Question:

I have just started your Alice series and I have to say that I very much enjoy it. I read the first book in one sitting. I realize that I have a lot of catching up to do. I’ve read that there will be 25 books in total of this series and I couldn’t help but wonder if it was planned that way or if you just loved Alice and wanted to continue to write about her. If it was premeditated, what was your process? And if not, when and how did you decide to write the other books?

**Phyllis replied:**

I’m glad to know you enjoy the books. Actually, there will be 28 books in the series, counting the three prequels. When I wrote the first Alice book, “The Agony of Alice,” I didn’t think of it as a series. I simply wanted to write about a motherless girl in search of a role model. But I got so many letters from readers asking for more, and reviewers said things like, “Alice’s many fans will await her further adventures,” that I decided to make a series of it as long as Alice could grow a little older in each book. I didn’t want to be stuck in a sit-com, with the same people staying the same ages forever. So I began the series, and decided to write about three books for every year of Alice’s life, which means that she ages three times as slowly as real people. Confusing to some readers is that I try to use the calendar of whatever year the book will appear in. Some people try to figure out where Christmas came in one book, and where New Year’s comes in the next one, but since it takes three years of Alice’s life to equal one of the reader’s, this can get awfully mixed up. I prefer readers just to enjoy the books and let me do the heavy lifting. Thanks so much for writing.

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