Monthly Archives: March 2012

Song lyrics

Question:

Like all your fans, I absolutely LOVE the Alice book series that you write. <3 You’re on of my favorite authors. I read most of your books right now and am only in sixth grade (going on seventh grade next year). I can’t wait for your other books to come out! Well, even though I’m still young . . . kids this century listen to inappropriate songs. I just don’t understand. Why? They might not even understand what the song mean. It’s just gross. My music teacher even told us about it. To make the story short in explaining: We’re doing a music presentation (50% of our grade) and the boys were asking if they can use the clean version of an inappropriate song. And the teacher said no. And so, she told us about her nine year old son singing a lyric of “I’m Sexy And I Know It.” Anyway, since you were a teen child before I think that you might understand these kinds of things. So I’m just asking you. Why do kids (at a young age) listen or sing along to inappropriate songs?

Phyllis replied:

You should be asking this of each other, not of me.  Maybe kids just like the music.  Maybe they like to see just how bad the language can be.  Also views of what is appropriate or not change from generation to generation.  When I was in high school, I relaxed after coming home by sitting down and playing popular songs by ear, and singing the words along with them.  The song my mother didn’t like was “Night and Day,” especially the lines, “…and the torment won’t be through, till I spend my life making love to you…night and day, day and night!”  I have to admit I liked the idea of making love with a handsome man.  My mother much preferred another song I played, “The Bells of St. Mary’s.”

 

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Super Sad

Question:
 
I first wrote to you when I was 12 and now I’m 18! I just finished Incredibly Alice and it made me super sad, ’cause I just graduated from high school a few months ago, and Alice has spent most of the series in high school, so as soon as I read the last page, it was like… it really hit me that the series is ending! I feel like crying now! I can’t believe it. Anyway! I hope you describe Alice’s first time!! I’m proud of her for graduating high school a virgin! :) I CAN’T WAIT TILL THE NEXT BOOK COMES OUT! Sigh. Before Always Alice, I’m gonna get all the books and read them start to end. I’m going to miss Alice so much. She’s been such a huge part of my life from the time I turned 9! It’s really cool that we’re at the same stage of life right now though! Anyway, I’m so grateful to you for writing the books! Much love and respect to you. :)
 
Phylllis replied:
 
I think the very last Alice book in the series will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about Alice. 

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Love the Covers

Question:

My name is Shelby, and words can not explain how much of a fan I am of the Alice series. I first noticed your books when I was in school, and a girl in my class had “I like him, he likes her”. I would always tell myself that I should try out the book. I also thought to myself how pretty the cover of the series were! If the cover of a book catches my eye, and I feel I can relate, it has to be amazing! I finally bought ALL of the books in the Alice series from her 9th grade year up. When I started to read the books, I felt like I could relate to alice and her life.  I felt that whatever she went through, I went through in a part of my high school experiences. The boyfriends…the friend drama…the family issues…high school romances that you think will last forever…and everything else alice has went through, I felt that I could defiantly relate to her story! I’m her # 1 fan

 
I honestly can not wait until you come out with more of Alice’s story. I can not wait to read about more of her adventures and what she has in store for her! I told myself the other day, “What am i going to do when i finish reading all the alice series?”. I hope you can come out with more of her life as the years go on. I can not picture myself reading any other book except for these! I love all of the emotions that come with reading about her. how happy you can get, how mad you can get about a situation of hers, how confused you can get, it all happens so fast and thats what makes your books so fascinating! 
Are you planning to write more about Alice? If so, when will the next book to the series come out?
 
Phyllis replied:
I’m so glad you feel that way about the Alice books.The 27th book in the series, ALICE ON BOARD, will be out in May.  The next year the very last book in the series will take Alice from age 18 to 60, ALWAYS ALICE.
 

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Born in a Foreign Country

Question:

First of all, I want to say I truly enjoy all of your Alice novels.
Through the happiness and sorrows, picking up an Alice book just
brightens my day or gives me company when I am bored.  Though I cannot
say I can relate to every situation Alice encounters in life, I can
relate to at least one in each novel.  I find myself laughing with
Alice and her friends constantly.  The series has helped guide me
through numerous high school dramas and daily life issues, making me a
more confident and outspoken person.

