Big Idea Category

The Big Idea: C.L. Polk

As C.L. Polk reveals in this Big Idea for her latest novel The Midnight Bargain, the state of affairs in our world can have a significant effect about the state of affairs in a fictional one… even if the connections are not immediately evident on surface of thing. C.L. POLK: When people talk about The […]

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The Big Idea: Christen Carter

Few things in this world are as quirky a choice of fashion as a button, and according to author Christen Carter, few things encapsulate a story as well as one, too. This is their power — which might be why the title of the book Carter co-wrote with Ted Hake is called Button Power. CHRISTEN […]

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The Big Idea: Sean Patrick Hazlett

It might not surprise you that the stories in the fantasy collection Weird World War III have at least some basis in reality — the Cold War actually was thing, after all. But what might surprise you is which things were based in reality. Editor Sean Patrick Hazlett is here to lay all the weirdness […]

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The Big Idea: Jane Yolen

Come one, come all, down to Nebula award-winning author Jane Yolen’s Big Idea, where she will be the ringmaster and show you her dark carnival of short stories that is Midnight Circus.  JANE YOLEN: I admit it. I like small pieces of writing. I was a poet first, even as a child. I sold poems […]

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The Big Idea: Tom Doyle

The human brain comes in almost infinite varieties, but for the future that Tom Doyle imagines in his novel Border Crosser, his question is: Will all of those brains, and the humans who possess them, be welcome? TOM DOYLE: Does the far future have a place for mental illness? This is a question at the […]

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The Big Idea: Rebecca Coffindaffer

Sometimes, despite all your efforts to the contrary, you have to think about being the hero. Or so author Rebecca Coffindaffer might argue, in the context of her novel Crownchasers. REBECCA COFFINDAFFER: I love a reluctant hero. I’ve loved them ever since I sat, wide-eyed, as my dad read The Fellowship of the Ring out […]

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The Big Idea: Lauren Shippen

Do you love a good villain story? Who doesn’t enjoy a nice anti-hero now and again, right? Take a trip to the dark side with author Lauren Shippen’s newest release, A Neon Darkness, and see just how bad a good person can be. LAUREN SHIPPEN: I never thought I would write a villain story.  It isn’t that […]

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The Big Idea: R. B. Lemberg

Who needs to be the Chosen One at the age of thirteen, or to save the world at sixteen? With The Four Profound Weaves, author R. B. Lemberg takes us on a fantastical journey with an older character, one whose story has just begun. R. B. LEMBERG: I’ve been writing in Birdverse, my LGBTQIA+ centered […]

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The Big Idea: Karen Osborne

Sometimes, good things can emerge from bad circumstances. Author Karen Osborne’s newest book, Architects of Memory, is a prime example of that. What started as a medical emergency spiraled into a novel about facing one’s fragility. Read on as the author shares her emotional journey from pain to novel. KAREN OSBORNE: An orthopedist once saved my […]

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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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