I am lucky enough to snag you an interview with this hottest new YA dystopian lit author of the incredible book The Maze Runner, which I reviewed earlier today... James Dashner! Find out more about his writing process, reading habits, holiday gift book recommendations, and more!
On The Book
1. I'm sure you get asked this a lot, but we're all dying to know: how did the idea for The Maze Runner come to you?
One night going to bed, I started thinking about a story in the future with kids in an experiment. That made me think of mice in a maze, then I thought of humans in a maze. My mind started spinning and I went downstairs and plotted out most of the story.
2. At times your book reads almost like the novelization of a sci-fi thriller movie. When you were writing The Maze Runner, did you think of some scenes in terms of cinematography?
Oh yes, definitely yes! I'm a huge movie buff, and I think completely cinematically when I write my books. Always.
The band Staind really has become the music behind this series. Not sure why even, but they fit.
4. How is working with Random House on The Maze Runner different than working with Shadow Mountain on The 13th Reality series?
Mostly in just how BIG they are. So much more power in marketing, distribution, etc.
5. What was one absolutely unforgettable thing that happened on your nationwide book tour for The Maze Runner?
Spending an entire hour with Judy Blume at the RH offices. Surreal and amazing.
1. You were an accountant before you became a full-time writer. Has that job influenced the way you approach storytelling, writing, and publicity? If so, how?
Not too much. Mainly in that it gave me a lot of incentive to get published and make it my career! Yeah, I really hated accounting.
2. Tell us a little about your writing experience. Did you take writing workshops back in school? Are you in a critique group? What, if anything, have you found most beneficial to your development as a writer?
Two things have helped me more than anything else. Reading countless books and attending every writer's conference I could.
The Stand by Stephen King.
4. Which aspect of the writing process do you find the most difficult? (Brainstorming, research, pacing, writing supporting characters, etc.)
Easy answer: revisions. I do not love it! I crave the creation process, but revisions get to me after awhile. You start getting really sick of your own book.
On Life & Beyond
1. What books and authors did you love as a teen?
Ender's Game and anything by Stephen King or Dean Koontz
2. How has your family responded to The Maze Runner's success?
They love it. My kids brag at school about me. My five year old daughter likes to tell people she's famous. I'm trying to work on that. :) My wife is so happy for me because she always believed in this story more than all my others.
3. If you had a time machine, which decade (past or future) would you go to and why?
Definitely the future. I'm so curious as to what the world will be like in 100 years. Or 500. Or 1,000.
4. Can you give us a hint of what The Scorch Trials will be about?
Hmmmm. I'd hate to spoil anything. I'll say this: it begins 4 hours after Book 1 ends, it goes in a direction no one will guess, and you see the real world.
5. Which YA books do you suggest people should buy as presents for this upcoming holiday season?
The Dark Divine by Bree Despain, The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan, Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld, Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr, and Beautiful Creatures by Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia. So many others!!!
Thanks so much, James! You really have to check out The Maze Runner and have your mind blown by James' weird genius. I encourage you to put it on your Christmas wish list, buy it for yourself... or hang in there for a few more hours for some special news... ;)