Welcome!  OK, first some friendly, authorish rules:  ♦♦ I cannot reveal 39 Clues or Seven Wonders spoilers, no matter how beautifully you ask.  Also, I’m not able to read/evaluate stories or excerpts from novels, as I am maxed out from tour and new writing projects. ♦♦ All answers given below.  Oh, and if you do NOT want your message recorded here, just let me know.  OK, now that that’s out of the way, please click the “Add Guestbook Entry” link, just below

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JC Gabriel

Dear Mr. Lerangis,

Good day! I have read your book “The Colossus Rises” and am now in the middle of “Lost in Babylon”. To put it bluntly, I truly enjoyed the book and I really am looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

Putting the books aside, I do have some questions. How do you know that you have finished writing a book? Is it based on number of pages? When the arc is complete? Or just because you feel like it is already finished? Also, as an author, I’m sure that there are one or two times that you get stuck in writing your story. My question is, what do you often do (like activities or such) to get ideas for your book so that you can continue writing it? In the series “The Seven Wonders”, who does the illustration? Do you draw those pictures?

I was informed that Jack and Aly never became a couple until the end, why? I really thought there was a thing between them so I rooted for them to be together. I also loved how you named the four of them as soldier sailor, tinker, and tailor. It was such an imaginative way of naming them based on their abilities.

Anyway, thank you for reading my mail. I am hoping to that you would write a reply if you have time.

Friday, March 24, 2017 at 08:50:00 AM
Peter replied

Hi, JC! Thanks so much for that perceptive message, and for all your kind words.  I’m really happy you’re enjoying COLOSSUS and BABYLON.  And I’ll do my best to answer your questions. 

I plan out most of my books in advance, with an outline that’s fifteen or so single-spaced pages.  I don’t always follow the outline strictly.  In fact, I change it quite a lot as I get along.  But having an idea of where the story goes, and where it ends, helps me a lot.  It’s always fun when I know I’m coming close to the end.  The ideas come so fast that my fingers can barely keep up.  Sometimes I’ll write 30 or 40 pages in that last day as I’m barreling to a close.

When I get stuck (which is often), I do a bunch of different things.  Sometimes I take long walks in nature and try to think out my plot problems.  I once thought up an entire short story in one walk.  Or I take my laptop to another venue, like a coffee shop, just for a change of scenery from my office.  Or I go for a long run, not to think but to clear my mind.  Other times I just go into the kitchen and eat myself silly.  But mostly I sit in front of my screen, moan, feel frustrated, convince myself that I’ll never write another coherent word again, fall asleep, and just stay there stubbornly until something good comes up.

I don’t do the illustrations for The Seven Wonders, thank goodness.  I’m a pretty terrible artist.  The cover artist, Torstein Norstrand, comes up with the ideas himself.  But I give instructions for the interior artist, Joe Merkel, for what I’d like him to do.

Hmmm, not sure I can answer the question about Jack and Aly before you finish reading the books!   😎


My students and I absolutely LOVE your books. In effort of working smarter not harder, I was wondering if you have any lessons, questions, and/or activities that align with your Spy X series that you would be willing to share?


Wednesday, March 22, 2017 at 08:24:50 PM
Peter replied

Hello, Ms. Lambert!  You must be an excellent teacher.  My first reaction was to give you the quickest answer, which is that the SPY X series has been out of print so long that all the enrichment material has long been taken down from the Scholastic site.  But your words “working smarter” inspired me to dig into the Wayback Machine, where lo and behold I found the long-defunct SPY X site that Scholastic had hosted once upon a time.  And it actually works.  So, no lesson plans that I can see, but definitely some fun spy-related activities, right here through this link.  Hope this helps!  And thanks for your kind words about my books.  My best regards to your students.  They rock, and so do you!

A well wisher

<p>Hi Peter, hope you're doing well :)</p>
<p>I remember you answering a question way back when about the Kanra poodles, though I can't seem to find the entry anymore. So I will re-ask and add my own question on the subject.</p>
<p>What are the poodles' names and what was their realationship like with Ian and Natalie? Did they spend a lot of time with the poodles growing up, did this change after coming home from the clue hunt/Vesper situation? Does Ian visit them every so often now that his sister has passed on? </p>
<p>I'm not sure the answers you come up with would be considered canon, and if not, it would be cool to hear - or I suppose read - your headcanons. I have so many questions on this, but these will do for now, hehe</p>
<p>Thank you!</p>

Wednesday, February 01, 2017 at 08:10:17 PM
Peter replied

I can’t find that entry either! I think one of the poodles may have run away with it. And they’re homing, which means they may have brought the info back to the Kabras. It may have been the diabolical work of Asquith. Or maybe Phluph. Although it does sounds like something CumuloNimbo might do. Actually, I don’t know any of the poodle names. No idea. And as for Ian’s sister, Natalie … wait.  Passed away???  Clearly I have been away too long.   😥


is the seven wonders series over?

