What Do You Say When You Receive Criticism?


I can’t remember the first time I started reading your books and since your series has continued for so long, I sometimes wonder if you fall into time issues. Do you have a specific year in mind when you wrote Almost Alice? I can tell it’s definitely past the late 90s but Alice’s life isn’t high-tech enough for me to think it takes place in the present. What do you say when you receive criticisms about Alice’s story? People have often said it is becoming outdated for today’s teenagers and Pamela’s plot in Almost Alice was tied up too easily. What is your opinion?

Phyllis replied:

I take criticism seriously but I don’t worry a lot about it.  Many times the comment is correct.  Alice probably isn’t as high-tech as many or most teenagers, and you’ll notice I don’t use current slang or dwell too much on fashion.  I’m simply much more concerned about emotional issues, relationships, the problems she faces in her family or at school.  Each book as I write it takes place today.  And since I hear from readers in big cities, in rural Wyoming, in Britain, Australia, Germany, Indonesia and many other countries, the stories probably ring true enough for most cultures and economic brackets.  Yes, Pamela’s plot was, fortunately for her, resolved, but Pamela has always been a small girl, and at the time of her pregnancy she was run down.  It’s very possible she would abort.  Not something to count on, however.

Posted on: May 4, 2009


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