Why is writing important to you and why do you think it's an important medium for the world? Writing is thinking in print. It is a natural state of being for me. I don't know how to function without it, and I'm not sure how the world can function, either.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer's block? Get up and do something else. Watch reruns. Make food. Go sailing. And when all else fails and it absolutely must be done, set a word count goal every day.

What is your favorite time to write? I used to say when I first got up in the morning, but now that I have a toddler my favorite time to write is any time that I can actually find to write. On a related note, do you know any good babysitters?

What's the best piece of writing advice you've ever received and would like to impart to other writers? I read a New Yorker interview with Nora Roberts years ago. First, I learned that her friends call her "Nora Fucking Roberts." Second, I learned that her best piece of writing advice is "Ass in the chair." I was so inspired that I had that quote put on a glass bowl, crediting Nora Fucking Roberts, which I keep on my desk.

What excites you most about being a writer in today's age? The other day I was trying to share a nice piece of news about the new book on my social media channels while a small newly verbal person yelled "UNDIES! UNDIES! UNDIES! UNDIES!" next to my desk. That was pretty exciting.

Katherine Howe's Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty, co-written with Anderson Cooper, is out now with Harper.