Lunching with the down-to-earth author of The Passage
A record crowd gathered for a discussion and book signing by award-winning novelist Justin Cronin when Friends of SMU Libraries sponsored the free event on campus November 2. The Passage (2010) and The Twelve (2012), the first two books in his sweeping trilogy about vampire-like creatures, have sold millions of copies worldwide. The series has a surprisingly wholesome origin: Cronin explained that he and his young daughter, Iris, "would swap ideas back and forth" while bicycling in their Houston neighborhood. When she was happy with the stories, he knew he was on to something. A former English professor at Rice University, Cronin experienced earlier success with two novels very different from his current work — Mary and O'Neil (2001), which won the PEN/Hemingway Award and the Stephen Crane Prize in 2002, and The Summer Guest (2004). The third volume in his supernatural trilogy is scheduled for release in 2014, and the series has been optioned for film development by director Ridley Scott.