Monthly Archives: August 2012

Trembling with Excitement

Question:

I’m so excited to be comunicating with you (sorry I have the worst spelling)! Ive been reading your books since I was 8. You gave me the talk! Well Im twelve now, and Ive read everyone of your books. I have them all on my Nook.(thanks for putting them on ebook, by the way) Sorry for getting sidetracked, Im just really, really, really, EXCITED! But annnnyyyywaaaay, I was wondering if there is anything I can do to make myself not as excited. Seriously, I think of it all day long, and what can make me less excited? Can you tell me anything about the book? Are you finished with it at least? When exactly is it coming out? Do you have any tips for me? I love Sarah Dessen, too! Which book was your favorite, Ive read almost all of them. Are you making any appearences in central Jersey soon? You are my idol……….
             Trembling with excitement for the next year
 
Phyllis replied:
 
I’m glad you’re so excited about the book.  I can’t tell you any more secrets about it than I’ve already leaked out on this website, but the book will be much longer than the usual Alice book, and I think you’ll like it.  My publisher plans to send me on tour next fall, but I don’t know yet what cities I’ll be signing in, or when.  When I know, I’ll post it on this website.

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Disappointed at College

Question:

So, sometimes I like to fancy myself the “real” Alice. Of course I’m not but I  just started my freshman year at the University of Maryland, College Park. I feel lost though. And I’m in this program where my classes are during the clubs and stuff. Everyone seems to just want to get drunk and high here. I feel like I’m not connecting with people here. I meet them, but I feel like I’m so different. Like I’d rather go on a photoshoot by the bike trail or something than hang in the apartment and get drunk.  I’m used to living in the middle-of-nowhere, trust-your-neighbors kinda place. Like tonight on the campus , I think someone assaulted me. I don’t know if it was on purpose or an accident though. I’m so confused and I can’t help but wondering if I made a huge mistake. I don’t know why I’m writing to you but I don’t know what else to do. I also can’t transfer out of UMD until fall 2013 or I lose my deposit. I hope things will get better once classes start (wednesday). Do you have any advice? By the way I love your books and I can’t wait until the final one =].

 Phyllis replied:

College can be overwhelming those first few days and weeks, and classes haven’t even started yet.  Truly, you haven’t even begun to meet “everyone,” and there are hundreds of students there who are from small towns, and those who feel the same way you do.  If you continue to feel this way after a few weeks, see a counselor if only to vent.  I promise that she has seen this over and over again, and can help steer you toward groups who are much more to your liking.  Freshman year can be weird for some people who just can’t wait to have all the freedom they’ve imagined, and end up making clowns of themselves or worse.  In the last  Alice book, coming out next year, she also starts the University of Maryland, and –(SPOILER ALERT)–she gets assaulted too.  Readers will see how she handles it.  Could happen on ANY campus.  Hang in there!

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Does she die?

Question:

I am a great fan and have liked your Alice blog too. I truly feel that I can relate to Alice herself. I want you to know that you are a great inspiration and help when i write even though my stories 99% always ten to come out as a fantasy themed book. There is something I’d like to know, when I read that Always Alice ends at Alice being sixty years old, does that really mean that she’s going to die at sixty? If it does I’ll be so sad… I guess it’ll be spoiler alert if  you tell, but I was just curious. What I’d also like to know is if Always Alice is going to be HUGE. Because all the other books were already somewhat thick and they weren’t even one year. I have troucouble finding the alice books in the bookstores because all I end up finding is alice on board or the three books in one. Oh well; My bookshelves are already a tight squeeze. I’ll probably buy Always Alice when it comes out in paperbaack though. My parents won’t let me buy hardcovers often. I see why…

Anyway, do you know if Alice is going to read her letter from seventh grade when they made the time capsle in Always Alice? I would find that pretty cool becasue that happened a long time ago and Alice has aged a lot since then. Imean, she’s going to college now! I have ‘liked’ your wordpress blog but can’t put a comment. I guess that’s why you have this email address.
Where do you get your ideas for all the crazy and embarassing things that happen to Alice? Are they based on real life? If I wrote a book based on the crazy things that happened to me you’ll probably be lauhing into next week!
Do you tend to notice things that other people don’t? I have a habit for doing that but my teacher seems to be okay with it…
 
Phyllis replied:
 
I don’t mind telling you that she does not die in the final Alice book, and yes, she reads the letter she wrote to her 60 year-old self.  SO much happens in that final book, that it keeps getting longer and longer, and I’m about to send in my second revision.  I think that all writers probably make a habit of noticing things that others may not notice or think significant, or perhaps it’s just an inborn trait.  If we didn’t have a good eye and a good ear, we wouldn’t have so much to write about.

