Monday, August 3, 2009

Q&A: Random Stuff

Okay, these are all questions from recent comments:

Q: From Melony: How did you overcome discouragement in yourself? I mean, did you ever just think, there's no way this will ever get published, what's the point?

A: I wouldn't be a real writer if I didn't have major self-doubt. In fact, I always thought that it would go away with a book contract. Wrong, tootsie! It gets worse. How do I overcome it? By remembering the core reason I'm doing this: because I love to write stories. If people don't like them, well, that'll really suck. But I won't stop.

Q: From #1dashnerfan: Did you really base Atticus (from the THE 13TH REALITY) on the character from TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD?

A: I didn't really base him on Atticus Finch per se, but that's definitely where I got the name. As a tribute to one of my favorite books and characters.

Q: From Debbie: Do you have a word count goal per week or are you the sort that likes to fly by the seat of your pants?

A: I definitely work by goals when I do my first drafts. I figure out how much time I have to write it, then I divide up the roughly estimated word count into daily goals. And then, yes, I track my progress on a spreadsheet. This is extremely embarrassing and threatens my reputation as a rough and tough sexy grungy Waldenesque cabin writer macho man, but it helps me feel like I'm accomplishing something every day.

Q: From Debbie: What's your favorite word?

A: Deoxyribonucleic Acid. That's actually two words. Well, who cares cuz "football" is the real answer anyway.

Q: From Debbie: How are you liking your new neighborhood?

A: We really, really love it. I already met a dude who invited me to play basketball with him and his buddies twice a week. Went last Thursday and loved it.

Q: From Debbie: Who's your favorite football team? (I apologize if others already know this as I'm new to your blog.)

A: I'm happy to answer! The Atlanta Falcons and Georgia Bulldogs. Die hard fan.

Q: From Graham Chops: What are your favorites from the other sports?

A: Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Hawks, Atlanta Thrashers, Georgia Force. (Can you tell where I was born and raised?)

Q: From Kirsten: How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?

A: The square root of infinity divided by pi multiplied by the pythagorean theorem. (This was my attempt to say what I think Shaq would say.)

Q: From Erin: How did YOU handle all the query/synopsis stuff that comes with trying to get published? Do you think you might ever post your query letter just so I might be able to see what a true author that got his book published/got an agent did?

A: Erin, you should totally read my series of blog posts on how I got published, available on the side bar of this blog. It's a very long story. And somewhere on this blog at some point I posted an actual query letter. Oh, here it is: CLICK HERE. That whole post is about what you do after writing a book.

Q: From Dave: How many copies of THE 13TH REALITY paperbacks are they going to print?

A: Don't know yet.

Q: From LT Elliot: Has the fame of Maze gotten to you at all? Even a bit?

A: Haha, not sure I'd call this fame. Honestly, it's extremely rare that an author has to deal with fame. People like JK Rowling and Stephenie Meyer are MAJOR anomalies. I really don't think I'll have to worry about it.

Q: From Dave: Please clarify the release dates of your series.

A: THE MAZE RUNNER: October 6, 2009. THE SCORCH TRIALS: October 2010. THE DEATH CURE: October 2011. THE 13TH REALITY books will come out in April the next 3 years; the series will be complete in April of 2012.

Thanks everybody. If you ever have a question, just leave it in the comments.

Lyrics of the Day:

She said we couldn't do no wrong
No other love could be so strong
She locked up my heart in her bottom drawer
Now she took my heart she took my keys
From in my old blue dungarees
And I'll never go to Texas anymore

Hot Dog, Led Zeppelin (This song also mentions a Greyhound bus and U-Haul. I think it was Zeppelin's parody of country music, and I love it.)


Brian said...

Go DAWGS!!!!!

And Braves!

numberonedashnerfan said...

Oh but james you will have to worry about the fame mwahahaha.........

Q said...

I just realized that I should have posted a question because then it would have been Q: from Q. Shame on me.

Magenta said...

Fun post!

Fun fact or those who don't know: Deoxyribonucleic Acid is actually the long way of saying DNA.

Sometime soon, James, I'd like to try reading your entire blog, straight from the beginning. It'll probably be quite an undertaking, but it'll be fun reading posts I wasn't around for. :P

Cool! You already know what you want to call the 3rd Maze Runner book! And you've made April and October Dashner months! (It's really funny, because my dad and mom's birthdays are in April and October, respectively! Hee hee!)

