Alice Blog

How did you come to write about Alice and her experiences?


Hi there, I’m currently a “writers on writing” for my grade 12 writers craft class and was so excited to be able to choose you as my author for this assignment! I’ve pretty much gone my entire high school life reading th Alice series all at the same time frame as Alice (when she was in grade 10, I was in grade 10 reading the book, etc) and the books have in a way, helped me get through my high school experience. I’ve genuinely loved reading your Alice books and couldn’t imagine my high school years without them. So how did you come to write about Alice and her experiences? Where did you get your ideas from for every age and grade she went into? Were they based on personal experiences? And do you have any regrets or things you wish you did differently when writing the Alice books! I never used to like reading until I encountered the Alice series in grade 9. The books are so relatable and I’m glad I got the chance to read them all.

Phyllis replied:

I had only intended to write one book.  I guess I was thinking about my own mother–how much I loved her, but that I also looked for other role models.  Teachers were often such models: I liked the way one teacher looked, so wanted to look like her.  Liked the way another teacher laughed, so added that to my list.  I admired a neighbor woman for the casual way she dressed….   Some women, of course, were added to my don’t be like her list.  But after the first book came out, The Agony of Alice, I received so many letters from girls loving the book, and reviews that said, Alice’s many fans will await her further adventures, and I said, Whaaat?   So I discussed making a series, and told my editor I would do it as long as I could make Alice a little older in each book.  I didn’t want to get stuck in a perpetual sit-com, and that I would only write one book a year.  I wanted to be able to write other books as well.  Finally it turned out that I would write one book a year, but it would take three books for each year of Alice’s life, so I could go into more depth.  At some point, hearing that very young children were reading the Alice books written for more mature girls, I wrote three prequels to hold them off for awhile.  And decided that the very last book, the 28th book in the series, would take Alice from age 18 to 60.  I think I was able to do everything I intended, but I do miss writing about her, especially those conversations between her and Lester.  They always made me laugh out loud.  And I always cried when I wrote the sad parts.

Posted on: March 21, 2018

Thank You


I randomly thought about you and the Alice series today. I used to read the books all the time as a pre-teen/teen (I’m 26 now). I remember asking you questions on your site when I was younger and am really grateful you took time to answer them. Thank you so much.


Phyllis replied:

I’m glad the books were that meaningful to you.  In return, I’m grateful for all the readers who wrote to me about the books, guys included.  Also dads and moms, who read the books aloud with their teens and talked about them afterwards.  I learned a lot from you as well–what was important to you, what bothered you, what made you sad, and all the embarrassing things that happened to you.  I cringed along with you, because I was champion of embarrassing things.




Posted on: March 7, 2018

Found My Patrick


Thank you so much for your wonderful novels. The “Alice” books were precious to me while I was growing up; Alice was more real to me than any other book character, and I certainly learned about life through her eyes. Now I’m an adult, and I’m happily in love with a guy I’ve been with for the past four years. Yesterday, I looked at him and realized something: he’s exactly like Patrick! From the red hair to the musical talent to the good manners and extremely calm disposition…I may have subconsciously sought out the guy I’d read about in your books. I got a bit of a laugh thinking about how your books may have guided my life’s course even more than I ever thought. So, do you have any advice for somebody dating a real-life Patrick? And which fork do I use when I eat dinner with his family?!

Thank you again for your work; your talent and your heart are truly incredible.
With so much appreciation,
Phyllis replied:

Obviously, you are doing just fine, and need no help from me!   It was so lovely hearing from you, and I wish you and your guy much happiness.  Books do influence us in our lives; they’ve certainly influenced mine.

Posted on: March 3, 2018

Alice–I was crying like crazy

I have been reading to alice series since I was about 9 years old, I have always been a big reader and have also enjoyed books but how I felt with the alice series was something I can’t even put to words,(does that seem strange) I am now 13 years old and I have been reading your books for awhile, I didn’t read them in order and had just read a couple. It was just something to entertain me when I was bored at first then I started to really like them. The first book in the series I read was “Outrageous Alice”, I read it 3 times in a row and then I found more of the books, then soon I searched for the first few books and I started to read the whole series properly. So just about 10 mins ago I had just finished reading,”Now I’ll Tell You Everything”, and I was crying like crazy, with Alice’s dad died, and Aunt Sally( How I loved aunt Sally) and Patrick’s parents dying and more sad deaths. I just felt like turning into a big ball and do nothing else but that stare at the wall.I don’t want to say that i’m just like Alice and that I feel the same connections with her but I sure can’t say I have her curiosity either, she is for sure way!!! braver than I am, I mean I am not shy I am able to speak my mind but I am sooo not comfortable saying half of the things she thinks and says that’s for sure. Okay, well I hate to drag on I bet you have much better things to be doing right now like maybe possibly writing a new amazing lovable book series (wink, wink) well i guess that’s all i wanted to say that your books have really made me laugh, cry, and think about things more than i ever imagined thank you for giving me that amazing memorable life experience, you have really gave a incredible gift to the world by writing these books, I hope you always remember that, I sure will.

