Why is writing important to you and why do you think it's an important medium for the world? Writing is the constant in the sometimes controlled experiment in personal expression that is life--the one factor that can carry over from one setting to the next, from one set of resources to the next, from one objective to the next, from one challenge to the next. The common element in each instance is the writer and the writer's facility with language, imagery, comprehension and argumentation.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer's block? I have been writing in one context or another for more than fifty years, and I can honestly say I have never experienced more than a momentary writer's block. I guess I just have too many words trying to escape captivity.

What is your favorite time to write? I prefer to write relatively early in the day, say between eight or nine and two in the afternoon. Then I run out of gas. I also tend to write in spurts -- two or three weeks of intense productivity, then a week or two off.

What's the best piece of writing advice you've ever received and would like to impart to other writers? I do not recall receiving this advice, but I would certainly offer it: If writing is work, you may be doing it wrong. Just get it on paper (or on the screen). You can always go back later and make it say what you really meant to say the way you really meant to say it.

What excites you most about being a writer in today's age? I recently made the transition from scholarly and academic writing to fiction. Making stuff up is a lot more fun than figuring stuff out.

J.B. Manheim's This Never Happened: The Mystery Behind the Death of Christy Mathewson, with illustrations by John Payne, is out now with Summer Game Books.