The Big Idea: Lavanya Lakshminarayan

Coming up with one main character can be hard enough, but author Lavanya Lakshminarayan came up with over twenty in her debut novel, The Ten Percent Thief. Read on to see how all these individual stories took form and shaped into one book.


I first met my arch-nemesis burnout when I worked in videogames. We took to each other like a house on fire. I was a woman game designer working in a predominantly male-dominated industry, hellbent on proving myself, and willing to put in the extra hours to do so. Burnout was my shadow, lurking in my flight path all the way to its inevitable conclusion—splattered against a glass ceiling, blood, feathers, and objective lack of glory.

Unyielding sixty-odd-hour work weeks with high pressure stakes never end well. Six years into my gaming career, I hit the end of the road when I found myself having a panic attack in a grocery store. I was overwhelmed by the fact that tomatoes were, in fact, 3D objects and not jpegs on the screen of a door-delivery app.

The experience prompted me to reassess my life. It also sparked the first story I wrote in my debut novel, The Ten Percent Thief… 

The Ten Percent Thief: Amazon|Barnes & Noble|Bookshop|Powells|Waterstones|Forbidden Planet

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Read more at: The Big Idea: Lavanya Lakshminarayan

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