Tuesday, July 7, 2009

All's Quiet on the Dashner Front

I know it's been a whole week since I posted, but I have an excuse: We moved. Anyone who has ever moved feels our pain and understands. Thanks. But I'm back!

So you would think I have a ton to talk about, but I just spent three entire minutes staring at the computer screen. Is my life really this dull? Or maybe I'm gaining a complex about people actually being interested in what I do every day as an author. And I feel like I'm starting to repeat myself. Or "brag" too much with the good news.

Maybe I should just shut up and quit philosophizing. So here's another one of my random lists:

1. Finally saw Transformers 2 last night. It offended me on two levels. First, as a writer. The jokes just weren't funny. And there were a LOT of jokes. Including from the robots. Joking robots. Wow.

Which leads me to the second level. All those silly robots, you'd think it's a kid's movie. WRONG. Now, anyone who knows me knows very well that I'm not a prude. Far from it. But the off color and raunchy jokes in this movie not only were stupid and non-funny, they were inappropriate for kids. I groaned and rolled my eyes so often, I think I made myself kind of dizzy pukey.

Having said that, I still had a good time watching all those amazing special effects and lots of things blowing up. And the sounds. Loved all that mechanized sound.

2. As part of our move, we had to, um, get a new TV. Right? Of course. I did decide to stay reasonable and modest by only getting a 55 incher. Har har. Hey, I don't make many splurge purchases, and in eleven years of marriage this is only the second TV I've ever purchased. So there.

3. I thought I was getting a plasma TV, and it wasn't until 2 days after I'd bought it that my brother-in-law Chris happened to actually look at the box and tell me it was an LCD. I swear the dude at Best Buy told me it was a plasma! I felt like such an idiot.

However, I can't imagine the picture looking any better. They gave me King Kong in Blu-Ray for "free" and it looks so amazing it hurts my eyeballs (in a wonderful way). So, does anyone out there have an opinion? Should I just stick with this LCD and be happy, or should I swap it for a plasma? (They're roughly the same price.)

4. Whenever I talk about stuff like that I feel kind of horrible because it's so trivial and shallow and the world has much bigger problems. But, quite honestly, TV and movies are a huge part of my inspiration for writing, and without my writing, I can't help kids read and make money so I can donate to charity. True that.

5. My agent (Michael Bourret) found out what my first print run will be for THE MAZE RUNNER. He told me I can't tell you. See how mean these pub types are! But I'll just say this: it's big enough that you'll be able to find out in Publisher's Weekly. Did I just type that out loud? Oops.

6. Speaking of MAZE, do you realize it comes out in 90 days? 90 days! That's nothing. Reminds me of a Seinfeld episode. This month is July, and that always goes by fast. September is nothing - flies by with school starting and all that. August is the end of summer, so it's over before you know it. Only a few days in October. So, it's like 20 minutes really.

7. Working hard and heavy on Book 3 of THE 13TH REALITY. On pace to have it done by September 1st. I'm trying desperately to make a decision on the ending. A slight tweak would make it really, really cool, but slightly cliff-hangerish. It's killing me!!! I so want to do it. Probably will.

8. The Deseret News did a really nice article on me if you'd like to read it (it'll be in the actual paper this Thursday). CLICK HERE.

9. Preseason football starts in about a month. Everyone together now: Yippee skippee!!!!!!! This is indeed the Year of the Falcon and the Dawg.

10. I must have some kind of curse. Random House went through a ton of versions of the cover for MAZE before settling on the final one (which I love). Now it looks like Simon & Schuster is having the same issues with the paperbacks for 13th. They wanted something different from the hardbacks, got an artist, didn't think what he came up with was right, have moved on to something else. I'm just thrilled they're taking it so seriously! Can't wait to see the final verdict.

11. Why do I have the feeling that Michael is going to call me sometime today and tell me I put too much info on the blog again?


Laura said...

What? No one posted a comment yet? No way.
Hope you're enjoying your new house. And unpacking boxes.
Turns out I don't have anything truly amazing to say either...

Mary E Campbell said...

Hi James,
Amy Lundebrek sent me the ARC of The Maze Runner and I did a review of it on my blog at literarygirls.blogspot.com if you care to read it.

Unknown said...

