Putting one's book into public hands has it's risks. I'm feeling both relieved and grateful for the positive feedback I've received on my debut book, Secrets of the King's Daughter. Though true that much of that response is from people I know, and therefore possibly more kind than a less-influenced reader, it gives validation to my purpose and reinforcement for what I want to accomplish in my future writing. Here's an example of that validation:
"I stayed up and finished your wonderful book last night! You are so talented, and I loved the twists and turns at the end. I felt uplifted by the account of truth and testimony shared by the well-developed characters. Thank you for sharing your talents!" --L.S., California, USA
It's one thing for people to find an enjoyable read that didn't waste their time--a minimum authors hope for. It's another level of satisfying fulfillment if a book has reader value beyond entertainment and escapism. Many authors strive to teach, motivate, uplift, or send a message. I am no different.
While making some money would be a positive side benefit, very few authors strike it rich anymore. They write to unlock the stories inside their heads and because they love it. I am no different. What we really want is to be understood and have our writing affect and influence others. We want them to "get it".
My husband mentioned that until he read my book, he let me "do my thing" without interfering, but wasn't an enthusiastic supporter. Now he sees value in its themes as a way to help others. He sees that I'm doing more than simply using my talents. We discussed my desire to explore how characters' choices are impacted by gospel principles, just like real-life situations. Maybe people can learn or gain strength from my stories. I told him the themes in a contemporary LDS novella I just completed. He gets it now, and that makes me happy.