Writing my First Novel

Question:


As I type this letter to you, it brings up so many feelings from when I was on the brink of my teens years. I was about twelve when I first read The Agony of Alice and so many things similar to what Alice had been through has happened to me, so I found comfort in your books as I went on through life. I remember sending you an email, so long ago when I was about thirteen when I had realized that that I wanted to write novels and wanted some advice and I remember being so happy when you emailed me back.

Now I’m 20 years old, and almost finished writing my first novel. I haven’t picked up an Alice book in about three years, as college and life have gotten in the way, but I can’t wait to get back on it. I can’t believe there are only three or so books left for me to read. It makes me so sad, and I can’t help but shed a tear because for me, the series is almost over, and so is Alice’s patience, comfort, and advice. I kind of feel like I’m about to part with a dear friend.

But I can’t help but be excited for myself as well because if it wasn’t for Alice and you, I wouldn’t be writing my first novel. What keeps me going as I go on this weird, exciting, stressful, and sometimes slow and painful (but overall rewarding) journey of writing is that maybe, just maybe I will be able to help just one girl, if just one girl reads my book and is able to connect with it, then I will be happy. You have helped thousands and I can’t even imagine being as wonderful as you. But we will see. I’m just happy that I’m writing and doing what I love to do for now.

But I can’t help but be excited for myself as well because if it wasn’t for Alice and you, I wouldn’t be writing my first novel. What keeps me going as I go on this weird, exciting, stressful, and sometimes slow and painful (but overall rewarding) journey of writing is that maybe, just maybe I will be able to help just one girl, if just one girl reads my book and is able to connect with it, then I will be happy. You have helped thousands and I can’t even imagine being as wonderful as you. But we will see. I’m just happy that I’m writing and doing what I love to do for now.

Anyway, I wanted to say thanks for creating Alice.  Thank you for your email.  I don’t think you know how much of an impact it had on me.  I know this email probablyi doesn’t convey all that I wanted to say but I was in the midst of writer’s block and giving up.  I decided to take a break and remember why I was writing.  I thought of you and had to send you an email.  Now I feel better and think I can get back to it.

Phyllis replied:

I’m happy to know that the Alice books have had such an impact on you and your writing.  Thanks for taking time to tell me so.  You do just what I do when the writing gets difficult–take a break, take a walk, drink some mango juice, email my sons, clean out a drawer, organize my desk…  Whatever works!  Best of luck!