Why is writing important to you and why do you think it's an important medium for the world? Writing enables me to create meaningful relationships with far more people than I could communicate with in person. Someone I've never met can sit quietly with one of my books and encounter adventures, personal tragedies and joys, or concepts beyond their own experience.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer's block? A shift in focus works for me. When I'm stuck, I take a walk, tend to a household chore, read an unrelated magazine article, or get a good night's sleep. My subconscious seems to keep mulling over my writing challenge and presents me with a new perspective when I return to the task. Deadlines help, too. When I don't have time for distraction, I just plow through it and then fix the rubble I've dumped on the page.

What is your favorite time to write? It takes me an hour or so to get up to speed in the morning. After I read the newspaper and deal with emails, I'm ready to write. By late afternoon, I'm empty and need to take the evening off to refresh my mind.

What's the best piece of writing advice you've ever received and would like to impart to other writers? A workshop leader once told us to practice saying aloud and with conviction, "I am a writer." I didn't start having success as a freelancer and, later, a book author until I developed confidence in my ability to do the job. I had to build that confidence by studying, practicing, and learning from mistakes. Being involved in a supportive group of fellow writers had also been invaluable.

What excites you most about being a writer in today's age? I write nonfiction about space exploration, and that field is producing exciting information and human experiences. It's fun to share that information. Also, with the rapid development of new technologies and plans for pioneering endeavors, I think awareness of history is essential. There is much to learn from the past as well as today's cutting-edge engineering and science.

Loretta Hall's Higher, Faster, Longer co-written with Wally Funk is out now.