Thank you

Question:

As I type this letter to you, it brings up so many feelings from when I was on the brink of my teens years. I was about twelve when I first read The Agony of Alice and so many things similar to what Alice had been through has happened to me, so I found comfort in your books as I went on through life. I remember sending you an email, so long ago when I was about thirteen when I had realized that that I wanted to write novels and wanted some advice and I remember being so happy when you emailed me back.

Now I’m 20 years old, and almost finished writing my first novel. I haven’t picked up an Alice book in about three years, as college and life have gotten in the way, but I can’t wait to get back on it. I can’t believe there are only three or so books left for me to read. It makes me so sad, and I can’t help but shed a tear because for me, the series is almost over, and so is Alice’s patience, comfort, and advice. I kind of feel like I’m about to part with a dear friend.

But I can’t help but be excited for myself as well because if it wasn’t for Alice and you, I wouldn’t be writing my first novel. What keeps me going as I go on this weird, exciting, stressful, and sometimes slow and painful (but overall rewarding) journey of writing is that maybe, just maybe I will be able to help just one girl, if just one girl reads my book and is able to connect with it, then I will be happy. You have helped thousands and I can’t even imagine being as wonderful as you. But we will see. I’m just happy that I’m writing and doing what I love to do for now.

Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you for creating Alice. Thank you for you email, I don’t think you know how much of an impact it had on me.

I know this email probably doesn’t convey all that I wanted to say but as I was in the midst of writer’s block and giving up, I decided to take a break and remember why I was writing, I thought of you and had to send you an email!

Now I feel better and I think I can get back to it!

Phyllis replied:

The most important thing in your email is your comment that you are happy you are doing what you love to do.  Writers write because they almost HAVE to.  It’s a driving force, published or not.  It always helps morale, of course, to see your stories or books in print and to know that you are sharing them with a reader.  Don’t even try to write like someone else.   What readers want from you is “the story that only you can write.”  That spark, that energy, that makes your book or story “sing.”  My very best wishes to you, that you go on loving it as much as you do now.  Thanks so much for writing to me.

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