That was thought-provoking, Harry, as I discovered I do have a hidden mantra but had never realised it (too well -hidden!). I have come to see that I write not what I believe to be commercially viable, not what I know to be 'readable' on a Flesch-Kincaid score (about which I dimly recall reading in another of your emails years ago and to which I had obviously paid insufficient attention), not what fits a particular genre: but I write what I really, really like to read myself. Now although I've read a fair selection of the Greats over the years and also any amount of literary dross I am now giving some thought as to what it is that I really love in fiction or non-fiction. Although I certainly do like plenty of action, heart-felt characters, intriguing and worth-while themes, lots of humour and much else, I fancy what makes my heart leap when I come across it is the nicely turned phrase, the elegant expression of truth, a succinct and accurate description couched in appropriate language. Funnily enough, though, I'm not a huge fan of most literary fiction. And since you need to be a great writer to do all of the above I suppose I ought to fold my tent - although since it's such great fun trying I probably won't.