Why is writing important to you and why do you think it's an important medium for the world? I write nonfiction books on a range of topics — civil rights history, women's history, music and others. The civil rights history described in my most recent books is especially important to share with people now, to help us all understand the origins of some of the major problems the nation faces. Hearing about ways that others have found to help us deal with those challenges can inspire us all to look for better ways forward.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer's block? Take a walk — preferably some place where I can think, mull things over in my head. Or, take a nap!

What is your favorite time to write? Generally in late morning and on through late afternoon. I deal with email in the morning and get myself organized to write after that.

What's the best piece of writing advice you've ever received and would like to impart to other writers? Don't give up. Keep looking for other options.

What excites you most about being a writer in today's age? Learning about people -- past and present -- who have done amazing things I never knew about before — and also having a chance to interview people I would otherwise never have a chance to meet (as part of the research process) and learn more about their lives and what motivated them to do what they do. Often the message from them is "don't give up."

Amy Nathan's Together: An Inspiring Response to the "Separate-But-Equal" Supreme Court Decision That Divided America is out now with Paul Dry Books.