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Sugar House Journal

Local 12-year-old ready to release her second book

May 23, 2018 10h19 ● By Lori Gillespie

Bailey Harris, age 12, holds her new book “Stardust Explores the Solar System.” (Photo Courtesy of Douglas Harris)

By Lori Gillespie | [email protected]

Bailey Harris was 8 years old when she got the inspiration to write a book. Now at age 12, she is set to travel to New York City in June for the second year in a row to promote her new book at BookCon 2018. 

While watching the PBS series “Cosmos” with her family four years ago, she heard the host of the show, Neil deGrasse Tyson, say that everything in the galaxy is made of the same thing — stardust.  She turned to her parents and said, “I have to tell my friends that we are made of stardust.”  With help from her dad, Douglas Harris, she set out to tell not only her friends, but the world.

“After the show ended she ran upstairs and started to write,” Douglas said. He followed her upstairs and asked Bailey what she was working on. Doug looked and saw that he said she had written the first page of “My Name is Stardust.” He offered to help her write the book. The first page she wrote became the first page of her book.

Bailey has always gravitated to the non-fiction section in the library, and as Doug and Bailey started to talk about what they wanted to write about, everything always came back to the stardust theme. They did some research and reached out to prominent scientists who were “really interested really quickly,” said Doug. “The scientists helped us write it to children and fact checked for us. We wanted her dream to come true and we planned to self-publish the book.” 

In 2016, they held a Kickstarter Campaign and raised more than $20,000, which they planned to use to produce the first run of the book, “My Name Is Stardust.” From the Kickstarter they ended up with multiple publishers interested. It was hard to decide who to go with.

“We loved Story Book Genius Publishing as people and they really understood the vision we had for our project,” said Doug. “They gave us the creative license and supported our mission. It was fun to watch Bailey get so passionate about the book and the process.” 

Bailey’s newest book, “Stardust Explores the Solar System,” is set for a fall 2018 release. Bailey and her dad will travel to New York in June to promote this next Stardust adventure. While in New York, they have a busy four days which includes a scheduled book signing, radio interviews and other promotional events.

At last year’s BookCon event, Bailey was “in heaven” meeting readers. “We were three authors down from Mo Willems at the book signings,” Bailey said. She was one of the only child authors signing and had the longest lines of people, which eventually had to be cut off to keep the crowds at a manageable level.  

“I asked all of the people who wanted a book signed about their favorite planets,” said Bailey. “I loved hearing their reasons why they loved the ones that they did.” It was during these conversations that the idea for “Stardust Explores the Solar System” started.  She saw the vision she had for her first book come full circle.  

BookCon is a yearly public event held in New Your City after the publishing industries main event Book Expo. This year it runs June 2-3. It’s an opportunity for people to see what’s in store for fall book releases. The event includes many authors, old and new, and usually some celebrity guests as well.

“The public loves BookCon,” said Anne Holman, manager of The King’s English Bookshop, 1511 South 1500 East. “There are aisles and aisles of tables with new books and it is such a fun event to attend.”

The fun for Bailey and Stardust is just beginning.

“We have some fun things planned for the release of ‘Stardust Explores the Solar System’ later this year,” said her dad. 

 To follow Stardust and Bailey visit the following: