Asked the Same Questions I Wanted Answers to

Comment:

I have been reading the Alice books since I was in 5th or 6th grade. I am now going into my Junior year of college and I just finished the last Alice book. I’m sad that the series is over but I am so happy and grateful for the way things ended. I grew up along with this girl. Alice went through similar things that my friends and I went through as we grew up. Alice is someone who was relatable and funny and who asked the same questions that I wanted answers too. I love Alice Mckinley, Miss Phyllis, and I cannot tell you how much she means to me. Thank you for giving her to me and all of your other readers. I hope to start buying the entire series, book by book and reading the whole thing over again. And if I have children one day I want to give the series to them too. Thank you for giving me this wonderful, fictional best friend. She was extremely real to me.

Phyllis replied:

It was such a pleasure reading your email.  I’ve been so gratified to know that no matter when readers first started reading the Alice books or in what year they were born, Alice still seems current and relates to their own lives.  The complete Alice collection is now available in bookstores, and has been published in 3 boxed sets–her elementary school years, middle school years, then high school and beyond.  You can look them up on the Internet.  I’m glad that Alice seems to real to you, because she seems real to me as well, and I find myself speaking about her sometimes as though she still lives there in Silver Spring, just a short distance from where I am now.

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True or Not?

Comment:

I was wondering if the igloo scene in the prequels was based on any of your experiences.

I read on your website that the Tarzan scene was, so I just wanted to know if the time Rosalind accidentally traps Alice in an igloo was a true story.

Phyllis replied:

Fortunately, it didn’t happen to me, but it’s just the sort of thing that Rosalind would do.  I vaguely remember hearing that it happened to someone else.  Without  reading through all the Alice books, I can tell you two other things that really happened:  Remember Alice falling downstairs at high school on her first day as a Freshman, and wetting her pants?  That happened to my mother on her first day of high school back in 1915.   And didn’t  Alice at some point in high school get a secret note asking her to meet someone by a statue, a guy who had an air of mystery about him?  That happened to me….  I’ll bet  you could make your own list of awkward or embarrassing or scary things that have happened to you…..

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Made Me Feel Better About Myself

Comment:

Hi! I know that you must get a lot of these letters from fans because your Alice series is AMAZING! But I’m going to write this letter to you because this series was like magic. I just finished the final book and I was delighted. I always felt very much connected to Elizabeth (because I’m just like her) and of course Alice, and I loved the way their lives turned out! The mistakes Alice made and just watching her grow up made me feel so excited for life and what was to come! It made me feel better about myself and made me love life!

I am a very avid reader, usually going through about five books a week and our library was not seeming to hold up with my reading addiction. I was running out of books to read and one day my mom picked up Alice in Blunderland for me to read. I didn’t want to because it looked a little childish and was not my usual type of book. But, I was delighted in your writing style and within weeks, I had read past a quarter of the series! Our library didn’t have all the books of course so I searched around for them. I went to the school library, looked online. I hardly wanted to read anything else! I found myself, in awkward and embarrassing situations, searching for “Alice knowledge” on what to do! Alice just really helped me to grow up. I think that you are one of my favorite authors! I rank you near Lauren Myracle, Lemony Snicket, and Barbara Parks! Thank you for your Alice books. They are a treat to the world.

Phyllis  replied:

I’m so glad that you and Alice found each other!  You really searched hard for the books, and I’m happy they meant so much to you.  The entire collection is now out in three beautiful boxed sets–I just received mine from the publisher’s, and have seen them at Barnes & Noble.  We all have found ourselves in awkward, embarrassing situations, often brought on by ourselves–thinking we are saying something clever, for example, when it turns out to sound really mean or stupid. Those are the kind of embarrassing situations that we could have avoided.  But then, of course, there are the blood stains on the back of a skirt and the swim suit that didn’t fit and..and…and…..  Every person has her own list.  “Welcome to the human race,” is about the only comfort we can give ourselves.

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Meet Phyllis at B&N B-Fest!

News Flash! Barnes & Noble’s “B-Fest,” their first-ever teen book festival, is happening this weekend, June 10 – 12!  If you’re in the Bethesda, MD area, come and meet Phyllis Reynolds Naylor and get a book signed!

