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

Archive for February, 2012

Fan Mail Wednesday #140 (Monster Art Madness)

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012 Posted in Fan Mail, Jigsaw Jones | No Comments »


An eight-year-old named Jake sent me a nice, long letter about my book, Jigsaw Jones #11: The Case of the Marshmallow Monster. He included this fantastic drawing: As for the letter . . . I replied, in part: In real life, there was ...

Fan Mail Wednesday #139 (Bystander, Again)

Monday, February 27th, 2012 Posted in Bystander, Fan Mail, bullying | No Comments »


  I'm forwarding this out from the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Cherry Hill, NJ, on my 5th day of my 9-day barnstorming mission. So far, so great. Gotta run!     There's no point sharing my reply here. I just tried to be gracious ...

Fan Mail Wednesday #138 (Bystander)

Friday, February 24th, 2012 Posted in Bystander, Fan Mail, Uncategorized | No Comments »


Posting this from a hotel in Ohio . . . I replied: Dear ______: I know you wrote it a long time ago, and maybe you forget what you wrote, but I’m writing to thank you for your letter. It blew me away. I’m glad that ...

Fan Mail Wednesday #137 (A Response to BYSTANDER)

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012 Posted in Bystander, Fan Mail | No Comments »


I get incredible letters. It might be from a child who loved a picture book, or a boy who got turned on to reading through Jigsaw Jones, or a baseball nut who loved Six Innings. But more and more, I ...

Gavin & Piano & iPad: Teaching Himself the Main Theme from “The Simpsons”

Sunday, February 19th, 2012 Posted in Around the Web, Family | 1 Comment »


A couple of weeks back I heard Gavin at the piano, teaching himself the main theme to "The Simpsons." When I saw how he was doing it -- through Youtube, and with our iPad propped against the piano -- I ...

Advice for Young Writers

Friday, February 17th, 2012 Posted in Interviews & Appreciations, the writing process | No Comments »


"All the work necessary to learn how to write boils down to reading and writing." -- Scott Raab I've been paying my bills with writing since the mid 80's. I went freelance in 1990 and, at this point, have pretty much ...

Fan Mail Wednesday #136: Happy Dance

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012 Posted in Fan Mail, Fun Clips, Jigsaw Jones | 1 Comment »


Here's one I got from a second-grader -- Lauren in Kentucky -- via the miracle of the interwebs! Dear Mr. James Preller: How are you today? This year I’ve been reading your Jigsaw Jones Mystery books and I think you have been doing a ...

Quote of the Day: Jim Jarmusch, “Nothing Is Original”

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012 Posted in Around the Web | No Comments »


I appreciate the distinction made here between authenticity and originality. It makes all the difference. As a reminder, here's a scene from a movie I loved when it first came out, Jim Jarmusch's classic, "Down By Law," featuring Tom Waits and Roberto ...

Announcement: My Return to Series Publishing

Saturday, February 11th, 2012 Posted in Around the Web, the writing process | 1 Comment »


Publishers Weekly recently reported: Jean Feiwel of Feiwel and Friends has acquired an early-middle-grade series, called Shivers, by James Preller, author of the Jigsaw Jones series, and the recent novel Bystander. The first in the planned four-book series, which Feiwel calls ...

The Similarity Between Reading and Baseball

Monday, February 6th, 2012 Posted in Interviews & Appreciations, Six Innings | 2 Comments »


I have written exactly one piece of fan mail in my life, to the baseball writer, Roger Angell. I'm sorry, that tag does him a disservice; Angell is a writer, period, a great one, a crafter of sublime sentences, a ...