I finished Alice in Charge in one day.  I thought this installment
was, by far, the best out of all.  One of my favorite moments was when
Amy stood up for herself.  I was particularly shocked when coming
across the multiple episodes with Bob White and Alice’s locker.  Like
Kay, I was also born in a foreign country, but I also immigrated to
the States at a very young age.  Therefore, the events that unraveled
in the novel made me relate to both her and Daniel.  Like Kay’s
parents, I come from a conservative family, but I have assimilated to
the more liberal views after living here for over 15 years.  However,
I still feel lost once in a while, like when it comes to things like
dating and dances, much like Daniel.  Since my parents were born are
brought up in India, and I am the oldest sibling, everything is an
experimental run for me.  I hope I will be able to advise and guide my
little sister through her own high school experiences.

Anyway, I just wanted to thank you very much for providing such a
realistic book series to be able to read!  I cannot wait to read the
last three novels in the series.  Though I will be quite upset when
the series ends, I will be glad to have all of Alice’s adventures and
experiences with me to guide me through my senior year of high school,
college, grad school, and the rest of my life.

Phyllis replied:

It’s wonderful to hear how different readers relate to the Alice books.  We know that even though cultures are different, people all over the world feel the same emotions–sadness and anger and jealousy and embarrassment.  Thank you so much for writing to me!

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You Should be Ashamed!

Question:

I am writing this email assuming this goes directly to the author of the “Alice” books. My 1st grade daughter accidentally received this book at a book sale at her school. Thankfully I looked through this book, I can not recall the exact title since I have returned it to the school. I was appalled and disgusted at what trash you are writing for young girls. I could not believe my eyes that the words sex, foreplay, Playboy, intercourse, among others, were in this book designed ACCORDING TO YOU for 11 to 14 year old girls. You must not have children, especially daughters, because I can’t imagine why you would want to teach them such things at a young age to take away their innocence. These book would be more fit for an adult, if fit at all, than for a child. Being a mother of two girls, I can say that you should be ashamed that you are part of what media is trying to do to girls in this way. I am shocked your “series” of books was ever even published. What mother would want her child reading this filth? I pray that your books will never again reach girls at this young age to corrupt them.

Phyllis replied:

Since your daughter is only six, I can understand that you  might not be able to imagine her as an eleven or a fourteen-year-old whose body is changing and has probably already started her menstrual periods.  But having received letters from girls this age for the past twenty-five years, I can assure you that most of them think about sex far more than you could dream.  Some have already experienced sexual intercourse and not, I believe, because Alice has urged them to do it.  But what girl who is becoming a woman should NOT know how babies are conceived?  Why should they not know that intercourse is not just a mechanical act,  but that it involves tenderness and consideration and foreplay?  Which girl has not seen or heard of Playboy?  If you found Alice the Brave upsetting, then the other books in the series, as Alice grows older, will be even more shocking to you, I’m sure.  The books weren’t meant to shock,  but to enlighten, and no, I am not in the least ashamed.  I can assure you that I have the full support of my publisher.  I truly hope that when your daughter is eleven or twelve or fourteen, she will find an adult or a book that will fully answer her questions and help prepare her for a loving and pleasurable relationship later on.

 

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Tall girls

Question:
 
I am from Germany and read the Alice books ever since I was 9 years old. It was a pleasure to have her growing up with me, especially because I’m always embarrassing myself. I’ll turn 16 in May and I am so looking forward to your new book. The only thing that Alice couldn’t help me with, is a huge problem I face everyday. Literally huge. It’s my height. I’m actually 5’11” and that’s probably why I never had a boyfriend. A lot of people tell me I was pretty, and I know that I’m not fat or anything. I am really, really scared that I won’t ever find someone who likes me and don’t cares about my height. I hate sticking out on all the pictures. I want to be all happy and ok with my body. All the girls in the books made it. Can you help me?
 
Phyllis replied:
 
There’s probably not a girl alive who can’t find something about her body that’s giving her fits.  It’s just that each of these things present different challenges.  Remember, though, that there are tall guys in the world, too.  And there are guys shorter than you who aren’t that sensitive about dating a tall girl.  I think as you get older you’ll find guys (and girls) who begin looking at other aspects of a person–personality and smile and interests–rather than height alone.  Are there “tall girl” clubs where you live–“tall people” groups where you can share some of your problems and begin to feel a little more comfortable about getting along in a shorter world?  It’s always helpful to hear how other people deal with things, and a sense of humor is always helpful. 

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Starting with Alice

Question:
 
I am a big fan of your Alice books. When I read the first prequel to the series, I really liked how Alice described her feelings. I noticed, though, that her personality and her ways of expressing her feelings are still relatively the same. I find this really interesting. I hope to get to read all the books, not just most of them. This is kind of hard, since you have written so many. I will continue reading them, though. 
 
