Why is writing important to you and why do you think it's an important medium for the world? I write for children because I think that kids' books can improve their lives. Through books, young people grow in understanding of themselves, other people, the world, and their place in it. Books can show kids that they have the power to change the world.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer's block? Deadlines are a great help! And definitely walks. Beyond that, I generally try to have more than one project going at one time, so when I feel stuck on one, I can take a break by working on another.

What is your favorite time to write? Late at night, after dinner, when the house is dark and peaceful.

What's the best piece of writing advice you've ever received and would like to impart to other writers? That would be Jane Yolen's words of wisdom: "Butt in chair." Pretty much says it all.

What excites you most about being a writer in today's age? I love visiting with kids (in classrooms, and somewhat less enthusiastically, on Zoom) to talk about books; and working with librarians, educators, and literacy advocates to get books into children's hands.

Christy Mihaly's Barefoot Books Water: A Deep Dive of Discovery, illustrated by Mariona Cabassa, is out now with Barefoot Books.