Alice Blog

I Grew Up With Alice

Comment:

I wanted to thank you for your writing. I often talk to my friends about the most influential books we read growing up, and the other day, the Hatfords and the Malloys series came up. I remembered that you had written those books, and I of course was reminded of the Alice series. I first found Alice the Brave when I was around 10 or 11 years old. Many people tell you this, but I essentially grew up with Alice, beginning her story when I was in elementary school and reading the last book when I was in college. I looked to her for guidance.

Thank you so much for the stories you have given to your readers! They were so essential to much of my life.

 

Phyllis replied:

I so appreciate your writing to me.  I think in some ways, I grew up with her too–I relived some of the embarrassing things that happened to me, as well as other mistakes, and sometimes facing them again on paper, where they aren’t so threatening, takes some of the sting and embarrassment out of them.  Both of these series have a lot of humor.  The Alice books, of course, go far deeper, but sometimes we just need a laugh!

 

Posted on: April 18, 2017

Wonderful books

Comment:

I`m from germany. My two daughters Melissa 11 and Katharina 9 years old, love your books. I´m reading every evening!!! Thank you so much. Sorry for my horrible English.

Phyllis replied:

I think your English is fine, and I so appreciate your writing to tell me about your reading my books to your daughters.  The happiest part of my own childhood is of my parents reading aloud to us every night, long past the age when we learned to read ourselves.   They read with great expression and drama, and it was almost like being at the theater, to hear them read.

Posted on: April 13, 2017

I love your Alice books so much!!

Comment:

I love your books so much. I love Lester because he is always making me laugh and I love Alice, Pamela, and Elizebeth too. I can almost imagine them as my own friends. Thank you so much for writing the Alice series!!! I love them so much!!

 

Phyllis replied:

Those discussions between Alice and Lester were probably the  most fun of all to write.  I love Lester too, and when I go back and read some of those scenes, it makes me laugh out loud.

Posted on: April 12, 2017

The Entire Alice Collection

Comment:

How many books are in the collection?where can I buy them?

Phyllis replied:

There are 28 books in all, available in 3 boxed paperback sets–Alice in Elementary School,  in Middle School, and High School and Beyond.  (Check out Alice Series on my website.)   Any bookstore should be glad to order one set or all three of them for you.  I know that Barnes & Noble handles them as well as Amazon.

Posted on: April 11, 2017

The Agony of Alice

Comment:

I just finished re-reading The Agony of Alice a few minutes ago. I’m 25 years old and currently live in Silver Spring, so it really was a joy to revisit one of my favorite books from middle school while living in its setting!

I can’t really describe how much a character like Alice means to me. Like so many others, I see so much of my eleven-year-old self in her – she makes a brilliant “everygirl.” Also like Alice, I had an elementary school teacher who saw a gift of words in me and encouraged my writing. I still very much enjoy it to this day!

I guess I wanted to say thank you for creating such a wonderful voice in Alice McKinley. May every girl dying of embarrassment on the daily during their pre-teen years do so with as much humor and grace as Alice. Cheers!

 

Phyllis replied:

Yes, I can imagine that living in the same city as Alice makes everything that happens to her that much more intimate.  I guess that writing the book helped me get over some of the embarrassing things that happened to me growing up.  (The Tarzan episode, for example).  I’m sure you know that there are 28 books in the Alice series, taking her from 8 years old in Starting with Alice to Now I’ll Tell You Everything.)   Thanks so much for taking time to email me.

Posted on: April 11, 2017

Wish We Could Meet!

Comment:

 

Hey! This is going to sound so weird, but I grew up reading the Alice series, and I used to write to you very frequently as a young teen. You played the roll of a mother to me.  It would be such a dream come true to get to meet you in person and give you a hug for all you have given me over the years.

 

Phyllis replied:

And I wish I could give a hug to the many girls and women who have written to me about the Alice books.  It is such an honor to feel that I have helped you in any way.  Thank you so much for taking the time to tell me so.

 

 

Posted on: April 3, 2017

Did you sometimes doubt about your books?

