Why is writing important to you and why do you think it's an important medium for the world? Writing allows me to ask and answer questions; to meet new people, both actual ones when I do research and ones I've made up; to enter alternative worlds and get away from the one I inhabit the rest of the time. Writing can make readers look at the world in ways they have not. It can encourage compassion, reflection, and a sense of wonder. It can make us righteously angry and impel us to work for change. It can give us a laugh when we most need it. And it can make us slow down and relax, which we also need--a lot.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer's block? I take walks. I go to places such as museums and parks for inspiration. And I go shopping. A new top or necklace can work wonders.

What is your favorite time to write? Probably in the afternoon or early evening, but, frankly, it can be any time when the inspiration hits me. Sometimes I'm about to go to bed and I'll get an idea for a poem or the next chapter in a novel, and I have to get up and write it down.

What's the best piece of writing advice you've ever received and would like to impart to other writers? Write what interests you. Also, "Laugh and enjoy your food," which wasn't advice about writing, but works anyway.

What excites you most about being a writer in today's age? That I can do it in quarantine? To be honest, with the state of things today, I'm just happy that I'm able to get out of my head--or is it into my head?--and write. 😉

Marilyn Singer's Ways to Say I Love You, illustrated by Alette Strathof, is out now with Quarto Publishing.