Let's face it - I don't have deep thoughts, or a message, or anything like that. I don't even manage to have a theme. I like telling stories. Beginning, middle, end, so I'm stuck with genre fiction. And quite happy, actually. It's what I like to read. I've never got on with highbrow stuff.
I might one day venture into non fiction - the day job, when it is done, has possibilities to be a piece of popular history, if I have the energy to do it, once the thesis is finally finished, and some publisher thinks they want it, but that's a long way away.
I like distinctive locations, and a plot, and a love story and a happy ending. Literary fiction doesn't have to have any of those, so I really wouldn't have a clue what I was doing.
It's the love story that drives the thing, for me. I might murder a few people along the way - all right, maybe a lot of people - and the course of true love never does run smooth (thank you, Mr Shakespeare, or whoever wrote the plays. I'm researching that at the moment as a side issue to the day job, for a very much in the future plot for a romantic suspense. But I digress...) And there is usually a dark moment, before the end, when Hero and Heroine don't look as if they will get together, but then they do. And it all ends happily. That's my contract with the reader. Uplift. And probably a wedding ring.
I have to confess though that I have had a few thoughts lately about killing off a hero or heroine before the end of a book. I don't know where that evil impulse is coming from, or whether I'll ever act on it.
If I did, would that make it literary fiction, d'you think?