What is your newest book about? Writer's Block is Bunk is a guide for writers at all stages of their career, sharing what I've learned in the last few decades about the craft and the business.
What inspired you to write it? I wrote it because most people don't know what's waiting for them when they start out.
What is the writing process like for you? Joyful. Exciting. Fulfilling. Relaxing. Writing is as good as sex sometimes and half as messy. I love every phase, from the glimmer of an idea all the way through to revisions.
What did you do before you became an author? I left university teaching in 1988 to write and review full-time, and 24 books later, I'm teaching again at Michigan State University, whose Special Archives purchased my current and future literary papers. That was mind-blowing.
How does it feel to be a published author? Mostly wonderful, except when I get a bad review or book sales drop or --- Fill in the blank. Writing I love, publishing can be difficult. There's sometimes too little in your control.
Any advice for struggling writers? Be stubborn. Read, read, read. Perfect your craft. Don't be dismayed by rejection. Have friends who aren't writers so you're not constantly talking shop. Travel, have a hobby, own a pet, do charitable work, play an instrument, engage in life in as many ways as possible that have nothing directly to do with your writing career. It'll keep you sane and make your writing richer.
Where do you see book publishing heading? There'll be more respect for indie authors as well as indie presses; more ebooks; a shrinking market for legacy-published books; and more confusion in an already confusing profession. But none of that matters if you have something you need to say, if writing is like breathing to you: essential.