“I chose my career deliberately at the age of twenty-one. I had a naturally ingenious and constructive mind and the taste for writing. I was youthfully zealous of good fame. There seemed few ways, of which a writer need not be ashamed, by which he could make a decent living. To produce something, saleable in large quantities to the public, which had absolutely nothing of myself in it; to sell something for which the kind of people I liked and respected, would have a use; that was what I sought, and detective stories fulfilled the purpose. They were an art which admitted of classical canons of technique and taste. Their writing was painful–though much less painful than any other form would have been–because I have the unhappy combination of being both lazy and fastidious. It was immune, anyway, from the obnoxious comment to which lighter work is exposed.