(P.S. okay so I guess i have one thing in common with Alice, when someone tells me to forget something I will remember it for the rest of my life.)


Phyllis replied:

Thank you so much for your email.  You know, I cried too when I wrote some of the scenes in the Alice books.  In fact, there are a few paragraphs I’ve tried to read aloud in public when I’m speaking, and I’ve broken down and cried while I was reading them.  I know she’s just an imaginary girl that I invented, but she’s become so real to me–in fact, is a part of me–that I go through all the different emotions and feelings that she does.

Posted on: February 15, 2018

Inspiration and Permission


Hello.  I’ve been an Alice fan since I was in the 5th grade (11 years old & I’m now 21) I was first introduced to the series when my old friend Aaliyah had read the book, and we were in the school library checking out books, and she had advised that I read ‘Alice in April,’ I did, and I fell in love with it. From then on i it into the entire series within a whole year. I think my love for teenage films and teenage culture began with the Alice series. Anyways, I want to say you are an incredible writer and your work has had an immsene impact in my life. I wanted to ask if it’s ok that if I ever come to the idea of one creating an ‘Alice’ tv show or another film about the series. I saw the 2008 film a couple of years ago, but I wasn’t so sure that it’s fit how the first couple of books should have been. I have in mind that a short lived tv show based on the entire ‘Alice’ series should be, but I wanted to ask for your permission if it would be alright? This is just a thought that I’ve had in mind for a while now, and would someday want to see it on the screen. Please reply as soon as possible. Thank you.

Phyllis replied:

I’m delighted that you love the series so much and would like to make the books into a series.  All queries about TV and movie rights are handled by my agent, however.  You should contact Bill  Reiss at the John Hawkins & Associates agency, 80 Maiden Lane,  Suite 1503, New York, NY.  10038.

Posted on: February 13, 2018

Homeschooled and loving your books


I’m nineteen and I’ve been reading your Alice books for several years now. Thank you so much for writing them! They are my favorite series. I was homeschooled until high school, and they helped me figure out what to do. I love your works and just want to say thank you for your books.
Phyllis replied:

Thanks so much for letting me know. I  hope you’ve been able to find all 28 of the books in the series.

Posted on: February 4, 2018

I’ve Loved the Alice Series for Years


This is going to be more along the lines of a long winded fanmail thank you. I have loved the Alice series for years (my first exposure being when i was 9 and i am now 18), it was the first and so far only series I have encountered that talked about important subjects in a way that was appropriate and accurate as i was growing up like suicide awareness, responsibility, puberty and so many other topics that otherwise i may have never been able to grasp without the exposure your wonderful novels gave me. Besides them being educational in a way girls my age would be able to relate or understand, the stories were so amazing. Alice was such a relatable character in some aspects and like a far away friend who relayed her excitable life in a way that i was happily envious. I love this series so much that I can wholeheartedly say it is my favorite and i have bought and thought the series numerous times through moves and relocations. I have read every book except the last because i can genuinely say i am afraid for my favorite series to end. I feel like with the end of the alice series i will be losing a lifelong friend.You’re such a great writer, you’re the reason I started writing.  I just wanted to say thank you. I appreciate all the time, work and commitment you put into this series. I know it wasn’t easy but you created an amazing series and you gave me a friend I may not have ever encountered. Thank you so much.

Phyllis replied:

What a lovely email.  I can understand how you feel about the series ending; on my end, however, I always worried I might be run over by a bus or something before I could really follow Alice through to her 60th birthday.  Writing only one book a year, with a 28-book series in mind, meant 28 years, and nobody can guarantee that.  But I got my wish, I was able to write other books too along the way, and I’m happily thinking up new plots I’d put aside in order to write the Alice books.  I’m just very glad that readers enjoy them so much!  Thanks for taking the time to write to me.

