Mymcbooks's Blog

Keepsake that Educates!

Interview with Author Kathy Stemke


Kathy Stemke 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. Ms. Stemke’s first e-book is available on her education blog. Sign up for her free monthly “Movement and Rhythm Newsletter.” Kathy’s next two children’s books are slated to come out in 2010! “Trouble on Earth Day” and “Sh, Sh, Sh, Will the Baby Sleep?”

Kathy has recently joined the staff of DKV Writing 4 U.  DKV Writing 4 U is a writing service that includes ghostwriting, copywriting, editing, proofreading, critiquing, media releases, and much more.

She has been known to marry her photography and poetry together in book form. She loves to write about dance, personal finance, family relationships, health and fitness, education, antiques, biographical personalities, children’s picture books, literature, and biological sciences. This writers favorite activity is spending time with her family and friends.

Interview with Kathy Stemke author of Sh Sh Sh Let the Baby Sleep.

I want to thank you for being my guest here on Mymcbooks Blog

What is the last book you read? I’ve been reading YA Historical fiction novels recently because I’m writing one myself.  The Lucky Baseball by Suzanne Lieurance was a heartfelt story about the Japanese internment during WWII.  Charlie Skedaddle by Patricia Beatty was set inGeorgia during the Civil War.  Both books were well written, enjoyable to read, and a great learning experience.

What were your earliest memories of writing? In Junior High and High school I wrote poetry.

 Were you encouraged to write or was it something that came natural? It came natural and from a need to express my feelings.

Are you working on a new book? Yes, I’m writing a YA historical fiction based on my mother’s life inBirkenhead,Englandduring WWII.  Her younger siblings were among the one million children evacuated.  She spent many years searching for them while working in the Women’s Land Army.  It’s a wonderful story and very fulfilling to write-sort of a family history.

What do you do when you’re not writing or promoting your books? I work with the children in my church and tutor some homeschoolers.  I teach adults dance at church as well. I enjoy photography and antiques.

How did you come up with each characters? Zachary is a combination of many of the little boys I’ve taught over the years. He’s a little jealous of his new baby sister and imagines that he has super powers when he wears his black glasses.  Layla, the baby, just wants to sleep and be safe.

Have you ever suffered from writer’s block? No, I often suffer from too many stories trying to get onto the paper.  I have to decide which project I want to finish first.

What is the most difficult part of writing? Editing, and rewriting over and over again until the story is perfect.  Sometimes it’s difficult to find the right publishing company fit for your work.

How do you react to a bad review? I take it as a learning experience and balance it with all the good reviews I get.  There’s always room for improvement.

Who are some of your favorite authors you would love to dine with? I love Cornelia Funke’s books.  Her descriptions are scrumptious and her plots are extremely interesting. 

What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.? Because I ghostwrite for DKV Writing 4U, I always have hard deadlines to meet for our clients as well as my monthly newsletter and articles for The National Writing forChildrenCenter.  I make sure I get these things done a few days ahead of schedule. 

Being part of Bridging the Gap critique group, I must submit my writing for review once a month and critique others work the other three weeks.  These obligations keep me writing every day.

What advice would you give parents on selecting the right books for their children to read?

  • Research the internet which is overflowing with reading lists and reviews of children’s books.

  • Seek books in the areas of interest that will motivate your children to read. 
  • Look at some of the smaller publishing companies for unusual books that sometimes go under the radar.

  • For reluctant readers, interactive books where they can choose alternate endings can be fun and exciting.

What advice you would give to new writers?

  • Read, read, read.
  • Join a good critique group.
  • Take advantage of the many free workshops on line and learn your craft.
  • Network with other writers, editors and publishers through blogs and social networks.
  • Pay it forward.  Support other writers.  When you need help, others will be there for you.
  • Follow your dreams. Never give up.  The only way you can lose, is if you quit.
  • Research publishing companies to find the right one for your work.

Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers? Please sign up for my free monthly newsletter, Movement and Rhythm, on my blog:  It’s full of book reviews, songs, games, information, worksheets, coloring pages, and movement exploration activities for young children.

July 20, 2011 - Posted by | Meet the Author | , , , , ,


  1. I actually have Kathy’s book – Sh Sh Sh Let The Baby Sleep. It is a wonderful story and the illustrations are fantastic (they are done by Jack Foster). I would recommend this book to everyone! I am a frequenter of both Kathy and Jack’s blogs. Soon, it is my wish to showcase their book on my blog because I love it that much.

    Comment by Maeve Frazier | July 20, 2011 | Reply

  2. Thanks for your interview Ella. I enjoyed answering the questions.

    Thank you Maeve for your kind words. I’m so glad you like our book. I’d love to stop by your blog!

    God bless,

    Comment by kathy stemke | July 20, 2011 | Reply

  3. This is excellent. I love your advice for new writers. I found every bit helpful, looking back to the early days. I, too, find my critique group invaluable! Thanks.

    Comment by Nancy Stewart | July 20, 2011 | Reply

  4. This was a great interview and was full of good advice. I wouldn’t know what to do without my critique group!

    Comment by Deb Hockenberry | July 20, 2011 | Reply

    • Thanks for all you share with us too, Deb.

      Comment by dancekamtemke | July 22, 2011 | Reply

  5. Thanks, Ella, for the interview with Kathy.
    Kathy, best of luck with your books.

    Comment by barbarabockman | July 20, 2011 | Reply

  6. Thanks, Ella, for the interview with Kathy.
    Kathy, best of luck with your book. I’m sure lots of mothers are going to be glad you have given them a way to approach the topic of a new baby.

    Comment by barbarabockman | July 20, 2011 | Reply

    • Yes, Barbara, a new baby in the home takes preparation for the entire family.

      Comment by dancekamtemke | July 22, 2011 | Reply

  7. Great interview! Kathy, I agree with the bad reviews, gleam what you can from them to improve your writing. And, you gave ‘on the mark’ tips for new writers.

    I’ve read Kathy’s children’s books and they are imaginative, delightful, and educational – 5 stars for all.

    Comment by Karen Cioffi | July 21, 2011 | Reply

    • You’re one of my best fans, Karen. Thanks for your support.

      Comment by dancekamtemke | July 22, 2011 | Reply

  8. Thank you for sharing the enjoyable interview. Sh Sh Sh Let the Baby Sleep is a great book for young children with new siblings. That’s some good advice you share, Kathy!

    Comment by Connie Arnold | July 21, 2011 | Reply

    • Thanks for your kind words of encouragement, Connie.

      Comment by dancekamtemke | July 22, 2011 | Reply

  9. I’m always interested in reading qan interview with you. I qalways learn something new.

    Comment by J. Aday Kennedy | July 21, 2011 | Reply

    • Aday, you are an interesting and talented writer who never bores me. Thanks for stopping by.

      Comment by dancekamtemke | July 22, 2011 | Reply

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