Big Idea Category

The Big Idea: Denise Crittendon

Author Denise Crittendon was forever changed by her trip to Africa, and she brought inspiration back with her. This led to her writing her newest novel, Where it Rains in Color. DENISE CRITTENDON: In northern Namibia where clean water is scarce, Himba women cleanse their bodies by bathing in billowing streams of smoke.  In South Africa, […]

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The Big Idea: Leah Vernon

Author Leah Vernon knows something about persistence, as this Big Idea about the years-long struggle to publish the story that would become The Union tells you. What is the story that motivated her through all this time? Read on to discover. LEAH VERNON: What would you do with boundless privilege? The kind of privilege that […]

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The Big Idea: Kayleigh Nicol

It’s no surprise that today’s generation of authors might also be gamers… but the influence of gaming on their writing may be more substantial that you might suspect. Kayleigh Nicol, who co-wrote Crystal Awakening with Andrew Rowe, speaks to this integration of writing and gaming, and how the latter informed the former with this novel. […]

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The Big Idea: David Sandner & Jacob Weisman

When two writers join forces… how does the work actually get done? David Sandner and Jacob Weisman get real on this topic, and how it was their collaboration on Hellhounds got done. DAVID SANDNER: “90% of the work, 50% of the profits.”  I remember seeing that on t-shirts worn by two collaborating sf writers circulating […]

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The Big Idea: Sharon Shinn

Everyone wants to be authentically themselves, but sometimes it can be dangerous to show your true colors. In author Sharon Shinn’s newest novel, The Shuddering City, everyone can express themselves as they truly are. Read on to see how they go about doing so. SHARON SHINN: A few years ago, I was at REI buying […]

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The Big Idea: Elijah Kinch Spector

One can imagine another time and place for a novel, but the when and where of one’s life will find a way into the telling of that story. Or so Elijah Kinch Spector discovered in writing Kalyna the Soothsayer. Today’s Big Idea delves into this phenomenon. ELIJAH KINCH SPECTOR: The United States is simply too […]

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The Big Idea: Jim Ottaviani and Jerel Dye

We all know Albert Einstein — he’s the personification of “scientist” in the minds of most of us — but as always, there’s more to the icon (and the man!) than we expect. Jim Ottaviani explains what this means in this Big Idea for his (with artist Jerel Dye) graphic novel retelling of the life […]

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The Big Idea: Daniel Church

Inspiration can come from anywhere. For author Daniel Church, it came from a long and scenic train ride. Read on to see how this burst of inspiration turned into his newest novel, The Hollows. DANIEL CHURCH: It was a beautiful summer’s day in 2014, and I was on my way to a funeral where I […]

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The Big Idea: Lavie Tidhar

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but in author Lavie Tidhar’s case, a single image he thought of was worth a whole book. Read on to see how his newest novel, Neom, came to be. LAVIE TIDHAR: For Neom, my latest SF novel set in the wider world of my Central Station universe, all […]

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The Big Idea: Steve McHugh

Author Steve McHugh was in the middle of writing a novel when his newest novel, The Last Raven, decided it needed to be written, instead. Follow along in his Big Idea to see how it started to take shape, and what it ended up becoming. STEVE MCHUGH: I wasn’t meant to write The Last Raven. In […]

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The Big Idea: Emery Robin

It is not what we take with us when we die, but what we leave behind. Author Emery Robin goes into some detail about this in their Big Idea for their newest novel, The Stars Undying. Read on to see what kind of things end up getting inherited by those we leave. EMERY ROBIN: What if […]

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The Big Idea: Lavie Tidhar

Another year, another anthology: doesn’t editor and author Lavie Tidhar have other things to do with his time? No! (Well, maybe, but not to the exclusion of this.) Turns out, he’s on a mission, and that mission has resulted in The Best of World SF: Volume 2. Here’s Tidhar to explain. LAVIE TIDHAR: The Best […]

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The Big Idea: Julia Rust & David Surface

Sometimes walking in the woods will take you to places you never expected. During the writing of Angel Falls, authors Julia Rust and David Surface went for several walks in the woods, and this Big Idea, they tag-team tell you what they discovered. JULIA RUST & DAVID SURFACE: “I found an old trail. Maybe it […]

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The Big Idea: Joelle Presby

What’s in a word? For Joelle Presby, perhaps the whole world… for starters. In this Big Idea, Presby explains how a single word opens up a whole universe for her novel The Dabare Snake Launcher. JOELLE PRESBY: My big idea is a dabare. When you grow up in an area where everyone else speaks at […]

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The Big Idea: J.S. Fields

There are many ways in which small indie presses and large traditional presses differ, and in this Big Idea for the anthology Farther Reefs, co-editor J.S. Fields identifies one that you might not expect. What’s this difference? Read on! J. S. FIELDS: Lesbians. Okay wait. Hear me out. As someone who writes in both traditional […]

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The Big Idea: David Walton

Author David Walton offers us a glimpse into the past, the far past, in his Big Idea for his newest novel, Living Memory. Can the past be able to shape the future? Walton has thoughts! DAVID WALTON: Admit it: You wish you could ride a triceratops. As a child, I would have handed over my library card for […]

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The Big Idea: Mary Robinette Kowal

“The book was better than the movie!” What about when the book was inspired by a movie? Hugo Award Winning author Mary Robinette Kowal talks to us today about what inspired her to write her newest novel, The Spare Man. MARY ROBINETTE KOWAL: The Thin Man in Space — That’s what The Spare Man is. […]

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The Big Idea: Ever Dundas

There are typefaces that have passed into infamy for being terrible… but in HellSans, there’s one that’s gone just beyond being terrible into being terrifying. And for author Ever Dundas, this typeface is a metaphor, not for awful kerning and character design, but something altogether more sinister and troubling. EVER DUNDAS: I spent my childhood […]

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The Big Idea: Aidan Moher

There are a number of mass culture phenomena that came from Japan to the United States and western culture generally, and in Fight, Magic, Items, author Aidan Moher delves into one such phenomenon, that the casual fan might not know had sprung from there at all. AIDEN MOHER: Back in the 1990s, I became a […]

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The Big Idea: Jason Denzel

Author Jason Denzel knows the challenge of enticing readers to one book — but what about an entire trilogy. With this Big Idea about the final installment in his Mystic Trilogy, Mystic Skies, Denzel is going to give it a shot… and be sure to check out the book trailer at the end. JASON DENZEL: […]

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