Flinn attended a performing arts high school program, similar to that portrayed in her book, Diva, then majored in vocal performance in college. Panicked upon realising that there weren't a whole lot of jobs for opera singers, Flinn went to law school.
Law school was, it turns out a really good place to learn to write for teenagers. Writing for teens and writing for judges are very similar because both judges and teens have a lot of demands on their time and minimal time for reading. Also, Flinn interned at the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office, trying many domestic violence cases, which were later the inspiration for her first novel, Breathing Underwater.
Breathing Underwater was published in 2001. It received many honors, including being chosen a Top 10 Best Book for Young Adults by the American Library Association. Flinn practiced law for 10 years before retiring to devote herself full-time to writing. She has since published nine further novels for young adults.
Flinn still lives in Miami with her husband, two daughters, a dog, cat, and an African Spur-Thighed Tortoise. She enjoys performing arts, cycling, and travel.
Author's Comment: I think I write for young-adults because I never quite got over being one. In my mind, I am still 13-years-old, running laps on the athletic field, wearing this really baggy white gymsuit. I'm continually amazed at the idea that I have a checking account and a mortgage. So I try to write books that gymsuit girl might enjoy. It's a way of going back to being 13 . . . knowing what I know now.