Here’s an unusual piece of email I received the other day:
Dear Mr. Preller:
My best friend has been reading your Jigsaw Jones series and she loves them. She is 60 years old but she likes to read juvenile mystery stories and she thinks that your JJ series is fantastic. She saw on your website that you are not going to write anymore books in this series and she was so disappointed as she has now read them all. She does not currently have an e-mail system so she asked that I write and thank you for these books and to tell you how much she loves them. She hopes that you will reconsider and write another one or two more in this series.
Thanks for that great email. This is one of those Bad News/Good News things, and I’ve been trying (uncharacteristically) to focus on the positive these days. “The glass is half full — it’s half full, I tell ya!” The truth is, my publisher, Scholastic, is simply not interested in doing any more “Jigsaw Jones” books. A business decision. I love those books, but sales have always been a disappointment to Scholastic. Yet somehow, despite a lack of marketing support, the series succeeded enough to reach more than 30 titles. I’d love to see the first 8 or 12 re-released with new covers — and this time, actually promoted in trade — but I suspect I’m alone in that dream. I believe in my heart that series could have been so much more popular.
That said, some of the best things that are happening for me now are a direct result of my NOT writing Jigsaw Jones. With every crisis comes opportunity, or something like that. So I’ve been writing other things — and mostly with a great new publisher (Feiwel & Friends). I honestly think my best work is just beginning to pour out. And I can’t wait for the release of Along Came Spider, due out any week now.
Thanks for writing, sending those kind words to me. They mean a lot.