Big Idea Category

The Big Idea: Hannah Abigail Clarke

Hey, remember all those teen movies with the girl cliques? So does Hannah Abigail Clarke. Their new novel The Scapegracers is one of the things that happened when these films and the author collided. HANNAH ABIGAIL CLARKE:  I wrote The Scapegracers when I was 19 because I was lonely and pissed. Let me elaborate. At […]

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The Big Idea: J.R.H. Lawless

Everybody come on down to The Rude Eye of Rebellion! In today’s prize package we have: dark comedy, torture based reality entertainment, and a slow-brewing Marxist revolution! Now please put your hands together for your host, J.R.H. Lawless! J.R.H. LAWLESS:  If The Rude Eye of Rebellion, the second book in the General Buzz series, could […]

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The Big Idea: Mark Oshiro

Sometimes, it takes a try or two, or a rewrite here and there, to really nail down a story. Author Mark Oshiro tells us about just that as he takes us through his Big Idea, Each of Us a Desert, and shows us that we shouldn’t be afraid of reframing our narratives. It might turn out […]

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The Big Idea: Paul Michael Anderson

Assassination isn’t always personal, sometimes it’s just business. And sometimes the people carrying out the business are from a different dimension and are dressed like nightmarish monsters. It’s all part of the gig in author Paul Michael Anderson’s newest sci-fi/horror novel, Standalone. PAUL MICHAEL ANDERSON: At the kick-off of what I’ve been calling The Standalone Promo […]

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The Big Idea: Elaine Mongeon and Glen Zipper

Doing the right thing isn’t always easy, and a lot of the time, it’s easier just to do nothing. But when you decide to make a stand, are you willing to risk everything, even your life, for the cause? Authors Glen Zipper and Elaine Mongeon explore this idea of self-sacrifice for the greater good in […]

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The Big Idea: Dan Hanks

There’s a line, made famous from the movies, that Dan Hanks is thinking about with his newest novel, Captain Moxley and the Ember of the Empire. The problem is… that line doesn’t go far enough. DAN HANKS: “It belongs in a museum.” That’s the quote we all know and love, uttered as the bad guys […]

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The Big Idea: Caitlin Starling

For her story Yellow Jessamine, author Caitlin Starling comes up with an interesting definition of the word “family.” She’s here to tell you why this particular definition works, in this particular case. CAITLIN STARLING: When I was first drafting Yellow Jessamine, I described it in meme-terms to a friend as: “Sometimes a family is a […]

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The Big Idea: Chris Panatier

In a near-future irradiated America, blood still runs red, but its value has changed. In The Phlebotomist, author Chris Panatier takes us through a post-war world where human’s tendencies towards altruism, prejudice, and control all pivot on the tip of a butterfly needle. Read on as he explains more about its conception and evolution. CHRIS […]

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The Big Idea: Simon Stephenson

Not too long ago, Simon Stephenson had a chance encounter that rocked him to his core and made him question some of his long-held assumptions. No, it’s (probably) not what you think. But it was an event that set him on the path to his novel, Set My Heart to Five. Are you prepared to […]

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The Big Idea: Tim Akers

There’s the book you’re meant to write, and then there’s the book you write because it just seems like it would be more fun. Guess which book Knight Watch is! Author Tim Akers is here to explain how it came to be. TIM AKERS: Knight Watch wasn’t the book I was supposed to be writing. […]

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The Big Idea: Alice James

How can someone without a heartbeat find true love? Take a walk between life and death with author Alice James’ latest novel, Grave Secrets, and find out what zombies have that living men just don’t. ALICE JAMES: What’s in the brain of a brain eater? Why on earth did I write Grave Secrets? I had […]

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The Big Idea: Liz Williams

Author Liz Williams has spent more than a little amount of time pouring herself into her contemporary fairytale, Comet Weather — more time, in fact, than she ever imagined she might. In today’s Big Idea, join her as she describes what went into crafting this female-led, Somerset-based series, and why it was worth the wait. […]

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The Big Idea: Derek Künsken

Moving is hard. Moving to Venus is harder. Author Derek Künsken shows us just how difficult acclimating to strange new lands can be, and what it means to be a family in a place so far from home in his Big Idea, The House of Styx. DEREK KÜNSKEN: I often start my stories from a sense […]

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The Big Idea: Thomas Levenson

Author Thomas Levenson has discovered that when it comes to writing books, one thing truly does lead to another. And thus, we have Money for Nothing, a look at one of the most ruinous financial collapses in the western world, and how one of the greatest minds of the 17th century was caught up in it. […]

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The Big Idea: Chris Mooney

In today’s Big Idea for Blood World, author Chris Mooney asks the tough questions, hitting hard on the morality of exploiting some people to help others, making readers ask themselves if they would willingly benefit from others’ suffering for what they thought was a noble cause. Read on to see how Mooney puts a sci-fi […]

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The Big Idea: David Mack

Betrayal is never a simple thing. In this Big Idea for The Shadow Commission, New York Times bestseller David Mack pulls back the curtain on the complexity of this concept, and gives us a closer look at the process of turning coats. DAVID MACK: The Shadow Commission is about betrayal: how we betray ourselves, how […]

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The Big Idea: Julie E. Czerneda

A library of information right at your fingertips? Or rather, the very flesh of your fingertips containing a library of information? Read all about Julie Czerneda’s mystical Web-beings and their ability to keep archives of knowledge within their bodies, as she presents the Big Idea of her new book, Mirage. JULIE E. CZERNEDA: Alien Squabbles? […]

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The Big Idea: Shveta Thakrar

Hindu mythology, women in power, and spicy food are all just a few of the things featured in today’s Big Idea for Star Daughter by Shveta Thakrar — also featured is an examination of the question: where does one belong, when one is of two worlds? SHVETA THAKRAR: Sometimes it’s hard to point to the […]

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The Big Idea: Linden A. Lewis

Today on the Big Idea we have The First Sister by Linden A. Lewis — a novel about a hero with no name and no voice, and the power of three words that, in this world at least, were (and are) not said enough. (Content Warning: discussion of sexual assault) LINDEN A. LEWIS: I read a lot […]

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The Big Idea: Lif Strand

Music can be life changing, but as Lif Strand found out in writing Evolution Device, turning that life-changing feeling into a novel can be a challenge worthy of the gnarliest of musical performances. LIF STRAND: Music is powerful stuff. It enters the ears and takes over the brain. If that isn’t power then I don’t […]

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