Why is writing important to you and why do you think it's an important medium for the world? For me personally, writing is my medium of expression, as pigment is for a painter or roles for an actor, I suppose. It allows me a lens through which to observe the surrounding world, as well as an arena in which to share my findings with my readers. That also applies to the larger question of the importance of writing generally: Even in this overly-virtual, smart phone-mounted life, the things we reflect and present to one another mostly take the form of written words. People may be quick to dismiss the value of printed books, but the fact remains that the words we write—regardless of platform—remain powerful.
What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer's block? Writer's block for me boils down to two factors: I am either wrestling with too many plot points or creative choices, or I'm engaged in a project I need to seriously reconsider. The solution remains—again, for me only, I suspect—simple. Take a nap. The important issue will survive the process; the lesser ones will fade away. Writer's block is a form of log jam, where all the logs are ascribed equal value. They don't all merit that, and a nap usually reduces the anxiety-fueled counterfeits to their proper size.
What is your favorite time to write? Afternoons to early evening.
What's the best piece of writing advice you've ever received and would like to impart to other writers? Listen to constructive criticism, don't bristle at it. Even if the messenger is unpleasant and/or of limited merit, that doesn't mean the message might not still have some value. Nobody's perfect, and good advice can come from the most unexpected sources.
What excites you most about being a writer in today's age? Largely to still be able to practice in a time of growing peril to publishers, book sellers, and the traditionally written word.
Archer Mayor's The Orphan's Guilt is out now with Minotaur Books.