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

Archive for May, 2009

A Dream Goes On Forever

Friday, May 29th, 2009 Posted in Music | No Comments »


This song's been in my head for the past few weeks, great lingering melody. A bare bones approach in this live version, just Todd and a piano, two minutes of pure pop for now people. Have a great weekend . ...

Five Haiku

Friday, May 29th, 2009 Posted in the writing process | 2 Comments »


I've never written much in the way of haiku. But for some reason, I knocked out these five the other morning, rapid fire. Perhaps I was inspired by a recent second-grade poetry reading, where so many kids, including my Maggie, ...

James Preller Interviews . . . Betsy Bird, of Fuse #8

Monday, May 25th, 2009 Posted in Greatest Hits, Interviews & Appreciations | 12 Comments »


It doesn't take long for a book-loving blog-hopper to discover Betsy Bird's A Fuse #8 Production. It is so consistently good -- full of personality and life and enthusiasm for children's books -- that many of us return on a ...

Fan Mail Wednesday #44-47 (Bonus Friday Edition)

Friday, May 22nd, 2009 Posted in Along Came Spider, Fan Mail, Jigsaw Jones | No Comments »


Today we're all about bullies, and book titles, and bicycles, and the perils of publishing. That's right -- sound the timbrels! slaughter a fatted calf!-- I'm banging out a bonus Friday Edition of Fan Mail Wednesday, absolutely free of charge. Really: ...

Mighty Casey: Editorial Letter Excerpts

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009 Posted in Mighty Casey, the writing process | 1 Comment »


I've been doing a lot of school visits, book signings, and book fairs over the past two months. It's been a lot of fun, distracting, joyful, happy, hard, and humbly rewarding. One of the highlights of my act -- between ...

Stories Behind the Story: The Case of the Food Fight

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009 Posted in Jigsaw Jones, New York Mets, the writing process | No Comments »


My wonderful editor at Scholastic, Shannon Penney, suggested this title to me. That happens sometimes, when book club editors will come up with a desired theme or vague concept, and Shannon will be assigned with the grim task of conveying ...

Fan Mail Wednesday #43 (Monday Edition)

Sunday, May 17th, 2009 Posted in Fan Mail, Jigsaw Jones | 2 Comments »


I spent time last night writing a post on a different topic, but then hit a snag that made it "unpublishable." So I decided to answer this overdue letter instead. That's right, a special Monday edition of Fan Mail Wednesday! Dear: ...

The Yellow Balloon: My Walmart Story

Friday, May 15th, 2009 Posted in Family | 4 Comments »


About once a year I find myself in Walmart. It's never a proud moment. But on this day I needed a copy of "Hotel California" by the Eagles, because my son Gavin was practicing the guitar solo. For a variety of ...

Fan Mail Wednesday #42

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009 Posted in Fan Mail, Jigsaw Jones, Six Innings | 1 Comment »


Here's an email that came over the wire . . . all the way from South Korea! Hi, James, how do you do? 안녕하세요? I'm a mom living in Korea (South) with a 4th grade son (Jisuk ) and a 6th grade ...

One Year of Bloggy Goodness

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009 Posted in Interviews & Appreciations, Six Innings | 6 Comments »


A year ago today, I made my first post on this blog. I've somehow managed 248 posts over that period, all of them a laugh riot. This site has had 23,272 visits, 57,560 pageviews at 2.47 pageviews per visit, and 16,111 ...