Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Meet Author & Poet Kathy Stemke
I’d like to welcome guest author, picture book and poetry writer, Kathy Stemke. Kathy has a passion for writing, the arts and all things creative. She has a B.S. from Southern Connecticut State University and Covenant Life Seminary, as well as graduate coursework from New York Institute of Technology and Columbia University. Hanging her hat in the North Georgia Mountains, she has been a dancer, choreographer, teacher, tutor, writer and an antiques dealer for many years.
As a freelance writer Kathy has published several articles. She is a contributing editor for The National Writing for Children's Center. Kathy’s first children’s e-book, “Moving Through All Seven Days,” is now available on Lulu. Kathy's second children's book, “Trouble on Earth Day,” is slated to come out in the spring of 2010! She recently signed a contract with Guardian Angel Publishers for her book titled, “Sh, Sh, Sh, Will the Baby Sleep?”
Katie: Please give a brief synopsis of “Moving Through All Seven Days.”
Kathy: This picture book inspires movement as children learn about the days of the week. The lyrical rhymes also teach them how to spell each day. The activities at the end are designed to reinforce the concepts as well as give impetus to movement exploration.
Katie: Tell us more about how you came to write it, and the thoughts behind it.
Kathy: This book was an outgrowth of my blog and teacher groups. The teachers said they needed a book to teach the spelling of the days of the week. Being a retired teacher myself, I decided to add 14 pages of activities, worksheets, puzzles, and even a coloring book. In other words this book is a one stop shopping for teachers.
Katie: I’m excited with you that your second children's book, “Trouble on Earth Day” will be released soon. Can you share more about this book?
Kathy: There is still a need for good children's book with environmental subjects. I had done an activity with my kindergarten class where the kids collected all kinds of nesting materials from home like feathers, yarn, hair, etc. We put these items in an onion bag with a whole in it and hung it from a tree in the schoolyard. We were delighted when we noticed that the birds had used our materials to make a nest. You could see the pink yarn from far away. Sooo I wrote a book about recycling which involved a homeless bird titled, Trouble on Earth Day.
Katie: Is this also a picture book? If not, please tell why you wrote outside the picture book genre. If so, please share how the writing of the first book helped you with the writing of the second.
Kathy: Yes, this is a picture book. Like the first book, because I also had parents and teachers in mind, I’ve added some great activities, worksheets, games, and even some crafts.
Katie: Congratulations on signing a contract for “Sh, Sh, Sh, Will the Baby Sleep.” Can you tell us more about this book and how it is the same and different than your other two books?
Kathy: The emphasis in Sh, Sh, Sh Will the Baby Sleep? is the consonant blends sh, th, wh, br, and ch. The main character in this book is Zachary, who becomes a superhero when he wears his thick black glasses. He’s jealous of his new baby sister until a series of troubles come his way. There is regular text and some rhyming text as well.
Katie: How is e-publishing and traditional publishing the same? Different?
Kathy: All the same rules apply to creating a quality book whether it’s in an e-book format or in a printed format. I took a survey on my blog and asked teachers which format they preferred. E-books won by far because they are cheaper, and can be laminated for protection in the classroom.
Katie: I want to be sure and touch on “Visual Dance Poetry,” a photography poetry book that you are just finishing. Why is this so special for you?
Kathy: I have been a dancer/choreographer/writer all my life. This project allows me to use all my skills on the same project. It’s also very personal, while still being universally appealing. Dance has never been more popular than now. From ballroom to hip-hop, more and more people are interested in dance.
Katie: Here is a sample of Kathy’s poetry:
The mirror of my soul
reflects deep within my core.
Dance, with unconscious roots
flows through every pore.
A moment captured in time,
expanding rays of light and space,
soaring beyond earth’s grip,
imagination takes a visible place.
An innate force that must be released,
communes with God and transcends
life’s trials and joys, simply becoming
dance, the essence that my heart extends.
To learn more about Kathy, or to contact her, visit her at http://educationtipster.blogspot.com, While you’re there, don’t forget to sign up for her free monthly newsletter, Movement and Rhythm. Moving Through All Seven Days: http://www.lulu.com/content/e-book/moving-through-all-seven-days/7386965#
Posted by Katie Hines at 7:00 AM