Phyllis replied:
 
Yes, because she’s the same girl all through the series–just a little older in every book.  I enjoyed helping her grow up.

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Terrified of Having Sex

Question:

I’m a huge fan of your Alice book, have been since I was nine! I’m so glad to see her growing up.

Well, the reason I’m writing to you is because I am terrified of having sex. A lot of my friends have had it before and they know I’m still a virgin, and I’m perfectly fine with that and so are they. They don’t tease me about it or anything, which I think is really great. But the thing is, not only am I afraid of never finding the right person, but I’m afraid of physically doing it. I’ve heard that it hurts a lot the first couple of times, and some people never enjoy it because of that. I want to get married, I want to have kids, and yes, I do want men sexually; however, I just do not know how to wrap my head around the concept. I’m not in a rush to lose my virginity, but I’m afraid that when the right time comes, I’ll be too scared and I’ll never have the chance again. Does this make sense?
 
Phyllis replied:
 
Wait a minute.  When the right time comes and you’re too scared, you’ll never have the chance again?  I never knew that sex was a now or never proposition.  First of all, girls differ in their anatomy “down there.”  For some, the hymen–a thin membrane that partially covers the opening to the vagina–differs from woman to woman.  In some, it hardly obstructs at all, and there’s very little pain.  What often makes the difference is plenty of lubrication, and in a tense situation, most especially when the guy and girl aren’t really comfortable with each other yet and close, the girl is too embarrassed to use a lubricant, available at any drugstore, to get herself slippery enough to make it easier for intercourse.   And the guy, if he’s young, is too eager and inexperienced to hold himself back and be gentle.  If you have a family doctor or a gynecologist, it would be so helpful to schedule a visit.  Every girl should do this before she becomes sexually active, both to become better aquainted with her body and to protect herself against disease and pregnancy.  If you feel you can’t talk with your mother or a doctor or nurse about this, you might try your local Planned Parenthood Association.  I remember going to them years ago when I was young and about to be married, for my first exam, and found them helpful.   But one of the most important things to do is to wait until you have a partner who is kind and patient and with whom you can discuss your fears and feelings.  And even if the first time is a bit painful, there is no reason that it has to keep you from enjoying sex for the rest of your life.  Most of us didn’t enjoy that first sloppy kiss, either, but we sure learned to like it.

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Found Alice in 9th Grade

Question:
 
I picked up Alice in April when I was a Freshmen in high school. Since then I have became a HUGE fan of the Alice books. What made me love her was how much I could relate to her family. My mother passed away with I was 3 years old. I have a sister who’s 6 years older, so while I didn’t have an older brother I could relate to having an older sibling and living with my father. I could relate to how embarrassed Alice got and how naive she felt about things. Pamela even reminded me of my best friend. I found myself to be a mix of Alice and Elizabeth. I honestly have never related to a series as much as I have to the Alice series. And every once in a while I like to check all the books about her out again. Revisiting these books is like revisiting an old friend. And that’s what I’m doing write now. Each time I read them I’m reminded of why I love these series as much as I do.
Thank you so much for writing these series.
 
Phyllis replied:
 
I agree that books seem to mean much more to us when we can identify with them in some way.  And the characters don’t have to be just like us either.   Thanks so much for writing to me.

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Fell in Love with the Series

Question:

 

Oh my Gosh! We love the Alice books. I first read one in the summer of 2009. By the way my twin sister and I are eleven. When we read the book we fell in love with the series. Luckily our school had some the series back then. We would have had the whole recent collection but someone lost one of the books. We read them like crazy but unfortunately we read them all. Then one of my teachers found one more and my sis and I fought over who got to read it first. It was Alice on the outside. I really want to read the ones when she is in high school but I think I’ll wait until I’m about thirteen. Our school took the books away but Alice taught me a lot. I also can’t sing. We are pretty decent but I don’t think I’ll do it for a career or even in a school play. Pamela taught me a lot about how mistakes can mess up your life and she just so outgoing. I’m glad Alice and Patrick got back together. And Elizabeth she is hilarious. She always taught me about good choices. But I need to get my hands on the other Alice books from sixteen to sixty. I can’t wait to read them when I get them. I cannot believe Pamela ——–. I knew it was going to happen. That’s all for now.
P.S. Which friend —-?
Phyllis replied:

I had to edit your email because it would have been a spoiler for others who hadn’t read that particular book yet.

But I’m so glad you and your sister love the series.  I think you’ll especially enjoy the final book, “Always Alice,”

when it comes out next year.

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