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Episode 12 – Daniel Suarez


I’m a self-admitted geek and love technology. So when the words of Daniel Suarez’s writing entered my world, I was better for it.

Daniel writes high-tech thrillers that focus on near-future technology and its potential impacts on society.

His stories target technology that you may have read about but haven’t experienced yet. Think about an autonomous Humvee attacking in Daemon, swarms of drones in Kill Decision, and genetically modified embryos in his newest book, Change Agent.

Daniel Suarez is a New York Times bestselling author who took his systems programming knowledge from working with Fortune 1000 companies and the encouragement of a college English professor to become one the most unique sci-fi writers out there today.

On this episode of the Why I Write podcast, we discuss how feedback on a college assignment was a piece of his publishing puzzle, and why it was important that he thank that professor when his first book hit shelves.

Classroom Connection 

Daniel talks about the critical importance of feedback in building who we are as writers. What makes feedback helpful? Consider a class discussion about useful feedback and go over the ways in which you as a teacher, or your students as peers, can offer helpful feedback. Practice with pieces of old or new writing and share and reflect on the process of giving, getting, and responding to feedback.

Looking for more ideas? Here’s an article about improving conference feedback for more effective writing. 


Research technology and inventions that are on the horizon like Daniel does for his books. How do you think that technology or invention will be used in the future? Write about it.

You may not think that writing code for years would help someone write better prose, but Daniel insists that it helps him. He equally credits years of leading campaigns in Dungeons and Dragons.

As mentioned on the show, Daniel is a past speaker at TEDGlobal, and below is his talk from 2013 in which he presents his concerns about lethal autonomous weapons (e.g. drones) making kill decisions in war. At that time, the idea was far-fetched, but is it anymore?


Daniel has a BA in English literature from the University of Delaware and lives in Los Angeles, California.

You can find out more about him and his work at