Here we go, folks: “Fan Mail Wednesday!” This letter begins with an inadvertent salutation — and a cool statement of purpose.
Or should I call you Shirley?
What do you mean addressing this to “Dear Ms. Preller”?
That’s Mr. Preller to you!
Ha-ha. I thought that was a funny mistake in your letter. At least, I hope it was a mistake. I don’t have anything against girls — I like girls, I do! — it’s just that, well, I’m a boy. Or an ex-boy. Now I’m an old geezer with gray whiskers growing out of his chinny-chin-chin. But in my head, I’m eight years old.
I loved the first line of your letter. “I am going to ask you some stuff.” You got right to the point. No messing around with chit-chat.
I actually did enjoy writing this book, thanks for asking. It was a fun mystery, because it combined “slightly spooky” with “very silly.” As for when it was written, all you have to do is look at THE PAGE THAT NO ONE ON THE PLANET EVER READS.
Which page is that? It’s called the copyright page. In this case, it’s directly opposite the “Contents” page. It has the author’s dedication, followed by a bunch of legal mumbo-jumbo in tiny type, including the book’s ISBN. Below that, you’ll find this:
Text copyright, © 2004 by James Preller.
There it is, the answer to your question. I wrote that book ten years ago. Time flies!
The tree house office is actually in Jigsaw’s backyard. In the summer, he works out there, because he loves it. He must like the nebulous heights. In the winter, he moves his office into the basement, next to the washing machine. Mila is Jigsaw’s partner. I think of her as the brains of the operation, while Jigsaw is the one with the unstoppable spirit. He never gives up. Together, they make a great team.
Oh yes, I’m glad you mentioned the illustrations in this book. They were done by a terrific guy who lives in England named Jamie Smith. We’ve never met, but we have exchanged a few emails over the years. I love his work — and I even have a few of his original pieces hanging in my office, nicely framed.
Take care. I hope you don’t mind a little good-natured kidding!
“Ms” James Preller
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