Tuesday, May 8, 2018

J.S. Puller Author Interview

Photo Content from J.S. Puller

J. S. Puller a playwright and debut author from the Windy City, Chicago. She has a master's degree in elementary education and a bachelor's degree in theatre from Northwestern University. She is an award-winning member of the American Alliance for Theatre and Education and is actively involved in researching the social-emotional benefits of arts education with the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research. When not writing, she can usually be found in the theatre. Her play, WOMEN WHO WEAVE, was published by Playscripts, Inc.


Why is storytelling so important for all of us?
It’s funny you should ask that, because storytelling was actually the topic of my master’s thesis. And it all boiled down to a single truth that I discovered in the process of my literature review: While human beings have many tongues, we only have one language and that language is story. It exists in every culture and every historical period. Every religion. Every social group. Storytelling is so important for us all because it’s how we communicate with one another, across those invisible lines and further demonstrate just how invisible they are.

Was there a defining moment during your youth when you realized you wanted to be a writer?
I don’t know that there was one defining moment, but I definitely started writing my first series in sixth grade. It was called “Spinoff” and it was a knockoff of Star Trek: Voyager.

What is your happiest childhood memory?
I played the Jester in my junior high production of Once Upon A Mattress. It was a really exciting moment for me when I saw the cast list. It was the first (and only time) I ever got the one role I absolutely wanted in a play.

What was the most memorable toy you played with from when you were little?
Probably my Princess Jasmine action figure. I was an avid collector of action figures and Princess Jasmine was my favorite of the collection. In truth, I had four different Jasmines. The one in the blue outfit was my all-time favorite.

What was your favorite subject when you were in school and why?
Definitely theatre. I grew up living and breathing theatre, singing show tunes non-stop, putting on my own plays. When I finally got to take theatre in seventh grade, I was so excited I drove everyone around me crazy!

What was the greatest thing you learned at school?
Not everyone is going to like you for who you are. Those people probably aren’t worth your time.

In your new book; CAPTAIN SUPERLATIVE, can you tell my Book Nerd Kids Community a little about it and why they should read your novel?
CAPTAIN SUPERLATIVE is Don Quixote for young readers. It’s a story about how one person—who believes in what they’re doing—can change an entire school and community for the better. It proves that you really don’t have to fly to be a superhero, that there’s plenty you can do with your feet on the ground. And if that’s not reason enough, there’s also the fact that Janey’s father is pretty hilarious.

For those who are unfamiliar with Janey, how would you introduce her?
I think I would introduce the Janey at the beginning of the story as a representative of each and every one of us. She’s someone who hasn’t quite figured out who she is yet. And since everyone goes through that journey at some point in their lives, everyone can relate to her, at least on that level.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
Oh, I would introduce Janey’s father to Batman. I think he’d be thrilled. He definitely embodies all of my geeky fangirl tendencies.

You have the chance to give one piece of advice to your readers. What would it be?
I don’t really think of myself as a wise sage type. But I can quote my childhood role model. His name was Kermit. Kermit the Frog. And he said, “Life’s like a movie; write your own ending.” Which is what I plan to do every day of my life.

Name one thing you miss about being a kid.
Summer vacation. These days, when I go on a vacation, the world I left behind doesn’t stop, and I always end up coming back to piles and piles of work that are waiting for me.

What is your greatest adventure?
I don’t think I’ve had it yet…

Most memorable summer job?
I may be cheating a little since this is a job that started very, very late in the summer of 2007, running all the way to December. But it’s pretty memorable. I played the rear end of a camel in a play at the Piccolo Theatre. It was my first paying job after college. My parents were so proud.

Who was the last person you ate dinner with?

My role-playing friends! We always go out to eat after our games. Right now, we’re doing a live action role play (LARP) called Vampire: The Masquerade.

What do you usually think about right before falling asleep?
Usually vampires. See above.

What was your favorite book as a child and why?
THE GIVER. Not only did I think it was one of the most beautiful books I’d ever read, but I also had a wonderful experience learning it. We read it when I was in fifth grade and my teacher, Betty Grossman, was an incredible guide through the bizarre world of Jonas. It’s still my favorite book today.

Where can readers find you?

If I’m not at work or pretending to be a vampire, I can most likely be found at a theatre.

1. The Federation (see Gene Roddenberry’s incarnations of Star Trek)
2. Neverland
3. The Wizarding World (of Harry Potter)
4. Gotham City
5. White Wolf’s World of Darkness
6. Where ever the heck it is that The Muppet Show takes place (the same world as Sesame Street?)
7. The MCU, especially Wakanda and Asgard
8. Wonderland
9. Oz
10. The ones I make up? Do those count? I think they count.

"Have no fear, citizens! Captain Superlative is here to make all troubles disappear!"

Red mask, blue wig, silver swimsuit, rubber gloves, torn tights, high top sneakers and . . . a cape? Who would run through the halls of Deerwood Park Middle School dressed like this? And why?

Janey-quick to stay in the shadows-can't resist the urge to uncover the truth behind the mask. The answer pulls invisible Janey into the spotlight and leads her to an unexpected friendship with a superhero like no other. Fearless even in the face of school bully extraordinaire, Dagmar Hagen, no good deed is too small for the incomparable Captain Superlative and her new sidekick, Janey.

But superheroes hold secrets and Captain Superlative is no exception. When Janey unearths what's truly at stake, she's forced to face her own dark secrets and discover what it truly means to be a hero . . . and a friend.


“Supreme. Sensational. Special. SUPERLATIVE! This beautiful debut novel will make you laugh and cry and want to be a better person.” —Melissa de la Cruz, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Isle of the Lost

You can purchase Captain Superlative at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you DISNEY-HYPERION for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of Captain Superlative by J.S. Puller.


  1. "What were you doing the last time you really had a good laugh?" I can't remember my last big laugh. Probably watching a movie.

  2. I was joking around in exercise class.

  3. I was riding with my sister and fell out laughing!