This week I am featuring on the Just Write for Kids blog answering six questions. Thank you to the wonderful Romi Sharp for featuring me this week and sharing some of the symbolism and inspiration behind my picture book A Home For Luna.
I’ve duplicated the interview below however it is also in the link here.
The Quick Six Interview with Stef Gemmill
Welcome to #TheQuickSixInterview with Stef Gemmill!
It’s wonderful to welcome Stef Gemmill back to our blog! Stef won our first Pitch It! Competition for writers in 2018, and guest blogged about her publication journey here. She is a rising star with multiple publications to be released in a short space of time. Today we are delighted to learn more about Stef’s clever, poignant and adorable debut picture book, A Home for Luna. Thanks, Stef!
About the Author
Stef started out as a Montessori teacher before returning to university and shifting careers to writing as both a technical writer/analyst by day and a music journalist at night. More recently, Stef swapped the sweaty mosh pit for toys and tantrums turning her pen to writing children’s books focusing on picture books and short stories. Stef has two more picture books, In My Dreams and Toy Mountain due for release in 2020 and 2021.
Visit Stef at her website: https://www.stefgemmill.com
Who wrote, illustrated and published this book?
What is it called and what is it about?
‘A Home for Luna’ is a gentle story about a homeless cat washed up on a strange shore. Luna is scared and lonely but soon finds beauty and friendship in this new place. The story introduces the themes of homelessness and resilience to small children.
When is its release / launch date?
August 6th in Australia, New Zealand and the UK.
Where did the inspiration for this book come from?
I’ve always been adventurous and have lived in many countries around the globe. I find it inspiring how people embrace new ways of life by learning new languages, adapting to different climates, careers, cuisines and cultures. Not everyone chooses this path and can be forced to relocate to new countries, yet are still resilient and embracing of change.
Why is this book meaningful to you and why would its message resonate with readers?
I had my own experience of homelessness and finding family in an unexpected place when I was in foster care for a short time as a child. Not everyone has two strong healthy parents and stable homes but it doesn’t stop us from finding family, even if it’s in a non-traditional way.
The story of homelessness is gentle and both the words and illustrations contain a lot symbolism. ‘Luna’ is Latin for the moon and symbolises change over time with its different phases. The moon also has a dark and a light side and readers can visually see the contrasts of Luna’s white patch on black fur with the black patches on white feathers of the penguins. And the reader may question if cats and penguins naturally get along too. These visual contrasting elements bring much more to this story.
How have you promoted this book and how can we find it?
You can find more information about ‘A Home for Luna’ on my website and view the gorgeous book trailer Mel Armstrong produced. I’ll also have several book events in the pipeline including a launch at Great Escape Books, Airey’s Inlet, VIC in the September school holidays.
It’s available in all good book shops or online here.