Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Write by Wednesday- Unusual Inspiration

Recently, a co-worker handed me a thick paperback with an almost apologetic smile. "It's not literature," he explained, "but this is a "stay-up-all-night book." At this point, I was grappling with illness and so the description sounded a bit like a challenge. In fact, it had been so long since I made it past 9 p.m. before I passed out cold that I saw no way this book could rope me in.

The book was The Passage by Justin Cronin and not only did the book rope me in, it increased the itch to write in me.

Now, there was little way that the book could not rope me in. The Passage tells the story of Amy, the girl from Nowhere, and her abduction by a military bio-weapons facility. Amy, like the 12 death-row inmates she shares the facility with, are injected with varying strains of a new virus aimed at building, of course, super soldiers. If this sounds a bit trite, I will give you that, but the cliche ends there. The virals escape and humankind unfortunately learns that the virus is contagious. Bitten humans turn into a different kind of viral- they drink blood and hang out in the trees, but also lose all sense of self and personality. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this book is about zombie vampires. And yes, it came out long before True Blood teased us with the idea of the same in the coming season.

But back to the story-- Amy is different. Not blood-thirsty, but eternally young, Amy survives the death of the United States under the force of viral plague. When, more than 100 years later, we join Peter Jaxon on a critical quest to save some of the few remaining humans, Amy is ready to jump into the fray.

Nope, The Passage is not "literature." However, it is well-written, and more importantly, unique. The concepts and ideas Cronin outlines so easily got the wheels-a-turning in my head. For the first time in a long time, I was torn between reading 10 more pages or shutting the cover and diving into my laptop to start writing.

The Passage is on Amazon for Kindle or in print, this one is well worth the read.

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