James Dashner – Live and In Person!

the maze runnerOn Monday night I heard Kristen of Bookworming in the 21st Century that James Dashner (author of “The Maze Runner,” which I recently reviewed) was going to be in a city not TOO far away from me in the Chicago-area Tuesday at 7.  I had to think for a few minutes if I wanted to venture out with Daniel just post-rush hour on a day at home, but I decided that I really did want to see James Dashner, so we ventured out.

Let me tell you, the man is so cool!  Most of the people who came were students and their teachers who are reading “The Maze Runner” in schools right now, and some of them asked him some pretty good questions.  I had Daniel in a carrier and was walking around to keep him happy, but I still managed to take notes on some of the questions on my phone:

Question: What are the rest of the books in the trilogy called?
Dashner: “Scorch Trials” and “Death Cure”

Question: What book(s) influenced you in writing “The Maze Runner”?
Dashner: “Enders Game”  and “Lord of the Flies.”  He went on to talk about how his book was both an homage to “Lord of the Flies” and the anti-“Lord of the Flies.”  He loves that book, but has more faith in humanity, which he tried to show in “The Maze Runner” where the kids remain mostly civilized

Question: Is “The Maze Runner” going to be a movie?
“I would run over my own grandmother to get a movie! (kidding).  It looks fairly certain now that it will be a movie, but you never know.

Question: Are your characters based on real people?
Dashner: The characters are based on bits and pieces of real people, Thomas is what he wishes he was.

Question: How long does it take you to write a book?
Dashner: It takes about four months for the first draft, two months for him to do his own revising, then it goes to the editor for about 8 months total work.

Question: What is your advice to future writers?
Dashner: Read a LOT.  Also, practice.  Keep writing, even if it is really bad.

Question: What’s the best book you’ve read recently?
Dashner: “Octavian Nothing,” “Uglies,” “Catching Fire”

Question: What’s your favorite book of all time?
Dashner: “A Wrinkle in Time” and “Ender’s Game.”

It seems that the moral of the story is that I need to read “Ender’s Game!”

All in all we had a great time and I found out that, yes, his coat IS still in Natasha’s closet, and now he’s thinking of just keeping it there as a joke.

I made SURE to charge my camera Tuesday afternoon, then promptly left it at home.  James said, though, that I could borrow this picture he took and promptly sent to Twitter of his audience.

Dashner twitpic

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