The Passage of Justin Cronin.

The New York Times published a profile of The Passage writer Justin Cronin. Before embarking on a more “popular novel,” Cronin had written two acclaimed “literary” works. (I use the scare quotes because the distinction is obviously arbitrary.)

The night before the partial manuscript went out, Cronin and his wife discussed what would happen if nobody bought the novel. She asked him, “Will you finish it?” By that point, Cronin knew he’d already given himself over. “I said: ‘Yeah. If nobody takes it now, I’ll finish it and see what happens then, but I really like the story. It’s the best thing I’ve got right now, and I’m going to keep working on it.’ ” Still, he fully realized “it was entirely within the realm of possibility that nobody would want it.”

Two weeks later, Justin Cronin was a millionaire.

I have not read any of Cronin’s previous work, but I did enjoy The Passage, which was (at least to me) like an improved version of The Stand, if only because it ended better. The sequel to The Passage, The Twelve, is out October 16th.