Finding Inspiration


           Wow! I don’t even know what to say. Let me start by telling you that I am a HUGE fan of your Alice books, I am 12 years old and have read (almost) every book. When I find out that a new one is out I jump to get it and that is all on my mind until i can get my hands on the book! I know you probably get letters like this all the time, so i’m pretty sure i won’t be getting and answer from you. But let me just say that I think you are an incredible writer, i envy how in these books you feel like you are a part of Alice and I know when you write them that you have to put yourself in her place. I have always found peace in writing, but don’t know where to find inspriation for my story. Can you please tell me how you found inspiration for the Alice series? And for a writer like me, how can I learn to do what you do by connecting yourself to your books?
Thanks so much!

Phyllis replied:



It’s difficult to tell someone how to find inspiration, just as it would be hard to tell another person how to enjoy spaghetti and meatballs.  There’s just something about the taste, or the idea, that really appeals to you.  I started wanting to write about a motherless girl who is being raised by her dad and older brother, and immediately realized that there could be a lot of funny scenes between Alice and her brother as she asks for advice.  You don’t want to copy me.  You want to dig into your own life and your own feelings to write about something unique to you.  The older you get, and the more you experience and see and feel, the more you will have to write about.

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