Lisa Katz grew up primarily in South Florida. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Florida and continued her education to earn a Master’s degree in Reading a couple of years later. In 1993, Lisa and her husband moved to Pittsburgh, PA where she worked as a Literacy Specialist. A few years down the road, Lisa embraced her role as full-time mother. It was during this time that she began writing her first children’s book.
Lisa and her family moved to Charlottesville, Virginia and lived there for 10 years until recently settling into Gainesville, Florida in January 2012. Coming back to Gainesville after a 20-year hiatus has been a wonderful experience for Lisa. The Little Boy Who Didn’t Say “Bless You” is her debut children’s picture book. Lisa has also written a funny women’s “coffee-table” book called Jean Expressions as well as a feature-length screenplay. Look for more of her books in the near future!
Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
I am proud of myself for completing a very personal project. It was amazing to actually see my name on the book cover!
What inspired you to want to become a writer?
I have been writing poetry since I was a teenager. It was always a good outlet of expression for me. It still is. When I was a senior in high school I had a wonderful English teacher. Creative writing was my favorite part of her class. She pushed me and she believed in my abilities. Since then, I have never stopped writing… and I don’t plan on it anytime soon.
What was your favorite book when you were a child/teen?
Any and all books by Judy Blume.
Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?
Yes, I am planning on turning my children’s book into a series that highlights a different type of manner in each book. I am also hoping to do another funny women’s non-fiction book on a different topic that also has fabulous photography.
What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you?
Don’t worry about everyone else; just do what makes you happy.
Happiest moment in your life so far.
There are a few. It was an incredibly happy moment when I got married. Next month is our 20-year anniversary! The other happiest moments are when each of our kids was born. It’s amazing to actually be in love with someone the moment you meet. That’s how it was with my son and then with my daughter. Instant love.
Who or what inspired your last book?
My son, Jordan, inspired my children’s book. When he was going to Kindergarten, I was nervous about him having his manners when I wasn’t with him. I thought, or at least hoped, that other parents may be feeling the same way.
Pets? – childhood or adult
I had a big Old English Sheep dog named Rufus while growing up. She had 2 litters and one was even delivered underneath our house in New York. All in all, she gave us 23 puppies! We gave them all away and kept the mama. Then, after much begging from my family, we got an adorable dog 8 years ago. His name is Bandit and he is a Shichon (half Shi-Tzu and half Bichon). He is white, soft as can be and weighs only 11 pounds. He’s probably the best dog any family can have but I may be biased.
Where do you write?
I typically write in the mornings, curled up on my fluffy couch, with a cup of overly creamed coffee.
What drew you to writing this genre?
I have always worked with kids. I was a teacher and a Literary Specialist and I know how important it is to read aloud to your children. I tried to write a picture book that I thought my own children would have enjoyed reading when they were younger. As for writing a women’s book, that was just pure fun. I love going shopping with a close friend and trying on things in the dressing room. That is where you can truly be yourself and that is where you can really laugh the hardest. This book re-creates those hilarious moments for me in the dressing rooms. I picture this book on someone’s coffee table as a great conversation piece. Everybody loves a good laugh and this book brings you just that!
What is the last thing you bought?
Last week I bought this really beautiful scarf. I have a few of them now and almost never wear them. I want to be one of those women that are always dressed well and very put together. Truth be told, I’m a jeans and t-shirt girl.
How do you juggle writing & family life?
Much like the rest of my day, it needs to be scheduled in. I live by my calendar. I’m extremely organized.
Describe your book in 5 words.
Women’s book: fun, honest, beautiful, encouraging, girly
Children’s book: truthful, sweet, caring, considerate, family-oriented
What made you decide to write in this genre?
Lucky for me, I don’t have to pick just one genre. My life is split; I am a Mom and a woman (although my kids probably don’t recognize that). LOL
So, I write children’s picture books as well as women’s books.
Titles: do you write the books first and the title comes next or does the title come to you as you write?
I write the book first and then think of a title to wrap it all up.
If you were sick/stuck in bed, what comfort food would you want and what author would you want to read?
I would want Saltines and chicken soup. I would like to be reading something by Janet Evanovich so that I could laugh.
What TV show/movie/book do you watch/read that you’d be embarrassed to admit?
I probably know every scene and possibly every song from the movie Grease. I am a Grey’s Anatomy girl and also love many sitcoms. At the end of a long day, TV is pure escapism for me.
Something your readers would never guess about you.
I’ve got this thing about numbers. I love numbers with 3’s in them and, when I add them up, I like when they are divisible by 3. I know; it’s crazy. (PS, I answered 18 questions on purpose.) I know; it’s crazy!
This or That
Answer a few or all of them…
TV or Movies? Both! Love TV & wish I had more time to go to the movies
Hot or Cold? Hot
Black or White? Black shirts or pants; white cabinets
Night owl, or early bird? Early bird (ah how things change after college)
Print or Ebook? I love the feel of the print & the convenience of the Ebook
Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate
Regular or Diet? Diet
Coke or Pepsi? Pepsi
Horror or Romance? Romance – definitely!
Action or Drama? Drama
Pizza or Pasta? Love both but if I had to choose just one, pasta
Skittles or M&Ms? BOTH
Sweet or Salty? Sweet
Summer or Winter? Summer
Gum or Breath Mints? Mints
Spontaneity or Planning Ahead? Typically planning ahead so that it’s more likely to actually happen.
PC or Mac? Absolutely MAC
Beach or Pool? Pool
Shoes or Sandals? Sandals
Cats or Dog? Dog
Apples or Oranges? Apples
Facebook or Twitter? Facebook
Text or Talk? Both are good for me.
Introvert or Extrovert? Extrovert
This is a story about manners and what it means to be considerate. There is a common phrase that is said after someone sneezes. One day in school, Bobby’s classmate sneezes, but he doesn’t know that it’s polite to say “bless you!”. Who knew you could learn so much from two little words!
“Wait, let me try them on again after I’ve had a pitcher of Sangria. Maybe then I’ll like them more.” Jeans have become an invaluable staple in everyone’s wardrobe. However, shopping for the perfect jean can truly be a disaster! Women especially love to talk with other women about their dressing room and shopping experiences. This book has captured those (often hilarious) experiences. Here you will find a compilation of comments that either I have made, friends or family have made, or that have been overheard while trying on jeans. It’s always more fun to share your experience with others – especially the funny ones!
1 winner will receive a copy of both Jean Expressions & The Little Boy Who Didn’t Say “Bless You”
Open to US only