose roots lay in a particularly vivid dream the night after seeing the The Sword at Webster Hall.
Everyone lives in their own head. Many of us build entire galaxies within, filled with wonders only they know. I am no different in that regard…but I want to bring them to life. To write them down and invite others to the show. To visit strange places full of high wonder and dark terror, of adventure and renown…all poured out on paper or screen.
That’s why I write. It’s as good a reason as any…