So - what on earth motivates an otherwise sane individual to spend all that time writing something that, statistically, very few people will ever read? I suspect that writers have a myriad of reasons. Writing for the money would not be one of them. If its money the writer wants, he or she would be better off serving coffee in Starbucks!
I write because I am angry. For example, I am angry that few people know about the refugee crisis in 1946 and I wrote "Lost Property" because I care and I don't like injustice. I write because some themes are more interesting than others. Readers of my books will have noticed that most of them deal with the unseen influence of the past on the present. I love History. I write so that I can make sense of what has happened. It seems to me that what is happening in the moment is kind of unreal. Only in retrospect can we make sense of it. Writing is a good way of doing this. History is important.
I write to learn something new. I write because it helps clarify my thoughts and ideas, and writing is better than shooting my mouth off - which I do often! I write because it helps me empathise. I write because it is fun.
At an almost subconscious level, I write books in order to leave something behind that might, if I do it right, last for eternity.
I write to teach something. This is not surprising given that I have worked in an academic environment most of my life. I have always written in order to educate. It’s the academic in me. I am also aware that this can probably be very annoying. Nobody likes to be lectured at, do they?
Lastly, my books are love letters to those people in my life who have influenced me and made me a better person. These people include: parents, siblings, sons, partners, teachers and friends. They are people with whom I have shared my life but with whom I have rarely shared my feelings in their entirety. These people are carefully disguised in my books but if you look long enough, you might see yourself or someone just like you.