Why is writing important to you and why do you think it's an important medium for the world?
For me, writing is a way to do my part in making a better world. My characters grow and change for the better. It's not easy…it takes 400+ pages, after all…but they get there. I guess this is my way of showing my optimism that every problem has a solution, and every person can overcome their challenges, whether they're self-inflicted, familial or societal. It's the most important medium, because it engages the reader's mind in a way other media do not. The intimacy between a book and a reader is sacred.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer's block?
Write crap and fix it later.

What is your favorite time to write?
Mid-day. I'm not a morning person (she said, laughing and guzzling her third cuppa joe), and nights are family time.

What's the best piece of writing advice you've ever received and would like to impart to other writers?
Best piece of advice I got was from Cindy Gerard: "Keep your head down and do your thing." She meant it in terms of trying to write what was hot at the moment, or imitating other writers (never a good idea). The best advice I can give? Believe in yourself and get over yourself. You'll never be the best author in the world; Dr. Seuss holds that title. It doesn't mean you can't be a success. Ego is going to hurt you, and insecurity will choke you. Find the balance.

What excites you most about being a writer in today's age?
The immediate connection with readers. Watching the rise of so many talented #ownvoices authors. Mentoring newbies.

Kristan Higgins's Always the Last to Know is out now with Berkley.