Why is writing important to you and why do you think it's an important medium for the world? Writing helps me think. As a scientist, I like to brainstorm and sometimes I struggle with very complex ideas. Organizing my thoughts on paper gives them a structure that I just can’t seem to accomplish when they are floating around in my head. I am also a re-writer, playing around with the words over and over again until they sound just right and express my thoughts best. Writing is an important medium for the thinkers of this world. I feel you just don’t get the same depth of thought through other mediums.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer's block? I rarely get any form of writer’s block, but when I am not inspired to write, I do something else for a while. Sometimes that is taking a walk or drawing inspiration from books or movies. Most often though, I just go back and edit some of my previous pages and that gives me just the spur I need to push through the next page.

What is your favorite time to write? I write in the morning. In the morning, my mind is fresh and because I rise early, there are no interruptions—unless you count the birds.

What's the best piece of writing advice you've ever received and would like to impart to other writers? Just one piece? I keep a list of writing advice I’ve received from other authors and from conferences and workshops. It is really hard to pick just one! But for me, I guess the one piece of advice that has been important is to focus on the story and not the research. As a scientist, I am used to doing a lot of background reading. But to really express my creative side, I need to focus on the story and the reader experience and let my tendency to research slide a bit.

What excites you most about being a writer in today's age? Because I write for children, I think it is so important to continue to put good literature, fresh ideas, and beautiful artwork into the hands of those children. It excites me to think that my books on science and nature might arouse a fascination with geology or geography or one of the many topics that I write about. I am also excited to inspire young people to care for our big blue Earth!

Tory Christie's Little Round Panda on the Big Blue Earth, illustrated by Luciana Navarro Powell, is out now with Amicus Ink.