Why is writing important to you and why do you think it's an important medium for the world?
I've been writing since founding the Sausalito Sun newspaper in the fifth grade at Bayside School. I don't know how to get through a day without writing. Writing and reading – along with speaking and listening – differentiate us from the other animals. Writing helps define our humanity. And it's a joy.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer's block?
I don't understand so-called writer's block. I think it's a myth. But jump-starting upcoming writing is another story. I like to leave my work with the beginning of the next episode on the page, primed for followup.

What is your favorite time to write?
Anytime, anywhere. Literally.

What's the best piece of writing advice you've ever received and would like to impart to other writers?
Maybe: “Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart," from Stephen King's On Writing.

What excites you most about being a writer in today's age?
Writing is human nature. “Let me tell you something,” undoubtedly was one of the first things we humans in our caves said when we figured out that we could speak. One of the next things we said probably was the request, “Tell me a story.” We all love stories. To intertwine crucial information with a compelling tale motivates me as a journalist.

Peter Laufer's Up Against the Wall: The Case for Opening the Mexican-American Border is out September 14 with Anthem Press.