Big Idea Category

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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The Big Idea: Rebecca Kim Wells

Fairy tale curses are familiar territory, but for Briar Girls, author Rebecca Kim Wells wanted to go beyond the supposed curse and look at what that magical apparent impediment would do to those that have it, and how they live going forward. REBECCA KIM WELLS: When I started writing Briar Girls, I was mostly thinking […]

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The Big Idea: Wendy N. Wagner

Some types of stories evoke certain locales and lives — can those stories be transplanted into new locations and still be successful? Wendy N. Wagner is thinking a lot about this for her new release The Secret Skin. Read on to find out her conclusion. WENDY N. WAGNER: About twelve years ago, I discovered the […]

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The Big Idea: Drew Brockington

Cartoon cats! And science! I mean, that sells me on Waffles and Pancake – Planetary-Yum right there. But author/illustrator Drew Brockington is here to tell us more about how a childhood love of space travel has led him to catstronauts, and the kittens who look up to them. DREW BROCKINGTON: When I was a kid, […]

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The Big Idea: Emmie Mears

Look to the Sun is a book that is getting a second chance at a release, and in the time between its first appearance and its new one, author Emmie Mears looks at how the world changed around it — and what that change means for all of us. EMMIE MEARS: I think we all […]

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The Big Idea: Christopher Hinz

Christopher Hinz is seeing the re-issue of his Paratwa Trilogy of books (of which Liege-Killer, the cover of which is above, is the first), and on the occasion of their re-release, Hinz has a letter he’d like to share with the universe, about the books, humanity, and the state of the world. CHRISTOPHER HINZ: Dear […]

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The Big Idea: Ryan O’Nan

We all have those moments we wish we could take back. In Winders, some people just might be able to. How might that work — and how might that affect those who could do it? Author Ryan O’Nan is here to catch us all up. RYAN O’NAN: When I was a baby, my uncle was […]

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The Big Idea: Patti Callahan

For Once Upon a Wardrobe, author Patti Callahan considers a story and a world most of us know, to tell a story that many of us may have not considered — but without it, that earlier beloved tale would not exist. PATTI CALLAHAN: Nearly every culture in the world has an origin story – but […]

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The Big Idea: Cassandra Khaw

In Nothing But Blackened Teeth, author Cassandra Khaw looks at the ties that bind us… and why we might not cut them even if we have the tools to do so. CASSANDRA KHAW: Nothing But Blackened Teeth is about zombie relationships. The shambling half-things we all find ourselves stitched to by circumstance, its body rotting, […]

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