Why is writing important to you and why do you think it's an important medium for the world? Martha Graham said, "There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action and because there is only one of you in all of time this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost." I write to make order out of my existence and comprehend it. Writing is important to the world in such chaotic times, for we need writers to bring light into the world and anchor it.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer's block? I read novels and poetry, take long walks, and garden when I am unable to write.

What is your favorite time to write? My favorite time to write is when the words flow into my head, and if that is 3 a.m. I will bolt out of bed and sit down at the computer.

What's the best piece of writing advice you've ever received and would like to impart to other writers? If you feel you are a writer, let nothing stop you no matter what occurs in your life. Write your truth.

What excites you most about being a writer in today's age? I feel we are dealing with tremendous challenges: the effects of climate change, the plight of refugees, the effects of greed, the tremendous disparity between the rich and the poor, starvation, Covid. We are becoming more aware of just how vulnerable we are and that we are part of nature not observers of it. Writers can reveal the best of human nature in how we face these challenges to our survival.

Toni Ortner's Blue Lyrics is out now with Adelaide Books.