Daily Archives: November 18, 2013

Whatever Happened to Amy?

Question:
 
Hi Phyllis! I was IN LOVE with Now I’ll Tell You Everything. So happy with Alice’s life!
I just have one question.
What happened to Amy Sheldon? Is she okay?
 
Phyllis replied:
 
I left that hanging, didn’t I?  In my mind, having known a young woman similar to Amy, she gets a job after high school working in the mail room of a large corporation, sorting mail and delivering it to the various departments, and is not only good at it, but very happy in her work.

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On my Bus Rides

Question:

I read my first Alice book when I was 9. I am 21 now and just read Now I’ll Tell You Everything while on a bus from Cincinnati to Chicago. I laughed and I cried and it was just such a perfect ending. Thank you so much. I really feel like Alice grew up with me. She was always a great friend to me. When I was 18, I moved from Cincinnati to Chicago for school and I brought a few Alice books with me to read whenever I got homesick. I shared the Alice books with friends in middle school, high school, and college. I even read all the Alice books out loud to my younger sister who always hated reading, and she loved them. Growing up can be overwhelming at times, but your books have made it a little easier. I do a lot of back and forth from Chicago to Cincinnati to visit my boyfriend and family who are still back in Ohio. It’s hard for me to be away from them, and these bus rides are always a little sad. But as always, this Alice book was such a comfort. And a reminder, that everything will be okay.
Thank you. For everything,
 
Phyllis replied:
 
Alice on the bus.  I like that.  For pleasure, for help, for homesickness…   Thanks so much for your email.

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Thanks for Creating this Community

Question:

I just finished “Now I’ll Tell You Everything” and it made me laugh and cry and I was just completely consumed with nostalgia and happiness for Alice. I’m a senior in high school now and I started reading the Alice series when I was in about 3rd grade–Alice’s patient, honest voice and your consistent writing/release of all the books was such a comfort to me when I was growing up.

Because I have read the last two books in the series when I’m 17 (close to Alice’s age!), and read every book in the series throughout the bulk of my childhood, I feel like I have grown up with Alice. I know you get that a lot but she really does mean so much to me.

One of my favorite things about the Alice series is that I live in the D.C/Maryland/Virginia area as well, and when you mentioned specific areas like Silver Spring or Fairfax or even ARLINGTON, my hometown (On page 30 of your final book when Lester is explaining that Stacy’s family lives in Arlington), I feel like I can relate to Alice even more, as if she’s my good friend or neighbor. It’s crazy to think that you went to Takoma Park for the premiere and I wasn’t able to go 😦

Basically, thanks so much for creating this community of comfort for my childhood. Book series that have tight-knit characters in them make me feel like I’m part of an alternate reality that’s dependable and loving. I will always remember Alice and all of her crazy adventures.

Phyllis replied:
 
I’m sorry too that we missed meeting each other, but am so glad you grew up with Alice, and can identify so well with the neighborhoods where she lived.
 

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I Knew Where the Books Took Place

Question:
 
I am a huge fan of the Alice Books! I started reading the series when I was in third grade. My older cousin was giving away a bunch of books and she gave me the first nine. I have read every single book at least once. I am now a senior in high school and just finished Now I’ll Tell You Everything.
 
The Alice Books have had a huge influence on my life and growing up would not have been the same without them. I could always find something to relate to in the books and sometimes when I had a problem similar to one Alice had, I would go back and read to see what Alice would have done. Something I also found neat was that I live in Maryland and knew where a lot of the books took place. I was really sad when I read the last page of Now I’ll Tell You Everything, knowing that there weren’t going to be anymore Alice adventures. But I will probably continue to go back and reread the books because I love them so much!
 
Thank you for writing such a wonderful series! These books have been an inspiration to many young girls, especially me.
 
Phyllis replied:
 
It must be fun to read books about your city, all the places you know so well.  Thanks so much for writing to me!

