About John Flynn
John L. Flynn

Biography

Dr. John L. Flynn is a three-time Hugo-nominated author, psychologist, teacher, and college dean. Born in Chicago, Illinois, in the 1950s, John has been writing since childhood, when his grandmother gave him a lined notebook, with its classic black and white marbled cover, and told him to write down his stories in the composition book rather than try to tell her about them. That was the spark that ignited his writing career. Over the years, he filled several notebooks full of Star Trek and Science Fiction stories, including his first novel titled The Shape of Things Unknown. He worked on perfecting his craft in high school and college, writing dozens of short stories, articles and poems in creative writing courses. In 1976, he made his first professional sale, penning an article about the Gunpowder Plot for Churchman magazine, and in 1977, he received the M. Carolyn Parker Award from the University of South Florida for excellence in writing. He has been writing professionally ever since.

From a very early age, John also demonstrated a keen interest in movies and science fiction. He made his first single-reel films with a Super-8mm camera; not only did John write all of the scripts, but he also designed all the sets and made all the costumes for his three-to-five minute productions. When he went to college at age 17, John studied writing and theater arts with a goal of becoming the next Stanley Kubrick. John received his Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in English from the University of South Florida. With money tight, he went to work as an English teacher at Patapsco High School in Baltimore, Maryland, and directed his first stage play, Neil Simon's The Odd Couple, for the Patapsco Players. One year later, he not only directed but also designed the set and costumes for Stephen Sondheim's A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum for a local community theater. His set and costume designs were singled out for recognition by the local media, and earned him notoriety as a theatrical designer. From 1980 to 1987, he honed his skills as a costume designer, and after winning numerous national and international competitions, he earned the title of Master-Class Costumer from The Costumer's Guild. In 1985, Robert Fletcher, the costume designer for Shogun (1980) and the Star Trek films, reviewed Johns portfolio at a science fiction convention, and offered him a job at Western Costume, just off the Paramount Lot. John declined as he was neck-deep in his doctoral studies to become a clinical psychologist.

Throughout the late 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, John wrote dozens of articles, editorials, book and movie reviews, interviews, and fan retrospectives, and was a regular contributor and columnist to dozens of science fiction magazines, including Starlog, Not of This Earth, Sci-Fi Universe, Cinescape, Retrovision, Media History Digest, SFTV, SF Movieland, Monsterland, Enterprise, Enterprise Incidents, Nexxus, The Annapolis Review, and Collector's Corner. His first book, Future Threads (1985), costume design for the science fiction world, evolved from a series of articles John had written for the sci-fi magazines in the 1980s into a "How-to" book for fans wishing to cosplay costumes from Star Trek, V, and Star Wars at science fiction conventions. John became a member of the Science Fiction Writers of America later that same year. He has subsequently written eighteen other books, including Cinematic Vampires (1992), Phantoms of the Opera (1993), The Films of Arnold Schwarzenegger (1993), Dissecting Aliens (1995), War of the Worlds: From Wells to Spielberg (2005), 75 Years of Universal Monsters (2006), 50 Years of Hammer Horror (2007),101 Superheroes of the Silver Screen (2007), and 2001: Beyond the Infinite (2008). Brickhouse Books published Visions in Light and Shadow, a collection of John's short stories, in 2001, and Galactic Books published his first novel, The Jovian Dilemma, in 2006. His first screenplay, which is based on The Jovian Dilemma, was a finalist in the 2003 Screenplay Festival, and was optioned for a brief time by a New York-based production company. His most recent screenplay is the erotic thriller Intimate Bondage, which John has developed into the novel published by BelleBridge Books. Intimate Bondage proved to be so successful that John has since written four follow-up books in the Kate Dawson thriller series, including Architects of Armageddon (2017), Murder on Air Force One (2017), Terror at G-20 (2017), and Merchants of Death (2018), all published by W & B Publishers. The success of those mystery/thrillers led to membership in the Mystery Writers of America.

