WONDERFUL NEWS FROM PHYLLIS!

I’m happy to announce that Simon and Schuster is going to put all 28 books of the Alice series in a collection, so that you may purchase all the books at once, if you like. It has been difficult to decide on the best way to do this, since 28 books, even in paperback, are a lot to carry. The plan is to make 3 boxed sets—the first containing the 5 books of Alice in grade school; the next 10 books of Alice in middle school; and the third, the 13 books of high school and beyond. We haven’t decided just how they will look yet, but all will go on sale at the same time.  We anticipate that the collection will be ready by the summer of 2016. Enjoy!

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Taught Me About Life

Comment:

As a child and young adult, I was an avid reader. I’m now nearly 27 years old, and somewhere down the line, in the chaos of college, relationships, jobs, and a life overwhelmed by laptops and iPhones, I lost that. I abandoned one of life’s simplest joys — sitting down with a good book — without even realizing it. I miss it deeply.

In asking myself “what changed?”, I was transported back to a time of library trips and lazy summer days. I had forgotten about Alice. It was a series that I couldn’t put down, and I’m so grateful to you for having created this world of relatable, beautiful characters that taught me all about life. Your gift of writing has touched so many people.

I’m on a mission to regain my love for books. The memory of Alice has sparked that desire in me once again.

Thank you, for everything.
Phyllis replied:

Thanks so much for taking time from your busy life to write to me.  I go through periods like that too when I get caught up in all the “business” of life and forget for awhile the joy of pulling back once in a while and giving myself over to books.  I’m especially addicted to audio books, many of which have wonderful actors reading the story.  I’m delighted that the Alice books have sparked your desire to read again.  Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

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Rediscovered Alice

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Today, I rediscovered my love for Alice McKinley. As a 26 year old woman now, I remember more than ten years ago finding your books in my local library and forever being changed. Alice helped me through so much and essentially became my best friend without even knowing it. I believe a true, great writer is someone who makes their characters believable and Alice was definitely that for me and so many other women around the world. Truly know that you have a gift and I will be forever grateful for the many laughs, tears, and happiness your books brought me over the years. I am so looking forward to being able to get the series as a whole again to finish what I started so long ago.

Phyllis replied:

What a lovely email.  It makes me happy to know that the books meant so much to you.  And especially that you took time to tell me so.  I’m looking forward also to the complete collection, which should be out in a couple of months.  I’ve seen the box covers of the three sets (elementary school, middle school, high school and beyond) and think they are really attractive.  And hugs to your local library for having the Alice books available to you when you needed them.

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Is This How it Was in High School?

Comment:

I’m just about done with the Alice series. Right now I’m reading about her senior year. Now that I’m older, I didn’t realize how immature and frustrating Alice could be. Not all the time of course, but often times I would I have to put the book down and shake my head. I guess that was how I was in high school sometimes haha?  I hope you are doing well and look forward to reading the last and final Alice book. I haven’t received it from Amazon yet but I’m hoping I’ll receive it right when I’m finished with her senior year.

Phyllis replied:

That’s probably how most of us were in high school.   I think about a few of the times I was embarrassed almost to tears, as well as angry, jealous, hurt, delighted, euphoric, sad, frustrated….  Have I left anything out?   But obviously I lived to write about it.

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Devastated About His Death

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I’m writing this from my living room couch having just finished the Alice series and I could not help but to write to you. I started with the Alice series in ninth grade, on a vacation in Florida as a splurge purchase. I had some catching up to do, but once I fell in love with the series, I started reading them every year of my life. I quite literally grew up with Alice, refraining from reading her compilation of books until I was experiencing the same grade myself. The similarities were uncanny. From the New York City class trip that I also took myself in Grade 10, to her aspirations for counseling. I was both in love and intrigued with her story, daydreaming myself in her friend group on a number of occasions. In my mind, I would have dated Mark, and was devastated when I read about his death. Words are unexplainable to how her stories helped me prepare and overcome my own. I will never forget series and am forever thankful for being able to experience it.

Phyllis replied:

Thanks so much for your email, especially your feelings about Mark!  Gosh……if I had known!   I know what it’s like, though, to think of the characters as real people.  I do it sometimes myself, and think I actually knew a girl named Alice in Silver Spring.  I’m glad the series meant so much to you.  I suppose you’ve heard by now that the whole series will be out as a collection this summer, in three boxed sets of paperbacks.

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Grew up With Alice

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I don’t quite remember how I ended up here or what made me think of the Alice series. What I do know, is that I ordered all of the Alice books on Amazon and plan on re-reading them immediately. Thinking of Alice and all of the wonderful stories you created immediately brought me back to my childhood. I grew up with Alice all through out elementary school, middle school and even the first year of high school. But then life happened and I forgot about Alice. I forgot about all of the characters I once saw in each and every one of my friends. I forgot about the characters that taught me so much about growing up and made being an only child, not so lonely. Alice was like the sister I never had and until today, I hadn’t given her a second thought. I laughed with Alice, I cried and now I’m finding out that after so many years the series has ended. Alice grew up, just as I had. I haven’t read the final book just yet but I want to thank you Ms. Naylor for bringing Alice into my life and to so many others. I am now 26 years old and re-reading your books helped remind me how much Alice has shaped me and been there for me throughout my most awkward and somewhat embarrassing years. There will never be a character quite like her and I cannot wait to give my future daughter the opportunity to learn and grow with Alice just as I had.

