As you well know, I love musing over stories and what writers have to say about their art. Today I happened upon an article about Justin Cronin, the author of The Passage. I haven't heard much about this novel, but I learned it is about vampires and is far, far darker than Twilight. Not that that is the reason I suddenly find my curiosity piqued. (Article by Peter Stanford of the Daily Telegraph.)
I was fascinated with the idea that he plotted-out the book with his young daughter. While bike-riding, they light-heartedly constructed a vampire story to pass the time. Only later did he turn it into a substantial and daunting piece of fiction. What a special experience that would be, to share a story with your loved ones in this way! The story has a history beyond itself. I'm reminded of how M. Night Shyamalan's Lady in the Water was a bedtime story he told his children.
Some lovely tidbits:
"I wanted to write a book that had the attributes of literary fiction – meaning good careful writing and characters with human complexity – and that also operated simultaneously in a whole variety of genres – from the post-apocalyptic to the western. That literary-popular distinction is, in my view, vastly overstated. At the far poles there are clearly books that are purely commercial and purely literary... but the middle is where most people read and most people write.”
On mass-marketing of fiction:
"One thing that worried me was how writers get categorised and so they end up having to write the same kind of book again and again. That is fine if it is what you want to do, but I would rather be locked in the trunk of my car with a weasel than write the same book every three years until I die.”