My question will always be "When will you come down to Florida for a book-signing tour or something?" When the day comes that you can answer that, you'll make me incredibly happy.

Still looking forward to that ARC. Should come any day now, right? Ooh, so excited! I'll email you and send you a link to my blog post when it arrives!

John Ferguson said...

James, your comment on fame reminded me of what another writer said about that very topic:

"The best fame is a writer's fame. It's enough to get a table at a good restaurant, but not enough to get you interrupted when you eat."

-Fran Lebowitz

Laura said...

You'll always be famous to your fans.

Now I just have to figure out how to get as far in life as you have.

When I realized we were the same age- I got a little discouraged. I'm so far behind. By the time I catch up to you- if I ever do- yeah, I don't even want to think about how old I would be.

L.T. Elliot said...

Phshaw. You know you're on the road to fame, James. ;) Everyone loves your guts (myself included) and your books rock. Thanks for answering all these questions. It was really fun to read your answers and I'm glad you stuck with the lyrics too. I love that!

Dave said...

Thanks James! So if I got this right, 2 more books in the maze, and 3(!) More in the 13th series. AWESOME! Another question I should have asked and I'm sure I'm not the only one wondering...are you currently or planning on working on anything else besides these 2 series? Not that I'm colplaining AT ALL. SUPER psyched to hear those are coming out, but still curious.

Dave said...

And James...Deoxyribonucleic acid which composes our genetic make up...DNA (of which Mr D has one heck of a super double helix!), an extension of Ribonucleic acid, RNA. And of course there is MRNA and TRNA as well, which ill leave abbreviated as to not take up the rest of the page. I should have listened to mom and dad when they paid a fortune for my education and said to become a doctor! And let's see, my favorite word is electroencephalagraph, or EEG for short. This is an instrument used to measure brain waves. And after reading this post I'm sure we would all show a spike in our EEG reading!

Unknown said...

My name is not Kristen.

I am deeply hurt.

And that is totally not the number of licks, anyway.

So I'm disappointed, too.

See what joy you bring my lonely heart?

LMAO. Thanks for answering my question, though, James. =)


numberonedashnerfan said...

lol I am a little slow in the head did you get Ther Jimmy fincher sega name from to kill a mocking bird 2...

numberonedashnerfan said...

saga* and too*

The Scarlet Tart said...

Nice to see how your crazy mind works, Dashner.

Anna said...

This question is for everybody, including James.

I'm looking for good blogs that have monthly book good books. Anybody know of any?

BTW, love the lyrics of the day thing, I've been meaning to ask if you were ever going to do that again. Makes me want to buy another Led Zeppelin CD...

Dave said...

Anna, I don't know about monthly, but I will do as many contests as I can. I will be posting prob tonight about 2 contests I have just confirmed with 2 authors as well as 3 scheduled interviews over the next few months also confirmed, including the one and only.....Mr. James Dashner! I will post again here with more info about everything, but in the mean time keep an eye on my blog for the upcoming details. And I want to thank James for agreeing to an interview, as that just ROCKS (this guy actually cares about his fans!) and letting me post a lot of my jibberish here. James, you know I'm a HUGE fan and can not wait to be reading you books for as long as I can see and then after that ill switch to audio books until I lose my hearing and then ill just beg you to write in braile (hope I spelled that right). My site is

Hoontah said...

James you are a writing machine! How in the world do you keep your stories straight? I know that question is a little late to be included in the Q & A but I still gotta know because that is just impressive.

Also, you are going to be incredibly famous which is really exciting for the rest of us to watch. It give me hope that hard work actually pays off. :)

Go Dashner, Go!

Dave said...

And boy was I happy to hear you are not a Redsox or Eagles fan!!!

James Dashner said...

Kirsten, I promise that was just a typo! I know your name.

Sorry to be so quiet in the comments. Thanks for stopping by everybody!

Kristi, excellent question. I have no idea. Does that help?

Dave said...

ok, im probably going to get booted from Jame's site for being a constant pain but heck, every time i mention my site, i promote James. I put up a post about upcoming contests and interviews with authors at our site...short and sweet, check it out. thanks

Unknown said...

I'm glad you fixed it. =)