The name of the character came first, and Danny seemed to simply fall out of the air, much the same way the story did. I was killing time in a studio at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts with a mahjong game I won playing Monopoly at McDonalds. (Don’t let anyone tell you that contest is rigged.) Sometimes when you feel blocked, the best thing to do is something mindless. Sometimes when you do something mindless nothing happens; sometimes a whole novel lands in your brain. That’s where A Star in the Face of the Sky came from.