She Wrote About the Family Babysitter

Flora Collins, the daughter of Amy Fine Collins, has a debut novel, “Nanny Dearest.”,


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Name: Flora Collins

Age: 28

Hometown: Upper East Side

Currently Lives: In a one-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn Heights.

Claim to Fame: Ms. Collins’s first novel, “Nanny Dearest,” a psychological thriller loosely based on an unsettling “babysitter situation that my family had when I was a child,” was highlighted by Vogue as one of “the best books to read this fall.”

Writing and the arts are a part of her lineage. Her mother, Amy Fine Collins, was a special correspondent to Vanity Fair for more than 25 years, and her father, Bradley Collins Jr., teaches art history at Parsons the New School for Design. “It was always kind of assumed in my household that there would be some kind of artistic endeavor that I would pursue,” she said.

Big Break: In 2020, Ms. Collins signed a two-book deal with Mira Books, an imprint of HarperCollins. To celebrate, she uploaded a screenshot of her first grade report card to Instagram that praised her “marvelous little stories.” “I’ve been babbling little stories to whoever would listen to me since the age of three,” she said.

In 2012, as a senior at the Chapin School on the Upper East Side, a macabre short story she wrote about a corpse being mistaken for a mermaid was a runner-up for an Adroit Prize for Prose. “When I go to high-school reunions, I still have people come up to me and say, ‘I remember that story you wrote 10 years ago,'” she said.



Latest Project:

To celebrate the book’s release, her mother, Simon Doonan and Stacey Bendet are hosting a party on Nov. 30, featuring a conversation with Jill Kargman.

In addition to writing, Ms. Collins has a full-time job as a content manager for Verte, a digital supply-chain management company. Wearing different hats, it turns out, helps streamline her prose. “Writing marketing copy helps me be more succinct in my creative work, even though they’re two completely different languages,” she said. Another perk of the job? “They very kindly give me Friday afternoons off to write.”

Next Thing: She finished her second manuscript in September. “It’s also a thriller, but I can’t talk about it too much,” she said. “But here is a little hint: perils of online dating.”

Family Outings: As the daughter of a social butterfly who is one of the gatekeepers of the International Best-Dressed List, Ms. Collins is a permanent plus-one. “There was one afternoon event I attended when I was 10, hosted by Paper Magazine, where we were supposed to bring a pet,” she said. “My mom and I showed up with our very unstable, possibly brain-damaged cat, Jane, who barely knew how to ‘cat’ and had clearly suffered from some early childhood trauma. Anyway, Paper took a photo of my mom, me, the wacky cat Jane and John Waters, and ended up captioning it something along the lines of ‘Dysfunctional Family Portrait.'”

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