What Alice Has Meant to Me

Question:
 
First, I just wanted to let you know that as soon as Now I’ll Tell You Everything came out, I rushed to click the Order button before the book would run out of stock. You have SO many fans all over the world, and I’m just one small girl who is addicted to Glee. But I hope you listen to my words, because whenever I talk about the Alice series, they come from deep within my heart.
Alice… I can’t describe the impact she has made on my life and my future. When things were going wrong, she always looked up. Whenever I was having a bad day at school, I would arrive home to find one of your book waiting for me, like a shiny gold star in this cruel but somewhat lovely world. Alice has been, and always will be, one of my best friends for eternity. Her actions have inspired me each and every day to be a better person and to work toward a goal that will benefit not only myself, but others because there is always someone going through a worse time than myself. When I’m in college, I know that I will look back on my youthful days and regret this and that, but one of the greatest decisions of my life was picking up Alice in Rapture, Sort of, at my public library.
A few months ago, a comedian named Mikey Fallon performed at my high school. By the end of the assembly, half of the room was crying. He showed us his alter egos, and made us recognize the truth: that our outside appearance will never be what we feel inside. That man, just like you and Alice, forever made your mark in my heart.
You are one of the most successful authors of all time. And you know why It’s because you have dug your way into the hearts of thousands of people. You have changed their futures; probably even saved lives! And that is why I want to be an author when I grow up. You, along with Jeanette Walls, influence me. By the way, have you ever read The Glass Castle? My request; I’m wondering if you could possibly read one of my rough drafts or my story plots. I know that not all authors make it big like you, but I want to at least try to become the next Suzanne Collins or Veronica Roth. And your guidance would definitely help me through the long journey that I know is to come. I understand if you don’t have the time; thank you for even reading this. And thank you for your everlasting aid throughout my life. I love you and Alice forever.
 
 
Phyllis replied:
 
I so appreciate your taking time to write to me, and I feel very humble that the Alice books have meant so much to you.  Sometimes I felt I was writing them only for myself because I enjoyed doing it so much.  Yes, I have read The Glass Castle, and was blown away by all the author had been through, and her ability to write so movingly.  I wish that I could say yes to all the readers who want to send me a poem or story or play or book manuscript to read, but I currently have four projects going, and somewhere in all that I need to squeeze a personal life, because I do have family and friends.  So in fairness to everyone, I have to say no, but I wish you luck and success.  Please don’t set your goal to be famous like any other author you know.  You need to write from the heart, the story that only YOU can tell, whether or not it’s ever published.  It’s that which makes a good story.

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