Friday, September 9, 2011

Interview with Author, Kathy Stemke

I'm very happy to welcome my guest, Kathy Stemke to the blog today.  Kathy is an author with Guardian Angel Publishing.  She is the author of the new children's picture book, Sh, Sh, Sh, Let the Baby Sleep. 

(Please see Kathy's trailer at bottom of post)
Kathy StemkeNS  Tell us a bit about your background, Kathy.
KS   I’m originally from New York, but now hang my hat in the North Georgia Mountains with my husband, Tony and my dog, Lucy. I have two daughters, two grandchildren and one great grandchild. I have an unquenchable passion for writing, the arts and all things creative.
After earning a Bachelor degree from Southern Connecticut State University, I did some graduate work at New York Institute of Technology and Columbia University. A few years ago I earned a bachelor degree at Covenant Life Seminary in Christian Ministry. My background in Early Childhood Education, Communication Arts and Dance Education has given me a unique approach to teaching by incorporating movement in the process. I find that children learn faster, retain more and have fun when learning with their whole body.
As part of the team at DKV Writing 4 U. I’m an editor and ghostwriter. I’ve published over a hundred articles in directories, magazines and on websites. My first children’s picture book, Moving Through All Seven Days, was published on Lulu. Gryphon House Publishing has published several of my activities in their Learn Every Day Series.

Sh, Sh, Sh Let the Baby Sleep, was released in May 2011 and Trouble on Earth Day was released in September 2011. Visit my book blog at
My education blog offers great teaching tips and children’s book reviews as well as a free monthly newsletter titled, MOVEMENT AND RHYTHM.
NS  Would you tell the readers how you were drawn to writing for children?
KS  After retiring from teaching, I started an education tips blog. I got a great response from the parents and teachers. They wanted more. That led me to writing articles, a newsletter and picture books.

NS  Tell us about your new book, Sh, Sh, Sh, Let the Baby Sleep and how it came to be written.

Actually, I wrote the rhyming sections of the book first as a consonant blend activity for teachers. It was so well received that I decided to write a story incorporating the rhymes. Before I knew it, I had a superhero brother learning to love his new baby sister by protecting her from wind, trains, birds, and grizzly bears. Jack Foster’s fantastic illustrations demonstrate the humorous side of the story so well. Teachers love the songs, rhymes, worksheets and activities in the back of the book that reinforce consonant blends.
NS  How do you get the inspiration for new topics--something all authors want to know!
KS   I belong to several teacher groups that share activities and concerns with each other. I contribute ideas to them and listen carefully to their needs. I also have certain interests that beg me to write about them. For instance, I have a couple of dance books and a photography/poetry book in the wings.
NS  What are your plans for new books?
KS   I’m in the process of writing a YA historical fiction based on my mother’s life in England during WWII. It’s a great way to write my first novel and leave a family history for my relatives.
I have several pictures that I’m working on as well. The one closest to being ready is about a boy who collects toy soldiers and takes one that doesn’t belong to him. When he hides the soldier and lies to his mother, it gets bigger and bigger in his mind. The soldier is Mary Walker, who won the Medal of Honor in the Civil War! There are tons of learning opportunities in this book. Everything from don’t steal or you’ll have a big problem to interesting Civil War facts will inspire children to learn about history and life. Like all my books, I’ll have comprehension questions and activities in the back of the book.
NS  We are both fortunate to be part of the Guardian Angel Publishing Authors. How did you come to GAP?
KS   I met several authors who are published through GAP. They all had wonderful things to say about the company and its owner, Lynda Burch. Lynda seems to be ahead of the curve on e-books. I love the illustrators, authors and the quality of GAP’s books as well.
NS  I understand you just had another picture book released in September. Can you tell us about it?

KS  Trouble on Earth Day is an adorable picture book about a squirrel, who helps a homeless bluebird by recycling things around her house. And it has 24 additional pages of songs, poems, activities, crafts and worksheets. Teachers will have everything they need to do a unit on conservation and Earth Day in this book.
NS  Kathy, I am so happy you visited today!  You are such a talented person, and the bredth of your writing skills is amazing.  Thanks so much for the interview.
KS  Thank you for the opportunity to visit your blog, Nancy. I enjoyed it very much.


  1. It sounds like Kathy helps a lot of teachers, who help a lot of kids, who will grow up to help a lot of other people. She's making the world a better place!

  2. Thank you, Nancy for the excellent interview.

    Thank you, Janet for you inspirational comment.

  3. Wonderfully informative interview Nancy. Kathy your work with teachers and children is awesome.

    And the cover of this book just jumps out at you, begging to be read!

    Margot’s Magic Carpet
    11x Books With a WOW Factor

  4. Thanks to all for the comments. This book looks like a real success. And Kathy, many thanks for agreeing to be showcased on the blog today. I enjoyed it!

  5. Kathy, both of these books look very interesting. As Nancy's post about Jib Jab shows, ebooks are made more desirable when they include activities.

  6. Great interview Nancy! Kathy is a blessing and wonderful to work with.