Phyllis replied:

You made my day. Thank you so much for taking the time to write to me.  I’m sure that I grew and evolved along with Alice, during those 28 years I wrote about her.  The whole collection will be available this summer as three boxed sets, but I’m glad you were able to find them all on Amazon.  Perhaps Alice was the daughter I never had, but it was a delight to write about her, and hard to say goodbye.  I’m happy that she meant so much to you.

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Binge Reading the Last Alice Book

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I just finished reading the last book of the Alice series. I am crying so much right now. I never thought picking up one random book from the library would change my life. Thank you so much for writing these books. I finished the last book in 12 hours(crazy right). I can not thank you enough.
-Joslyn

Phyllis replied:

I know how you feel, having wanted to just melt into books I loved.  I couldn’t tell from your email whether you were familiar with the Alice series or not.  If not, you have 27 other Alice books waiting for you.   And I’m grateful to my publisher for bringing them out in June as a collection, in 3 paperback boxed sets.  Thank you for taking time to write to me.  It really means a lot.

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Catching up with Alice [SPOILER ALERT]

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Wow, it’s been almost 3 years since I wrote my first email to you. Back then I was 11 and I guess I’m still not that old, but I’m in high school now! It’s mind blowing how much I’ve changed, both physically and emotionally. I’ve read tons of books throughout the years, disliked some and loved some, but somehow I always come back to Alice. I think the impact is just too much to ever shake off.

I love emailing you. I just absolutely love it. I love checking your website to see that you’ve responded to my email.  Last year it totally slipped my mind and I’m back this year haha. But enough about me, time to get into my adoration for Alice:

I first saw Alice when I was 8, maybe. So 6 years ago. I was in the public library with my sisters and brother browsing for some new books to read. I’m pretty sure it was “Alice in Rapture, Sort of” that I saw. I remember that the cover was of Alice in a cute little bikini and Patrick with his soft and beachy but also fiery red hair. I was into romance (and still am) so I decided to give it a try. It was the book where Alice and Patrick kissed on her porch, I think and I remember Alice going inside and seeing Patrick pop a mint in his mouth. Anyway, I remember that it was summer and I was laying on my back reading it. I was on my old kiddie-ish bed that my sister still sleeps on to this day. I remember (this may sound weird to some) smelling the worn-out, yellow-ish pages and thinking, “Gosh this book is so dirty.” Six years later, I love that smell. I associate it with Alice, and that’s why it brings me simultaneous nostalgia and bittersweet happiness. I wish I went to the library more. I miss that smell.

After returning the book, I forgot about Alice. Yes, I’m extremely ashamed but I forgot about her. Then, a couple years later (maybe when I was 11 or 12), I rediscovered Alice. I wish I remembered how but I don’t. So I bought the first couple of books, pretty sure that this was the book from my past. I was so elated when I figured it out! I’m pretty sure I was screaming and jumping up and down.

Form that day forward I was totally obsessed with the series. I bought all the books, maybe 3 or 4 at a time on Amazon and read them as quickly as I could. My goal was to finish in time for when the last book came out. I completed my goal and the book completely surpassed my expectations. I just pulled it out maybe an hour ago, read a few pages and had to email you. I love rereading all the books, but “Now I’ll Tell You Everything” especially. It documents so much of her life that I feel like I’m reading the span of 10 typical Alice books, all neatly packaged in one.

The cover of “Now I’ll Tell You Everything” is amazing. I feel like all these years, I thought of Alice as almost an imaginary friend, even though I read about all her crazy life experiences. When I saw her, everything solidified. I could finally place a face to one of my favorite people of all time. I have a question: Did you approve of the model for the cover? Did you choose her, or did you never meet her? I feel like the model has such big shoes to fill as Alice.

Alice is such a genuinely good person. Sure, she fumbled sometimes, but her intentions were always kind. I knew that if any of her loved ones were going through a rough time, she would be there for them. Like when Pamela got pregnant, Alice and Elizabeth stood by her side, especially after she miscarried. They knew when to draw boundaries and not get too personal, but also when Pamela needed guidance.

Pamela and Elizabeth are such spectacular characters. They may seem normal to some readers, but they’re special because they represent all the girls and boys out there who are like them: some are shy and quiet, and some are outgoing and charismatic. And then there’s some who are in between, like Alice. Lester and Ben (Alice’s dad) were so awesome. Even as they aged and progressed through their lives, they made sure to be there for Alice. Despite the age difference, Alice and Lester formed such a strong bond throughout the series. When Stacy got pregnant with Lester’s triplets, I was so happy. He has such a paternal feel to him, even if he is reckless and lets loose from time to time. Those 3 babies deserve what Alice got: silly and sarcastic advice.

I’m not too sure why I decided to email you again. You already know that your readers love you as well as Alice, but you deserve to hear it infinity times.Random question: Who are some of your favorite artists? By that I mean music. And favorite TV shows? Did you ever watch Gilmore Girls? God, I love that show.

This is a weird ending, but despite its peculiarity please know that you have impacted my life in a very profound way. Alice will always burn on in my heart.

Phyllis replied:

You had a lot of catching up to do, didn’t you, and I’m so glad you followed Alice through the final book.  Thank you for taking the time to write your long email.  You might find my website interesting, http://www.phyllisnaylor.com but to answer a few of your questions, I’m primarily interested in classical music, folk music, and Dixieland, so I loved The Weavers, and Simon and Garfunkel.  I don’t think I’ve watched The Gilmore Girls, but I love series, such as Breaking Bad, The Sopranos, The Good Wife, House of Cards….  Yes, I approved the cover of Now I’ll Tell You Everything, but I didn’t meet the model.  The publisher chose her.  I think most readers have their own version of what  Alice looked like over the years.  I’m so glad that everything came together for you in the final book.

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