Debut Review Challenge with Lisa Katzenberger

I’m pleased to welcome Lisa Katzenberger to the blog. This round of the Debut Review Challenge wraps up in less than two weeks and we are eager to celebrate the release of NATIONAL REGULAR AVERAGE ORDINARY DAY on Tuesday, June 23rd. Congratulations on your debut, Lisa!

Lisa Katzenberger has been creating stories since she was a kid. She loves to write books that make children laugh, escape, and dream. Lisa lives near Chicago with her husband and two children. Follow her on twitter as @FictionCity or instagram as @lisakatz17.
 Peter does not like being bored, so he comes up with a way to have some festive fun–he’ll celebrate a different holiday each day. He even rates them on a scale of 1 to 10. But when he wakes up one morning to discover there isn’t any holiday, he realizes he’ll have to take matters into his own hands and make up his own. That’s easier said than done, though, and nothing seems to go right–until Peter realizes that even a regular, average, ordinary day can be something worth celebrating.
(Penguin Workshop, 2020)


Number of years writing: 37 (I started writing in third grade)

Number of years from contract to published book: 2

Date your book was released: June 23 2020

Number of pages: 32

Number of launch events: Hopefully 1, if COVID-19 doesn’t interfere

Number of critique partners: 12

Number of books you hope to publish over the next ten years: 10

Number of times you’ve pinched yourself that you really have a book out: 17 Gazillion


  • Who is your greatest inspiration?

My greatest inspiration is my mom. A voracious reader herself, she instilled a love of books in me at a young age. We were constantly at the local library and carried home armfuls of books every visit. She read all the silly stories I wrote as a child and oohed and ahhed at them as if they were instant classics. She always made me believe I could do anything, and never thought my dream of being a writer was far-fetched.

  • What does your work space look like? Tell us about a typical work session.

My workspace is either my dining room table or my couch. I tend to wake early before my family and can get in about an hour of quiet writing. Then it’s writing in starts and fits throughout the day, in between part-time work, running errands, afterschool activities.  

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

When I need a break I tend to read (and not just social media!). Even though I write picture books I’ve been reading a lot of middle grade. And we recently got a piano, so I have been practicing that a bit.


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: Dragon

Setting: Lake

Theme: Finding your true self

Problem: Arms too small 

Pitch: Logan gathers his buddies for a brief lecture on how to stay out of trouble as a big brother. 

I can see this with a sleep away camp setting and lots of mischief!


Leave an honest review on Amazon, Goodreads, or other online site. Every time you write five reviews for debut Kidlit creators between May 1 – June 30, 2020, you can fill out this ENTRY FORM for a chance to win prizes. Lisa has generously donated a signed book (US addresses only). Thank you, Lisa!

For a chance to win a Picture Book Manuscript Critique (fiction, up to 800 words) from Lisa Katzenberger, enter this Rafflecopter giveaway! Ends June 25, 2020.

You can find the complete rules for the Debut Review Challenge and a downloadable record sheet to keep track of your reviews HERE.

3 thoughts on “Debut Review Challenge with Lisa Katzenberger”

  1. i love the plot of this story. how peter even rates the festivals 🙂 this is a cool book i am sure my boys would love. Congrats on your book Laura.

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