PERSONAL: Son of Jane Yolen (a writer and editor); married.
ADDRESSES: Home—Minneapolis, MN. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Starscape, 175 5th Ave., New York, NY 10010.
CAREER: Musician and writer. Member of musical group Boiled in Lead. Composer and performer on recordings, including (with Steven Brust) Boiled in Lead, 1995; and (with mother, Jane Yolen) Once upon a Bedtime Story, Fabulous Records, 1999.
Singer of Souls (fiction), Tor (New York, NY), 2005.
(With mother, Jane Yolen) Apple for the Teacher: Thirty Songs for Singing While You Work, Harry N. Abrams (New York, NY), 2005.
(With Jane Yolen) Pay the Piper: A Rock 'n' Roll Fairy Tale (fiction), Starscape (New York, NY), 2005.
Arranger of music for books edited by Jane Yolen, including: The Lullaby Songbook, illustrated by Charles Mikolaycak, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1986; The Lap-Time Song and Play Book, illustrated by Margot Tomes, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1989; (and composer) Hark! A Christmas Sampler, illustrated by Tomie dePaola, Putnam (New York, NY), 1991; Jane Yolen's Mother Goose Songbook, illustrated by Rosekrans Hoffman, Caroline House/Boyds Mills Press (Honesdale, PA), 1992; Jane Yolen's Songs of Summer, illustrated by Cyd Moore, Caroline House/Boyds Mills Press (Honesdale, PA), 1993; Jane Yolen's Old MacDonald Songbook, illustrated by Rosekrans Hoffman, Boyds Mills Press (Honesdale, PA), 1994; Sing Noël: Christmas Carols, illustrated by Nancy Sippel Carpenter, Boyds Mills Press (Honesdale, PA), 1996; Milk and Honey: A Year of Jewish Holidays, illustrated by Louise August, Putnam (New York, NY), 1996; and Trot, Trot to Boston: Lap Songs, Finger Plays, Clapping Games, and Pantomime Rhymes, illustrated by Will Hillenbrand, Candlewick Press (Camabridge, MA), 2005.
SIDELIGHTS: Adam Stemple is a musician, composer, and author who has written fiction and created a number of musical arrangements for children's song books edited or written by his mother, award-winning children's book author Jane Yolen. For example, in Jane Yolen's Mother Goose Songbook, the mother-and-son team work with illustrator Rosekrans Hoffman to present forty-nine nursery songs and rhymes, with Stemple providing the arrangements for piano and guitar. A Publishers Weekly contributor noted that "Yolen, Stemple and Hoffman make beautiful music together." The three also combined their talents in Jane Yolen's Old MacDonald Songbook. Lauren Peterson, writing in Booklist, noted that the songbook helps teach children "the importance of mood and expression in singing."
In addition to collaborating with Yolen on songbooks, Stemple and his mother cowrote Pay the Piper: A Rock 'n' Roll Fairy Tale. The story is a modern retelling of the noted fairy tale about the Pied Piper of Hamelin. In this version, the story revolves around fourteen-year-old Callie, a reporter on the school paper who manages to get into a concert by her favorite band, Brass Rat. During the concert, the band's leader, Alabas, makes a cryptic comment about human souls that leads Callie to suspect that he is behind the Halloween disappearance of her younger brother Nick and other children in the town. Callie sets out to find the children and discovers that Alabas is really an exile from the land of Faerie. A Publishers Weekly contributor commented that the authors "are at their best when describing Alabas's haunting, musical reminiscences about the path that led him to exile." Beth Wright, writing in School Library Journal, noted that the book will appeal to readers "who like a fast-paced Faerie tale." In a review in Kliatt, Paula Rohrlick called the effort a "swift and entertaining read."
In his novel Singer of Souls, Stemple tells the story of former heroin addict Douglas "Doc" Stewart, who decides to go to Scotland and stay with his Grandma McLaren. A musician, Doc makes money as a busker in Edinburgh while fighting to stave off his addiction. He eventually meets a young woman named Aine who gives him a white powder, which he injects into his vein. The powder allows him to see the faery world. When Aine is abducted by an evil priest, Doc sets out to save her with a spirit helper, only to find that his entry into the faery world reminds him of his heroin-addicted life and may be leading him back to his drug-addicted ways. A Publishers Weekly contributor called the book a "wonderful fantasy debut," while Jackie Cassada, writing in the Library Journal, noted that Stemple "tells a strong, well-crafted tale of magic and mayhem." A Kirkus Reviews contributor praised the novel as a "well-handled fantasy noir debut, with plenty of local color, arresting musical ideas, rapidly escalating gore index and a set-up promising any number of sequels." On the Best Reviews Web site, Harriet Klausner concluded: "Fans will enjoy Adam Stemple's zany joy ride in the streets of Edinburgh from a distinctly weird perspective."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, November 15, 1994, Lauren Peterson, review of Jane Yolen's Old MacDonald Songbook, p. 609.
Kirkus Reviews, June 1, 2005, review of Singer of Souls, p. 617; June 15, 2005, review of Pay the Piper: A Rock 'n' Roll Fairy Tale, p. 693.
Kliatt, July, 2005, Paula Rohrlick, review of Pay the Piper, p. 17.
Library Journal, August 1, 2005, Jackie Cassada, review of Singer of Souls, p. 76.
Publishers Weekly, October 5, 1992, review of Jane Yolen's Mother Goose Songbook, p. 72; November 18, 1999, review of Once upon a Bedtime Story, p. 30; June 13, 2005, review of Singer of Souls, p. 36; August 8, 2005, review of Pay the Piper, p. 235.
School Library Journal, August, 2005, Beth Wright, review of Pay the Piper, p. 138.
Adam Stemple Home Page, http://www.adamstemple.com (October 18, 2005).
Best Reviews, http://thebestreviews.com/ (July 24, 2005), Harriet Klausner, review of Singer of Souls.
Romantic Times, http://www.romantictimes.com/ (October 18, 2005), Jen Talley Exum, review of Pay the Piper.