In 1998, John earned his Ph.D. as a clinical psychologist from Southern California University. His doctoral dissertation, The Etiology of Sexual Addiction: Childhood Trauma as a Primary Determinant (1998), has broken new ground in the diagnosis and treatment of sexual addiction.

John continued to write professionally in the 2000s, earning the first of his three Hugo Award nominations in 2002. The prestigious Hugo Award is the Science Fiction Achievement Award which is given for excellence in the field of science fiction writing and the arts. Dr. Flynn received two additional Hugo nominations in 2003 and 2004. (John actually received a fourth Hugo nomination in 2003 for his short story, A Gift of Verse, but that nomination was rescinded when it was determined the story had been published in the previous year and was therefore not eligible for that year.) His notoriety in the field of science fiction has provided John with many wonderful opportunities. He has appeared on television multiple times, mostly featured as an expert commentator in short documentaries, (including a documentary about Star Wars on the Sci-Fi Channel, a featurette on collecting movie memorabilia for the HGTV channel, and a separate documentary about collecting James Bond 007 memorabilia on Russia's RTR Television). John is also featured, along with several other prominent science fiction writers, in Casey Moore's documentary Finding the Future: A Science Fiction Conversation (2004), and he has spoken on the radio, and been a guest at national conferences. With fellow author and academic Bob Blackwood, he founded The Film Doctors in 2004. The Film Doctors are academics who promote science fiction films in mainstream popular culture. Their first collaboration was Future Prime: The Top Ten Science Fiction Films (2015). They also wrote Everything I Know about Life I Learned from James Bond (2015). John retired as a college dean and teacher in 2016 in order to write full-time. He also labors to promote the work of new and emerging writers, often volunteering his time for classroom seminars and lectures, or mentoring young writers and artists to submit their work to L. Ron Hubbard's Writers and Illustrators of the Future contest. Nothing is more important to John than literacy efforts in public schools to help the next generation learn how to read and write. In 2019, after twenty-five years of writing and research about his deceased friend, he submitted the manuscript for his 20th book, a biography of actress and showgirl Angelique Pettyjohn, to his agent for publication. Today, Dr. John L. Flynn makes his home in Lake Worth, Florida.

Publicity Photos

Selected Bibliography

Books

 Future Threads. Los Angeles: New Media Publishing, 1985.

 Cinematic Vampires. North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Publishers, 1992.

 The Films of Arnold Schwarzenegger. New York: Citadel Books, 1993.

 Phantoms of the Opera. New York: Image Publishing, 1993.

 Dissecting Aliens. New York: Pan Macmillan, and London: Boxtree Ltd., 1995.

 Visions in Light and Shadow.  Baltimore, MD: Brickhouse Books, Inc., 2001.

 The War of the Worlds: From Wells to Spielberg. Baltimore, Maryland: Galactic Books, 2005.

 The Jovian Dilemma. Baltimore, Maryland: Galactic Books, 2006.

 75 Years of Universal Monsters. Baltimore, Maryland: Galactic Books, 2006.

 50 Years of Hammer Horror. Baltimore, Maryland: Galactic Books, 2007.

 101 Superheroes of the Silver Screen. Baltimore, Maryland: Galactic Books, 2007.

 2001: Beyond the Infinite. Baltimore, Maryland: Galactic Books, 2008.

 Intimate Bondage. Memphis, Tennessee: Bellebridge Books, 2014.

 Everything I Know About Life I Learned from James Bond (with Bob Blackwood). New York: Library Tales, 2015.

 Future Prime: The Top Ten Science Fiction Films (with Bob Blackwood). New York: Library Tales, 2015.

 Architects of Armageddon. Kernersville, NC: W & B Publishers, 2017.

 Murder on Air Force One. Kernersville, NC: W & B Publishers, 2017.

 Terror at G-20. Kernersville, NC: W & B Publishers, 2017.

 Merchants of Death. Kernersville, NC: W & B Publishers, 2018.

Books (as Editor)

  • The Dictionary of Essential English by Marion McGuire. Baltimore, MD: Media Materials, 1987.

Books (with Introduction by John L. Flynn, Ph.D.)

