Thursday, April 30, 2009


Helena Harper is a native of England and has loved reading and writing from a very early age. She did a Postgraduate Certificate in Education at Exeter University and then started her career as a modern languages teacher, a career which has lasted twenty years. During that time she has continued to write, concentrating primarily on fantasy stories for young children. However, in the past few years she has also discovered the joys of writing poetry for adults, and her first two books are poetry collections: It's a Teacher's Life...! and Family and More – Enemies or Friends?, which have been inspired by her professional and personal life.

Helena is now a private tutor and translator. She is continuing to write children's stories, and illustrations for her first children's picture book which is now being done. Her aim is to see the book in print before the year is out. Many people ask Helena why she likes to write. She feels she can best express it like this:

The blank page calls,
the heart responds,
imagination spreads wide its wings
and launches into infinity...
Fingers dance,
words flow,
the page fills,
the soul takes flight
and the spirit sings.

If you've been a teacher yourself or just wonder what makes them tick you need to follow Helena Harper into this alternative world of coffee addiction, frantic marking, lesson-planning and inspections. Her insightful, evocative and often sardonic descriptions leave you more appreciative of the trials and tribulations (and the occasional pleasures) of being the dragon in front of the whiteboard.

Helena Harper's book of poetry titled It's a Teacher's Life...! will open the eyes of the pupils who always thought that teachers didn't exist outside of school hours... On the other hand, with such a long roll-call of meetings, assessments and after-hours activities, perhaps they were right all along!


Available in paperback from all major online retailers. Not stocked in bookstores, but can be ordered from any bookstore.

Come back later in the week for some excerpts and reviews of Helena Harper's book. Just click on the following links to read more about this exciting new author.

Author's website:
Authorsden website:
Follow her on Twitter:

Kathy Stemke's websites:
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Karen and Robyn - Writing for Children said...

Wonderful post. My daughter is a 4th grade teacher and some of the stories she tells are so funny and frightening!

This looks like an entertaining book.


Harry Gilleland said...

Good post! I always enjoy learning about other poets and their books. This looks like an interesting book.



Gayle said...

Your book looks delightful!

Helena Harper said...

Thank you so much, Kathy! I hope people will find something to laugh at when they read my book, though I hope it makes them think a bit as well about all the numerous and ever-increasing restrictions teachers have to work under. Oh, if I could but wave a magic wand...!

kathy stemke said...

Thanks for visiting everyone.

Donna M. McDine said...

I'll have to purchase this book for my sister. She teaches 5 and 6 science. I'm sure she will appreciate it.

Best wishes,

Lea said...

Coffee addiction grabbed my interest. I find that elementary teachers should be the highest paying teachers because they introduce our children and have the opportunity to instill a love for school to our kids. Kudos.

Love the cover of your book and wish you tons of success.

SHIMI said...

nice to be here abd read ur post

Dorothy Massey said...

I enjoyed the interview with Helena very much, especially the poem, which I've printed out to put in my diary. Thanks Kathy and Helena, Dorothy