Monday, January 23, 2017 at 02:36:44 AM
Peter replied

Yes, after five books, four Journals, and three-plus years, it finally is!



So I was wondering, how does one develop a character? All the greatest stories ever written have amazing, striking characters. It's what makes the story interesting. Like my favorite anime, Assassination Classroom, had so many characters, but each had such a note-worthy personality that you could remember all of them.

But I kind of suck at creating characters. All of them are either really bland or too close to a different character from an actual story. How did you create your characters.

Also, what was with the lack of Jack and Aly romance moments. You made it a thing, but it never came true. My Jaly and Mass (don't judge) fanfics were suffering.

Anyway, thank-you!

Monday, January 02, 2017 at 02:27:59 AM
Peter replied

That’s a great question. There are a bunch of different ways to create a character. Your characters must be like real people to your readers. The emotions, reactions, decisions, etc., must feel true. The only way we know emotional truth is to feel it. So your characters, all of them, should start with you. They should start with the things YOU know and feel. Every one of those characters, good and bad, needs to have a piece of you inside. What makes you angry, furious, amused, ecstatic, snobby, greedy, generous, brave, afraid? Take those traits you know so well and and put them in your characters. But only some. Leave some out and make each character skew to a different angle of your own personality. Think about other people, people you know really well. Round out your characters with some personality and physical traits of those people. Throw these characters into your plot and see how they react. In acting class, teachers tell you that a good actor is one who makes a real reaction to an artificial situation. Your characters are this way too. Your plot, in a sense, is artificial; you’re making it up. When you put your characters into it they MUST react in a way that’s true to themselves. They can (and often do) force you to change your plot. They will refuse to do something you envisioned them doing back when you first devised your plot. And that’s OK. Sometimes the best parts of a book happen this way. Good characters will make the plot come alive, not necessarily the other way around.

Btw, I love the idea of Jaly and Mass fanfics!


Hello! I was writing to ask you write more Seven Wonders books. I LOVE your books and they tie with my other favorite book series, Percy Jackson. Rick Riordan is currently writing new books but there will be no new Seven Wonders books! This is a problem for me. To summarize, please write more Seven Wonders books!


Saturday, December 31, 2016 at 03:50:47 AM
Peter replied
Hi, Mia! Well, I’m thrilled you enjoyed the Seven Wonders series. Don’t worry, I haven’t given up writing books. Like Rick, I’m moving on to some other ideas I’ve been dying to write about. I have a new series called MAX TILT coming out in a few months, and another trilogy launching about six months after that. Not 100% sure what it will be called yet, but we’re leaning toward THROWBACK.


I read Spy X: The code around 10 years ago and absolutely loved it. However, neither my school's library nor the public library carried the sequels. I recently came across one of your books at a store, which reminded me of the series and I have been looking for them ever since. I haven't been able to locate a second hand dealer for them(I live in India) and was wondering if there was ebook version that I could read? I really want to know how the story continued.


Thursday, December 15, 2016 at 06:31:07 PM
Peter replied

Hello, Malvika! The Spy X series has four books in total, but they have been out of print for a number of years. I’m afraid the only way to get copies of them would be through a used-book seller. So sorry not to have better news. Thank you for the kind words and I do hope you find them!



Sunday, November 20, 2016 at 10:25:20 AM
Peter replied
Hi back!

Hi Peter,

You were at my school today and you said you will be in glorietta but I forgot which day


Thursday, November 17, 2016 at 12:28:06 PM
Peter replied
Hi, Michael! This Saturday, November 19, at 2:00 PM!

Hi there! My name is Erin, and I was one of the people at ICA. I loved your performance - you were so funny! I plant be an author when I grow up, so I'm just asking: what do you think is the best genre for a beginner?

My friend also wanted to ask you a question, but she was too shy. So, I'm here to ask it for her.

She was saying how the beginning and the end seem to be easiest for her, and she's asking how you can continue the 'middle' part of the story, since she can't really think of what the characters should do. (We writ some stories in our freetime)

I don't know how you can answer that, but I hope you can give her an idea!

Thank you so much!

Thursday, November 17, 2016 at 12:02:11 PM
Peter replied
Hi, Erin! The best genre is one that makes you feel excited about writing. For me when I was young, it was science fiction. But everyone's different, so pick the genre you like to read. As for middles of a book, I think it’s amazing that your friend is good at beginning and endings. Those are the hard parts for me. Your main character has to grow in your story. Give her (or him) something to want more than anything else. And give your other characters something to want, too. Someone is going to want something the other character won’t give (or can’t give). All stories come alive when you know what your characters want, and when they go about trying to get those things. Try to make the stakes very high, so that failure has high consequences. If you do this for all your characters and try to see the world through their eyes, you should come up with ideas for the middle of your story.

