Justin Cronin takes on vampires, with best-selling results

Justin Cronin used to write literary fiction until he turned his talents to the horror genre.

The way author Justin Cronin sees it, we have four main types of boogeymen.

“They come down to werewolves, monsters, zombies and vampires. They are the big four,” says the engaging author from his home in Texas, where he is a distinguished faculty fellow at Rice University. “Of the four of them, the vampire story is the one with the best stuff.”

So much “stuff” that Cronin was able to develop a highly regarded — not to mention highly profitable — trilogy based on the mythological beings. The series began in 2010 with “The Passage,” a 784-page  best-seller, and continues on this month with the publication of his massive follow-up, “The Twelve.”

In Cronin’s futuristic dystopia, his vampires are known as virals; vicious, almost unstoppable monsters created by a government experiment gone horribly wrong who almost end all of humanity. In “The Passage” and now “The Twelve,” Cronin delves into two worlds: The time when the vampire plague was unleashed upon society and a hundred years into the future. His cast of characters numbers into the hundreds; locations not only span coasts but decades and lifetimes; his word count is epic. How does he keep it all straight?

“That was something I had to learn how to do,”?he says. “When I was writing the first book, I discovered my brain can naturally hold up to 800 pages of manuscript; at page 801, the top of my head flies off and I can’t remember how to use the coffeemaker. I had to grow a couple hat sizes to be able to do this.”

Virals: The real meat of the story

The addition of the virals make the series into a horror thriller, but for Cronin the beasts are a way to get to the real meat of his tale: How does the human race survive when civilization ends? “I use the vampire story as a way to get to a postapocalyptic story,” he says, simply. Cronin was a child of the Cold War, a time that informs his writing. “I really believed as a kid we’d all get incinerated; at that time it really looked like things would end,” he says. “That’s probably the deepest fear in me.”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Call of Duty hoaxer blamed for $100K SWAT…

A heavilly-armed SWAT team and an army of police officers stormed a Long Island home fearing a grisly double homicide – only to find it…

National

Minnie Driver tweets naked celebrity snap to 'shut…

Actress Minnie Driver has responded to bitchy critics who sniped about her bikini body by Tweeting a naked picture of herself. The 44-year-old star of…

National

American middle classes no longer world's richest (guess…

America's middle classes are no longer the richest in the world – having been overtaken in the wealth stakes by their Canadian counterparts. For almost…

Local

Federal prosecutors charge 3 men in multi-million dollar…

Federal prosecutors in New York charged three men in connection with a $33 million fine art scam that spanned more than two decades.

Television

John Turturro tags in for Robert De Niro…

The cast of the courtroom drama miniseries has undergone yet another shift. Following Robert De Niro's exit, the cable network has brought in John Turturro…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, April 22: 'Glee,' 'Agents…

'Glee' Rachel makes her Broadway debut in "Funny Girl." Remember when she was just a high school drama nerd? FOX, 8PM 'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'…

The Word

Lindsay Lohan's big, drunk interview

Lindsay Lohan appears to be completely off the wagon now, if Kode magazine's chronicle of her trip to Coachella is any indication. According to the…

The Word

What we learned from the premiere of 'True…

Does watching someone's marriage implode make for great TV? The show runners at "True Tori" think Tori Spelling's heartbreak is hot stuff indeed.

NBA

Nets settle for 1-1 series tie with Game…

DeMar DeRozan, who was an All-Star this season, hit two huge jumpers back-to-back to give the Raptors an 89-85 lead over the Nets with 2:10 to play.

NHL

Rangers reclaim home ice with Game 3 road…

The Rangers jumped out to a 2-0 lead early in the first period for the second straight game. This time, they held on.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Brewers best in baseball, Dodgers,…

MLB Power Rankings: Brewers best in baseball, Dodgers, Cardinals, Yankees surge. The A's, Braves, Rangers, Giants and Rockies are also in the top 10.

NBA

Jason Kidd reacts to Mike Woodson being fired…

Jason Kidd played for Mike Woodson last year and Joe Johnson spent four seasons being the main focus on offense for Woodson in Atlanta.

Wellbeing

How to burn off all that Easter candy

Sorry to be a buzzkill, but you can't eat chocolate eggs and Jelly Bellys forever.

Food

Powdered alcohol: 5 things to know about 'Palcohol'

What's the deal with powdered alcohol? Here's what you need to know about Palcohol.

Travel

Travel hacks: 6 tips on living out of…

Lynne Martin shares her travel hacks on living out of just two suitcases.

Wellbeing

Tough Mudder pro gives tips on conquering a…

Learn hacks from head designer Nolan Kombol.