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Detective Work and Honoring Others!

Guest Blog by Chellie Phillips

Honoring Memories and Building Culture with Susie the Detective


Often, in the quiet moments of reflection, we rediscover parts of our past that ignite a future passion. This was precisely my experience when I stumbled upon a forgotten story I wrote in seventh grade. It was tucked away in a box in my old room while I was home for my dad's funeral last year. The story, which won second place in the State of Alabama Fine Arts Contest for short stories back in 1984, introduced the world to Susie the Detective. It was the spark of what has now become a series of children's books, deeply intertwined with my personal journey.

The Beginnings of Susie the Detective

The creation of Susie and her adventures began in a classroom setting but truly came to life through the cherished efforts of my family—my dad's whimsical drawing of Susie still etched in the margins and my mom’s meticulous typing on carbon paper. Rediscovering this story amidst my grief felt like a message from my dad, reminding me of the joys we shared, particularly through our love of reading. He was an avid reader and loved children – especially his numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and those who belonged to members of the church I grew up attending.  He played a crucial role in starting a children's ministry in that community, which blossomed under his care.

To celebrate my dad's memory and support the ministry he was so passionate about, I decided that all proceeds from the Susie the Detective series would go towards this cause. It's a way to keep his legacy alive and continue to foster the spiritual learning and growth of the children and community he cared about. The principles also align seamlessly with my professional focus on culture building within organizations.

More Than Just Mysteries

Susie the Detective is more than a series of children's mysteries; it's a narrative thread that weaves through the fabric of community, teamwork, and understanding. Inspired by my childhood favorites, Encyclopedia Brown and Scooby Doo, Susie's adventures are crafted to showcase how diverse talents and perspectives can solve not just fictional conundrums but real-life challenges. Each book emphasizes the importance of every character, reflecting the collaborative nature of both Susie's world and our own.

The books—starting with "The Case of the Missing Sneakers" and expanding into titles like "The Secret of Camp Whispering Pines" and "The Case of the Vanishing Mascot"—are designed for young readers aged 6-11, as well as parents who cherish the time spent reading to their children. They serve as gentle yet powerful reminders of the value of every day and the importance of making every interaction with our loved ones count.

Reflecting on Grief and Legacy

Writing these books has been a healing process for me, helping to channel my grief into something meaningful that resonates with both young readers and adults. While providing fun and engagement, each story also carries a piece of my heart and history, honoring my dad’s memory and enduring influence on my life. The launch of book two, "The Case of the Vanishing Birthday Presents,” coincidentally marks what would have been my dad's birthday and Father's Day, adding a layer of personal significance to this release.

Susie the Detective is more than a fictional character; she is a vessel through which I connect my past, present, and the values I hope to instill in future generations. These stories underscore the importance of appreciating the diverse talents of those around us and building a culture of inclusivity and respect, mirroring the lessons I strive to impart in my professional life. As you turn the pages of Susie’s adventures, I hope you remember the impact you can have on the world, one story, one day, and one person at a time.

Want a copy of Susie’s adventures? You can find links here…

Please join us on Tuesday at 6:30 pm Mountain on Facebook and YouTube for this Fun and exciting new children's series!

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