H.D. Marychild

Children’s Book Author

Skater Sister Book: paperback coverAuthor of Skater Sister, a fiction book and e-book for ages 10 and up.

H.D. Marychild is the pen name of a nonfiction writer who has written or edited six other books. Born and raised in Delaware, she has lived in Belgium and Italy and currently resides in Rochester, New York, with her husband and son. Skater Sister is her first novel. She loves watching figure skating.

An Interview With H.D. Marychild

Q: Are you a skater?

A: No—I have absolutely terrible balance! But I wish I could skate. Figure skating is magical to me, like flying on ice. It’s the perfect blend of art and athleticisim.

Q: Is that why you wrote from the perspective of the sister who doesn’t skate?

A: Absolutely! I can understand the viewpoint of the one who’s watching.

Book signing University of Delaware Fred Rust Ice Arena, December 23, 2013

Book signing Skating Club of Wilmington December 21, 2013

Q: But you do sometimes write about Penny’s [the skater’s] thoughts.

A: Yes, because I’m a musician and there are ways in which music and figure skating are very similar. Both require a finely honed physical technique, developed through years and years of practice. But technique alone is not enough; technique is what enables you to be expressive when you perform.

Q: Why did you set the book in Delaware?

A: Well, I’m from Delaware, and I’ve always been very proud of the fact that the University of Delaware has a world-class training facility for figure skating where many top skaters have developed their skills. It just made sense to have Penny train there, and use places that I knew in Delaware.

Q: The climax of the book is at the 2014 Winter Olympics. How closely does the book match what will happen there?

A: When I wrote the book, the dates of the Ladies’ events had not yet been announced, so I modelled them on the schedule in Vancouver. That turns out to be different from what is happening in Sochi. In Sochi the Ladies’ free skate is the day after the short program. In the book, there’s a day off in between that is actually rather crucial to the plot. So that’s different. Also, Sochi will be the very first time there’s a team event. Because there is no history for that, I had to leave that out. And of course, Penny is completely fictitious, so there’s no stand-in for her.

Q: Is everything else accurate?

A: I take some liberties to create drama. In “real life” Penny would have been first alternate. And she definitely would not do what she ends up doing in Sochi.

Q: That’s rather cryptic.

A: I don’t want to give away the plot.

Q: Who do you think will win?

A: Yuna Kim? Mao Asada? Ashley Wagner? Carolina Kostner? Who knows?

Q: What about the men’s competition?

A: I’m really curious to see who will be making the national teams. Japan is so unbelievably deep in talent! And Russia—that single spot! Will they go with Plushenko or give Kovtun a shot instead?

Q: Who are your favorite skaters?

A: Tough question—I like so many of them! I have to admit that Yuzuru Hanyu is one of my favorites. His short program at the Grand Prix Finals was unbelievable. And I love the fact that he does a Biellmann. That’s so rare for a guy. I’m also a big fan of Meryl Davis and Charlie White. Their current long program is spectacular, and I’m really looking forward to seeing it again at the Olympics. A very imaginative and challenging program that matched the music perfectly.

Q: Very briefly, how would you describe the book?

A: By the time you get to the end you realize it’s a big love letter to figure skating, with the universal themes of sibling rivalry and first romance thrown in.

Q: The publicity for the book includes two dragons. How are they connected with figure skating?

A: As the second dragon says, read the Skater Sister book and find out!