News, Notes & Inside Info from a Children’s Book Author

Archive for November, 2008

James Preller Interviews . . . Author Ellen Miles

Sunday, November 30th, 2008 Posted in Interviews & Appreciations | 16 Comments »


I've been cleaning and vacuuming all day because we're having a special guest. Ellen Miles has spent her adult career involved in children's books in some capacity, as an editor, an advocate, and a writer. Ellen has recently enjoyed rising ...

Ten Best Christmas Movies

Saturday, November 29th, 2008 Posted in Greatest Hits, Jigsaw Jones | 1 Comment »


As the author of the Jigsaw Jones series, I've been told by more than one editor that I am "so Jigsaw." And I suppose that's reasonably true. But I also identify with Jigsaw's father. He is, like me, a list-maker. ...

Happy Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008 Posted in Fun Clips | No Comments »


Not sure what I'll accomplish this week, blog-wise. So I think we'll see a few days of light posting, if anything. But we'll come back strong at the end of the weekend with a terrific interview with author Ellen Miles. As ...

Writers on Writing: Five Quick Quotes

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008 Posted in the writing process | No Comments »


True story: I just found this three-page list of typed quotes on the bottom of my t-shirt drawer. I figure it dates back seven years, from when I was working with my son's third-grade classroom -- and at which point ...

Obama’s Use of Complete Sentences Stirs Controversy

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008 Posted in Readings | No Comments »


I liked this short piece, written by Andy Borowitz and published by The Huffington Post online, "Obama's Use of Complete Sentences Stirs Controversy." It reads in part: In the first two weeks since the election, President-elect Barack Obama has broken with a ...

James Preller Interviews . . . Daniel Mahoney

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008 Posted in Interviews & Appreciations | 6 Comments »


I’m with Daniel Mahoney, a local illustrator who I first heard about from Frank Hodge, the legendary bookseller from Hodge-Podge Books in Albany. I ran into Daniel at a Planet Fitness (in our line of work, aerobic fitness is essential), ...

It Was 40 Years Ago Today . . .

Saturday, November 22nd, 2008 Posted in Music | No Comments »


On November 22nd, 1968, The Beatles came out with a double-album, brilliantly packaged in a plain white cover. Officially titled, "The Beatles," it became more familiarly known as "The White Album." I was seven at the time. The album included four ...

Around the Horn: The “Me, Me, Me!” Edition

Friday, November 21st, 2008 Posted in Along Came Spider, Bystander, Mighty Casey | 2 Comments »


Weird confluence of things in a 24-hour period, with five books colliding. Let's recap: * In the mail yesterday, the first hot-off-the-presses copy of Mighty Casey! I love this book, it's beautifully published, and I'm so happy that it brought ...

Jigsaw Jones Cover: Part 4, Sketches Are In!

Thursday, November 20th, 2008 Posted in Interviews & Appreciations, Jigsaw Jones, the writing process | No Comments »


This is the fourth installment of a series of posts following the creation of a single book cover for Jigsaw Jones: The Case of the Secret Skeleton. In Part One I interviewed Scholastic editor Matt Ringler, and we talked about ...

Fan Mail Wednesday #21

Thursday, November 20th, 2008 Posted in Fan Mail, Jigsaw Jones | No Comments »


Time's a-wasting, so away we go: Dear Mr Preller, I recently read The Case of the Best Pet Ever. The main character of the book is funny and likes finding out mysteries. I noticed that Rags looks a lot like Daisy. Rags ...