My answer has never varied, "The times of Byron, Keats, Wordsworth, Dickens and Poe."
The more I write and see my stories fail to sell, the more convinced I am that my time passed and will not return. Most things-other than zombies-have a cycle of life and my style died out long ago.
Recent reading surveys have shown that readers prefer short stories and with the continuing rise of "porn" in all its manifest ways, there is little room left for stories which involve character development and the slow build up the plot to a grand finale'.
You might think I am a cynic, but a cynic distrusts all human nature and motives. In the late 19th Century a new line of thought called "Realism" was born, this asserted that certain things had to be accepted.
As I do not (!) distrust everybody or their motives, but at the same time I came to realise certain things must be accepted, I consider myself to be in a class known as "Cynical Realism," meaning I accept certain things beyond my control have to be accepted :-
Good stories will not (!) always sell.
Fanfiction sells better than original ideas.
You need a higher education for people to view your work as other than some hack.
You need money to pay for publicity to get seen.
You need connections to get seen.
You need BIG names to endorse your book and boost sales.
To sell you need to 'trend' as trying to write your story, your way is a killer-far better to jump on the gravy train of the new trends.
As I cannot afford to pay for publicity and connections and refuse to bow to praise of a film star, my books at least had the honour of dying with grace, rather than have me think-what sold the book, their name or my writing?
I did ask one of my former favourite authors for an endorsement two years ago, but he was too proud to give one, a little odd as not many people know his books about Louie Knight, Private Investigator.
If you think is negative thinking, remember I have tried to sell e-books for two years now and all this time I was watching what is selling. I came to the conclusion that what was selling I could not (!) write and what I could write did not sell-Catch 22.