Behind the Scenes with Daniel Haack

We’re so excited about Prince & Knightby Daniel Haack, illustrated by Stevie Lewis. This beautiful picture book is a  classic fairy tale with an LGBTQ twist. Check out our Q&A with author Daniel Haack!

1. When did you first realize you wanted to be an author?

I grew up in a house full of books and was a pretty voracious reader as a kid. I remember spending hours at the public library, always leaving with a stack of books that was as tall as I was. When I started writing, it was usually a knowledge dump on whatever subject I was fixated on at the time, like dinosaurs or outer space, but as I grew, it became more about creating and developing my own stories. Thinking back on what I wrote when I was a young kid, it was usually some big, soaring adventure in an exciting, bold new world.

2. How did you come up with the idea for Prince & Knight?

It was a combination of a few different things. I always thought how fun it’d be if those classic fairy tale archetypes of Prince Charming and the Knight in Shining Armor actually ended up with each other. More importantly, though, is that there have been so many heroic LGBTQ people throughout history, and yet that’s almost never reflected in children’s literature, especially at the picture book level. It’s so important that kids see themselves and their own families and friends represented in the media they consume, and I really wanted to tell a story that had gay people at the center, with equal parts adventure and romance, in a way that was universal and accessible to all kids.

3. Which page from Prince & Knight was your favorite to write? Why?

Definitely the action sequence with the dragon! It was fun working out how they would defeat the beast and especially letting both the Prince and Knight have their chance at being the brave hero, while also showing how they team up and protect each other. The illustrator, Stevie Lewis, did an incredible job at bringing it all to life. The ending was super important, too, and I really wanted all kinds of readers to feel that same heartwarming young love that the two main characters experience.

4. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I work in children’s educational media, so I love figuring out how to use technology and entertainment to help people learn and grow. Outside of that, I live in Los Angeles, so I like to take advantage of the great weather and all the mountains, beaches, and other cool scenery. Above all, I focus on spending my time with my three great loves: family, friends and Netflix.

5. What was your favorite book to read as child?

Some of my favorite picture books were classics like The Little Engine That Could, Caps for Sale and Frog and Toad Are Friends. As I got a bit older, I fell in love with anything Roald Dahl, a lot of sci-fi and fantasy, and mystery series like The Hardy Boys and The Three Investigators.

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