I’m not speaking for all authors, of course.
Some authors want to become rich. I’d be happy to make a livable income from the craft.
Some authors want to become famous – not me. I want fame for my work, sure; the characters, certainly, but not for me personally. Few writers are targeted by paparazzi. Still, anonymity suits me best and I’m fairly certain that I’d loathe fame.
Then there’s ego, the gratification of telling a great story that moves people.
The best feedback I get runs along the lines of this quote from an email:
“Lexus Luke! I threw my Kindle across the room when” … the sh!t hits the fan in the last garage scene in Manitou. (edited to remove a spoiler). “How could you do that to Kanaan?“
Although I’m sorry for his or her Kindle, I love hearing that a reader stuck with the story to the end, that a reader bonded with the characters and that a reader had an emotional response to both.
I delight in that kind of power, the power to make people feel a story deep down and respond to it.
That’s why I write.