  • The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux. Introduction by John L. Flynn, Ph.D. New York: Signet Classics, 2001.

  • The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells. Afterword by John L. Flynn, Ph.D. New York: Signet Classics, 2005.

Screenplays

  • "The Jovian Dilemma" (125min.).  The Woofenill Works, Inc. Production Company, 2003.

  • "Intimate Bondage" (120min.), 2006.

Dissertation

  • "The Etiology of Sexual Addiction: Childhood Trauma as a Primary Determinant." Diss. Southern California University, 1997.

Documentary (Subject in Documentary)

  • Finding the Future: A Science Fiction Conversation. Director: Casey Moore. Producer: Joseph Formichella. Cast: John L. Flynn, Catherine Asaro, Ben Bova, David Brin, Lois McMaster Bujold, Roger Christian, Bob Eggleton, Cory Doctorow, Nancy Kress et al. Anomalous Entertainment LLC, 2004.

Author Introductions

25 Frequently Asked Questions

1. How did John become a writer?
2. Where does John get his story ideas?
3. Does John belong to any professional writer's organizations?
4. When will we see his next book?
5. What authors does John admire?
6. What is John’s writing process? Does he write every day?
7. What type of writing does John prefer? Fiction or Nonfiction.
8. I have a great story idea for John. Will he consider writing it?
9. Will John read my manuscript and give me his opinion?
10. Does John have any advice for aspiring writers?
11. Can John suggest a good agent or a good publisher?
12. When is the next book signing event?
13. How can I get a personalized/autographed copy of one of his books?
14. How many books may I bring to a book signing?
15. When does the website post updated appearance dates and locations?
16. Why hasn’t John visited my city?
17. Is John working on any television and/or movie projects?
18. What about audio books? Are any of his books available as audio books?
19. How can I contact John?
20. Does John read his email?
21. How do I book John to speak at an event?
22. What kind of charitable foundations does John support?
23. Where can I find a list of John’s books by publication date and publisher? Do you have a printable list?
24. Is it true that John auctions off character-naming opportunities? How can I participate?
25. What’s next?

Answers


1. John has wanted to be a writer his whole life. In grade school, he started writing his own Star Trek and Science Fiction stories, including his first novel titled The Shape of Things Unknown. He worked on perfecting his craft in high school and college, writing dozens of short stories, articles and poems in creative writing courses. In 1977, he made his first professional sale, penning an article about the Gunpowder Plot for Churchman magazine. He has been writing professionally ever since.


2. Everywhere. Especially dreams and nightmares.


3. John is a member of the Science Fiction Writers of America and the Mystery Writers of America.


4. John is a perfectionist, and works very closely with his agent to produce truly outstanding work. When they both agree the manuscript is ready for publication, you'll see his next book.


5. John admires many 20th century American authors, like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Harper Lee, Ernest Hemingway, Ray Bradbury, Ann Tyler and Truman Capote. He also has a soft spot for science fiction authors. Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, L. Ron Hubbard, Philip K. Dick, and William Gibson are among his favorites. He also enjoys a good mystery or thriller from Ian Fleming, Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, Earl Stanley Gardener, and Patricia Highsmith from time to time.


6. Now that he is retired from his day job as a college dean and professor, John still works a typical eight-hour day, writing in the morning and early afternoon and editing in the late afternoon and evening. When he is nearing the end of a project, he can write for 10-15 hours straight. In between projects, he takes time off for marketing his work and completing household chores.


7. John has produced outstanding fiction and nonfiction. He enjoys writing his Kate Dawson thrillers, but if a particular nonfiction subject strikes his fancy, he will put his fiction writing aside, and start researching that next great nonfiction title.


8. No. John does not read story ideas submitted by others. He says, ’’I have so many story ideas of my own that I will never have time to write them all. I certainly don't have time for the story ideas of others."


9. No. For legal reasons, John cannot read unpublished material. He also does not have the time nor inclination.


10. John says, ’’Write about something that excites you, and conveys that excitement to others. Otherwise, you’ll get bored quickly. Writing is a hard, very lonely profession; it takes dedication, perserverence, and an unyielding determination to put it ahead of everything else in your life!’’


