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Houston Matters

How A Challenge From Justin Cronin’s Daughter Turned Into A Best-Selling Vampire Trilogy

Cronin discusses his series, The Passage, which is now a TV series on Fox.


Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Saniyya Sidney in a scene from the Fox series The Passage, based on the best-selling novels by Rice University writer in residence Justin Cronin.


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His young daughter worried that author Justin Cronin was writing boring books. So, the writer challenged her to help him come up with a story that was interesting to her.

She said he should write a story about a girl who saves the world. And that one of the characters should be a redhead because she’s one.

So, when Cronin would go for runs, his daughter would follow along on her bike. And they'd use that time to come up with the story. But Cronin said he didn't necessarily intend to actually write it. But one day he did, and it changed his life.

Justin Cronin - Books

The story become The Passage, the first of a best-selling trilogy about vampires – but without the magic. It’s now a television series on Fox.

In the audio above, the Rice University writer in residence tells Houston Matters producer Michael Hagerty about how the books came to be, why he wanted to "do vampires without the magic," what it's like to see his creation become a television show, and what his daughter thought of the books.

Justin Cronin is the author of the best-selling vampire novels, The Passage. He’s also writer in residence at Rice University.
Michael Hagerty

Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the senior producer for Houston Matters. He's spent more than 20 years in public radio and television and dabbled in minor league baseball, spending four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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