Why is writing important to you and why do you think it's an important medium for the world? I have always found that with writing I can communicate much clearer and with more honesty with the written word, and I often experience stage-fright when I speak. Until recently in history, the written word was the only way that ideas would last without the editing that happens in oral histories. Every inspired author would like their ideas to last forever.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer's block? I don't have a solution to writer's block except "Suck it up, and with gumption and stubbornness and go on anyway" after spending too much time waiting for a miracle. But prayer works too.

What is your favorite time to write? Very early in the day, sometimes at early as 2:30 am. If I'm lucky, I'll pick it up again after 8:00 pm and on into breakfast

What's the best piece of writing advice you've ever received and would like to impart to other writers? Write what you know well about first. Speculate on what you'd like to know next. I've not written any fiction yet...

What excites you most about being a writer in today's age? Not much, except self-publishing.

Gail Smith Pierce's Wrestling with an Angel is out now.