Thursday, June 23, 2011
Children's Author, Kathy Stemke visits Write What InspiresYou
DMc: You have quite the diverse background of dancer, choreographer, teacher, tutor, writer and an antiques dealer for many years. What was your significant turning point in striving and achieving a career in writing for children?
KS: I’ve always been a ‘Jack of all trades’ kinda person with my fingers in many pots. When my main focus was dancing and choreographing, I included photography and poetry in my dances. I love to mix mediums and spill over into other areas of interest.
I had a tutoring business that was well established and I wrote poetry for an outlet to my creativity. I entered some poems online and won a hundred dollars which led to writing and selling articles.
The articles led to my blog and a free monthly newsletter, MOVEMENT AND RHYTHM. I got such a positive response from teachers, that I decided to write children’s books.
DMc: Please share with us a day in your writer’s life.
KS: If I said I had a disciplined schedule, I’d be fibbing. I keep a ‘to do’ list and do whatever is screaming for my attention. I belong to a critique group in which I submit once a month. That helps to keep me working on the NEXT BOOK. I tend to write in spurts, but I am self-motivated. I’m always working on something.
DMc: Why do you feel it is important to incorporate movement with teaching?
KS: When I was a full-time kindergarten teacher and included movement as a teaching tool, I found the children learned faster, enjoyed learning more, and retained more information. It was a win-win-win situation.
It came natural to me because of my background in dance. I’ve found, however, most teachers shy away from movement because they feel awkward themselves and they lose control of the children. What I do in my newsletter is teach activities and classroom management techniques. The email list keeps growing.
DMc: Please share with us your road to publication with Sh Sh Sh Let the Baby Sleep?
KS: I had heard good reports from authors I trust about Guardian Angel Publishing. Not only did they specialize in picture books, but they had a strong distribution in the e-book market. Since, in my opinion, e-books will be taking over the book industry soon, I decided to submit to them. Fortunately they liked the story and sent me a contract.
DMc: What can we expect from you in the future in terms of future children’s books and/or current works-in-progress?
KS: I’m working on a YA historical fiction set during WWII and based on my mother’s life. It is the most thrilling experience I’ve ever had. I love researching and reading others accounts of the war as well as speaking with my English relatives to find out the facts surrounding my mother’s experiences.
I’ll be working on a sequel to Zachary’s adventures as well. I can’t waste a perfectly good superhero, can I?
DMc: What has been your most validating experience as a children’s author at this time in your career?
KS: I enjoy seeing the children’s faces light up with excitement as I read my books to them. When they relay their experiences with their brothers and sisters to me, I understand the need my book fills in their lives helping them verbalize their feelings and concerns. I found out years ago as a teacher we never know the effect we have on little ones until years later if we’re lucky. I’ve been able to reconnect with some of my kindergarten students on facebook who are now mothers raising their own children. They have thanked me and revealed to me how kindergarten opened up their lives.
SUPERHERO TRIVIA QUESTION: DAY 10
In what super hero team would you normally find Wolverine?
Come to Glenda Cates’s blog http://mommiespointofview.blogspot.com/p/book-reviews.html on June 24 for the answer
SUPERHERO TRIVIA ANSWER: DAY 9
What was the occupation of The Flash?
ANSWER: Police Scientist. Police scientist Barry Allen was struck by lightning in his lab one night. He was splashed with chemicals from a nearby cabinet. When his cells mutated, he found he could run at super-speed and while vibrating his body at super speed he could pass through solid objects. The character was inspired by Jay Garrick.
Remember; Every answer or comment you make during this book tour puts your name in the hat for a fantastic prize, which includes amazon gift certificates, books, superhero figurines, and much more.
Sh Sh Sh Let the Baby Sleep can be found:
Guardian Angel Publishing: http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com/shshsh.htm
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/sh-sh-sh-let-the-baby-sleep?store=book
Kathy, thank you for taking the time out to be interviewed and to visit with us today. Best wishes for your continued success!
Donna M. McDine
Award-winning Children's Author
The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.