author Randee Dawn smiling directly at the camer and an image of her book Tune In Tomorrow

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it's an important medium for the world? Writing isn't just the thing I choose to do and love to do, it's what I have to do. If I can escape into a world in my head and share it on the page, then create a reaction in readers, I feel an accomplishment unlike anything else. Good stories allow all of us to feel intimately what it's like to be somewhere else, someone else, somewhen else. And truly, the world is better when there's more empathy and imagination in it.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer's block? Going out into the world and taking things in (museums are catnip for me). I think the process of writing is about synthesis and putting out; at some point the well is tapped and it's important to get out and experience new things, including others' art. Anything to get me out of my head will eventually allow me to get back into it and start sharing again.

What is your favorite time to write? Early morning or very late at night. The phone doesn't ring, the dog doesn't need walking, my loved one is sleeping. The interruptions are few, and I can immerse myself in the story I'm trying to tell.

What's the best piece of writing advice you've ever received and would like to impart to other writers? I love to quote Neil Gaiman; reading this particular piece of advice shifted my ability to take criticism, which is a critical part of any writing endeavor: "When people tell you something's wrong or doesn't work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong." It's about getting a lot of takes on the work and learning what to listen to ... and what to ignore.

What excites you most about being a writer in today's age? The fact that people really seem to be reading more! Whether it's via audiobooks or traditional print, there's a huge thirst for stories and I'm delighted to be in that particular end of the pool.

Randee Dawn's Tune in Tomorrow is out August 16 with Solaris Books.