Tuesday, May 26, 2009

New York, Random House

My wife tried to murder me.

Now I know why she's been so supportive of my author career. It was all part of her diabolical plan to murder me. Her foresight was amazing. Spend years encouraging me, helping me, giving me feedback, pushing me, rooting for me. Make sure I get with a major NY publisher, get a book to be promoted heavily at BEA, convince me to bring her to NY with me. All part of the plan of my demise.

But I foiled her and survived anyway. At least so far.

We've been here for roughly 48 hours. In that short span, we've visited the Statue of Liberty, toured Ellis Island, visited Ground Zero, saw a movie, walked six miles in Central Park, toured the St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York Public Library, and Empire State Building, walked all over Times Square and many blocks around it, had three amazing dinners, several life-threatening trips in cabs, and, last but certainly not least, attended a meet-and-greet with everybody at Random House.

But I had the last laugh! I'm still alive despite my wife's efforts. My feet and knee caps hate my guts, but I'm kickin' and breathin'.

It's really been awesome. Now I know why everyone comes back from NY yappin' about how much they love it. It's an incredible place, and I'm so glad the book industry is grounded here because I want to return many, many times.

But no real need to go into what we've been doing. If you wanna know about NY, google it. What I want to talk about is how incredible the last few hours were.

My wife and I walked the ten blocks from our hotel to the Random House office building and met my agent, Michael Bourret, in the lobby at 3:30. I had this sudden rush of nervousness right before that probably would've resulted in an unfortunate aneurysm (as opposed to a fortunate aneurysm) if he hadn't walked in shortly after us. It all melted away as soon as I saw him.

Seriously. I hugged the guy, introduced my wife, and boom, all was well. He made us feel comfortable and like we'd been friends for twenty years. We've spoken countless times on the phone, but still. There's something about meeting in person, and I can now say with complete confidence that Michael is one of my favorite people on planet Earth.

Next was Krista Marino, my editor for THE MAZE RUNNER. Almost the exact same experience. We met, we hugged, and suddenly it was like we'd all been together a thousand times before. I won't ramble on and on, but I could never say well enough what a complete thrill it was to finally meet these two awesome people in person for the first time. Just amazing and everything I dared hope for.

Krista took us to a small room where we met Beverly Horowitz, Vice President and Publisher for Delacorte and other imprints within RHCB. This lady is freaking awesome! Funny, down to earth, unbelievably wise about the industry - we just loved getting to know her.

(Cool side note: they gave us a bunch of books then said they'd mail them to our home. Is that cool or what?!)

Next I got to meet my publicists, Noreen Marchisi and Emily Pourciau. Again, same thing. Many emails and phone conversations, but way cooler in real life. I've run out of things to say! Everybody there was too awesome.

Okay, then came the shocker of the day. I don't know what I was expecting, but not this: somebody signalled that "it" was ready, then we all went to a different floor and walked into a large conference room. Inside, at least twenty Random House employees clapped and cheered as we entered, and the next hour was a complete blur.

I met people from marketing, sales, design, and many other things that I'm not smart enough to remember. I met the Big Boss, Chip Gibson, President of RHCB. Many incredible and genuine people. Everyone was so nice to us and told us all kinds of cool things that I probably can't even share! But I'll say this: just when I thought I couldn't get more excited about what RH has in store for MAZE, once again I was blown away. Completely blown away. Like, really, really blown away.

(Many of these fine people told me they read the Dashner Dude, which worries me that they think I'm fluffing here. I promise I'm not! This is honest Dashner at your service.)

Afterward, Michael, Krista, Beverly, Lynette, and I went out to dinner. I don't even know what to say anymore. Almost three hours of pure fun. Absolute pure fun. I couldn't believe how fast the time went by, and I was very sad when it had to end. But now I have BEA to look forward to!

So, there you have it. First two days in NYC complete, another five to go. But tomorrow is my wife's last full day here, so we're going to make the most of it. Museum of Natural History, The Lion King, SoHo for dinner. Just pray I continue to defy the odds and prevent my wife from killing me.

Here are four random pictures. We got a good one with Michael and Krista, but it's on my wife's camera so you'll have to wait on that one. For now you just have these pics taken with my crappy camera phone:

NY Public Library, 100 years old and unbelievable:

Random House Lobby:

Statue of Liberty (duh!):

View from Empire State Building, looking south:


Laura said...

Too cool for words. I am so glad you had a chance to finally meet the people who have shaped the future of your writing career, and that they were pure wonderful is incredible. You must have done something good.

Cranberryfries said...

Those cab rides are scary aren't they? I always thought the movies were making it more dramatic until I actually visited. Honking is their language.

What an amazing adventure. I hope your knee caps keep on keepin on so you can enjoy the rest of your time there. Sounds like RH treats ya well!

Diva Donna said...

It's raining. I told you there would be some rain. But NY is awesome in the rain and it is sooo fun to be upstate while your cruisin the city. Got a great Dashnog word for you too. Must be kismet.
Dashnog= Ecouti--Murder by sigtseeing.
Usage: While traveling to New York an up and coming author on the cusp of his career-defining release died, due to an unfortunate anuerysm at the foot of the Statue of Liberty. His publicists say they are going forward with the release and his wife gets all the money, because ecouti is not an officially recognized form of murder at this time.

Unknown said...

