Publishers’ Preview: Debut Authors: Five Questions for Dan Haring & MarcyKate Connolly

Publishers' Previews: Special advertising supplement in The Horn Book Magazine

This interview originally appeared in the July/August 2019 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Debut Authors, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions.

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In The Star Shepherd, eleven-year-old Kyro hopes to follow in his father’s vocation, rescuing the stars that fall to the ground and sending them back to their hooks in the sky.

Photo of Dan Haring by Ryan Scott Miller Photography. Photo of MarcyKate Connolly by Kristin Hardwick.

1. Where’s the best place you’ve seen stars?

DH: I grew up in a tiny town and I could always see the stars really well. I’d lie for hours on the back lawn and watch for shooting stars. 

MC: Camping in the woods when I was a kid in the Girl Scouts. It was far enough from the city that it seemed like the stars stopped hiding just to shine over us!

2. Yeah, but from whence hang the hooks, man?

MC: The world of The Star Shepherd is different from ours. In that world, the Elders’ magic affixed the hooks to the sky, making them unshakable.

3. Whose is your favorite fantasy landscape?

DH: There are so many great ones to choose from! Halloween Town from The Nightmare Before Christmas might hold a slight edge over Middle-earth and Gotham City. 

MC: This is such a difficult question! There are so many fantasy worlds that were formative for me, including those in the Shannara, Harry Potter, and Redwall books. But my all-time favorite would have to be from the Xanth series by Piers Anthony. It’s ridiculous and fun and funny, with all the magic and myth you could ask for.

4. R2-D2, the Iron Giant, or the Robot from Lost in Space: which one would you want in a crunch?

DH: R2-D2 is amazing, of course, but I love the Iron Giant. In fact, if you look closely at one of the illustrations in The Star Shepherd, you might just see someone you recognize. 

MC: R2-D2! He always comes through in a pinch.

5. Could you build a catapult?

DH: I think I could put something together with the right tools. But I’m sure it wouldn’t be very effective and it definitely wouldn’t reach the stars. 

MC: Probably not one that would work… 

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