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This Week's Spotlight: Susan Affronti, Author

Albertus Magnus High School graduate publishes her first novel.

 

Susan Affronti, a 1991 graduate of , has written and published her first novel,  The Sinners. Writing under the pen name of Elizabeth Flaherty, her first book is a thriller.

After graduating from Albertus, Affronti attended Bucknell University double majoring in English and Education with a minor in Math. She covered a somewhat broad spectrum of concentrations trying to figure out what exactly she wanted to do with her future. Still unsure after working for a few years after college, she chose to go into Law.

"I decided that I wanted to find a job where I could help people and make a positive change in the world.  I didn’t find something I really loved until law school, which would have been the last thing I would have expected during my Bucknell years.  Looking back, the confusion was a blessing in disguise, I ended up with such a diverse college experience that has really served me well in life," said Affronti.

Affronti graduated from Temple University School of Law then worked in a large law firm in Philadelphia.  For the past nine years she has worked for the District Attorney's office.

"It’s given me the chance to be a voice for victims in Philly and to work with some of the smartest, kindest people I’ve ever known.  It’s the best job I’ve ever had."

Working in the appellate division of the DA's office has allowed Affronti time to write. A passion she has had since she was a child, beginning when she was a fourth grader at Sacred Heart School in Suffern.

"I think I have always known I wanted to write.  As a little kid, I would create characters and stories in my head.  I started writing those stories down.  They weren’t long enough to be novels back then, but they were actually pretty long considering. I’d love to give a little shout out to my 4th grade teacher Mary Sullivan at Sacred Heart.  She was always so encouraging of me.  It really helped me to see my writing as a special, fun thing."

Although Affronti now lives in Philadelphia, PA, she grew up in Rockland attending Sacred Heart Elementary school in Suffern then Albertus Magnus High School in Bardonia.

"Mrs. Gavigan from Albertus Magnus High School was one of my favorite teachers there.  She was so tough.  She made me a better writer, and I’m sure that really helped me to test my limits. At times when I’ve been stuck with editing and couldn’t figure out how to get a scene right, I thought about reaching out to her, because I knew she could tell me what I was doing wrong," said Affronti.

Her mother and brother still live in Rockland. Susan Affronti's pen name, Elizabeth Flaherty, has family ties. Elizabeth is her middle name and is her mother's middle name and Flaherty is her mother's maiden name.

The Sinners is one of many projects Affronti has been working on. It is an intriguing story with well developed characters capturing the readers attention with it's calculated plot.

"For some reason, I found myself reading through Dante’s Inferno. Kind of an odd choice for me, actually, I’m not really sure what inspired me to do that. While I read it, I was struck by the precision of the punishments recorded and the sort of mathematical formulation of it all.  If you do X, then Y will happen.  I thought to myself, what if you created a story with a killer who was using these punishments as her framework."

Considering Affronti's choice of study this made for the perfect foundation of her first novel. Without giving too much of the story away, it evolves revenge, murder and love in a twisted understandable way.

Her second book, Vendetta is due to come out in the spring of 2013. After reading The Sinners, you are sure to want more of her intriguing and creative story line. Spring 2013 will seem like a long time to wait, but it is sure to be worth it. 

If you are looking for a good book to take to away with you this Labor Day weekend check out The Sinners. The story is quite unusual and will have you turning pages in order to get to the bottom of it. It would also be good for book club discussions as well.

"Life is hard.  Books are such a fantastic way to escape all of that.  I love to sink into an exciting story with relatable characters that keeps me wanting to turn the next page. "

Congratulations Susan Affronti, also known as Elizabeth Flaherty on the success of your first published novel.

The Sinners is available in paperback, in bookstores or can be downloaded onto a Nook or Kindle. The book can also be order through the website  www.flahertybooks.com.

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