I can't argue with you on the downsides of Transformers. I defended that movie on a lot of levels, but the one thing I'll never debate is the base "humor". Way raunchier than it should ever have been.

I thought the Twins were good for comedy relief, but they got too much screentime in lieu of the battle-born robots like Sideswipe and Jolt. Hopefully Bay cleans up his act and gives us more of the butt-kicking in #3.

Melony said...

Moves are fun. Yeah...glad you decided on a TV. Here's my .02 on that, we got a Sony 55" LCD last spring (if you asked my hubby he could probably tell you the nitty- gritty about it, me I'm just a dumb lady) anyway we decided on the LCD because our house in WJ faces North and the sun pores in the back windows all the time leaving a serious glare issue...we were told that LCD would be best for bright light and we love our TV, so either they were right or we are just enamored, regardless!
And, congrats on your book!:) I am almost finished with my Book 1 and trying to write query letters.Oh the fun! I am gonna follow yours and Krista's advice and query Michael..lucky him! Not.

L.T. Elliot said...

So as Maze comes out in 90 days, does that make this The Summer of James? (Ha ha ha. Love Seinfeld.)

Congrats on the move! Do you love your new house? (Are you going to post some pics of your backyard? Remember the awesome one in the snow?)

Hey, you won't hear ANY complaints here on what you do about your TV and Movies. I still love that dedication to Christopher Nolan's Mom. Nicest thing ever. Besides that, you delight many of us with your stories. I dare say that you're entitled to a splurge now and then. =]

Frank Cole said...


I'm excited to read the Maze. Are you still writing 5 books for the 13th reality? Stick with LCD. No way are the Falcons taking it this year and I hope you're not referring to the Bulldogs because the Tide will roll.

Candi Criddle said...

Plasma TVs are crap, they have a much shorter life span than LCDs and there isn't a quality difference. It was just that LCDs used to be on the small side, but they have fixed that so... Viva le LCD.

Clint Johnson said...

The body of an accountant? Is that a step up or down from the body of a writer? Either way, James, not great for you.

Next career change, think more about physical esthetics. Daytime television star, maybe, or ballet dancer. I know! Full body mannequin model. Oh, it's you.

James Dashner said...

Wow, good to know I still have some readers after my week plus break from posting. Thanks, true Duders!

Mary, thanks for the review. I promise you'll be satisfied with the ultimate end.

Sounds like my LCD is a winner.

Do it Melony!

Frank, Tide can roll straight to the toilet. Dawgs will roll this year. And yes, 13th will be 5 books.

LT, definitely the Summer of James. hahahaha

Carolyn V. said...

You can put too much on a blog? I didn't know that.

My writing buddy and I went to Transformers 2 together. When it was all over and everyone was clapping and cheering, she turned over to me and said something like, "So, what did you think of the plot holes?" *sigh*

Kimberly Vanderhorst said...

I love that you talked ten times as much about the new TV than the new house. You are such a boy.

90 days is like forever though. That's a whole trimester, dude. Can't wait to get my hands on Maze.

Unknown said...


That's one of the beautiful things about it being a Transformers movie: you can argue that Michael Bay is actually being loyal to the original Transformers lore by pumping it full of plot holes, just like the 1986 animated movie. :-)

Some of the holes bugged me, others I was just thinking eh, lazy writers, at least they had the common decency to blow something up so I'd be entertained. Hahahaha

Heather Moore said...

I saw the article in the Des News. Congrats. Cool picture too. Glad you made it through the move. I had our house on the market for 20 minutes. Then pulled the sign off of our lawn. I knew I couldn't keep the house spotless. Realtors still call me because the listing finally expired. They are dumbfounded when I tell them why. But it's true. I'm a writer and that should be enough for anyone to cope with :) . . . so glad I have a subscription to PM.

