The official student media of Blue Valley Northwest High School


The official student media of Blue Valley Northwest High School


The official student media of Blue Valley Northwest High School


Lillian Flood explains ‘The Things We Don’t Understand’ in her debut novel

Senior published her first book, ‘The Things We Don’t Understand,’ on Oct. 17th.
Miles Thomas
“It was my therapy method, just unleashing inner emotions and whatever I was feeling at the time and being able to put it in one place,” Senior Lillian Flood said, describing her book writing process.

When senior Lillian Flood sat down the day after Christmas and started jotting down her thoughts, Flood said she never predicted a book coming out of it.

“I was going through teenage angst, and I’ve never really been a diary person, so I thought ‘Okay, well, I’m just gonna write about fictional people,’ to represent some of my problems,” Flood said.

Using her own experience and observations, Flood said writing her book was an incredible way to express herself and combine her thoughts to create one seamless plot. 

“It was my therapy method, just unleashinginner emotions and whatever I was feeling at the time and being able to put it in one place.” 

Flood said while she grew up reading fiction and nonfiction books alike, she prefers writing fiction. 

“I’ve always been a fiction person. I have tremendous respect for nonfiction writers, but I don’t think I could do it,” Flood said. 

Flood said her parents encouraged her to pursue writing from a young age, but she also acknowledges much of her drive has been from herself.

“I remember in kindergarten, I was sitting at a table with my best friend at the time, and we would like to force her mom to write up the stories we were creating,” Flood said. “I feel like part of my love [for] writing is definitely on my own, but my parents have encouraged me.”

Flood said having a positive support system from her teachers growing up was essential to her writing journey. 

“I had a lot of teachers early on in middle school and late elementary school at my old school in Chicago that were awesome and supportive of my love for writing,” Flood said. “I think about them a lot when I think about teachers who molded me.” 

Flood described her book as a coming-of-age literary fiction novel, a genre which she enjoys reading and writing about. 

“I’ve always loved to read [literary fiction], and I think it’s probably easiest for me to write because it’s very in tune with human emotion, and that’s something I like to spend a lot of time thinking on and dissecting,” Flood said. 

Flood said she hopes to pursue a degree in English next year at a college or university and become a publishing agent.

“I seriously looked at schools in Chicago and Boston because connections [are] a major thing in that industry,” Flood said. “Being able to build relationships with others and get your foot in the door is the first step.”

  With Flood’s interest in pursuing a career in publishing in the future, she’s grateful that writing her book provided her with further insight into the publishing world. 

“I’m very happy I went the self publishing route because I was able to learn everything I can about the publishing industry and editing.” Flood said. “It all felt like I owned every step of the process.”

Flood said she finished writing her book in early September of 2022. Now, her book is available to read on multiple platforms. 

“My book is available on a website called Indie Bound,” Flood said. “It’s also available through Barnes and Noble and any local bookstore.”
Flood said she’s proud of herself and is happy it all worked out in the end despite the stress of the writing, editing and the publishing process. 

Flood encourages aspiring writers to continue down their path as she said it’s important that they give themselves a break sometimes. 

“Keep going at it. Don’t give up whenever you’re feeling down or insecure.” Flood said. “Just [remember] writing a book in itself is an amazing accomplishment, and be proud of yourself.”

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About the Contributors
Saraphina Wambi
Saraphina Wambi, Writer
Saraphina Wambi is a senior and a writer for “The Express” as well as the host of the “BVNWspeaks” podcast.  This is her second year on staff and outside of newspaper, Saraphina is student body President, BSU President, Model UN President, SNHS president, Gold Out KC (NW chapter) founder and president, and involved in girl’s tennis, HOSA, Mental Health Board, BVNW Ambassadors, NHS, Quill and Scroll, Chamber Symphony, Tri-M, and Medical Club. In her free time she likes to hang out with her friends, read, and play tennis. She is extremely grateful for the opportunity to write for “The Express” and cannot wait to see what is in store for the year!
Miles Thomas
Miles Thomas, Writer
Miles Thomas is a sophmore and a writer of “The Express”. This is his first year on staff. Outside of  Newspaper, he plays baseball for Blue Valley Northwest and for Advanced Baseball Academy. In his free time, he likes to workout, hang out with his friends and play baseball. Miles is excited to learn new skills and become a better writer.
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