Fan Mail Wednesday #9

Yes, it’s that time of week again — Fan Mail Wednesday! Sound the trumpets, roast a wildebeest! As I’ve noted before, summer is definitely the slow season when it comes to fan mail, so I’m grateful for whatever I can get, especially when it comes from a parent who is writing simply to express thanks. Such a nice thing to do. Of course, I wrote a ridiculous reply because sometimes I just can’t stop myself; now I’m hoping that Terri doesn’t hate me.


Hello James,

We just wanted to drop you a note to tell you how much we are enjoying your Jigsaw Jones series, we are on book 19 and are reading them in sequence. Sara and Noah (who are six years old twins) really enjoy them. It has become the nightly routine before bed to read two or three chapters. They really are enjoying the books with laughter every night and trying to figure out the mysteries with the clues you give early in the books.

Here are the notes from Noah and Sara:

From Sara,

I really love your books a lot! I like that jigsaw like to solve mysteries.

From Noah,

I love your books! I like that Jigsaw solves the mysteries with Mila. My favorite book was the disappearing dinosaur, because it was about magic. I love Jigsaw Jones!!!! Bye.

Thanks again for the wonderful books,

Chad, Terri, Sara, and Noah

I replied:

Dear Chad, Terri, Sara, and Noah.

Okay, it’s nice that I got praise from Chad, Sara, and Noah — but where’s Terri? I mean, she signs off at the end, but I’m not feeling the love.

Maybe Terri can write back and tell me how wonderful I am.

I’ll wait.

Hum-dee-dum, dee-dum-dum.

But, okay, seriously (and I’m speaking now to Chad, Sara, and Noah — NOT Terri): Thanks so much for that kind note. You know, authors write stories and the books get printed and go out into the world and you never hear back from them. So it means a lot to hear from actual readers — TWINS, even! — who enjoy the books. I have three kids, ages 15, 9, and 7, and we’re always looking for good things to read. And I’m so grateful when we find books that my kids will enjoy, books that get them reading, turning pages, thinking. I’m in awe to play a small part in that process, and touched that you three (not Terri) took the effort to write to me and say those kind things.

It occurs to me that I’ve been assuming that Terri is Chad’s wife. But perhaps Terri is your pet or something, a little box turtle in a plastic tray or something, in which case I totally forgive Terri for not sending any fan mail — since everybody knows turtles are notoriously poor typists.

Keep reading, keep enjoying books, and thanks again for the note (and my apologies for the crazy response!).

My best,


P.S. You know, in all seriousness, thanks for that note. I appreciate it!

EDIT: I immediately received this reply (isn’t the internet wonderful?):

Terri here, also known as mommy, sorry not a box turtle, was out grocery shopping when the original e mail was sent. I let Chad speak on my behalf, but I’ll say a few words on my own here. We love the books! Myself included. I have to read the chapters I missed on the rare nights when I’m out doing errands to catch up so I’m ready for the next night. The kids can’t wait to read them, they’ve been their first choice for bedtime ever since we discovered them. Thanks so much!

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