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.
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)
Books (with Introduction by John L. Flynn, Ph.D.)
Documentary (Subject in Documentary)
25 Frequently Asked Questions
1. How did John become a writer?