Tag Archive for James Preller’s first book

Bad Decisions Make Good Stories

Detail from self-published book, age 5-6, by yours truly, assisted by my brother Neal.

 

Bad decisions make good stories.

It’s something I know now, as a published author long in the tooth, but I understood it even when I was a kid, drawing my first books, telling the words to any sibling who’d transcribe them for me. I could draw, just didn’t yet have the ability to write the words.

The art is taken from a book I made as a young boy, miraculously stored safely away in the attic by my mother. You see, long before I got my current gig, I used to make books and sell them to my friends and neighbors.

Anyway, here’s another detail to that same page. We’ll call it, “Tarzan’s Bad Idea.”

If you can’t read my brother Neal’s handwriting: “I had better go down and fight the lion.”

When I show this story to kindergartners, I’ll sometimes mention that if I were Tarzan, I’d be like, “Okay, gee. I’m going to stay up in this tree until that lion goes away.”

We all agree that would make a crummy book!