Author: James Preller
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Price (Hardcover): $15.99
Publication Date: August 2017
ISBN (Hardcover): 9781250110183
Tag Archive for R.W. Alley
Author: James Preller
Okay, I loved this one from Abby for several reasons, including the sentence: “I wish I had all the books but I don’t.”
But it was this drawing that killed me:
Here’s the rest of Abby’s letter:
Thank you for your kind letter. I am especially grateful for the drawing of Jigsaw Jones that you enclosed.
I taped it to my wall to help remind me why I write those books –- for kids like you.
As a reader, I love libraries. There are so many books, and all of them are free. Do you have your own library card? I think it’s a good idea. Hopefully you can find more “Jigsaw Jones” books that way. Just hop in your car and drive to the . . .
Or, wait, maybe you don’t own a car? Maybe you don’t even drive! In which case: DON’T DRIVE TO THE LIBRARY! That would be crazy and dangerous. Maybe ask a parent.
I have a new Jigsaw Jones book coming out this August, titled The Case from Outer Space. I’m very happy with it. By November, 8 titles will be back in print.
Since you are obviously an artist, here’s a special “sneak peek” of a couple of illustrations by R. W. Alley from the book.
Maybe if you keep drawing, we can team up for our own book someday! We can call it, THE DAY ABBY DROVE TO THE LIBRARY AND RAN OVER THE HYDRANGEA. Best-seller, I can feel it.
I’ve written many books. The only other series I wrote is titled “Scary Tales.” Maybe you can wait a little bit on those — unless you are absolutely fearless!
I got a little absurd with my reply to this one. Poor Hannah.
Hey, it happens!
At least I’m not a robot spitting out form letters.
I took two silly pills and replied:
I am going to try my best not to call you “Hannah Banana.” You’ve probably heard that a lot from other people, and I guess you might be sick of it by now.
It rhymes. Fine, okay, but people need to get over it. At a certain point, a serious person –- such as yourself – can’t go around being called “Hannah Banana.”
So I’m saying to you, I respect that. I will not call you “Hannah Banana.” Or hardly ever.
You asked six questions:
1) I had a dream that I wanted to write books. I felt I had something inside of me that had to get out: ink spilled on white paper.
2) I started thinking about a character, a boy, with a huge imagination. In one scene, he pretended to be a detective. The rest is history. 41 books in all!
3) No, I’ve never been to Madison. But I’d love to someday.
4) I don’t have a favorite book, but I find that I’m usually most excited about my newest book. In this case: The Courage Test (grades 4-7). I have a new Jigsaw Jones coming out, The Case from Outer Space, and I love how it turned it. Very funny. Look for it this summer.
5) I have a dog, Daisy, she’s a golden doodle; and two cats, Midnight and Frozone. They are both black. One is fat, the other not so much.
6) I loved college. The freedom! The books! The fun!
Thanks for your letter, Hannah Banana! Oops!
When we write, sometimes we reach for something we can’t quite express. In this case, a sense of wonder in the great big world.
It’s the trying that counts.
This illustration is by R.W. Alley from the upcoming “Jigsaw Jones” book, The Case from Outer Space. It’s the concluding image from the book, placed on second-to-last page.
I had the opportunity to review the sketches before R.W. went to finals. He does such an exceptional job, full of care and warmth, I don’t ever say too much. In this instance, I had only one change to suggest.
Here’s the initial sketch for that final scene:
I asked Bob if he’d consider making them smaller. Pulling way back. I wanted to see Jigsaw, his father and grandmother, together under the stars, small in the great wide world.
The book concludes:
After a while, we headed to the car.
My father led the way. He took the flashlight.
I walked with Grams.
She held my elbow.
We went slowly.
“Careful,” I said.
And together we headed back.
I don’t think I ever did that before, stringing together so many one-line paragraphs. It seemed to fit the mood I was searching for.
I don’t know if I completely hit what I was reaching for in this scene, but I do know that Bob’s illustration will help bring readers a long way toward that goal. It’s nice for an author to have someone to lean on.
One other note. My mother is 90 years old. There’s a bit of her and me in that scene, when Grams takes him by the elbow, fearful of falling.
Today I’m grateful for this book, for Bob Alley, for my mother, and for our smallness in this great big world.
It’s a good thing, right? Just to be reminded of that fact. Our smallness.
This site, featuring images from the Hubble Space Telescope, does that for me. A place to visit every now and then. A reminder of our smallness, yes, but also our connection to the deepest, greatest mysteries.
Merry Christmas, folks. Or happy holidays. Or however you wish to express your wonder, your joy, your sense of beauty, your love.
FOR STOPPING BY.
First of all, wow, this is letter number 234 that I’ve shared on this blog. I started this feature late in 2008, I think. I don’t put every letter on the blog. These represent only a small sample. Here at James Preller Dot Com, we share only the freshest, the funniest, the best. This one is from Vivien. She qualifies!
There are different scenes in each Jigsaw Jones book that I enjoy. A line that’s funny, a clue that might be particularly ingenious, or a moment of real heart. And I suppose there’s a few books with which I’ll never feel satisfied.