Fan Mail Wednesday #114: A Colorful Choice of Words

NOTE: Apologies for the type-size weirdness of my reply. I don’t have the patience to try to fix it now.

Hi James Preller!

I am a fan of your books! My class wrote you. I live in Richmond Hill, Ontario and my name is Paige. I go to Red Maple Public School and I am 7 years old. I bring home Jigsaw Jones books for homework and my teacher even reads Jigsaw Jones books my whole class. How many Jigsaw Jones books have you made? Where do you live? I am even making a Jigsaw Jones mystery story for author day in class. My Jigsaw Jones story  is called The Case Of The Double Jigsaw. Why did you make Jigsaw’s real name Theodore but he didn’t like his name so he asked people to call him Jigsaw? I know he likes jigsaw puzzles. The very first Jigsaw Jones story I read was The Case of the Glow and the Dark Ghost. What is your favourite Jigsaw Jones book. Please write back.

Love, Paige

I replied:

Dear Paige,

As a writer, of course, I love your name — Paige. So it’s only natural that you’d grow up to be a reader.

To answer your questions:

* There are 40 Jigsaw Jones books in all, but some go in and out of print. Collecting them all is a real challenge!

* I live in Delmar, NY.

* I knew that most parents would not name their son “Jigsaw” — it had to be a nickname, and I needed for Jigsaw to prefer his nickname over his birth name. So I also gave him a birth name, a name that I did not particularly like. Thus, Theodore. My apologies to all the Theodores in the world. It’s not personal, guys.

* Tough question, because I don’t really have a single favorite. For the mystery, I like The Case of the Buried Treasure and The Case of the Haunted Scarecrow. The clues fell into place in a nice way. For the setting, I like the camping trip in The Case of the Marshmallow Monster. For clients, I love Bigs Maloney in The Case of the Great Sled Race, Reginald Pinkerton Armitage III in The Case of the Golden Key, and Sally Ann Simms in The Stinky Science Project. I guess there are things that I love, and things that I don’t love, about each book. I’ve never written a perfect one yet!

Thanks for your COLORFUL query!
P.S. This might be my favorite illustration from the series, because it says so much about Jigsaw. It was drawn by R.W. Alley for The Case of the Christmas Snowman.

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