Big Idea Category

The Big Idea: Jason Sanford

Fantasy and science fiction are often considered two sides of the same coin, but Jason Sanford has another theory about both, and in today’s Big Idea, he shares that hypothesis with you, and why it’s important for his novel Plague Birds. JASON SANFORD: Is fantasy the end result of all science fiction? I’m not talking […]

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The Big Idea: TJ Klune

There are emotions we all experience, because we experience other emotions first. In the Big Idea for Under the Whispering Door, author TJ Klune talks about one of those follow-up emotions, and why it’s so important for the novel. TJ KLUNE: Under the Whispering Door is, at its heart, a book about the power of […]

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The Big Idea: Lavie Tidhar

When it comes to his new novel The Escapement, author Lavie Tidhar is definitely not clowning around. (is passed note) Oh, wait, that should be, is definitely clowning around. Well, sort of. Look, he’s here to explain it all, I’ll just let him do it, okay? LAVIE TIDHAR: I’m loathe these days to try and […]

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The Big Idea: Lee Matthew Goldberg

Sometimes, the killer hook for a thriller isn’t a plot point, or even the first line of the novel, but something else… something that comes even before that. Lee Matthew Goldberg explains in this Big Idea for his latest story, The Stalker Stalked. LEE MATTHEW GOLDBERG: The first germ of a Big Idea I had […]

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The Big Idea: Monica Byrne

Travel broadens the mind, or so they say, but for Monica Byrne, travel to a particular Central American country did much more than that — and the result was her novel The Actual Star, which (disclosure!) I liked so much I gave it a blurb, and participated into an author Q&A, which you can view […]

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The Big Idea: Amanda Jayatissa

Ideas come out of anywhere, and for Amanda Jayatissa, the motivating spark of the novel My Sweet Girl came out of being really, really, really annoyed. Hey, whatever works. Here’s Jayatissa to fill you in on the circumstances and what came out of that moment. AMANDA JAYATISSA: If there’s anything this blog has shown me, […]

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The Big Idea: Calder Szewczak

Want a kid? Okay, but it’s gonna cost you. And before you say, “Yes, I know, I’ve seen college tuition these days,” read Calder Szewczak’s big idea for The Offset. The cost is something else entirely, here. CALDER SZEWCZAK: Having children might be one of the most cruel things a human can do. No one […]

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The Big Idea: Cassandra Khaw

For the Big Idea for their novel The All-Consuming World, author Cassandra Khaw looks at life lessons, and how the reasons for them can be and frequently are different than we’ve been led to expect. CASSANDRA KHAW: There are lessons that you are lucky to learn if you have the right friends at the worst […]

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The Big Idea: Kelly Jennings

“Nature versus nurture” is a question that humans all through the years have weighed in on, and it seems likely in the future they will continue to do so. Or at least, in the future of Kelly Jennings’ new novel In the Deep, that question, or more accurately a unique spin on it, comes into […]

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The Big Idea: David Liss

Many years ago, television interviewer Barbara Walters rather infamously asked Katharine Hepburn, “If you could be a tree, what kind of tree would you be?” I don’t know whether author David Liss remembers that particular media moment, but in The Peculiarities, at least, he presents us with at least one character who might have an […]

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The Big Idea: Matthew FitzSimmons

Progress happens all the time, but when do we notice it, and as importantly, when do we stop noticing it? The dynamics of progress is something Matthew FitzSimmons has been thinking about for his novel Constance, and how we humans adapt to it… or don’t. MATTHEW FITZSIMMONS: My grandmother, Mary Eleanor Hughes, was born in […]

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The Big Idea: Jaye Viner

In the journey to publication, Jane of Battery Park went through many incarnations — and so did the world into which it would eventually be released. Author Jaye Viner is here to talk about both. JAYE VINER: In high school I wrote a book report on Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale. Because I’d read the book […]

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The Big Idea: Elayne Audrey Becker

A picture, they say is worth a thousand words. But as Elayne Audrey Becker is about to tell you in this Big Idea for her novel Forestborn, two pictures may be worth an entire book. ELYANE AUDREY BECKER: The idea for Forestborn began, not with words, but with two pictures in my mind. The first: […]

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The Big Idea: Cassie Hart

As a madeleine was to Proust, so was a video game to Cassie Hart: A thing which spurred something inside, which then became art — the novel Butcherbird. CASSIE HART: It started in Minecraft. Glancing up from the water between two rows of wheat I was thrown back into my childhood when we used to […]

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The Big Idea: R.W.W. Greene

Author R.W.W. Greene has someone he wants you to meet. It’s a person — well, entity — you’ve met before. And for Greene’s new novel Twenty Five to Life, it’s someone who was very important in setting the stage for the events detailed therein. R.W.W. GREENE: Moloch whose mind is pure machinery! Moloch whose blood […]

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The Big Idea: Adrian Goldsworthy

The past is another country — especially when you are trying to write a novel in it. Historian Adrian Goldsworthy had the skills and expertise to write about the Roman-era military encampment that is at the heart of his novel The Fort… but how to bring that place and time alive? Goldsworthy talks about it […]

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The Big Idea: Richard Kadrey

It’s the end of an era: with King Bullet, New York Times Bestselling Author Richard Kadrey puts a capper on the long-running and fabulous Sandman Slim series of fantasy novels. In today’s Big Idea, Kadrey tells us how it all came to this, and how one faces the end of a thing both the author and […]

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The Big Idea: E. J. Wenstrom

In the novel Departures, author E. J. Wenstrom shows us what a true utopia might look like — but of course there’s a catch to such an optimized world, as Wenstrom explores in this Big Idea. E. J. WENSTROM: Every book starts with a little seed of an idea, and with Departures, that seed was […]

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The Big Idea: Josh Rountree

Author Josh Rountree believes in bringing the reader the best of both worlds. Or, in this case, many worlds. Dive into his Big Idea as he tells you about all the different genres that have played a part in crafting his diverse collection of short stories, Fantastic Americana. JOSH ROUNTREE: Here’s my problem.  I’ve never been […]

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The Big Idea: Susan Forest and Lucas K. Law

People age — it’s what happens if you get to live for a while — but how aging is portrayed in literature is often one note. As editors Susan Forest and Lucas K. Law want to show in their new anthology Seasons Between Us: Tales of Identities and Memories, there’s a symphony of experiences going […]

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