black and white photo of author Brenda Seabrooke looking directly at the camera and an image of her book Sherlock Holmes: The Persian Slipper and Other Stories on a blue and yellow background

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it's an important medium for the world? I loved stories and when I found out somebody write those beloved tales about rabbits and dogs and princesses, I wanted to write them too. I was four when I wrote my first books in pictures because I couldn’t write yet. I realized one day that I think in stories and I am compelled to write them down. As soon as one is written another pops into place, not in serial order but crammed into a clown car bursting at the seams. As for the world, stories entertain, inform, soothe, pleasure. Everybody loves stories and we learn from stories without realizing we’re learning.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer's block? Type for a specified length of time - anything. Do this every day and after a week or a month read what I’ve written. I really don’t have writers block once I sit at the keyboard. It’s getting to the chair past the thickets of doubts and mapless forests that plague me the most.

What is your favorite time to write? Morning is best but I can hack at those thickets until afternoon. Once on course though I can write while partying is going on around me.

What's the best piece of writing advice you've ever received and would like to impart to other writers? My high school class was having a reunion and, while filling out the form, I felt terrible because I hadn’t published anything and couldn’t say I was the writer I’d always planned to be. That same week I read in the Miami Herald a letter from a young woman who wanted to be a singer and sang around the house. She’d written to singers asking them what she should do. Only Vicki Carr replied saying basically good luck. The paper thought her story was poignant. A week later the mystery writer John D. Macdonald wrote a letter replying to her again published in the Herald in which he said basically stop mooning and singing around the house. Sing everywhere you can, weddings, funerals, local radio, DAR, scrape up some money and make a demo. I don’t know what happened to the singer but his words hit home with me. I started that day writing every day and by the time my class had another reunion I could write writer on the form.

What excites you most about being a writer in today's age? The ease and speed in the electronic age. I wrote my first two books and stories on a manual typewriter. It was uncomfortable and cumbersome, using carbon paper, etc. I’ve written several Homes stories on my phone while sitting in a rocking chair, on the deck, riding in a car, lounging on a sofa in comfort. The publishing world is evolving in front of our eyes. Kindle. Self-publishing. Graphic novels. Blink and we miss something!

Brenda Seabrooke's Sherlock Holmes: The Persian Slipper and Other Stories is out now with MX Publishing.