The Lateiner Gang said...

uhhh James, Mr. Dashner, or whatever you want to be called(you deserve to be called anything you want)...I just closed the last page of the "Maze" and HOLY C**P! (curbed language) I dont know what to say other than i thought "Catching Fire" by suzanne Collins, the sequel to "the Hunger Games" was like the best book ever...ummmm its gonna collect a lot of shelf dust now! I am speechless. You are aMAZing! I really mean that. Again, im new to posting here, but have been watching for a while.its probably the best book ive ever read, and ive read a lot of books. This will definitely be a classic. It will be read in schools including colleges for many years to come, thats a guarantee. I probably wont sleep tonight thinking about the book. anyone who has read the MAZE will agree with me. hey, if I win the lottery, ill pay you 10x whatever any one else will to write for me. Ill take the next maze and the next 13th to start. I loved the 13th series so much, but MAZE is in a class of its own. Powerful stuff. AND NO, MR DASHNER DID NOT PAY ME TO WRITE THIS! I PROMISE! Thanks again, and I look forward to meeting you one day. Oh, and save yourself the headache, i did my research before buying my tv. LCD is the way to go by far. You should have no second thoughts. Thanks again and just dont stop writing, please!
i hope this is allowed, if not, sorry ---->if anyone has read the book and wants to talk, please email me as i am dying to discuss it but have no one to talk about it and i wont ruin it for anyone who has not yet read it. mrlatts@gmail.com

Dave said...

sorry, posted on the wrong account above (last post) ill correct it...sorry about that...posted under wifes blog site acct! she was already signed in..

Sheila DeChantal said...

Congrats on the move! I heard that about Transformers... thats ok... really didnt want to see it anyway! :)

Magenta said...

It's okay that you haven't posted in a while. We Dude fans can be patient. (At least I can. ^,~)

Yay! Random lists! I love it! Here's my take on it:

1: I haven't seen Transformers 2 just yet. (Haven't even seen the first 1.) The previews make it look semi-interesting, though I hear from reviews that it's not really a great story. I guess it appeals to people who like watching things blow up. I'm not that kind of movie-goer. Just show me a good story.

2: Hey, as a famous author you're expected to make splurges every once in a while. Nice that you went for a new T.V.

3: I don't have an opinion for plasma or LCD. But it seems a lot of commenters think you did good with LCD.

4: lol. ^,~ I like getting inspired from movies too. Just as long as it tells a good story and doesn't make me feel I'm losing IQ points by the minute.

5: Why won't Michael let you tell us? *pout* But I bet it's a big number!

6: Whoa, until you told me it was 90 days to MAZE, I had no idea it was that close! I guess July and August should go over pretty fast. And September will be my birthday month. (I turn 18 on the 7th. YAY!) But c'mon! *snort* 20 minutes? Give me a break!

7: Good luck on Book 3 of 13th Reality! Just wanted to say that I'm still reading #2 (I can only read it whenever I visit a bookstore) and I'm not even halfway through it and I'm loving it! I guess since it's new, I love Dark Infinity way better than Curious Letters! (And just go with your writer instincts. Your fans will love anything you do, no matter what.)

8: I actually read that article before you linked to it. Jacoby put it up on his blog before you did. Sorry. ^,~

9: No comment.

10: Wow. Having to decide on a whole new cover for the paperback? What a huge decision. Let's hope they make a good one.

And finally, 11: Maybe I'm the one who put up too much info, but I love reading a good long Dashner post. BTW, sorry for my long comment, James.

Garrett Matthews said...

Congrats on the final move. I'm guessing my friend is about to die from excitement. So, here's my two cents. I think you should stick with the LCD, because I've heard that Plasma's don't work that well in higher altitude, and, we're in Utah. I've also heard that after a while, Plasma's get pictures burned into them. So there, I gave you my two cents.

Angie said...

Very nice article...although the "charming the booksellers" bit was a little thick...

Congrats James! You DESERVE all of this!

Anonymous said...

I TOTALLY agree with you on Transformers. I waited TWO YEARS for that movie and that was it?There weren't any cool quotes like in the first one. "Bogie in the weeds, ten miles out, not squawking." (I don't care who you are that is just fun to say) Sooo much of the movie was totally inappropriate. They didn't show Bumble Bee nearly enough. I could go on and on... The special effects, however, were amazing.

So, you're a Dawg fan? Good to know. I was going to bring a GT hat for you when I visit Utah. Who has a yellowjacket for a team mascot? Seriously. If you like the Falcons, I know I could get you a Vick jersey, very cheap.

I, too, am counting down the days until The Maze Runner.

Oh, hey, Simon and Shuster just sent Brad Thor here to Atlanta for a book signing. Apparently, Random House has said that Atlanta is not a 'literary city' and doesn't typically send authors down here. Go figure. I, of course, showed up to support Brad in my effort to single-handedly turn Atlanta into a literary wonderland. Next up...Karin Slaughter. (Or perhaps James Dashner?)

