SPOILER ALERT, IF YOU HAVEN’T READ INTENSELY ALICE!

Question:

Wow, is my only word at this moment. I am literally writing this with 5 minutes of just reading the section in Intensely Alice where Mark dies. I think I may have cried more than any of the gang. I have only read Dangerously Alice and Intensely Alice, but I’m attached. Mark seemed like such an awesome guy (I loved the Naked Carpenters)! I really can’t believe he’s gone…So I want to ask you, Mrs. Naylor, why did you kill him off? What were your intentions to say from this incident? After crying all my tears I have to cry into my mothers shoulder, (dumb, I know over a book character!), I have decided to look at the educational side of this and I want to know what the moral of this was?
 
With love from Mark’s never to-be girlfriend,
Mrs. Mark B. Stedmiester
 
 
Phyllis replied:
 
I’ll bet I cried more than you did when I wrote it.  I had no moral in mind, simply a slice of life.  At some point, we are all faced with the loss of someone close to us, someone whose death we didn’t expect.  And sometimes the death is so utterly senseless, in that the person who paid with his life was not the one at fault.  That made it even worse.  I knew for a long time  which of Alice’s friends would die, and chose Mark because I wanted to include the grief of his parents. I especially wanted to use the scene..and I’m crying now, I realize–where Alice’s friends form a circle around the Stedmeister’s house, each one holding a candle….the house where they had gathered for so many summers to swim and hang out.  I’ve never been able to read that passage in public, even to my critique group when I was writing the book, and cried all the way through it.  Life is like that sometimes.

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