author Karen Lee Boren smiling at the camera from a sidelong angle and an image of her book Secret Waltz

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it's an important medium for the world?

These are two very different questions, but what speaks to both my own impetus to write and perhaps writing's function in the world is the intimacy that writing requires. The writer-reader relationship requires sustained intellectual and emotional connection through the intimacy of language. In fiction, a reader can get closer to a character than to any other human being in real life because one enters the mind, body, and perceptions of the characters and hears how they formulate thoughts about the world. As a writer, it is my honor to construct a relationship that is worthy of a reader's attention. As a reader, which of course all writers are, this relationship has helped me learn about people, places, experiences, emotions, and processes I couldn't possibly have encountered on my own.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer's block? Objects. If you can't write, find an object and start telling the reader about how you or your character got it.

What is your favorite time to write? I have always been a morning writer, searching for that sweet spot between just enough and too much coffee.

What's the best piece of writing advice you've ever received and would like to impart to other writers? Just tell the story.

What excites you most about being a writer in today's age? Readers' minds are changing, more voices and experiences are being represented, and the ways these stories are being told is breaking open. I feel lucky to be reading and writing during what is surely going to be looked back upon as a writing renaissance.

Karen Lee Boren's Secret Waltz is out now with Flexible Press.