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

Archive for the ‘Along Came Spider’ Category

Photo: A Couple of Guys I Met

Friday, March 30th, 2012 Posted in Along Came Spider | No Comments »


A wonderful, dedicated teacher took time off from her afternoon to bring these two students to my signing at Pooh's Corner, a bookstore in Grand Rapids, Michigan. All those got was my signature and a few friendly words. But I got this ...

Photo from a Michigan Classroom

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012 Posted in Along Came Spider, School Visits | 1 Comment »


I love looking at these faces. This class, along with every other 4th-grade classroom in Grand Rapids, Michigan, received free copies of my book, Along Came Spider, as part of their "One City, One Book" program. Then they entered a contest ...

Watch This . . . JP on TV (A Star Is Born)

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012 Posted in Along Came Spider, Around the Web, Fun Clips | 3 Comments »


On Monday, I appeared on a local morning televison show in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Click here to see me in all my telegenic glory. I'm posting this, just barely, from the antiquated computer in my hotel in downtown Grand Rapids, birthplace of Amway ...

The Hidden Lives of Middle Schoolers

Thursday, December 15th, 2011 Posted in Along Came Spider, Interviews & Appreciations, the writing process | No Comments »


I've been enjoying Linda Perlstein's wonderful book, Not Much Just Chillin': The Hidden Lives of Middle Schoolers, which you might recall from a previous post, here. I'm not really interested in conjuring up a new review for it, since most ...

Writing Process: Research to Feed Your Head

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011 Posted in Along Came Spider, the writing process | No Comments »


"Talent must be stimulated by facts and ideas." -- Robert McKee, Story For the most part, I don't talk about writing in global terms. It's an individual process, and it's not like I think I'm a master. I mean, sure, I've been ...

Fan Mail Wednesday #124 (School Visits 101, Travel Required)

Thursday, September 15th, 2011 Posted in Along Came Spider, Fan Mail, School Visits | 1 Comment »


This isn't the sort of letter I normally share, but boy is it ever relevant to my life lately. This is the time of year when I field many inquiries about my availability for school visits. For educators who'd like help ...

Advice for Children’s Book Writers

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011 Posted in Along Came Spider, the writing process | No Comments »


I published my first children’s book in 1986, back when the Mets won their last World Series. So from time to time, perfect strangers will assume that I know my way around the block. They ask for directions, “Do you ...

Fan Mail Wednesday #96

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010 Posted in Along Came Spider, Fan Mail, Justin Fisher Declares War!, bullying | No Comments »


Dear Mr. Preller, My son bought your Along Came Spider book at the school bookfair. At first I thought he chose it for the cover art, but he assured me he had read the back and the story sounded appealing. As ...

“One of my go-to funny books for boys.”

Sunday, October 10th, 2010 Posted in Along Came Spider, Justin Fisher Declares War! | No Comments »


Thought I'd share a few reviews for my middle grade novel (grades 3-5), Justin Fisher Declares War! Thanks to anyone who picks up this book and gives it a try. When I first wrote it, I thought of Justin as a ...

Does an Author Have Any Say on a Book Cover?

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010 Posted in Along Came Spider, Justin Fisher Declares War! | 3 Comments »


People frequently ask me, "Do you have any say over a book cover?" Big question, and the answers vary depending upon the clout of the author and the disposition of the publisher. Here's the new paperback cover for Along Came Spider (May, ...