closeup shot of author Steven LaBree looking directly at the camera and an image of his book A Heart Lies within Us

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it's an important medium for the world? The written word carries us into the future while revealing our past. It can take us to places we can only imagine. We walk the lives of others feeling we are part of that world. Stories bring us together giving us a commonality and connection with others.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer's block? I believe the best solution for writer's block is a story outline. One always looks at a map before leaving to lessen the chance of getting lost. It's the same with an outline; it is your map that helps you get to your final destination. If the block continues, you probably need a disconnect. I will sit at the ocean's edge with only sounds of the waves wind, and birds, walk a wooded trail or drive until my mind wanders. The important thing is to disconnect naturally.

What is your favorite time to write? I prefer writing early morning when I can wake up, or late at night when I can't sleep. More important, writing is not a physical action - paper, pen, pencil, type. To me, writing creates in the mind so often I am in bed when an idea pops up. Imagination and creativity build the story. As a writer, I can't see something and not consider how it would work in a story. My first novel was conceived in thought. I knew the ending to my second novel before I started writing. Once I create the plot, the arc, and the ending, I sit down and write.

What's the best piece of writing advice you've ever received and would like to impart to other writers? I often hear, "I can't find the time." My advice is to write in your head. You can do that while sitting, driving, eating lunch, or brushing your teeth. Once you've figured out the beginning, middle, and end, write it. At the start of my journey, it was suggested to write 100 words a day (it doesn't have to be perfect). At the end of the week (5 days) you'll have 500 words. The math says 500 words a week multiplied by 52 weeks makes 26,000 words - enough for a novelette. The truth is, once you start writing a story, it's difficult to stop. Get to a point in the story where you have something else to say, and take a break. Doing so, you will be excited to get back to the desk and start again.

What excites you most about being a writer in today's age? There is always a story to tell.

Steven LaBree's A Heart Lies Within Us is out June 27 with Wild Rose Press.