Monday, February 11, 2008

Three Weeks From Today

As we get closer to the release date, I just want to throw a couple of shout-outs and make some random comments as well.

Last Thursday I spent an awesome day with the teachers and students at Foothills Elementary in Utah. Thanks to Cheryl Droz and Principal Kyle Hansen for treating me so well and planning such a great literacy event. Also a HUGE thanks to Angie Wager at Barnes and Noble for coming to the school and selling books. Angie is easily one of the Top 5 people to help make my author dream come true, and I owe her a lot.

Anne Bowen, the author of several nationally published picture books was also there. She and I have done several events together now and are basically DDOSV. You know, Dangerous Duo of School Visits.

Then Saturday I spoke with fellow colleagues J. Scott Savage (first book this August called Farworld), Julie Olson (illustrator extraordinaire), and Chris Schoebinger ("The Man" at Shadow Mountain) at an event for the Nebo School District. Talk about your dream audience: Over 100 middle school and high school students who came on a SATURDAY to learn about writing. A big thanks to LuAnn Staheli and everyone else who planned the event. It was awesome.

Somehow, without really meaning to, I'm starting to gather a Dashner Posse. It started as a joke, but now I have official members! The only rules are that you can't be a stupid old adult and you have to like books by James Dashner. The first members are LaReesa and Hallie from Foothills and Austin, Grace, Carlie, and Mikayla from Payson Junior High. I don't really know what it means to be a member, but there you have it.

Chris brought posters and bookmarks for THE 13TH REALITY. It was the first time I'd seen them, and they're sweet! Anyone who comes to book signings in the next few months will get them for free. I had fun signing them with my ubercool silver paint pen on Saturday.

Other Random Thoughts:

I'm officially friends with Kaza Kingsley now, who wrote the Erec Rex books, and you should all go buy them this very minute. Her website is www.erecrex.com and she just finished the third book in the series. She and I are going to swap blurbs next year (assuming she doesn't hate my book). I already know I like her books, so she's safe. Her books are coming out in 9 other countries this year, so a big congrats to her.

I also cyber met this cool guy named Kaleb Nation who has his own radio show. This dude is only 19 and is already taking over the world. Check him out at www.kalebnation.com.

I'm basically done with the first draft of Book 2. I still have a couple of scenes I want to add before it's an official draft, but that'll be done in the next couple of days. Then it's on to the most joyous experience of being an author: Rewrites!!!!! Okay, not really. It's my least favorite part, but the MOST IMPORTANT part.

I had lunch with Mark Wright, who did the audio for Book 1, and my editor Lisa and her husband Tracy. It lasted over 2 hours and was the most fun I've had in a long time. My face hurt so bad from laughing the entire time. Mark is as weird and psychotic as I hoped, and likes all the things I do. And the dude's a stud - he's like 7 feet tall and has longish hair. Check out his blog at http://macotar.blogspot.com/ and Tracy's blog at http://scoopsmangum.blogspot.com/

I promise they'll both give you a laugh.

Let's see, what else. For those of you who have read advance copies of the book, I beg of you to go find places to put kind reviews. If you liked it, of course. If you didn't, please keep it to yourself and go read some Chuck Dickens. There's this site called LibraryThing that was sent 100 ARCs by my publisher. A couple of people have put reviews up that kinda hurt the Dashner Dude's feelings, so I'm trying to remember the thick skin I grew from all those rejections in the past. :-)

Amazon won't let you review it until the book is released. But when it is, please review there!

Okay, this is one long post. Final thought: The official release date is March 3, 2008. Remember, the March 13th thing was just a gimmick. MARCH THIRD. If you plan on buying it, please do it that week if at all possible. A strong first week leads to many strong weeks afterward. And you never know, maybe we'll hit some bestseller lists.......

Well, I'll shut the yapper now. Have a great day.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mr. Dashner, I went over to Library Thing to leave you feedback and the link is broken, so I can't!

I sent you a private email about your book! BUT let me just say here, bravo!

Run don't walk to your nearest bookseller and pre-order your copy! Kids are gonna love it!

Peace~
Cat

Tamra Norton said...

Wow--three weeks? Enjoy every second of this, James. You've worked hard to get where you are. I'm just waiting for the moment I see The 13th Reality on bookstore shelves down here in Texas! Only three more weeks! :)

Macotar said...

You rock man! I can already see my blog rocketing from an unpassworded private blog to obscurity. I appreciate the kind words as always.

James Dashner said...

Thanks, Cat, your email was awesome and made my day.

Tami, and anyone else for that matter, let us know when you first see it on a bookshelf. I can't wait! And I'm hoping to come to Texas.

Mark, enjoy the extra 3 hits you get from my link.

Luisa Perkins said...

What?!?! Bad Library Thing. I'm a life member there; I'll go throw my weight around. Grrrrr.

Danyelle F. said...

James -

I can't wait to see your book hit the shelves! I'm already looking forward to book #2! I'll be sure to go out to several sites and post feedback about #1.

Tamra Norton said...

I'll document the moment with my camera phone. Matter of fact, it would be fun to post somewhere on your blog these initial nationwide "13th sightings." :)

James Dashner said...

I am thinking of doing some kind of "Spot the 13" thingy. Any ideas on the best way to go about that are welcome. My publisher told me that it should be in every bookstore in the country on March 3rd. Every single one! Is that cool or what?

That's probably just the main chains like Borders, B&N, BAM, etc. But I hope the independents get behind me, too.

kath said...

Dasher Dude? lol...

I am one of the lucky early reviewers from LibraryThing.

I am looking forward to book two, and finding out what adventures come next.

Keep up the magic.. we can't let it die.

Reader Rabbit said...

I can't wait to read your book. It seems really good!

Irish said...

stumbled over here from LibraryThing (LT). I'm one of those lucky few who got an advanced copy of the book (review to come soon, just finished it today).

Don't let the comments hurt your feelings...remember you have adults reading a kids book. On the LT ER thread for this book there are many people whose kids have stolen their copies...I'd take that as a good sign and wait for those reviews to pop up. =)

My initial thoughts: there were things I liked and others I didn't. But overall the liking outweighed everything else. I look forward to Book 2.

Irish said...

One more thing be sure to sign up on LT to be an LT author. They don't give those pretty yellow badges to just anyone!

http://www.librarything.com/librarything_author

James Dashner said...

Thanks, Irish! I've been participating in some of the discussions over there. You guys are really insightful and have great feedback for authors.

storyengineer said...

I'm just dropping by to say that I gave this blog an award. It's been cool to read your experience as your first national book comes out. Thanks for all your work.

James Dashner said...

Hey, thanks for the award! This ranks right up there with my marriage, my kids, and the Braves winning the World Series in '95. :-)

I really do appreciate the nice words, and I'm glad you've enjoyed the blog!

J Scott Savage said...

Dude,

What are you worried about? Yeah there were a couple of not so positive reviews, but you had a better overall ranking than "The Lightning Thief" and the first "Fablehaven" book. High praise indeed. I should only hope to do so well when Farworld comes out in August. The people who like fantasy really liked your book. Keep up the good work, dude.