11. Writers Market, Writers Digest, and Literary Marketplace are excellent resources for writers seeking markets and agents. Start there.


12. Visit the News section of this website for news about upcoming appearances.


13. John loves to meet and sign books for fans and does so at a number of events throughout the year. (He recently signed for more than an hour at DragonCon 2019 in Atlanta.) Unfortunately, John cannot accommodate all the signing requests he receives, and wouldn’t have time to write if he fulfilled them all.


14. Please check with the convention or store hosting the event for its book signing policy.


15. We post appearance dates as soon as we’ve confirmed them.


16. John would love to visit every city in the United States and abroad in Europe and Asia where he has fans, but writing full-time means he must spend the majority of his time writing and researching.


17. John has adapted two of his novels for the big screen, including Intimate Bondage and The Jovian Dilemma; in fact, the screenplay for The Jovian Dilemma won a Screenplay Festival in 2004. Other television and film projects are hopefully in the works; stay tuned.


18. Recently, John has worked with producers at ACX to make several of his books into audio books, and he is hopeful more audio books will follow.


19. If you have a specific question or comment for John, please contact him through his website. Constructive criticism is welcome, but we weed out mean-spirited and inappropriate correspondence.


20. Because of the sheer volume of mail John receives, he cannot read it all. (We are still working out the details on how to clone him.) John’s staff replies to correspondence, but please be patient, as John receives hundreds of emails each week.


21. Visit the contact page for information on booking John for one of your events.


22. John has been involved in Education his whole life, and supports literacy efforts at the local, regional and national levels. From 1976 to 1978, he was a Reading Specialist, working with TITLE 1 students in reading and language arts at Campbell Park Elementary School in St. Petersburg, Florida. From 1978 to 1980, he taught English, language arts, and writing at Patapsco Senior High School in Baltimore, Maryland; from 1987 to 1989, he trained welfare recipients in G.E.D. skills, including English, language arts, and writing, at the Cherry Hill Learning in Baltimore, Maryland. From 1989 to 2012, John worked as a dean, associate dean, or college administrator at several institutions for the University of Maryland system, including 18 years at Towson University; at night or on weekends, he taught writing and composition skills to undergraduate and graduate students. He continues to promote literacy, and volunteers to work with new and emerging writers through classroom seminars and lectures, or mentoring young writers to submit their work to L. Ron Hubbard's Writers of the Future contest. Nothing is more important to John than literacy efforts in public schools to help the next generation learn how to read and write.


23. Click this link to download a list in pdf.


24. From time to time, John donates character-naming opportunities to nonprofit organizations for their annual fundraisers. The nonprofit receives 100% of the proceeds from the winning bid, and the winner gets to name a character in one of John’s upcoming books. While most of these auctions require bidders to attend the event (e.g., a literacy organization’s annual fundraiser), John also sometimes participates in online auctions which are available to all. We promote the online opportunities on his website and through his social media.


25. In 1982, John met actress and showgirl Angelique Pettyjohn at a Star Trek convention, and developed a special friendship which flourished during the last ten years of her life. They spoke often on the phone, and John hung out with her at conventions, on sets of her movies, or at her shows in Las Vegas. She died in 1992 from cervical cancer at age 48. On her death-bed, Pettyjohn made John promise to write her amazing story. In 2019, after over twenty-five years of writing and research about his deceased friend, he submitted the manuscript for his 20th book, a biography of actress and showgirl Angelique Pettyjohn, to his agent for publication. Elvis Aaron Presley Junior wrote the Foreword to John's book, in tribute to his mother Angelique Pettyjohn who had had an affair with Elvis in 1961 and gave birth to the King's one and only son. The manuscript, tentatively titled The Girl in the Silver Bikini: The Life and Times of Angelique Pettyjohn--Showgirl, Actress, Star Trek Siren, is making its rounds to publishers.


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This site was last updated 9/9/19.