Comment:

I am a sixteen year old girl from Germany and I started to read your Alice books when I was very little. For me it feels like I’ve grown up with Alice. She was always there for me when I had a bad day or felt sad because in this case I just started reading and suddenly felt so much better. I wanna thank you for creating all these great characters that I love so much, and I wanna ask you something.
I think your books are absolutely great- but did you sometimes doubt about them or thought, that a story you’re writing isn’t really good? I’m just asking because I am also trying to write books and I’m trying it for years now, I started writing stories when I was a child and since that it is my dream to become an author just as you are who inspires people and makes them happy. But every time I start writing a story, there are these doubts that it isn’t good enough and nobody will want to read it. I almost never finish a story.
But you wrote so many books and I’m just very interested if you ever fought with problems like that or maybe just have a tip about writing amazing books like the Alice books.
It would mean a lot to me if you answer.

Phyllis replied:

There is much, too much, that I could write about this, and not enough space.  I would recommend that you read two books of mine–How I Came to be a Writer, and The Craft of Writing the Novel.  The first book tells how I began publishing stories, then novels; the second book talks about all the things I think about before and during the writing.  Generally, I begin with a certain situation: an abused dog keeps running away from it’s owner, coming to me, and my parents insist I have to return it.  What do I do?  or  I’m a motherless girl, being raised by my dad and older brother, and I’m looking for a role model.  I’m desperately hoping to be assigned to the homeroom of the most beautiful teacher in school, but I get the one I most don’t want to get instead.  What do I do?   From this point on, I have to feel like an actress on stage:  I have to feel the part of every character in my story, from the most attractive to the villain, if there is one.  And I don’t start writing until I know how I want to begin, what the big climax will be, and how it’s going to end, plus a few of the big scenes or stepping stones along the way.  If you really feel the plot–goose bumpies if it’s scary, tearful if it’s sad–you will probably write in a way that will register with readers and make them keep reading to the end.  If I do feel that the writing is going flat, I stop, back up, read to the point where the writing started getting boring, delete the flat part, and take a break, waiting until I feel like going back to my book, and figuring what I would want to happen if I were the reader, or be afraid is going to happen next,  or would be surprised if it happened next, and then I’m inspired to keep at it.  Best of luck to you!

Posted on: February 26, 2017

Last Book

Comment:

I read your last book of the Alice series, and it made me cry- because Alice actually grows up- so quickly. Also, all her friends are different- I feel so sorry for them because now I realize that life is actually shorter than you think. Thanks for writing!!

Phyllis replied:

Well,  our own lives last longer than 517 pages.  But I wanted to answer the questions that fans most ask about Alice’s future, and that is the way I see it.    Her friends are all choosing things they want to do in life, the person they most want to be with, so it’s not surprising that they are individuals.  But remember what a preacher said in one of the many weddings?   “Remember that in every groom, there is a little boy; and in every bride, there is a little girl.”  Or something like that.  There is still a lot of real Pamela left in her, the same with Elizabeth and Gwen.   Life is short, that’s certain, but all of us have a chance to make it meaningful  in our own way.

Posted on: February 25, 2017

A Second Series?

Comment:

Maybe you could make a second series of books about Pamela or Elizabeth’s daughter or son or something like that. That would be so cool. Do you think you could send me an autograph?? That would be awesome, because the Alice series are one of my favorite book series.

 

Phyllis replied:

I really don’t want to start another series about anyone, though I’d never say never.   When you begin a series, you are committed to the next book and the next, and there are so many different kinds of books I’d like to do.  After I do a humorous book I may want to write a mystery…or a novel for adults…or a chapter book for second-graders…or an adventure story.  I did enjoy writing the Shiloh books very much, as well as the series that begins with The Boys Start the War and The Girls Get even.  I can’t send you an autograph unless I know your home address.  Your address will never appear on this page, however.  Readers’ names and addresses are always private with me.

Posted on: February 9, 2017

I LOVE ALICE

Comment:

I love Alice. Most of the books my sister and I read over and over again. I feel like Alice is a real character.
Can there be a movie like for most of the Alice books????
Pllllleeeeaaasssseee!!!!!!

 

Phyllis replied:

Perhaps you  know that there is one movie out, Alice upside Down, which is based very loosely on “The Agony of  Alice.”  You can see it on DVD.   While I thought that the girl playing Alice was very good, as well as the actress playing Mrs. Plotkin, some of the other actors were so different from the characters in the book that it was hard to identify with them.  People who did not know the Alice books, however, liked it very much.  I have had no word about any other  Alice movies in the making, but it often takes years before movies are made, based on books.  I’m delighted that you and your sister enjoy the series so much.

Posted on: February 9, 2017

 

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