Peter it's me the guy at the back of the line in Xavier school and I really wanted to ask you a question but my question was supposed to be can you add my name in one of your books that would be really cool if you would and also I love your 39 clues books

Thursday, November 17, 2016 at 11:58:34 AM
Peter replied
Hi, Brent! Well, hmmmm, I will have to consider that! Thanks for your kind words. I had a great time at Xavier!
Juliana Gono

Hi Peter!!!!

I'm that girl from ICA, the school you visited in the Philippines, who hugged you for a picture! Hahahaahaha! I can totally say that moment is the highlight of my life. I just want to thank you for giving that amazing and interesting talk! I've never had a happier birthday than this one! Thank you so much!

Thursday, November 17, 2016 at 10:38:16 AM
Peter replied

Hi, Juliana! I’m so happy to read this. I had a wonderful time visiting ICA and am very glad to have contributed something positive to your birthday! May you have many, many many more!


Are you gonna have a Seven Wonders movie series ?

Thursday, November 17, 2016 at 07:38:47 AM
Peter replied
I hope so, but we have to see if any Hollywood movie company is interested. So far no concrete plans, but who knows?

<p>Did ben remember ariela in the end of the book "Somebody, Please Tell Me Who I Am" i just finished the book and am still confused</p>

Wednesday, November 16, 2016 at 12:57:43 AM
Peter replied

Hi, Billy.  Sorry you were confused.  Yes, he did recognize her.

Ilina Sen

Hi Peter,

You came to my school and after hearing you talk I had a question: What happened to the other six wonders of the world? You mentioned that only one survived.

Ilina Sen

Monday, November 14, 2016 at 08:21:17 AM
Peter replied

Hi, Ilina!  The other six Wonders were destroyed mostly because of age, attacks, and earthquakes (some with combinations of all three).  I really enjoyed visiting UWCSEA!  My best to all my new friends there.


1. What is your favorite color

2. Since when did you become and athor ,,,,/.... spelling mistake sorry

3. Can you visit our school again Frank.j dugan elementary shool thank you 🙂

4. um write me?

Tuesday, November 08, 2016 at 12:37:44 AM
Peter replied

Hi, Sophia! I loved visiting your school, and I hope to be invited back someday. OK, to your questions: my favorite color is blue, and I became a writer thirty years ago.  Not when dinosaurs roamed the earth, but it sure feels like that long ago!

Courtney Bolter

<p>Hello peter,<br /> You came to our school and after hearing you I had a question. Are u planning on makeing another book series in the near future? Are you going to go on a book tour for the seven wonders series?</p>

Saturday, November 05, 2016 at 12:07:11 PM
Peter replied

Hi, Courtney!  Let me answer your questions in reverse order:

I have already actually done six tours for the Seven Wonders series, two tours for the first book and one each for the other four books.  So unfortunately, that’s it for me.  But that leads to answer to the next question, which is ...

Yes, I am working on another series, and I’ll be going on tour for that one in 2017!

Zachary R

Peter Lerangis, how did you decide you wanted to become an author? How old were you when you decided this?
Thank you for visiting Frank J. Dugan Elementary School!!!

Thursday, November 03, 2016 at 10:36:32 PM
Peter replied

Hi, Zachary!  I think I first decided to be an author when I was maybe 12 or so.  On one hot summer night I was reading a story called “To Build a Fire,” by Jack London — a survival tale set in the Arctic — and it was so vivid that I started shivering with cold in 90 degree heat!  I was amazed that this author could practically change my body chemistry, just with words!  I began thinking I wanted to do THAT to other people someday — make them feel things deeply with the power of writing.


sorry I for got to ask you your parents name ,i know it is personal but I need it for this go with all the other info for this class work, thank you

Wednesday, November 02, 2016 at 10:01:04 PM
Peter replied

Nicholas and Mary.


<p>my child is doing a biography in her 5 grade class on you. we need to know what elementary school and high school you went to. what hardships did you suffer to be come a powerful writer. please soon need for school, thank you so much she really likes your work</p>

Wednesday, November 02, 2016 at 09:45:02 PM
Peter replied

Hello, and thanks for the kind words!  I’m honored to be the subject of your daughter’s report.  I went to Bayview Avenue Elementary School and Freeport High School.  Your daughter is in luck, because I’ve written about my writing life and given quite a few video interviews, all of which are public and searchable.  Finding these would be a perfect teaching/learning exercise for a school report.  Best of luck!