Why is writing important to you and why do you think it's an important medium for the world?
Writing enables me to know what I think. If I can’t clearly express my ideas in writing, then those ideas aren’t clear in my mind since I use language to think. Writing my thoughts forces me to shape them into meaningful sentences. Writing also enables me to share my ideas with a large group of people through my short stories and novels. And I hope my writing brings joy to readers and inspires them to see some parts of life from a different perspective.

Writing is important to the world for the same reasons. We need to understand ourselves and be able to communicate with each other clearly. We all have stories to tell and unique perspectives on life.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer's block?
Write what you’re inspired to write at the moment. If the next paragraph of your novel or article isn’t coming to you, write a part of the work that is—another scene or another section. Maybe write the ending or maybe even part of another work entirely before you return to where you got stuck. If that doesn’t work, revisit your original story concept or in the case of an article, your research. Your problem may lie there instead of with your manuscript.

What is your favorite time to write?
Mid-morning to mid-afternoon. I’m not an early riser, but I like to start writing immediately after breakfast. With a cup of strong coffee, I feel like I can do anything.

What's the best piece of writing advice you've ever received and would like to impart to other writers?
Never give up. The difference between a professional writer and an amateur is that the amateur gave up.

What excites you most about being a writer in today's age?
As a fiction writer, I’m excited that organizations and readers in general are more open minded about what constitutes good literature and more accepting of  written stories and life stories that are different from their own. Fewer books are banned today than in the past, but we still have work to do before all people have access to all books.

I’m also excited about the opportunities the internet gives me to connect with readers. I can reach so many people through social media, book blogs, and online meeting platforms.

Sally Whitney's When Enemies Offend Thee is out now with Pen-L Publishing.