Palmetto Bay resident and best-selling novelist AlexFlinn appeared at Books & Books in Coral Gables on Sunday, May 19, for a reading and book signing of her 10th Young Adult novel, Towering, published by HarperTeen on May 14.
The 304-page hardcover book is a retelling of a classic fairy tale, Rapunzel, with a modern day girl, Rachel, living for years in a tower in upstate New York that has become her prison. Interwoven with her story is the account of Wyatt, a young man who journeys to the area and becomes a part of the contemporary tale.
“Besides Rapunzel I liked the idea of writing a gothic novel,” Flinn said after reading excerpts from her book to the audience gathered for the presentation. “I loved Jane Eyre and stories with characters that have dark and brooding mysteries.”
Her other books for teens include Beastly, A Kiss in Time, Bewitching, Cloaked, Breathing Underwater, Breaking Point, Nothing to Lose, Fade to Black, and Diva.
“I’ve been writing since I was a little kid,” Flinn said. “When I had my daughter in 1996 I stayed home from work and started writing a novel which was about teenagers dealing with violence and an abusive relationship. It was drawn from work I did as an intern at the State Attorney’s office.”
That book, Breathing Underwater, launched her career and brought her to the attention of many young readers, reviewers and educators. Still in tune with the 13- year-old within her, Flinn has focused on novels with which teenagers facing perennial complex social and emotional issues can readily identify. Her last five books all have fairytale themes, retold in contemporary settings. Beastly was made into a movie by CBS Films.
Flinn offered advice to those aspiring authors in her audience on choosing their own path to writing, suggesting they avoid following popular trends like vampires or Harry Potter, which will become passé, join writers groups where others share their interests, and pick a subject about which they are passionate.
“If you write what’s really important to you, it will be better than anything else you might do,” Flinn said.
The book she is writing currently, which will be called Mirrored and will probably be out in two years, will likely be the last Kendra story, a character featured in Beastly and Bewitching.
Towering is now on sale at Books & Books, other stores and at online booksellers.
For more information visit her website www.alexflinn.com