Debut Review Challenge with Wendy Greenley

Join me in welcoming Wendy Greenley to the Debut Review Challenge Blog!

For a BONUS ENTRY, please leave a comment on this blog post! (This will apply if you also complete at least one official ENTRY FORM.

Debut By-the-Numbers: LOLA SHAPES THE SKY

Number of years writing:


Number of years from contract to published book:


Date your book was released:

March 23, 2019

Number of pages:


Number of launch events:


Number of days per week that writing takes a backseat to marketing & publicity:


Number of critique partners:

5 now; 8 three years ago when the story was acquired

Number of books you hope to publish over the next ten years:


Number of times you’ve pinched yourself that you really have a book out: 

Still pinching myself daily. (is this all a dream!?)

Current number of reviews:

On Amazon: 36; On Goodreads: 33

A Few Questions

  • Why do you write for children? 

I write for children because those are the ages of the voices I hear in my head. And I’m not talking about having a split personality or some mental phenomena, just that when I sit down to write, the ideas that I have and the voices that want to tell them usually relate to childhood. I loved books as a child. Reading took me to exciting worlds I could only envision in my head and I suppose I want to do the same for future children now.

  • Without giving anything away, tell us about your work-in-progress. What do you love about it so far? Where are you stuck? 

I always have several works-in-progress. This works well for me because they’re often slightly different in tone and at different stages of development so if I feel like writing lyrical I can. If I feel like doing research, I can. I need to love everything I’m working on, and somedays if one project has my knickers in a twist it’s nice to have something else to work on and be productive.

  • When you need to take a creative break, do you have another activity or hobby that recharges you? 

When I need to take a creative break I want to be inside a book or outside in the world. Hiking shoes are my go-to attire and although I don’t walk particularly fast, I’m happy to meander for hours. It’s nice to get away somewhere new (my favorite hiking vacation so far has been Grand Tetons National Park—look at Leslie Colin Tribble’s gorgeous photos that she posts of Wyoming and you’ll see why!). Walking around my own area is my usual break in the day. 

Time to Play: STORY SMASH!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is giphy.gif

Think about all the stories you’ve written that have hit a dead end or are hidden away in a drawer somewhere. For each of the items below, lift an element from a different story to create a weird, unexpected mash-up. Who knows? It may even inspire a new manuscript! 

Character: Fairy

Setting: Kitchen

Theme: Impatience

Problem: Needs money

Pitch: When a kitchen fairy needs money but can’t cook, he has to find another way to impress his brothers.  (these are truly elements from files “in the drawer”—what a fun idea to blend them and a perfect segue into Tara Lazar’s Storystorm in January! I hope everyone is joining the creative fun. Tara is a creative fairy godmother (dibs on that idea!).

That is a true mashup! Isn’t it great to know that there may be life left in those retired ideas after all?

Okay, Challenge Participants! It’s Time to Write Some Reviews!

Leave an honest review on Amazon, Goodreads, or other online site. For every five reviews you write for debut Kidlit creators between January 1-February 29, 2020, you can fill out this ENTRY FORM for a chance to win prizes. Wendy has generously donated a signed book and a picture book manuscript critique. Thank you, Wendy!


  • Support debut authors by suggesting their book titles to your local library.
  • Purchase them as gifts for children in your life, a teacher, or a local school.
  • Share book titles or reviews on social media and tag the author/illustrator.

About Wendy and her Book

Bio: After selling eight stories to Chicken Soup for the Soul, Wendy Greenley changed her focus to writing for children and discovered a passion for read-a-louds. She’s a member of the Eastern PA SCBWI and Julie Hedlund’s 12×12 and firmly believes that critique partners have been an essential ingredient to her writing career. Always a dreamer, she doesn’t mind if you say she has her head in the clouds! Her first picture book, Lola Shapes the Sky, released March 2019 (illustrated by Paolo Domeniconi).

Book Title: Lola Shapes the Sky

Author/Illustrator: Wendy Greenley/Paolo Domeniconi

Publisher: The Creative Company

Year: 2019

Synopsis: Lola isn’t like the other clouds. While the other clouds make weather, Lola makes shapes. A story about being yourself and standing up for who you are (with nonfiction back matter about clouds and weather).

1 thought on “Debut Review Challenge with Wendy Greenley”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *