Big Idea Category

The Big Idea: Katherine Cowley

Appearances are deceiving. This is especially true in Katherine Cowley’s newest novel, The Secret Life of Miss Mary Bennet. Dive in to her Big Idea, and learn how there can be more to a person than shows on the surface. KATHERINE COWLEY: The first time I read Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, I was eleven years […]

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The Big Idea: Elly Bangs

People often say that we, as a species, need to come together. To put our differences aside and work as one. Elly Bangs weighs in on this opinion in her Big Idea for her newest novel, Unity. Follow along with her as she tells us about different kinds of unity, and how it affects individualism. ELLY […]

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The Big Idea: Cavan Scott

For today’s Big Idea, writer Cavan Scott looks at his own past favorites in pop culture and how they inform the stories he is telling, none more so than the new collection of his indie comic, Shadow Service. CAVAN SCOTT: “A man is the sum of his memories, you know. A Time Lord more so.” […]

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The Big Idea: J.S. Dewes

Science fiction can take its inspiration from unlikely sources, but for The Last Watch, the debut novel from author J.S. Dewes, the inspiration came from what might seem an especially unlikely source. And yet, that inspiration took the author to the very edge of the universe. J.S. DEWES: “I’ll fly a starship across the universe […]

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The Big Idea: James Fell

Sometimes, things don’t turn out the way you want them to. But as James Fell tells us, that’s not always a bad thing. Follow along as he explains how failure can be for the best in his Big Idea for his newest book, On This Day in History Sh!t Went Down. JAMES FELL: I thought […]

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The Big Idea: Caroline Hardaker

If memory serves correctly, it doesn’t ever really serve correctly. Follow along with Caroline Hardaker as she tells us just what that means in the Big Idea for her first book, Composite Creatures. CAROLINE HARDAKER: The Fallibility of Memory  Have you ever told a story about something that happened to you, only for a friend to […]

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The Big Idea: Oliver K. Langmead

‘ When you think of things that may outlive you, do you think of your children, your students, maybe even your pets? In Oliver K. Langmead’s Big Idea, he tells you of something else that will outlive you: trash. These objects we throw away, as well as climate change, play a huge role in the […]

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The Big Idea: Leah Cypess

Sometimes stories aren’t really about the main character: it’s the side characters and their stories that make the main character’s world so vibrant. Author Leah Cypess gives one of these side characters a voice in the first novel of her Sisters Ever After series, Thornwood. LEAH CYPESS: Many years ago, I wrote a book that I thought had […]

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The Big Idea: Nancy Werlin

Missing conventions in these unprecedented times? So is New York Times best-selling author Nancy Werlin. Follow along as Werlin takes you on a tour through her train of thought in creating her newest novel, Zoe Rosenthal Is Not Lawful Good, which began with a convention. NANCY WERLIN: The Big Idea: I just want to hang […]

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The Big Idea: Thomas K. Carpenter

Ever feel like “the algorithm” just knows too much? Would you trust an algorithm with something as important as space travel? In Thomas K. Carpenter’s newest Audible Original, Saturn’s Monsters, AI has the potential to make much more dangerous calculations than just advertising bizarre things to you. THOMAS K. CARPENTER: All data lies. I’m an engineer […]

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The Big Idea: Michael Muntisov

Have you ever considered going vegan, or living a zero-waste lifestyle for the sake of the environment? It might be a good idea, especially if we get judged later in life for how we fought against climate change in our past. In Michael Muntisov’s newest novel, The Court of Grandchildren, the choices we make today […]

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The Big Idea: Yaroslav Barsukov

In this Big Idea for Tower of Mud and Straw, author Yaroslav Barsukov looks at potentially-fraught relationships, and how he approached them for his Nebula award-nominated novella. YAROSLAV BARSUKOV: Game of Thrones may have faded from the public consciousness, but the scar tissue remains. Incest on the small screen no longer makes us drop our […]

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The Big Idea: Dorothy Winsor

Family. Can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em — but it seems that in one way or another we return to them. This seems to be the case in Dorothy Winsor’s newest speculative fiction novel, The Trickster, both for the characters and the author. Follow along in her Big Idea as she explains how the […]

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The Big Idea: C. L. Clark

What you speak, and how you speak it, and the things you write in the language you speak: All more complicated than you might expect, especially when the dynamics of civilizations come into play. C.L. Clark has been thinking about this, and in this Big Idea for The Unbroken, delves deeper into the power and […]

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The Big Idea: Christina Consolino

Characters don’t always come out right on the first try, or even the second. Author Christina Consolino tells us a little about her experience with getting the characters right in her Big Idea for her newest novel, Rewrite the Stars.  CHRISTINA CONSOLINO: Have you ever wanted to do something over? Maybe you made a bad […]

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The Big Idea: Matt Ruff

In virtual reality, you can be anyone you want. But what happens when the headsets come off, and you’re faced with real world threats? Author Matt Ruff explores this idea of curating a persona in VR in his newest novel, 88 Names. MATT RUFF: Like my previous novel, Lovecraft Country, 88 Names started out as a […]

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The Big Idea: Gabriela Houston

It’s not how you look on the outside, but what’s on the inside that makes you a monster. This is especially true in Gabriela Houston’s newest novel, The Second Bell. Explore Houston’s Big Idea with her as she tells you of a society that is terrified of monsters, yet is monstrous itself. GABRIELA HOUSTON: If everyone […]

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The Big Idea: Jess Montgomery

What do you get when you take strong women, crime bosses, and bootleggers, and throw them into a novel set in 1927 Ohio? You get Jess Montgomery’s newest addition to her series, The Stills. Prepare to explore the past in Montgomery’s Big Idea. JESS MONTGOMERY: When The Widows, my first novel in my Kinship Historical Mystery […]

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The Big Idea: Marie Vibbert

Author Marie Vibbert knows all too well the feeling of wanting to escape. In her Big Idea, she dives into how escapism played a role in writing what would one day become Galactic Hellcats. MARIE VIBBERT:  My dad’s buddies were bikers. Guys whose legal names I still don’t know, but called Froggy or Uncle Um. […]

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Jane Yolen on 400 Books

In my professional writing career, I’ve had over 30 books published. That seems a reasonably impressive number — until you compare it to Jane Yolen’s output. In a decades-long publishing career, Yolen has written literally hundreds of books, with her 400th — !!!! — arriving this very week: Bear Outside, written by her and illustrated […]

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