Stephan Lee
August 02, 2013 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Why Her
The lightning-in-a-bottle success of the former EW writer’s third novel, Gone Girl, has tapped something in the zeitgeist, revving up readers’ demand for character-driven thrillers with women in the forefront. (How many books claim to be ”the next Gone Girl!”?)

An Early Inspiration
Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews. It had sex, incest, tar in hair, ballerinas, and evil grandmothers. It was so gothic. You can actually see its influence in my work!”

The Future
In addition to writing the screenplay for Gone Girl, Flynn, 42, has committed to three more novels, including one for young adults. ”When my publisher approached me about the idea, [I asked,] ‘Have you read my other books?!”’

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