Why is writing important to you and why do you think it's an important medium for the world? Writing helps me think more clearly, and so does reading. The world is getting noisier and we need good writing to help us tune out the noise and get back in touch with our hearts and minds.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer's block? Just get the words--any words--down on the page and don't worry about whether it's any good. You can always fix it later.

What is your favorite time to write? I like to write in the afternoons, after I've gotten most of my non-writing chores out of the way.

What's the best piece of writing advice you've ever received and would like to impart to other writers? Talent is great, but persistence matters more. Or maybe the ability to persist IS a talent! In any case, no matter how many times you get knocked down, keep working.

What excites you most about being a writer in today's age? The literary world is opening up to more voices, all kinds of voices--writers who once felt shut out--and there are so many good things to read.

Natalie Standiford's Astrid Sees All is out tomorrow with Atria Books.