Why is writing important to you and why do you think it's an important medium for the world? I write because I have an irrepressible muse in my head that won't stop talking, even when it's time to go to sleep. Luckily for me, there are other people that enjoy listening to her. If I had incarnated in the stone age, I would have been one of the storytellers who spoke, illuminated by firelight, encapsulating tribal wisdom into fables and recipes. I began my writing career in my teens, before the digital age, writing my books in cursive script and illustrating them with the same technical pen. These books are still in demand, 50 years later, in four languages. For my readers, they convey a welcome and earnest effort to make and find peace and beauty in the natural world.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer's block? I switch media every few years. After making illustrated books for over a decade, I followed my passion into writing lyrics and melodies (and performing them). I recorded 8 albums of original and historic songs and toured the USA, Spain and Japan (12 times). In the process of making albums, I learned to produce them. In the process of touring, I developed as a comedienne/storyteller and a workshop leader, and I began having gallery shows of my art. Thanks to the pandemic, I'm back to making illustrated books, but I'm using digital design skills that I didn't have when I was first creating my books. I enjoy the autonomy this gives me.

What is your favorite time to write? Whenever there is no one to bother me. Often this is late at night.

What's the best piece of writing advice you've ever received and would like to impart to other writers? From Deepak Chopra: The number one rule of success is "Ignore Criticism."

What excites you most about being a writer in today's age? The ability to prepare books for publication myself and sell them from my own online store.

Alicia Bay Laurel's Live on the Earth (50th Anniversary Edition) is out with Echo Point Books & Media.