Three Times a Charm is back!!! It is a weekly feature that spotlights authors, illustrators, bloggers, agents, editors or promoters from the children’s publishing industry.
This week we are celebrating Earth Day with author, Kathy Stemke. Welcome, Kathy. Can you tell us about yourself?
I have always had a passion for writing, the arts and all things creative. My teaching degree is from Southern Connecticut State University. I also have a B S from Covenant Life Seminary, as well as graduate coursework from New York Institute of Technology and Columbia University. Hanging my hat in Mount Airy, Georgia I have been a dancer, choreographer, teacher, tutor, writer and an antiques dealer for many years.
As a freelance writer and ghostwriter, I have published over one hundred articles in directories, magazines and on websites. I’m a reviewer for Sylvan Dell Publishing and a former editor for The National Writing for Children Center. As a retired teacher, I have several activities published with Gryphon House Publishing. I’m also part of the team at DKV Writing 4 U, a writing services company that includes ghostwriting, copywriting, editing, proofreading, critiquing, and resumes. http://www.dkvwriting4u.com
Congratulations on so many published articles and reviews. Are you busy with any other projects, as well?
My first children’s picture book, Moving Through All Seven Days, was published on Lulu. My next two picture books, Sh, Sh, Sh Let the Baby Sleep, and Trouble on Earth Day were released in 2011. Both of these books have been awarded the Children’s Literary Classics Seal of Approval.
My blog offers great teaching tips and children’s book reviews as well as a Free monthly newsletter titled, MOVEMENT AND RHYTHM, on her blog. http://educationtipster.blogspot.com
With Earth Day approaching, can you tell us more about your book, Trouble on Earth Day?
Trouble on Earth Day is a charming story of friendship and cooperation. Shelby wins an Earth Day poster contest and learns to rethink, reuse and recycle Earth’s precious resources. When she meets a homeless bluebird, she uses her new knowledge to rescue him and bring singing back to the forest. The twenty-three pages of activities include comprehension and discussion questions, action songs and games, worksheets, recycling crafts, and the history of Earth Day.
Now for the three’s. Share with us your top 3’s so we can get to know you better.
- Top 3 books you’ve read in the past year.
I recently won over 50 books as a door prize at a SCBWI conference in Atlanta. I’m trying to read as many as possible before I donate them to my local library. Three I enjoyed are “Possess” by Gretchen McNeil, “Cleopatra Rules” by Vicky Shecter and “The House on Dirty-Third Street” by Jo S. Kittinger.
- Top 3 skills to hone for people just starting in your business.
Social media has become an important tool for authors. Building your number of followers on facebook, twitter, and your blog will give writers an edge. The key to this is to be interested in other people and write blog posts that will help others. My education tips blog helps parents, teachers and writers alike. I have over 500 subscribers to my newsletter. In other words, PAY IT FORWARD.
Join at least two critique groups. Not only will you get advice and support from other professionals, but you will experience different writing styles as you read and critique your partners.
Thoroughly research a publisher or agent before you submit your work to them. If you’re a picture book author, make sure they know the picture book market and have had experience in that genre.
- Top 3 professions you wanted to be when you grew up.
I wanted to be a dancer, photographer and of course, a writer. Early on I put together a photography/poetry book titled, “Visual Dance Poetry.”
Kathy, where can our readers learn more about you and your work?
Sh Sh Sh Let the Baby Sleep is available through the publisher, http://guardianangelpublishing.com/shshsh.htm and through Amazon, B & N, and other online stores.
Trouble on Earth Day is available at a discounted price on my blog: http://educationtipster.blogspot.com and through Amazon, B & N, and other online stores.
Follow me on twitter: http://twitter.com/kathystemke
Follow me on Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=6147172660&topic=4910#!/kathymarescomatthews.stemke?ref=profile
Follow me on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/pub/kathy-stemke/13/269/285
Thank you for visiting with us for this week’s Three Times A Charm. It has been a pleasure getting to know about you and your work. Come back and visit us again!
***I am always looking for guests for Three Times A Charm. If you are an author, illustrator or book reviewer, an agent or an editor. If you have something related to children’s publishing that you’d like people to know about, feel free to contact me about a future appearance.