Vince Flynn: A National Treasure

Written by Stephanie Janiczek on June 20, 2013

VinceI was lucky enough to have met the author Vince Flynn in San Diego at a book signing a few years back. Just a small Mom and Pop hole in the wall place which was filled with fans till it was almost over flowing. I’d never been to an author’s book signing before, and let me say it was a blast, and it was a blast because of Vince.

Some people drift into a person’s life even for a short time and make huge impacts. All of us readers of Vince’s Mitch Rapp series can say that about Vince. If a fan was lucky enough to have met him you walked away feeling like you met one of the great ones and the reason is you did meet one of the great ones.

He was funny, and the entire time I sat there I laughed so hard tears came to my eyes. When he talked about the things that mattered, like national security issues, he was serious, and he understood the problems the US was facing. He never backed down from a position that to some might have seemed harsh. And he was right about what he said about those national security issues to. He came across as a good and decent man. A guy you’d want to have a beer with and talk about whatever came to mind.

Another thing about certain people is they don’t have to always physically be there every day to make an impact in one’s life. That’s how Vince was. I’d look on my book shelf and see every book he’d written, look forward to the next one. We looked forward to the Mitch Rapp series being made into films. Vince was one of the top three coolest people on the list of coolest people that I keep. That’s a hard list to get on to. Vince didn’t have to work too hard at being that kind of cool. He was a natural.

Vince was an inspiration to a lot of us who are struggling in our own ways to make our voices heard. Vince taught us how to overcome the biggest obstacle one can face, rejection of a dream. He pulled off his ambitions in a truly American way, he did it himself and when the big publishers noticed they noticed big time. That’s what being a real man is about. And I admire him so much for his courage and determination. Vince Flynn was a rare man that way. The word “no” is merely a wall to go through, not the end. When I grow up I want to be like him.

It is strange my twitter feed was buzzing and the IPhone light was going on and off like a cars blinker. Upon waking up I saw the news about Vince’s passing. Hearts are breaking all over the world tonight. It is nighttime here as I write this. I hate reading “was” and his name in the same sentence. It makes no sense. Of course a lot in life doesn’t make sense, but the fact he is gone is totally absurd. It is hard to lie still after hearing this news. The world needs more like Vince Flynn, especially now with so much uncertainty. Vince gave us certainty, he gave us Mitch Rapp.

I always believed that a nation is as much about its literature as it is its factual history. Fiction has always had a huge role to play in Western Civilization, since the time of Homer. Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey described what made Greece what it was and Virgil’s Aeneid laid the explanation for Rome. Fiction matters because that is where present problems are explained and debated and values are presented.

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Stephanie Janiczek is a former Capitol Hill Staff Assistant, Schedule C Appointee and Leadership Institute alum. Military Wife, Hunter, Horse enthusiast, dog owner, writer and feminist kryptonite.