Dare I say I'm doing my own thing?
That is to say I'm writing as I want to write, and if that means using past tenses, then they get used. They're there for a purpose, and I don't subscribe to the idea that books should be written without it. Every book, every character, has a past - and it is up to the author to make it interesting.
I think we can all agree that no story can take place entirely in the present, so there has to be way of describing whatever past history is necessary. Something that happened ten minutes ago is in the past, and something that happened ten years ago might have made a huge difference to the way I live my life now. The past is important. We are made up of x-years worth of past (fill in your own number!) so I am going to use it.
Maybe I'll never get published again if I break all those fiddly little rules: do not use had, was, do not use -ly words, do not and write in desperately short sentences that make Janet and John look longwinded by comparison, but hey! I'm doing it, and I want to be proud of it when people read it. There is a difference in what UK agents ask for and what is demanded in the US, so I guess you pick your market and write for it.
That's my little rant for the week. Now I'll go do some work, in between peeking at the live scores to see that Rafa is doing OK in Monte Carlo. Oh, the picture? That is looking up the hill at the Great Hall of Stirling Castle.