'Bout time you posted! Then again, what with all that's there for you to see, it'd be a crying shame to waste time at your computer.

Glad you're enjoying yourself, James. MAZE can't get here fast enough.

L.T. Elliot said...

The pictures were beautiful. My favorite is the library. Glad you're living it up and having a good time.

Luisa Perkins said...

Dashner, it's like a fairy tale. I am so, so pleased for you!

Some day I'll tell you some of my cab-rides-while-in-labor stories. Yikes!

Carolyn V. said...

New York looks beautiful! I've never been there (but hope to some day).

This experience sounds so amazing, Can you tell us if they do that for all their authors or do they do that just for a select few? You know, the really good ones.(I am really curious, I haven't heard this from any other author. Are they keeping it a secret?)(OH, maybe they are, the secret society of really cool authors. I knew it!).

The Scarlet Tart said...

Wowie Wow Wow!

You're bringing back all the memories!...except for going to RH. That's in the future somewhere. But, hooray! Sounds like you're having fun. Don't. Die.

Jewel Allen said...

How wonderful for you, James!!

It amazes me that you have done so much earth-shattering work with this group of people and yet you are just meeting them in person for the first time.

Your journey is incredible. Thanks for sharing.


Magenta said...

What an awesome adventure! Seeing all the great stuff New York has to offer.

That's a very serious accusation to your wife, though. Does she read your blog often? If she does, then she's on to you that you were on to her!

Ah, to meet someone in person that you only know through phone/email. That sounds wonderful. Unfortunately, I'm not going to the Teen Writers Conference. I wish I could though.

Diessitr(DY-si-tur): You know how a babysitter watches over a baby? Well, a diessitr watches over a victim to make sure he dies. Like your wife. ^,^ Just kidding, Mrs. Dashner.

Kimberly Vanderhorst said...

Congratulations James! Just as Luisa said, it's like a fairytale!

numberonedashnerfan said...

That is so awsome...im jelous of you....I got a little scared when you said that your wife tried to murder you thou......Sorry James I cant stalk you too the Teen Writers Conference it was that or Lagoon season pass.....tiki tiki

Unknown said...

Fun to hear about your adventures -- We love living here, NYC is so much fun! Trent always says he could write a book about the things he sees each day along 42nd street between Grand Central and Times Square -- Have fun at the BEA -- I have several friends going and if I can swing a babysitter I may even make it there -- if so I will look for you!
Just yesterday on Facebook a friend posted old BYU pictures and I was clicking through them and saw your picture in them -- brought back fun memories!

Anonymous said...

Big congrats! It sounds like you're having a great time. Pick me up a hotdog (I take mustard and relish, hold the onion).

You'll love Lion King!

Wow! What a trip.

Garrett Matthews said...

Congrats on your avoiding skills. I really like the pictures, and am excited for you. I like the view from the empire state building.

Unknown said...

Cool beans! Sounds like fun!

Becca said...

You're a rock star.

The Scarlet Tart said...


Look who's talking.

Irish said...

Love NYC!!! Can't wait to arrive tomorrow and then BEA time! woo!!

Trying to get a group together for a pre-BEA dinner tomorrow night. Email me if you think you and da wife might have time from all your RH schmoozing to come. irisheyz_5 AT Yahoo DOT com.

Unknown said...

Dashnog is---ready for this?---"thing".

I swear I am not making this up.

Hey Lene, I post quite regularly :-)

Unknown said...

Wow... that's quite a 48 hours, and if I may give my humble opinion... you should thank your wife for not trying to off you sooner. ;)

Grats Dashman! :D

Carrie Ryan said...

What a great post! I love hearing how everything's going and am so jealous not to be there!! Yay for living vicariously :) Tell Krista hello for me!!

Heather Moore said...

very very awesome and awe-inspiring

Deb said...

The plot to kill you is much deeper than you can imagine. I was supposed to take you out before New York, but apparently you survived the Panda chinese food. Perhaps next time.

On another note, I hope you are enjoying NYC, and that your wife has taken out a significant insurance policy on you.

Danyelle Ferguson said...

James - So totally 100% AWESOME!!! I'm so happy for you!

Also, just wanted to mention to all your fans that I'm giving away an autographed copy of Hunt for Dark Infinity on my blog. The contest ends Friday at noon (CT). Come check it out! http://queenoftheclan.blogspot.com/2009/05/qotc-summer-time-give-aways.html

Unknown said...

Yeah right Deb. Everybody knows that if his wife was really going to hire a hitman, she'd have called in a custom Graham Chop on the Dashner Dude.

Dashnog: retio. A hitman disguised as a Dashner fan.

The Scarlet Tart said...

How's BEA going?

Irish said...

Was really great seeing you again today! Can't wait to read the MAZE RUNNER!!! Talked about getting that one almost as much as CATCHING FIRE by Suzanne Collins. =)Might stalk you again tommorow at your autograph area signing - been talking up 13th Reality too & now several of my friends are curious about it.

BEA is so amazing!

Melinda said...

One word: Awesome.

(And I think that doesn't even begin to cover it.)

Melinda said...

James, could you email me? I still can't find your contact information on your site here. I have a question about the next conference.

morleymh at gmail.com


numberonedashnerfan said...

I am going to be in the celebration performance today im in the first dance so watch for me....dashng word is preter.......tiki tiki

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