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A Roller-Coaster of Emotions

Question:

It has taken me a great length of time to think of a worthy enough email to express just how much your series has an effect on me (and I’m one who has an impulsive reply to just about everything). I ordered the final book ahead of time on the Kindle (my, has technology taken over!); to make sure I’d have it on the day it came out, and had waited a few days upon receiving it to read it, which I have to say, surprised me, considering how big of a fan I am of yours (you, or your publisher, so kindly put my comment praising you in “I Like Him, He Likes Her”); why would I wait an additional few days when I’ve been eagerly waiting for your concluding book to come? That answer being: I took the time to really think about how much your series has affected me. I grew up reading Alice. I was privileged enough to have been introduced to the series by my sister, who is also a fan of yours, naturally. It was hard for me to face that fact that you can’t write the series forever; that there would have to be an end at some point, and that point being now. Aside from that, I could easily talk your head off with a countless amount of praises in regards to your series, and your last book that I happened to finish this morning, especially, but I’m sure it’s nothing new to you. I want you to know that I admire you more than I can express in mere words. I have never been able to claim feeling a roller-coaster of emotions like I do when I read your books. That right there means something to me, and so many of your other fans. That you are able to make your readers feel such feelings that they may not even know they had, for characters that are (technically) fictional, but felt so real, as if they’re your own family. I’m getting emotional even typing this to you, but just know that you will always hold a special place in my heart for coming up with such a series that you did. I’m not privileged enough to know you in real life, but I feel close to you when I pick up a book of yours, and for that, I consider myself fortunate. Anyone in your life should know how blessed they are to know you.
 
Phyllis replied:
 
It is very humbling to know that readers feel the same emotions I felt as I wrote the Alice series.  Probably every question I ever wanted to ask someone when I was growing up, and every emotion I felt, I used somehow in the Alice books.  That they resonate so well with other people is truly gratifying.

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Hard to Let Go

Question:

I remember when I first picked up an Alice book. I was ten years old and wandering through the library when I came across a book that looked interesting. I checked out a few of the books, brought them home, and quickly became engrossed in the series. To my surprise, my older sister had read some of the books when she was my age so it gave us something to bond over. Now, as a junior in high school, I have grown to appreciate the series as a symbol of my own growth as a person. Alice and I grew up together and the series will always be a part of my childhood.

I read the final book today, and I’ll admit, I cried. It’s difficult for me to let go of the characters that I’ve grown to love for years and years. But it was wonderful to see Alice mature into an admirable woman. I enjoyed seeing her interact with her own children. At the same time though, I felt like their wasn’t enough book to cover her life. Perhaps it’s because I’ve been spoiled with books covering shorter periods in her life, but I missed the slower pace. Did you ever consider writing separate books to cover each year in college? I think that it would have been great to delve into her college life with more detail. But still, Now I’ll Tell You Everything was an amazing book and I especially loved the last chapter. You brought us right back to the start and I love it when authors do that. I would like to thank you for bringing Alice into my life. She’s such a core part of the past six years that I cannot imagine a life without your books. Thank you for putting your pen to paper and thank you for creating her all those years ago. It’s been a wonderful ride and I know I will be giving these books to my own daughter one day.

Phyllis replied:
 
I know that the last book covers a lot of ground, but I felt it was time to end the series.  If I had written a book for each year of her college, I’d probably get letters from young mothers asking why I didn’t spend a whole book writing about  Alice as a young mother, or career women, wanting a whole book just about her career, and I felt it best to let the final book show the highlights of her adult life.

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The Girl Who Wasn’t Afraid to Talk about Anything

Question:

I very rarely write to authors of my favorite books, prefering to admire their creativity from afar. But after finishing Now I’ll Tell You Everything, I needed to send a thank you note, even if it never gets read. Thank you so much for Alice. When I started reading, I was an crazy lil nine year old, who was always torn between making and performing crazy skits and curling up in the public library and reading for hours. I’m now almost eighteen, busy applying to college. Alice was always my role model, the girl who wasn’t afraid to talk about anything, and who said what I was always thinking. I loved growing up alongside her, and every Yom Kippur (when no technology was allowed), I would revisit my anthologies of Alice and read the afternoon away. Now that i’m almost grown, watching Alice make her way through life gave me comfort (in a strange way), and reassured me that life will work out. Thank you for creating such a vibrant, passionate and unique character. She is a role model for teenage girls everywhere.
Thank you so much

Phyllis replied:

Perhaps the Alice series was my way of bringing up subjects that no one talked about when I was growing up.  I loved knowing that Alice said what you were thinking.  Thanks so much for your email.

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