(CNN) — Vince Flynn, the bestselling author of political thriller novels, died early Wednesday after a long battle with prostate cancer, his publisher said. He was 47.
Flynn was the author of 14 novels, which regularly appeared on the New York Times bestseller list.
All but one of his novels feature counterterrorism operative Mitch Rapp. The character and series garnered Flynn legions of followers, with CBS Films buying the rights to the Mitch Rapp character with the intention of creating a movie franchise.
Flynn had planned on becoming Marine Corps aviator in the early 1990s, but he was medically disqualified before entering the program, his publisher, Simon & Schuster, said.
It was around that time that he first considered writing a novel.
Flynn wrote his first novel, Term Limits, while supporting himself by bartending at night. His manuscript was rejected more than 60 times before he decided to self-publish, which was not very common at the time, his publisher said.
The self-published book was a hit, and Flynn’s career took off.
“Flynn’s novels have been praised for their extensive research and prescient warnings about the rise of Islamic Radical Fundamentalism and terrorism,” Simon & Schuster said in a statement.
On his website, Flynn had said that becoming a novelist was an unusual choice because he had been diagnosed with dyslexia as a child, and struggled with reading and writing.
He listed his influences as Ernest Hemingway, Robert Ludlum, Tom Clancy, J.R.R. Tolkien, Gore Vidal and John Irving.
Flynn is survived by his wife, Lysa, and three children.