Deb said...

Candi is absolutely right about the TV's, plasma does have a shorter life span. Who says chicks don't know about electronics?

James, I would be very careful in using the word "dawg" in reference to the Falcons. Wouldn't want to remind anyone of the unpleasant Vick issue. But if the Falcons do anything this year it's because Michael Turner got his start with a truly spectacular team :)

Anonymous said...

I can't believe I left out the 'c' in Simon and Schuster. I speak German, for crying out loud. Forgive me?

Anonymous said...

No, no Deb... 'Dawg' refers to the Georgia Bulldogs as in the University of Georgia. (Love them!!!)

James Dashner said...

Thanks for all the great comments, guys! I feel like everyone came back from vacation or something.

Glad I asked about the LCD. Definitely keeping it. Thanks.

And nkrell, I'm a a huge Dawg fan. Always will be.

Deb, speaketh not of Vick please.

Deb said...

nkrell, I know about the Dawgs, I was just attmepting a joke. Dang, when you have to explain it, the funniness is gone :)

Dave, Maze Runner is fabulous, and I posted a non-spoiler review of it back in June if you want to check it out. Plus if you want to talk about the book, most of the writers at Inking Cap have read it.


Dave said...

Thanks DEB! I am excited to talk to other people about it finally!

Aprilynne Pike said...

Actually, when I told Kenny about your plasma, he was quite surprised you didn't opt for an LCD. That's his preference in a major way. me? I have no freakin' clue.

Also, I totally know what James' print run is. Neiner, neiner, neiner!!!

Jessica said...

Never too much information!

Also, on my blog I posted The Maze Runner as a book to look out for! I'm looking forward to its release--I can't wait to read it!

James Dashner said...

Thanks for that, Jessica!

And if you guys have a discussion on Maze, definitely let me know - I wanna read it. (well, unless you don't want me to. that'd be understandable. hard to speak your mind if the author is spying!)

Carolyn V. said...

Graham - That explains it all!

Cranberryfries said...

"as part of the move'. Nice. My hubby pulled that on me when we had to upsize our car when we had another kid. "You get a car, I get a tv" or something like that. Yeah totally keep the tv, plasmas are on their way out. You got yourself a good tv man.

90 days is nothing. In fact Christmas will be here like next week. Seriously when it's Christmas time you'll think, holy cow that girl was right...

J.R. Johansson said...

I love my LCD, so yeah, keep it. I concur with all your thoughts on Transformers... and agreed... unless it is named Johnny 5, a robot should not joke. :P

How cool that RH and S&S are both working so hard on your covers. Can't wait to see them! :)

Kenny said...

Plasmas show black better than LCDs, have better viewing angles, and usually better response time (less blurring in action scenes). They are also heavier and significantly more fragile, and have a shorter lifespan. Basically, if you're satisfied with your purchase, stick with it. d^_^b

Also, James, you're a very mean person to taunt your fans who are not industry insiders and therefore could not possibly know that Publisher's Weekly only reports print runs of at least 100,000.

Just sayin'.

Danyelle Ferguson said...

LOL! Life sounds good. I'm glad you survived moving. BTW - love the picture in the article!

BasicGuy said...

Hi James,

33 comments: a quiet front? WHAT'S IT LIKE WHEN IT GETS NOISY?

I saw the article in Mormon Times. Well done. I'm happy for you and your family.

As to your tv, I think you should try the plasma... I'll house your lcd while you do your experiment.

Anyway, good luck with everything... no that you need luck... it sounds like Maze is a winner.


James Dashner said...

Kenny, you're so sly.

BasicGuy, what can I say? We have some pretty awesome Dashner Duders! Thanks for joining us.

Dave said...

