Fan Mail Wednesday: #6

Hey, it’s time for Fan Mail Wednesday! Amazing how that rolls around every week. When school is out, the fan mail tends to dry up, since these letters often stem from a classroom assignment. (My worst fear is realized: I’ve become homework.) But, lo!, here’s one!

Zachary from Pennsylvania writes:

Dear James P.,

Hi from PA. My name is Zachary. I am very pleased to be writing this letter to you. My favorite book that you wrote is Jigsaw Jones #20: The Case of the Race Against Time. I see your birthday is in February. My birthday is also in February. You’re 47, right?

Dear Zachary,

Yep, 47. (Big sigh, muffled sobs.)

But while we’re talking about The Race Against Time, I might as well tell you that I dedicated that book to my barber, Nikki, who often cuts my hair at Gregory’s Barbershop in my hometown of Delmar, New York. Growing up, my father used to cut our hair — and he was an insurance salesman, not an artist with the shears. But with seven kids, Dad had to save money somewhere. As it turns out, that “somewhere” was on the top of our heads! Brutal, I’m telling you. Some of the worst haircuts ever! I remember my older brothers absolutely freaking out when my father would pull out his rusty scissors and that old electric clipper. I can still hear that ominous buzzzz. He’d set us in a chair in front of the fish tank and systematically ruin our lives for weeks to come. The shame, the humiliation! Even so, I figure everybody has gotten a truly horrifying haircut somewhere along the line. I thought of those days when writing that book, especially when poor Jigsaw gets his haircut by a new guy named Vladimir. It was a real nightmare.

Thanks for writing!


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