Sunday, April 10, 2011

An interview with Kathy Stemke, and a few of her main characters

I’d like to introduce the main characters in each of Kathy Stemke’s books.  Sitting next to me is Shelby from Trouble on Earth Day, next to Shelby is Zachary the super hero from Sh, Sh, Sh Let the Baby Sleep. And finally, next to me is Winnie from Winnie’s War. Welcome to my blog today.

Let’s start with Shelby. When is you book coming out and why should children read it? 

Shelby: Well, my proof will be in Kathy’s hands any day now soooo I would think the book will be on sale by June. I’ve been waiting two and a half years to tell my story. That must be some kind of record. Kurt Wilcken has drawn my beautiful pictures. I don’t mind waiting because I’m Kathy’s favorite character and kids will learn about being a friend while helping the environment. 

Zachery: Wait just a minute Shelby, you’re just a talking squirrel.  I’m a real boy. Kathy likes me the best.

Shelby: NOT! Did you know that my poster, RETHINK, REUSE, RECYCLE won a first place ribbon at school? 

Magdalena: That’s very impressive Shelby. Thank you.
Zachary, tell us about your story.

Zachary: Well, I got this new baby sister, Layla. She has a real loud cry when she wakes up. Being the big brother and all, I had the difficult job of keeping her asleep. All kinds of things happened to wake her up. But, I have a secret weapon. You’ll have to read the book to find out what happens.

That sounds exciting Zachary. I know Kathy is a retired teacher and she always tries to help kids learn. What will they learn from your book?

Zachary: She uses rhymes with consonant blends throughout the story. You know like sh, th, wh, br, and ch. If kids learn the blends that will help them learn to read. Oh, by the way, my illustrator is Jack Foster. He’s really cool and he captured my extreme good looks rather well.

Fantastic! Thank you, Zachary.
Winnie, you’ve been listening and waiting patiently for your turn. You’re in Kathy’s ‘work in progress,’ Winnie’s War. Can you tell us about your story?

Winnie: Yes, certainly. But first I have to clear one thing up. I can assure you all that I am Kathy’s favorite character. In fact, I’m her mother.

Do you mean to tell me that Kathy Stemke is writing a story with her mother as the main character?

Winnie: Yes, Luv. The story starts when I was seventeen in Birkenhead, England during WWII. My younger brother and two sisters were evacuated to keep them safe from the nightly bombing attacks. We never got word where they ended up. I made it my mission to find them. I even joined the Woman’s Land Army thinking I could find them on some farm somewhere.

It must have been difficult for you to endure all the physical and emotional hardships.

Winnie: It was a long hard war but some good did come out of it. I met Kathy’s father, Ralph, and married him. I fell in love with his curly black hair and turquoise eyes. Yes, they were as blue as the sea. And Kathy’s big brother, Joe was born in England too.  That’s an exciting part of my story.

That sounds interesting, Winnie. What age reader do you think should read your book?

Winnie: Kathy calls it a YA historical fiction. If young adults or even old adults read my story, they will learn all about WWII.

Thank you all for visiting today. I’d like to ask my readers to answer the BIG QUESTION. Who do you think is Kathy Stemke’s favorite character Shelby, Zachary or Winnie and why?

Kathy Stemke is a retired teacher with a love for all things creative. She lives in the North Georgia Mountains with her husband, Tony and their dog, Lucy. Tony is a writer too, but they’re still working on Lucy. Kathy and Tony are participating in the A-Z bloggers challenge. They will write a blog to every letter of the alphabet in April. Check it out.


Do drop by tomorrow to visit Virginia Grenier, who is featuring author Stephen Tremp.


  1. Kathy, great interview strategy. You've given information about each book in an entertaining and concise manner. Great Job.

    Your children's pbs are absolutely great and your new YA sounds very interesting and something I look forward to reading.

    I tweeted and FB'd this post.

  2. I love the characters and what they have to say! Great post!

  3. Terrific interview of Kathy's characters. I enjoy getting to know the inner thoughts of characters, it's always such fun!

  4. Fiction writers always worry about ideas for how to promote! This is an example of a great idea!
    Carolyn Howard-Johnson
    Blogging writers' resources at Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites pick


    Thanks Magdalena!

  6. Speaking as a mother, I think you like them all equally, but in different ways! Thanks for the innovative and very fun post, Kathy.

  7. Very innovative and cool kinda interview Magda. "A' plus, mate. It is wonderful to read an interview that is really different.

    Great going Kathy. And ALL your characters WIN. How could we choose from such winning bunch - have a heart, mate!!!

    Margot’s Magic Carpet - Books with a WOW factor!

  8. I think Winnie is her favorite character because I have a feeling that story has been waiting to be told for YEARS. Besides, how could she not love her mother?

  9. I bet you love them all, just like a mother loves all her children, who could pick just one character. Great post.

  10. Loved this post and getting to know the characters1 Sounds awesome!

  11. Thanks for voting dear friends!!

  12. Love this interview! I like all the characters but I like Winnie most. She was able to see some good come out of a bad situation. That's my kinda gal!

  13. Kathy,

    So very adorable I like both characters! So very sorry, it is hard for me to make up my mind.
    Nicole Weaver

  14. Love how this interview was done. Very fun and I love getting to know the characters of your books, too.

  15. What a fun post. Your characters are wonderful.

  16. This is fantastic! I love the characters and the way this was put together. Lots of fun. Makes you want to read more!

  17. Authors are good mothers. They don't have favorites. There are special place in Kathy's heart for Shelby, Zachary and Winnie. If one seems to get more attention that the other, well... it's just because they need it at that special moment

  18. Winnie gets my vote! Loved this creative interview. ";o)

  19. This was a scream. I really enjoyed it.

    J. Aday Kennedy
    The Differently-Abled Writer & Speaker
    Children's Author of Stella the Fire Farting Dragon (April 2010)