Monday, February 20, 2012

Vince Flynn

Several years ago, I believe it was in the spring of '09, I discovered Minnesota author, Vince Flynn.  I've been trying to recall how I stumbled upon his books.  I think it was a mention on Kelly the Kitchen Kop's website, about a new book coming out, maybe with a link to her favorite reads page.  I followed Kelly's link to Flynn's first book, Term Limits, and was intrigued.  I quickly requested it through the library.  I liked it well enough to immediately request the next one, Transfer of Power, also.  It was after Transfer of Power, the first of the Mitch Rapp books, that I was really hooked.  I haven't read them all yet, but I look forward to such an indulgence. (As a little aside, if you are interested in learning to cook with more nutritive ingredients and methods, Kelly's website is a great place to start.)

From a fan perspective, Vince Flynn is an all around great author to admire.  He writes excellent political thrillers.  He researches his material well.  He's one of those authors who writes about things that might be, and later we find out they were in fact true all along.  His book, Memorial Day, was so accurate that Flynn fell under the watchful eye of the Department of Energy.

Mr. Flynn is from Minnesota, from the Twin Cities area.  He self-published his first book, which is very cool from a writing standpoint.  It is not easy to gain enough of a following in the self-publishing world to garner the attention of a major publishing house.  Mr. Flynn is a family man with fairly traditional values.

Mr. Flynn has a new book out just recently.  The new book, Kill Shot, is the second prequel in the Mitch Rapp series.  I heard in one interview I've listened to that Flynn has a third prequel in his mind that he hopes to write one day, but that his next book will continue the later Mitch Rapp story. 

Mr. Flynn's new books are usually released in the fall, October, I think.  Kill Shot was released several months late, but it's quite amazing that Mr. Flynn was able to finish the book at all.  He was diagnosed with stage three metastatic prostate cancer in November of 2010, in the middle of the book tour for what was at that time his latest book, American Assassin.  The cancer had moved into his hip bone and he at first thought he might have only months to live.  After consultation with his specialists, however, Mr. Flynn was assured that, although his prognosis was certainly serious, it was not as dire as it would have been even a few years ago.  Treatments for his type of cancer have progressed to the point that they gave him a likelihood of living at least five years, but that depending upon how his system handled the treatments, he could very well live a long and full life.

What great news for him and his family!  But also for us fans.  I've really enjoyed reading about his experience, and listening to some interviews.  It's always heartening to hear of someone joining the ranks of cancer survivors.  He is not out of the woods yet, but his treatments seem to be progressing well, and the cancer is diminishing in a predictable fashion, as they hoped.  But Mr. Flynn's story is very inspirational.  He talks openly in interviews about his Catholic faith, his writing career, the importance of his family.  Mr. Flynn has a 16 year old step-son, and two daughters, ages 11 and 9.   He projects such an over-all great attitude that it has reminded me to make better use of my own time here on earth.

Minnesota blogger, Caryn Sullivan, wrote a nice piece on Mr. Flynn and his struggle to produce this recent book while undergoing his cancer treatments.

The most extensive interview that I came across is this one from the Dan Barreiro Show out of the Twin Cities, on KFAN, 100.3. The interview is an hour long, so I wasn't able to listen very carefully to the whole thing, but it was really fun to listen to as much as I did.  Mr. Flynn talks about writing during this cancer battle, about his fear of prescription pain medications, and the frustration of undergoing hormone treatments.  Mr. Barreiro asks about Mr. Flynn's writing career and where he plans to go from here.  And they talk about national security and the very real threats to such security.

I can't wait to read Kill Shot.  If you've never read any of Mr. Flynn's Mitch Rapp books, you'll have to give one a try.  They are a pretty fast read, with excellent characters, and lots of suspense.  I do suggest reading them in order, starting with Transfer of Power.  The characters really develop as the stories unfold.  And although someone could make the argument that one could start with the prequels, I think the mystery about Rapp's background might be less interesting when read in that order.  It's like getting to know a friend.  One doesn't generally gush everything out at the first meeting, right?

Happy reading!

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