Big Idea Category

The Big Idea: Gwynne Garfinkle

In life, we make choices, and we have to live with them. But as Gwynne Garfinkle details in this Big Idea for Can’t Find My Way Home, maybe sometimes the choices we make have consequences even beyond that. GWYNNE GARFINKLE: My novel Can’t Find My Way Home began as the story of a young actress […]

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The Big Idea: Jacey Bedford

Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it, but those who do learn from history get to play the changes with it for their own work. Just ask Jacey Bedford, who uses a lesser-known bit of history to inform The Amber Crown. JACEY BEDFORD: They say if you’re going to steal, then […]

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The Big Idea: Alex Thomson

Language is aural, and in the case of sign language, visual — but are these the only ways a true language could exist? Maybe not! In Spidertouch, author Alex Thomson posits another way, and he touches on it in this Big Idea. ALEX THOMSON: The idea for Spidertouch started with a Wikipedia rabbit-hole of nostalgia. […]

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The Big Idea: Katharine Coldiron

What does it take to make a famously bad movie? Katharine Coldiron, who here writes a book-length monograph on one of the most famous bad films of all time, Plan 9 From Outer Space, suggests that it’s not just what shows up on the screen. KATHARINE COLDIRON: One version of the story of my monograph […]

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The Big Idea: Femi Fadugba

In creating The Upper World, author Femi Fadugba decided he needed more than the usual levels of inspiration — he needed collaboration. And that collaboration was to come in a most unusual way. It all starts with headphones. FEMI FADUGBA: There’s a scene in The Upper World where my 16-year-old South London protagonist, Esso, is […]

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The Big Idea: Don Handfield and Joshua Malkin

In today’s Big Idea, authors and filmmakers Don Handfield and Joshua Malkin reveal a simple and possibly universal truth: No matter who you are, or what you do, or how you do it, there’s always room in your life for the power of unicorns. And thus, their graphic novel, Unikorn. DON HANDFIELD and JOSHUA MALKIN: […]

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The Big Idea: M.A. Carrick

Lies and trust, trust and lies… two sides of the same coin, right? As M.A. Carrick explains in this Big Idea for The Liar’s Knot, it can actually be far more complicated than that. M.A. CARRICK: In the Big Idea post we wrote for The Mask of Mirrors, the first book of the Rook and […]

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The Big Idea: Janice L. Newman

Author Janice L. Newman is thinking about love, what it means, and how it manifests… and not in the ways we always expect. In the Big Idea for her collection At First Contact, Newman explains why all these various looks of love matter to her. JANICE L. NEWMAN: It might seem tricky at first to […]

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The Big Idea: Shannon Fay

Location, location, location: Often where an author is can inform the stories that they eventually choose to tell. Location mattered for Shannon Fay for her novel Innate Magic… and not just because of the landmarks. SHANNON FAY: A big inspiration for Innate Magic came from London itself. I wanted to show what it is like […]

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The Big Idea: Ian Douglas

How to get readers to accept the impossible — or, at least, the wildly implausible? Author Ian Douglas has a technique for that, and in this Big Idea for Solar Warden: Alien Hostiles, he’s come to lay it out for you. IAN DOUGLAS: Solar Warden: Alien Hostiles is the second book in an SF trilogy, […]

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The Big Idea: Jeremy Szal

Authors often see themselves in their work. But sometimes, it takes a while for that to happen. This is a thing Jeremy Szal discovered while writing Blindspace. Here he is to delve further into that personal discovery. JEREMY SZAL: I’ve always infused intensely personal material into my work. If you know me well, you’ll see […]

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The Big Idea: Patricia A. Jackson

Authors often put a little bit of themselves into their characters. And Patricia A. Jackson is not different in her novel Forging a Nightmare. But what parts and into which character and why… therein, folks, is the Big Idea. PATRICIA A. JACKSON: As a Black woman I carry my own unique baggage. Even as I […]

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The Big Idea: Cat Rambo

Writing a novel is often a journey, and in writing You Sexy Thing, author Cat Rambo discovered that their journey was taking them to some surprising but welcome places. Let’s retrace the journey, shall we? CAT RAMBO: For me one of the big ideas behind You Sexy Thing is its genre. I started it as […]

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The Big Idea: Jane Yolen

It’s never too late for surprises, and as Jane Yolen relates in this Big Idea for Arch of Bone, some surprises are absolutely worth the wait. JANE YOLEN: Here’s a surprise. Take a bookish Jewish girl from New York, one who knew nothing about sailing, whaling, harpoons, but a lot about the city (Manhattan, not […]

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The Big Idea: Erica L. Satifka

Look, you can like apocalypses all you want, but here’s a fact: Erica L. Satifka was into doom before doom was cool. And in this Big Idea for the appropriately-named How to Get to Apocalypse and Other Disasters, Satifka traces her obsession back to the beginning of the end. ERICA L. SATIFKA: My name is […]

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The Big Idea: Tobias S. Buckell

Short story collections aren’t (or at least don’t have to be) mere compilations, where the author just takes the latest collection of short pieces and shoves them into a single book-shaped container. No, there can be something else going on as well. Tobias S. Buckell has that “something else” going on in his latest collection […]

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The Big Idea: Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman

Teamwork makes the dream work — but does teamwork make for dream novel writing? Authors Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman decided to make a go of co-writing their novel All of Us Villains, not knowing how it would work… and discovered something about themselves as writers in the process. AMANDA FOODY and CHRISTINE LYNN […]

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The Big Idea: Marshall Ryan Maresca

Writing characters is often one of the most fun parts of the creation process, especially when those characters end up doing more — or doing things differently — than we initially expected. Sometimes, as Marshall Ryan Maresca explains in this Big Idea, they even end up making, shall we say, An Unintended Voyage. MARSHALL RYAN […]

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The Big Idea: Jennie Goloboy

Comedy comes to us in surprising times and surprising circumstances, as Jennie Goloboy discovered as she sat down to write what would become Obviously, Aliens. Here is to give you all the (possibly hilarious) details. JENNIE GOLOBOY: Obviously, Aliens was not the book I intended to spend 2017 writing. I planned to polish the novel […]

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The Big Idea: Charlie N. Holmberg

Inspiration comes from anywhere, but for Star Mother, author Charlie N. Holmberg found inspiration from a most unusual place. But from unusual places can come stellar ideas, as you’ll discover here. CHARLIE N. HOLMBERG: The big idea behind Star Mother actually came from the cover of another book. A book I’d never read. I’d recently […]

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