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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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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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

Comment:

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

Comment:

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

Comment:

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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