Alice and Anastasia

Question:

 just wanted to say first I am so sorry to have read of your
husband’s passing. Although I don’t know you, you have brought so much
joy and wisdom into my life through your books – and so much to the
lives of others – that I cannot help feeling so much sorrow and
sympathy for your loss.

My other comment is much, much less important, but I will say it
anyway so as not to waste your time with two separate messages. I
think I read years ago that you and your friend Lois Lowry did not
read each others ‘Alice’ and ‘Anastasia’ books because people had told
you they were so similar that you each didn’t want to feel influenced
by reading the other series. Is that true, or have I mis-remembered?
In a way, I hope it is true, because I like thinking that once you
have said goodbye to Alice you will have Anastasia to look forward to!
Is that silly? Probably – but I still like to think it! They are both
wonderful series – I remember when I first discovered Alice, she and
her family reminded me a lot of Anastasia and the other Krupniks, but
not as much anymore as Alice has continued to grow up, but Anastasia
never really aged. If it’s true you never read the books, then I’m
sure you will love it when you finally get to read them. I hope so,
anyway!

Phyllis replied:

Lois Lowry is my very good friend, and I think we had discussed this once when someone suggested it, but neither of us wanted to do it.  I’m not sure exactly why.  I guess that it seemed sort of gimmicky, not quite in character of either girl, and we’d both have to work on it.  But of course I’m familiar with Anastasia, and Lois knows Alice, but most of our chats back and forth have to do with our personal lives, not our characters.  I’m delighted that you love both series so much, and thank you for the kind words about my husband’s death.

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