author Karen Heuler looks up toward the camera and an image of her book Splendid City

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it's an important medium for the world? We're a blend of mind and body, and we have to keep our minds in shape. Reading and writing are pauses in our headlong rush to get things done. My old dog walks slowly and stops occasionally to stare at something, and I'm learning to do that as well. Slow down. Look. Think. Understand. There are a great many things you can learn using your body--how the world works, for instance, how machines and plants and wind and water shapes us. But ultimately, to stop and stand and analyze through imagining others is a basic way to understand who else is here.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer's block? I don't really get writer's block. If I stop writing, I assume I'm working something out in the back of my head and the best thing to do is relax and let it come when it's ready.

What is your favorite time to write? I have no particular schedule. I pick writing up, then put it down and do something else and come back to it. Or not.

What's the best piece of writing advice you've ever received and would like to impart to other writers? Let your writing come to you on its own terms. Forcing it has never worked for me. And write for yourself first, but bear in mind there's a reader watching you. Try not to knock that reader out of the story.

What excites you most about being a writer in today's age? Writers can get together in real life or virtually, and interviews can open us up to how diverse the community is.

Karen Heuler's The Splendid City is out now with Angry Robot.