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, While you’re there, don’t forget to sign up for her free monthly newsletter, Movement and Rhythm. Moving Through All Seven Days:


Joylene Nowell Butler said...

HI Katie. I realize Cher awarded the Sunshine Award. Well, I am too. You can pick it up at my blog today.

Unknown said...

Thanks for hosting me today, Katie.

Mayra Calvani said...

Great interview.
Kathy, I didn't know you were a dance, a contributor editor for NWFCC and a GAP author... LOL You learn a lot in these interviews!

T. Forehand said...

Very nice interview, and informative blog too. Thanks for sharing.

Cheryl said...

Wow Kathy, I didn't know about either book. How come I haven't seen that children's book for a review yet? :)

Best of luck in all you do.



Nancy Famolari said...

Excellent interview. I didn't realize Kathy was a poet,too.

Janet Ann Collins said...

Great review! As a former teacher I found the information about printing and laminating e-books for classroom use especially interesting.

Kristi's Book Nook said...

This is a great interview Kathy. You do wonderful work.

Anonymous said...

I love short poetry. DANCE was fun to read and help jump start me. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Stephen Tremp

The Old Silly said...

I LOVE "Dance"! Good and interesting interview, too ... nice job, Katie and Kathy.

Marvin D Wilson

Debra Eckerling said...

Thanks, Katie and Kathy, for a great article! LOVE the Dance poem!


Debra Eckerling

Vivian Zabel said...

Kathy is a multi-talented woman. Thank you for bringing out her abilities, Katie.

Unknown said...

Thank you all for visiting. Your comments were thoughtful and encouraging.

Nancy I. Sanders said...

Kathy, what a great interview! And wow--you have so many new projects on your plate. Congratulations! -Nancy

Dianne G. Sagan said...

Kate, this is a wonderful interview.
Kathy, I love the poem. One of my daughters is a dancer and this poem really captures it.

Anonymous said...

Great interview. Beautiful poem. Thanks for sharing.

Donna McDine said...

Terrific interview and wonderful poem. Congratulations on all your successes.

Best wishes to you both,

dana e donovan said...

I have always had a soft spot in my heart for poets, since that is where I cut my literary teeth. Very nice, Kathy!

Unknown said...

Wow...what a following you have. Evident from the interview and poetry, why you do. I've never been a fan of poems outside Hallmark cards, but I was moved by "Dance."

Katie, thanks for sharing this interesting guest with us.

Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz said...

I was interested in learning that Kathy's blog comments indicated teachers preferred the eBook. As an eBook children's author, I'm finding it hard to market in the traditional ways. Approaching teachers with the suggestion to laminate is brilliant.

Magdalena Ball said...

What beautiful images in your Visual Dance Poetry book. I love the idea of marrying up the visual, kinetics, and written forms. Your childrens books sound innovative and special too. Good luck with it all!

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Wonderful interview, Katie.

Congratulations on your books, Kathe.


Maryannwrites said...

What a lovely poem. And the books sound great. Thanks for introducing us to a fascinating new author.

Martha said...

Love the poem "Dance" As a teacher myself, I love it when authors produce work that helps us in the classroom.
Martha Swirzinski

Unknown said...

Thank you for all your wonderful comments.

jessi said...

Hi Kathy,
Sorry I didn't get a chance to stop by yesterday. I'm glad I did today--lovely poem.

Connie Arnold said...

Katie, thank you for sharing the great interview! Kathy, I really enjoy your poetry and look forward to seeing your new children's books!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your book. I loved your movement book about the days of the week.
Aday Kennedy
The Differently-Abled Writer

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Accountant, Author & Freelance Writer said...

Wonderful interview! Congratulations on your books :)