Sunday, August 7, 2022

Launch Party at Springville Library for Miss Classified

A launch party for the new middle grade book, Miss Classified, by longtime Springville resident Susan Phelan, will be held on Tuesday, August 2, 2022 from 5:00 to 7:00 PM at the Springville Public Library,  Susan has been writing and editing for many years. Her new book, published by Chicken Scratch Books, is a young adult fiction about a girl with undiagnosed ADHD who hits a wall in school – failing at nearly everything she does, and feeling like she will never amount to anything, let alone pass her next class. So much of the protagonist’s identity is about being smart, which has always been the case. School was easy for her, until it became hard, and she can’t own up to the problem. She decides to cheat her way out of bad grades, sure it won’t take long before she can get back to normal and all she has to do is try harder. She ignores the mounting difficulties, having fun with her instant camera instead, and hopes to take a school field trip to see her favorite photographer, but her grades aren’t high enough for her to be eligible to go with the rest of her class. Nothing she plans goes right, of course, and the guilt she carries from cheating eats at her. There is a happy ending, with lessons learned and lots of laughs along the way.

This kernel of a story came from her own family. One of her children who had excelled in school, suddenly started failing everything in junior high. Susan grabbed that tidbit, and her imagination took the story in an entirely different direction. 

The Phelan family has lived in Springville for 26 years. Susan and her husband, Michael, both grew up back east and came here to Utah Valley when Michael taught Youth Leadership at BYU. Together, they have raised five children and several guide dog puppies. Here is a vid of Sapphire, a retired service dog, showing off her mad skills. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DbmZxIf7cs8

Susan is full of talent. She told friends at her junior high school that she would become an actress, and she became one. She has acted in many plays and films,  written screenplays and directed films, including Start With Nothing, which was filmed in Provo. She has many credits on IMDb. https://www.imdb.com/name/nm3525157/?ref_=tt_ov_dr  Susan served for six years on the Utah Women In Film board, and served two years president. She also served as their Director of Education. UWIF held monthly classes for several years to help grow the Utah film community, and it has been a smashing success. This year, the Utah Film Commission announced the approval of 13 new productions for state filmincentives, generating an economic impact estimated at $142.5 million with approximately 90% of the work to occur in rural Utah. Many women in the state own their successes in film to Susan Phelan. She is represented by Elevate Talent in Salt Lake City.

Currently, Susan is editing a young adult suspense novel and writing an historical 

middle grade novel. She is also sending around a screenplay, a teen mystery/romance to producers.

Susan’s publisher, https://chickenscratchbooks.com/  has study guides available for each book they produce. Her book, Miss Classified is currently highlighted on their website. (Submitted by Kjirstin Youngberg)

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