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Beyond the Page: Kate Hannigan

This week we are excited to feature Kate Hannigan, author of Cape (Aladdin, August 2019). Get to know her through fun questions below.

What’s your favorite (current or all-time) movie, dessert, and adult book?

Movie: 1956 version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Hilarious fun from a suspense and creepiness perspective; great to ponder the political undertones both for today’s times and for when it was released during the McCarthy witch hunts.

Dessert: Nutella and peanut butter! One spoon, two dips, infinite enjoyment.

Adult book: It all comes back to The Thorn Birds. I was in about seventh grade when I noticed my parents reading this sweeping, multigenerational classic, written by the spectacular Colleen McCullough. When they tucked it away on the top shelf of our bookcase in the living room, out of reach of us kids, I knew there must be something pretty awesome in there. So when they weren’t home, I pulled a chair over and took it down. My mind was appropriately blown. The Thorn Birds made me want to be a writer.

What was your favorite childhood TV show and why?

The original Charlie’s Angels was everything to me back in the day. Part of it was because I had two besties, so the trio of Kelly (Jaclyn Smith), Jill (Farrah Fawcett), and Sabrina (Kate Jackson) lined up perfectly for us. (For the record, I was always Kelly.) But another part of it was because even at a young age, I recognized that these three crimefighters were badass: smart, capable, and had great hair (those wings!).

What fictional place would you most like to go?

I’d like to live with the tiny folk of the Clock family from The Borrowers series, inside the walls and under the floorboards of their various homes.

Tell us one fun insider-fact about Cape, your most recent work.

I researched lots of women who were doing remarkable things during World War 2, and in Book 1, I feature the earliest programmers — six brilliant mathematicians who worked on the ENIAC, the world’s first electronic, general-purpose computer. My insider fact is that I’d heard about ENIAC my whole life because my beloved granddad had worked on it too during the war, moonlighting after his day job at Bell Telephone. So that’s my awesome direct line to the history in Cape!


Kate Hannigan

Chicago children’s author Kate Hannigan writes fiction and nonfiction. Her new historical fantasy for middle-grade readers, Cape: Book 1 in The League of Secret Heroes, features superhero kids joining forces with real-life women from WW2. Her middle-grade history-mystery novel The Detective’s Assistant spotlights America’s first female detective and won SCBWI’s 2016 Golden Kite Award. And her nonfiction picture book biography A Lady Has the Floor: Belva Lockwood Speaks Out for Women’s Rights was a Society of Midland Authors honoree. Say hi online at KateHannigan.com

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