Justin Cronin’s novels were boring.
At least his 8-year-old daughter, now 14, was worried they were. So she told her father she wanted him to write a book about a girl who saves the world.
After this, Cronin spent many afternoons with his daughter as she learned to ride a bike, and during this time they shared ideas and built a story together.
Five years later, Cronin finished his novel, which would later be ranked No. 9 on Time Magazine’s “Top 10 Fiction Books” of 2010.
“I had no intention of writing the book. I was just having a good time with my kid,” Cronin said. “The whole thing came about in an environment of perfect freedom, no critics present, just the two of us having fun.”
Cronin’s novel, “The Passage,” is the first book in a trilogy of a post-apocalyptic world where government experiments backfire and lead to vampire-like creatures destroying civilization, leaving one girl with the task of saving the world.
The novel mixes a science fiction story with a more realistic warning, which in many cases has given fans of the book nightmares, Cronin said.
“To hear that my book had literally entered people’s dream life meant it had gone very deeply into their brain,” Cronin said.
Cronin will begin his book tour at 7:30 p.m. at The Columbus Performing Arts Center. The evening will include Cronin reading an excerpt from his book, a book signing and a talk with the audience about his work.
“I might actually read a bit from the second book to give people a taste of that without giving away too much,” Cronin said.
The Thurber House, a non-profit literary center and museum of author and The New Yorker cartoonist James Thurber, is presenting the event.
The mission of Thurber House is to celebrate the written word, the education of a wide audience and to continue Thurber’s legacy of humor, said Anne Touvell, the deputy executive director of Thurber House.
Touvell said she is excited for the event because of her interest in “The Passage.”
“Justin Cronin is an awesome writer, and I really love ‘The Passage.’ The way he weaves the story together really pulls you into the ravaged landscape and forever-changed human condition,” Touvell said in an email to The Lantern.
In 2007, before the book was even published, Fox 2000 purchased the book rights. The film is expected to be released in 2013.
The movie will be directed by Matt Reeves. The film’s screen writer is John Logan, who wrote the screenplay for the movie “Gladiator,” and the film will be produced by Scott Free Productions.
Cronin said his only real role in helping with the film is that he wrote the novels, which the movies are based on.
“My involvement is fairly light because the people who are working on this are incredibly smart and they know a lot more about making movies than I do,” Cronin said. Christa Arvay, a fifth-year in nursing, said the transformation from book to movie could be difficult.
“With sci-fi, there are so many more aspects left up to the imagination when you’re reading,” Arvay said. “It’s just going to be so weird then, to see how differently the author and producers envisioned everything.”
Cronin will be visiting 16 cities, and the tour will be promoting the release of the paperback edition of “The Passage.”
Tickets are available for $15 at www.thurberhouse.org, and currently two tickets can be purchased for the price of one.