  • When: Saturday, June 11th, from 1 to 4 PM
  • Where: Barnes & Noble;  4801 Bethesda Avenue, Bethesda, MD; (301-986-1761 )

Click here for more information about the event

B-Fest Logo_Stacked

 

 

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Trying to Reconnect

Comment:

Back in March, my sister was accepted to University. I’m going to miss her so much, and of course whenever I’m feeling sad I’m going to turn to the Alice book when she was the most upset about Lester leaving (I can’t think of the exact one right now, but I’ll fish it out of my stack when the time comes :)). Anyway, I feel like ever since then I’ve been so disconnected to myself. Recently I’ve been crying a lot, and worrying way too much about my friends and not my sister who, for Pete’s sake, is moving 3 hours and 40 minutes away from me in August! Recently I haven’t been reading and writing as much as I used to and I am really uncomfortable with that fact. Reading used to whisk me away to another world, a world that involved other people’s problems and not my own, and that’s why I think I’ve been so upset and crying about my own little issues. As for writing, it had the exact same effect on me, except I was using my own problems. It was a therapeutic way to relieve my anxiety and stress.

Lately I’ve been trying to reconnect to myself, but I just can’t put aside time for myself. I spend too much time on my phone waiting for texts or DMs or snaps (those last two are both social media terms). Do you think I should let the reconnection happen naturally, or should I push myself to get back to doing what I used to love?

Phyllis replied:

Okay, so life was going along in its own little comfortable way—sister/friends/writing/reading—and suddenly there’s a bump in the road, a void where there used to be “sister.”  Not only that, you can’t help but imagine the new life your sister might be having, or is going to have, and perhaps, by comparison….bleh?  Perhaps it’s time to add something new.  Don’t drop your friends or your phone or the book you meant to read, but choose some new way to add change to your own life.  If there was one organization or cause you’d like to volunteer for above all others, why not do that this summer?  Animal rescue, inner-city tutoring, Habitat for Humanity….  Some new way to grow or enhance yourself?  Voice lessons, play reading, pottery classes, scuba diving class…  Some new place or plans that you and your friends could do together?  In other words, it doesn’t have to be just your sister who is going to be adding all this new stuff to her life; you’ll also have more to tell her once she’s at the University and is missing home.

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Never Stopped!

Comment:

Hi!  I wanted to let you know how much I enjoy reading about Alice.  The open relationship she enjoys with both her  Father and her brother is amazing.  I must admit I am definitely one of her older fans at 61 years old.  I started reading her years ago and never stopped!  I am working on a childrens book of my own.  What an amazing world we live in, that anyone with an imagination and a story to share, can hope to become a published author.  No college degree needed. Stay well.

Phyllis replied:

That’s true.  Anyone of any age, any race, any background, any education–if they write an interesting enough book–can become a published author.  What it takes is imagination, the ability to put words on a paper in an interesting, perhaps even unique way, the fortitude to rewrite, rewrite, rewrite, and polish, edit, polish, edit until the story sort of sings.  I think everyone has a story inside him, but only a few have the persistence and, of course, the interest, to write it down and see it through.  Best wishes and good luck!

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Want to Grow Up Like Alice [edited]

Comment:

I’ve emailed you a lot about your Alice Books so I hope I’m not getting annoying or anything. SO I just finished the whole series in order I finished “Now I’ll Tell You Everything” last night and let me tell you I loved that book so much and can’t believe that it is the last book and there are no more to read:(  I’m going to miss being surprised in every book but I know everything in every book. I was so happy to see Alice grow up in the series especially the last book. I’ve had so many emotions reading the last book… happy because she gets married with…..Sad because……embarrassed well not really I was just blushing when Alice had love with……enjoyed that Alice,Pamela,Elizabeth,and Gwen were still BFFS. I even had tears in my eyes when I finished the book because I feel like I’m going to be miss every suggestion or crazy things that happened in these books. I also feel that Alice was a sister to me because she talked about things I didn’t even know about now I do because I couldn’t these stuff to my brother. I love these books so much!!! Sometimes I won’t to grow up like Alice…. I would always get confused on who was either talking Patricia or Patrick because there names were spelled similar hahaha! Well I’m very sad that the series ended and wanted to know more about what happens next after the last book but the ending tells them everything. I have a lot more questions but I wouldn’t want you sitting here for hours reading and answering them. But thank you so much to amazing books and answering my email..Best author in the WORLD!!!

Phyllis replied:

I’m sorry I had to edit so much out of your letter, but you sort of gave away much of what happens in the final book, so it would be a spoiler for those who haven’t read it yet.  But I would like to comment on something that bothered you; people can’t help the way they feel, only what they do about it.  They can no longer not be attracted to someone other than their spouse than they can say they are not hungry or not thirsty or not frightened or embarrassed.  It’s when you act on that attraction when you know it would be bad for your marriage that is the problem.  In a good marriage, the couple are each as committed to the marriage as they are to each other.  I’m glad that you are happy with the way things all turn out, and thank you for your long email!

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