I've been an avid reader for nearly as long as I can remember. I went very quickly from Sammy Seal to finding my dad's Robert Heinlein collection, and there was no stopping me after that. That collection was surprisingly easy to find, and consisted of a number of Heinlein's children's novels, so I suspect a bit of sneakiness on Dad's part. Next I found his Isaac Asimov collection and devoured it. I began annoying my teachers by asking for more interesting books to read for class. Eventually if I wasn't playing in my trees, I was either reading a book or watching Star Trek or any of a number of at that time cool science fiction shows. I of course joined the Science Fiction Book Club and subscribed to various magazines. I was completely in love with the world of the written word.
It didn't occur to me to write anything of my own until I was playing a dice-less role playing game and one way to get more 'points' for my character was to write a diary of the game. I soon learned that writing was more fun than playing. The gaming group soon broke up - that's the danger of university towns, people move away. Years later I really needed something to distract myself from the stresses of work, and my husband and I decided to resurrect the game ourselves. Once again I soon concluded that the writing was more fun than the gaming, and took off on my own. Literally.
I soon decided that the world I was writing in wasn't good enough, things didn't make sense. I briefly considered writing in one of the more popular genres but I'm not the kind of person who is happy doing what almost everyone else is doing, I'm far too individualistic. So I spent about a year or more studying physics theories in my spare time, and came up with my own universe.
The story I'm telling lives within me, like an alternate reality that I visit whenever I wish. It should eventually be played out in nine books or so. At least, that is the current plan. The story, however, has in some ways developed a life of its own, and sometimes demands things that I hadn't planned. In a way, I am as anxious to see how it ends as I hope my readers will one day be.
So why do I write? It isn't for the money, obviously, or I would work within one of the most common genres. I write because I have to. Because if I don't something within me will break, or worse yet, die away.