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Debut novel no longer a 'secret' for alumna

by Crystal Lamb, Western News | August 8, 2016

Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

For a long time, Laurie Elizabeth Flynn told very few people what she spent her mornings, evenings and weekends doing.

“I was a secret writer,” she said with a laugh. “I didn’t think it was practical or a life path I could actually choose. I didn’t know what people would say and I didn’t want anyone to quash my passion for it. Then, once I got my book deal, I just announced, ‘So, I wrote a book and it’s getting published.’”

Her debut novel, Firsts, released in January, has been described by reviewers as “brave,” “gutsy” and “powerful.” Geared to a young-adult audience, Firsts tells the story of 17-year-old Mercedes Ayres, who is trying to cope with a past traumatic incident in her life by offering secret sex lessons to male classmates who promise to use what they learn from her to give their girlfriends the perfect ‘first time’ experience she didn’t have herself.

“I wrote a heroine not everyone is going to like,” Flynn said. “Some people are even going to hate her. I remember a few times thinking maybe I should have written something a little tamer, but I’m proud of it and I’m happy with how it turned out. The doubts went away once I saw people felt as passionately about the story as I did. For the most part, the feedback has been pretty great so far.”

Despite what some might consider controversial subject matter, Flynn believes the key messages in the story are important, especially for people in high school: don’t judge others because you don’t always know their stories, and don’t let others make decisions for you about what you do with your body.

Read the complete story: Western News

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