|Each one of Vince Flynn's political thrillers has landed on the bestseller list, and he counts among his millions of readers many Washington insiders--including former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Flynn, the fifth of seven children, was born in St. Paul Minnesota, and although he suffered from severe dyslexia, in 1988 he earned a degree in economics from the University of St. Thomas. "I came of age in the 1980s," he once told an interviewer, explaining his staunch political conservatism. "That's when Ronald Reagan gets shot, the Pope gets shot. We've just finished the hostage deal over in Iran. There's the Beirut Embassy bombing and then Pan Am Lockerbie. Then the Berlin Wall falls. So that's my decade." Flynn began his career as a marketing specialist with Kraft Foods, but within a few years he decided to join the U.S. Marines. The week before he was due to start officers' training, he has told reporters, he was disqualified due to a childhood seizure disorder. Demoralized, he found another office job, but in the evenings he began penning a novel, TERM LIMITS, which he self-published in 1997. The book quickly caught the notice of a major publishing company, which reissued it the following year. In 1999 Flynn published TRANSFER OF POWER, the first of his novels to feature renegade counter-terrorism agent Mitch Rapp. The character has proven to be a favorite of intelligence professionals and members of the military, and Flynn has been widely praised for both his research and prescience. His books are, on occasion, so accurate-MEMORIAL DAY (2004), for example, described a raid very much like the one that ultimately killed Osama bin Laden in 2011--that they have been vetted by the Pentagon before their release, and they are sometimes read by the Secret Service to identify possible security lapses.