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Embarrassments

Question:

    Well I’ve read Alice Alone, Simply Alice, and Patiently Alice separately since I had to find them from libraries because I don’t think I could buy some of them. I have way too many books already on my shelf so I’m thinking of selling maybe some of my books. But if I ever did buy any Alice books at all I know I would never ever sell them(: I just think that they’re wayyy too important too me. I’ve already read all the books from “Starting with Alice” to “Alice on her Way”, now I am looking forward to see “Dangerously Alice”. Cant wait! My friend Irma usually let me borrow her copies of the Alice books. When I reccomended them to her and my other best friend Lily, they both loved them(: I even read “Starting with Alice” and “Alice in Blunderland” with my younger sister who just LOVED them. She thought they were hilarious and very realistic. She and I just looooved the part of her talking with Lester, soo cute. You are the only author I can recall the actually made me laugh and cry in the same book. Your books are inspiring to girls everywhere. It can be ALWAYS related to since you know what Alice said in “Outrageously Alice” to Patrick, “Embarrassments become a part of us [girls].” Haha that was just soo true(:
 
Phyllis replied:
 
Yes, and they seem to just go on and on.  I will probably never be at the age at which embarrassments stop.  But I  think we remember our own better than we remember the ones that happen to other people.  I’m delighted that you and your younger sister could enjoy the Alice books together.  Thanks for writing.

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Don’t Understand

Question:

Im a big fan of alice books – i read all of them lastsummer and recently read  alice on board twice. I can’t wait for always alice and i was rly sad to find it will be the last book.
I myself am a writer and language arts  is my favourite subject.
You are a great inspiration even tho i  normally enjoy magic books. I am even writing my own book and have a wordpress writing blog.
Id like to know one thing i couldn’t figure out:
I dont umderstand that game alice plays with her father
Like me
Rivers
Love me
Oceans
Plz explain

 

Phyllis replied:

It’s one of those nonsense family things that only mean a lot to the two people themselves.  It’s a little ritual to show how fond they are of each other.   When Alice asks her dad, “Like me?” she’s asking how much he likes her.  And his answer is “Rivers,” as in “rivers and rivers of liking her. ” And still not satisfied, she asks, “Love me?” to which he replies, “Ocean,” as in “oceans of love.”  It’s lame, it’s corny, but it means a lot to them because it started when Alice was very young.

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From France

Question:

Hello! As you can guess, I am a great fan of your Alice books (i wouldn’t email you if I wasn’t)! I want to thank you for writing them, because I really enjoyed reading them (I didn’t read them all because I started with I like him he likes her but i’ll definately read the other ones at some point) I am always looking for some good books to read in english (i am french and i feel it’s a good way to improve my english) and I found exactly what I was looking for in your books. Even though I don’t have a lot in common with Alice I really felt close to her. She is so nice and thoughtful, it really made me think about how selfish I acted sometimes, complaining while doing the laundry or things like that. She is slightly older than me in the last books (I am entering the french equivalent of junior year) and I hope I’ll grow as altruistic as she is! I also have to say, your books really gave me an insight of how american life in the suburbs can je like, and of how an american high school is for an average teenager (and it felt à lot more realistic than some movies :p)
So really I would like to thank you for your books and I’m looking forward to reading the last volume! I was actually wondering if it was going to be longer than thé others, considering that it covers a big part of alice’s life?)
Bye! (as you can see, i don’t really know how to end an email in english :p so i’ll just say i hope you will continue writing great books and enjoying it!)

Phyllis replied:

Yes, the final book in the series will be longer than the others.  I’m not sure of the number of pages, because once it appears in print, it’s much different than the numbered pages in the manuscript.  All I can tell you is that the final manuscript was about twice as long as the usual one I submit.

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I’ll Cry for Days

Question:

I know you get comments like this every day, but I want to say thank you with all my heart for writing these books.  I have managed to get my hands on all of them (about 5 times now! I have read every published Alice book, start to finish, during the summer ever since I was about 10 I think.) until this year though, I hadn’t cried in any of them. But reading Reluctantly Alice, I just sobbed. Probably didn’t help that I had my period at the time either, but that’s not the point. I FELT everything Alice felt, it was the strangest thing. I think it was nostalgia and the weird feeling when your favorite book character is younger than you in half the series (I’m turning 16 in a month.) I was trying to think “why this time?” and it’s not even that I’m watching Al grow up, or that I’m growing up, it’s that all of the funny things and tragedies that occur, in many ways, I am Alice and I don’t want to get too old to appreciate her. The books could not have been written better (although I did find a mistake in the Agony of Alice! Liz has pierced ears in that book and then she just….doesn’t in the others.) I know I’m going to cry for days (no exaggeration) when Always Alice comes out, but I know the book will be worth it. Thank you Mrs. Naylor for giving me the gift of my favorite books. I’ll always love them and I plan to own the whole series some day. The words of Alice McKinley are immortal, and even though the series with her may come to a close, my adventures with her never will.

Phyllis replied:

I’m afraid you will need a whole box of tissues for the last Alice book, coming out next year.  At least, that’s what my agent seems to think.  But hopefully there will be enough funny scenes and happy events and wonderful people to keep you happy for weeks.  Thanks for writing.

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