Hello Mrs. Naylor,
I don’t know if you keep records of all your fan mail over the years but even if you do there is no way you’d remember mine. 🙂 My name is Briana and I am 33 years old. I live in Laurel, MD but have spent time in DC, Silver “Sprangs”, Hyattsville and Tacoma Park. I began reading Alice when I was about 11 or 12 and immediately I was hooked. It was so great to read about someone in my very own state! I would glow when she talked heading to Wheaton Plaza with her friends because that was a hang out of mine too.
I became so enamored with Alice that when I was about 13 I wrote my very first fan letter to Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. I told her how much I loved her books and asked her how long she was going to write about Alice. I was totally floored when one sunny afternoon I received a letter. This was a big thing for me because I never got mail. It was from YOU!! I danced around and shouted and couldn’t wait to show my mom (I was the opposite of Alice – a mom but no dad). I was so excited when you thanked me for being a fan and told me that Alice would reach at least 18. I vowed then and there to read every Alice book ever written. That letter meant so much to me.
Time went on of course as it does in real life and I eventually left Alice behind. Since then I have even published 3 books of my own; mostly poetry and religious discussion. When someone asked me several months ago about my literary influences as a young person it dawned on me that an entire lifetime had gone by and I had lost touch with my old friend Alice. So I geared myself up and headed to the library. I felt a little silly poking around in the young adult section. I couldn’t believe how many Alice books there were. I didn’t know where to start so I started at the beginning. My how Alice has grown! 🙂 The books still make me laugh, blush, talk out loud to the pages and – at this stage of my life – remember when I was dealing with the same issues.
Today I just felt like writing again to say thanks for keeping Alice going for new generations to share and I can’t wait till I have a daughter to share them with.
I’m afraid I don’t keep records of all the fan mail I receive, but I do remember hearing from a few local girls who lived in Silver Spring, and you were undoubtedly one of them. It’s absolutely wonderful to hear from women who have reconnected with Alice after all these years. Thanks so much for taking the time to write to me.