Posted on: February 2, 2018

The Impact of Alice


Even as I’m writing the subject line, I feel as though “The Impact of Alice” could be a book in your series! I really hope it’s not too late for you to see this and reply.
Alice has been, and will always be an important part of my life. I remember reading the series in grade three; I loved the series so much that I wanted to write you letters of gratitude. This did not happen because as I started to read other readers’ comments, I realized that they’ve been along Alice’s journey for years. I had only been reading the series for a little over a year,and I didn’t seem special enough. Now, I’m in grade nine, and I’m only more thankful for Alice to have grown up with me. How could these six years, since then, pass by so quickly? Since then I’ve read the entire series numerous times, and I sometimes still wonder how different my childhood would’ve been without Alice. She was the one who guided me, pondered questions and ideas I was curious about. Up until this day, I can still picture Aunt Sal’s mortified face, to Patrick’s shock when Alice first “met” him in the change room.
As I grew up, so did Alice, and I CAN’T say that the series were just books. They were events that were written in a way that I didn’t just read them, I EXPERIENCED them. I’ve built a relationship with Alice, and it’s hard to forget all her little moments in middle school, high school, work, breakups, embarrassments, obsessions, Lester’s girlfriends, the Melody Inn, Mark’s death, marriage, and reading the time capsule letters. I’m almost scared to read the series again, because I know that I will cry. When her father passed away, I instantly flashed back to all the times he patiently guided Alice, how angry he was when he realized Alice set him and Sylvia up, to his final days, almost as if these were MY memories. The strongest moment was when Alice got back together at the end and opened the time capsule that they buried in grade seven. It was in this moment, that i realized I still remember the day Alice buried the time capsule, as though I was there with her and that she truly has aged because of all the events in between. Millions of readers probably have felt the way I do, and I’m really happy that you receive the recognition that you deserve. I want to thank you graciously, and it’s so hard to explain all of these words that I have bottled up inside of me for years. Thank you for the wonderful impact you’ve made on your readers, and yes, I may not be special in any way, but Alice has lead me to believe that anyone can be special in their very own way.
Phyllis replied:

Your email really means a lot to me.  I’m so glad that you feel the books have helped you along the way.  I wish I’d had a similar series to read when I was growing up, because I had a lot of questions too, and some were just too personal, I felt, to ask my mother.  I know she would have answered the best she could, but still….  There were a lot of things that happened in the books that made me cry as I wrote them, but also things that made me laugh, especially Alice’s discussions with Lester.  And yes, each of us is special.  Until human beings are cloned, which I hope will never happen, there will never be another person “just like you.”

Posted on: January 27, 2018

Reminds me of my two best friends and me


This isn’t a question, but I just want to tell you how much I love your alice books. I know you probably get this a lot and might be tired of hearing this, but your books helped me get through my middle school years. how I’ve started High school, and it’s a little bit scary. In middle school I loved the alice books because the original trio (Alice, Pamela, and Elizabeth) reminded me so much of me and my two best friends. I was always like Alice, a little bit unsure of myself, a bit “in between” with everything, and my one friends was like Pamela, outspoken and the “cooler” one, and my other best friend like Elizabeth, more conservative and religious. When my parents were fighting, I could connect so much with Pamela’s experiences, when I had my first crush I could relate to alice’s feelings for patrick, and and I felt like I wasn’t alone for once. Now that two best friends aren’t going to the same high school as me and I wouldn’t see them as much. But I’ll always have alice to remind me of the good times we had. Again, thank you. I want to be a writer when I grow up just like you.



I’m so glad the books meant that much to you.  I had friends like this too, and I was sort of in the middle.  Sometimes I could identify more with the conservative one, and other times, it was more fun being with the other.  It seemed to me that a lot of my high school years was trying to figure out which person or which group I wanted to “be like.”  It was only later that I begin to feel I was growing into myself, my own unique person, just like everyone is down deep  Thanks for writing to me, and good luck in whatever you decide to do with your life.

Posted on: January 18, 2018

Phyllis! Alice! Fan that grew up with both of you.

Many years ago when I was 13 you were kind enough to answer a lot of my questions on your website and it meant the world to me because I grew up with Alice and grew up without a mom.
I also won the 4th grade lawyer challenge as a kid because the topic was Shiloh’s Trial!
In my 8th grade yearbook, I listed you as my role model.
I’m 29 now! And I wanted to thank you for everything. I wrote emails to you a lot as a tween and a lot of them you responded to. I was so scared about getting older. Terrified. Alice made me feel like it was ok and comfortable and safe. She even helped me feel like getting pregnant was going to be okay and safe. I read Alice a lot as I near 30 year Old whenever I’m freaking out and feel like I need a Mom voice. And I am about to get married. All my fears are the same as hers. You’ve given me so much strength, Phyllis. I love you with all my heart. I’m going to name my daughter Alice !


Phyllis replied:

You made my day. ( My birthday, in fact.)  Thank you so much for your lovely email.  I’m sure that in writing the Alice books, I was addressing my own fears and hang-ups I experienced as I was growing up–easier to deal with them on paper.  I’m just happy to know that the books were helpful to you, and I truly appreciate you’re taking the time to write to me.

Posted on: January 4, 2018


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