Author keeps a 16-year-old promise to his middle school teacher

In 2004, a stu­dent in Stacey Flaville-Boop’s 8th-grade English class at Maple Point Middle School in Langhorne start­ed work­ing on an inde­pen­dent writ­ing project. The aspir­ing author, Hank Curry, shared his novel­la one chap­ter at a time with his teacher, who offered con­struc­tive feed­back and encour­age­ment. Ms. Flaville-Boop, who is still teach­ing English at Maple Point, says that she rec­og­nized his tal­ent as a writer, even when he was just 13 years old. She was hon­ored that he shared his work with her, and joked with him that he should remem­ber to ded­i­cate his first nov­el to her.

Fast-forward to 2020, and Hank Curry is now an actor, writer and direc­tor who attend­ed Temple University after grad­u­at­ing from Neshaminy High School, and has been busy since then with a mul­ti­ple the­ater and film projects in Philadelphia. His first nov­el, Body of the Crime: A Tiffany St. Clair Mystery was just pub­lished and, as promised, con­tains a ded­i­ca­tion to his teacher which reads, “For Stacey Flaville-Boop / Just like I promised.”

This was the first time any­one had sin­gled me out as hav­ing a spe­cif­ic tal­ent, and it had a big effect on me,” Mr. Curry said when asked about the ded­i­ca­tion. “Emboldened, I attempt­ed to write a nov­el and would show her chap­ters to get her opin­ion, which she patient­ly did. Although that book did­n’t end up going any­where, I did man­age to fin­ish it by the end of the year, and on the last day of class she took me aside and said that one day I was going to write a book and I’d bet­ter be sure to ded­i­cate it to her.”

She was jok­ing about that last part, but it always remained buzzing around the back of my mind any time my thoughts drift­ed towards the notion of writ­ing again. I just thought she’d get such a kick out of it, and I felt she deserved it,” he added.

Stacey Flaville-Boop with Hank Curry's book
Stacey Flaville-Boop with a copy of the book