All the praise I give you and not even a hello from you? (just kidding) I actually found someone to share my thoughts on Maze with who has read it so that was really cool. I am curious as to why a few things were done at the end, but think i have a good grasp on most of them. One thing i just cant figure out for the life of me, however, Deb did give me a good possibility. It is sooo hard to have to wait to talk to people about the book! I am almost tempted to re read it again ,but your Fincher saga arrived in the mail TODAY, and i cant wait to tear through them. Having read the 2 13th's and the Maze, i cant wait to see how your earlier work has changed your style (if at all). I am counting the hours down until work ends as my wife said the books came and is teasing me with them. i have them all sitting on my shelf waiting for tonight. its going to be a long night thanks to you! but well worth every minute. do you ever get emails from fans or have an email address that you give out? id love to ask you 1 question that i cant get out of my mind but it is not fair to post it here. if not its ok, but i just thought id ask. Also, i picked up the candy shop war as you said Mull is your buddy and ive ready about 100 pages of it so far. pretty good book, but doesnt touch yours...im going to give fablehaven a try. any advice (besides to read it) that you might have or opinions on it? i know that is a tough question since you guys are buds, but it would be nice to get feedback, from you or anyone here on it. thanks!

James Dashner said...

Dave, my hi to you was when I said how cool it would be to see your discussions on MAZE. :-)

Trust me, your comments have really lifted my days! Thank you very much. Be forgiving when you read those Fincher books - I've gotten a lot better (I hope).

But I love the story in those. Enjoy!

And I really think you'd like Fablehaven.

You can send me an email through Facebook. (Though I read them all, it's very hard to answer. I'll do my best!)

Dave said...

i was totally joking! our discussions have been through email as to not spoil anything. Thats why i asked if you had an email address. You really did shock me with the Maze. I am serious when i say i truly believe it will take over as the new lord of the flies. How can it not? Its like taking that book and bringing it to the 21st cent. and is MUCH better also. You will see, i am right. 10 years from now, it will be required reading in all schools. I dont know where your ideas come from, but i sure hope they dont stop! thanks again. If you ever have a minute, which i know you dont, but if you do, send me an email as id love to ask you 2 questions, 1 that i can not wait months and months to get the answer to (wont post it here) and the other is personal about my family (sounds weird but i ASSURE you it is not). mrlatts@gmail.com i dont expect you to, but if you ever have the time, please do. Im sure ill love the fincher books. i dont see how i couldnt.

Dedee said...

Ew! Moving!


I feel in my heart for you.

But not for the new TV. Nope. No sympathy or advice there.


I'm chomping at the bit for Maze Runner.

Karen Pellett said...

I just so a comparison done on good morning america about which is better - plasma vs lcd. Plasma sucks up energy like nothing else and will skyrocket your electic bill. Stick with the LCD.

numberonedashnerfan said...

Hey Dude,
Sorry I haven't commented yet lol ... as to your tv any tv works as it doesnt have a green screen with random white lines at the top and the sound will randomly work and randomly not your good.....So ya I was helping My piano teacher move like closer to us...so ya..... dont say how close it is tell maze runner comes out thats scary....ugg that reminds me of my ap homework thats due on the first day of school and were having a test on it I got it mainly done though.....http://numberonedashnerfan.blogspot.com/ ........if you have a different paperback and hardback cover for your book im going to have 2 buy both.......I gots a hermit crab....James its ok if you say too much I like those little details your not saposta share...whats your oppion on me getting a facebook acount.......tiki tiki

James Dashner said...

#1, I think the Facebook question is probably up to your parents!

Thanks for your very nice words on your blog about me!

Austin said...


Unknown said...

Never cared much for the Bulldogs, I'm a Tide man myself :-)

Anonymous said...


Really? A 'Tide' man? They are so cocky! You could have heard a pin drop in the whole Southeastern US when the Utes schooled them last year. IT WAS AWESOME! Normally, I'm not a Ute fan (Go Cougs), but what's not to love when they come in the underdogs and 'Roll' over the team who was clearly favored to win.

I thought the BYU vs. UofU rivalry was fierce. That's Kindergarten compared to here in the SEC. In the South, Football IS their religion.

Kami said...

Hey thanks for the review of Transformers 2! I was going to take my 5 yr old to go see it next week but if its raunchy maybe I better rethink it. Of course he might not understand the jokes anyways but you never know. He has stole my mom's DVD of the first movie and hoards it in his room so maybe I won't get out of not taking him anyways!

As for your TV I've always heard that plasma's last longer. Don't know if that's true but everyone I talk to that has one says that's the way to go. I just bought a 32" plasma and love it!

Blogger said...

Get daily ideas and methods for making $1,000s per day FROM HOME totally FREE.