Monday, September 28, 2009

Banned Books Week

We all know about the battle against censorship. We all know the importance of free speech. My publisher supports this battle all year long, but this is a special week in which to shout from the rooftops and draw lines in the sand.

Imagine if the censors had their way throughout the years. There'd be no ARE YOU THERE GOD, IT'S ME MARGARET by Judy Blume, or THE GIVER, by Lois Lowry, or THE CHOCOLATE WAR by Robert Cormier or A DAY NO PIGS WOULD DIE by Robert Peck. Countless others. Some people even wanted to ban HARRY POTTER, which is the silliest silliness in the history of silly silliness.

Please spread the word that we can never let ourselves take the first step on that treacherous slippery slope. Check out this website by the Random House First Amendment Committee: CLICK HERE. I love the part where you can read quotes from authors like Judy Blume and Lois Lowry about censorship.

Have a great day. I'll return to my normal giddy ranting about how close we are to my release day soon.

Friday, September 25, 2009


Just a quick post to say that The Book Academy conference was truly amazing yesterday. Over 300 attendees and very well organized. My favorite part was Brandon Sanderson's keynote address. I had a lot of fun serving on a panel and teaching a class, too. Kudos to the folks at UVU!

Also, THE MAZE RUNNER had a great article about it in Publisher's Weekly yesterday. To read it, CLICK HERE. My sincere thanks to Shannon O'Connor at Doylestown Bookshop in Pennsylvania.

If you missed the new cover for The 13th Reality paperback, CLICK HERE.

Eleven days to Oct. 6. Eleven days. Can't wait for single digits!

Lyrics of the Day:

I know someday you'll have a beautiful life
I know you'll be a sun
In somebody else's sky
But why
Why can't it be
Why can't it be mine?

Black, Pearl Jam

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Cover - The 13th Reality Paperback

I wanted to show everyone this awesome cover by John Picacio for the paperback of Book 1, to be released December 22, 2009 by Aladdin (an imprint of Simon & Schuster). I really love it!

I'm kind of waiting until THE MAZE RUNNER comes out to give an in-depth introduction to this series so that I don't have to do it twice. But here's the short version because we're getting more and more new people to the Dashner Dude:

The 13th Reality is a 5-book series by a small publisher called Shadow Mountain. The first two books are out in hardcover. (Book 1: THE JOURNAL OF CURIOUS LETTERS), Book 2: THE HUNT FOR DARK INFINITY)

Simon & Schuster purchased the paperback rights to the series, so it's now a joint venture. They made the decision to publish the PBs with different covers, but keep the incredible inside illustrations by Bryan Beus.

So, here's the assumed schedule for the series:

Book 1 pb: December 22, 2009
Book 2 pb: February 2010
Book 3 hb: April 2010
Book 3 pb, Book 4 hb: April 2011
Book 4 pb, Book 5 hb: April 2012
Book 5 pb: April 2013

Yeah, I'm sure you have that memorized now. Would've been a lot easier to say they'll come out every April till it's done.

Anyway, if you end up liking MAZE, I think you'll like this other series of mine. It's full of mystery, riddles, action, other realities, futuristic weapons, monsters, teleportation, and things called barrier wands, tingle wraiths, gnat rats, fangen, ragers, shurrics, sleeks - oops, I'm getting into Book 3, better stop.

Well, I guess I explained it in more detail than I thought. Maybe I'll just link to this in a month or so for our (hopefully) many new Duders once MAZE comes out.

I know it's kind of confusing that I have 2 series going on at the same time, but there you have it. Any questions?

In case you missed it on Monday, we got a great review from Publisher's Weekly for MAZE: CLICK HERE to read it.

Lyrics of the Day:

One day, one night, one moment
My dreams could be tomorrow
One step, one fall, one falter
East or west
Over earth or by ocean
One way to be my journey
This way could be my Book of Days

Book of Days, Enya (yeah, that's right. Enya.)

Monday, September 21, 2009

PW Review of The Maze Runner

We were very excited to wake up this morning and see that Publisher's Weekly gave us a great review! Here it is (don't worry, no spoilers beyond back-of-the-book blurb):

The Maze Runner James Dashner. Delacorte, $16.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-385-73794-4

Dashner (the 13th Reality series) offers up a dark and gripping tale of survival set in a world where teenagers fight for their lives on a daily basis. It starts when Thomas, a teenage amnesiac, wakes up in the Glade, a fragile oasis in the middle of an enormous maze. Here, a group of teenage boys eke out a hazardous existence, exploring the Maze by day and retreating to the Glade at night. No one knows how they got there; no one has ever found a way out (“Old life's over, new life's begun. Learn the rules quick,” the group's leader tells Thomas). Bizarre technological monsters called Grievers patrol the Maze's corridors, almost certain death for any who encounter them. Thomas struggles to regain his memories, but the arrival of a young woman with an ominous message changes the rules of the game.

With a fast-paced narrative steadily answering the myriad questions that arise and an ever-increasing air of tension, Dashner's suspenseful adventure will keep readers guessing until the very end, which paves the way for the inevitable continuation. Ages 12–up. (Oct.)

You can see it online, too: CLICK HERE.

We've had 3 trade reviews now, all extremely positive. I hope you guys agree!

In other news:

1. The Falcons are 2-0. Yes.

2. I had an awesome time at the LUW Roundup conference, and I'm looking forward to the Book Academy conference this Thursday at UVU.

3. We had another foreign rights sale: Spanish (North and Latin America). Yes! Spanish! I'm really, really excited about this one.

4. You can see all the details of my upcoming tour for MAZE by clicking HERE. I really hope to meet a lot of you - come see me!!!

5. Two weeks to release day. Two weeks. TWO WEEKS!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Don't Read Spoilers

I have a small concern. I've been reading many of the advance reader reviews on the internet (something Sara Zarr keeps telling me to NOT do) and I'm really surprised at how some of them are chock full of spoilers. A few are even telling things that happen clear up to the very end.

THE MAZE RUNNER depends heavily on surprise and intrigue. So... two things. Please put SPOILER ALERT before you spill the beans on significant plot points, and for those of you waiting to read it, please don't read the spoilers! I promise your experience reading this book will be so much better if you know little going in.

I don't know, is this a reasonable concern? I'm very thankful for the reviews and the time that went into them. Very much so. Especially you awesome bloggers out there (most of whom are totally great on warning about spoilers). I just want readers to have the best experience possible, and if you know certain things, the book might be ruined. In my opinion.

It's like when someone told my mother-in-law how THE SIXTH SENSE ended. Unforgivable! That person should've been sent to jail for life. Wait, I think it was my wife... haha. Love you sweetie! No, really! I do! Fine, I'll do the dishes...

In other news...

1. Okay, the winner of the forum thingy from my last post is Alysa. (Congrats!) So now I owe books to Jenn, LouMac, and Alysa. Make sure I have your address (email addy is in last post). Also, I'm waiting to see if they have more ARCs. If not, then you'll just have to get a hardback I guess.

2. If you missed the thing about the forum, go over to and sign up. I'll be doing official chats over there starting on Sept. 28th.

3. We are 17 days and 21 hours away from the release! Roughly.

4. My full tour schedule is up on the new website, I'll be coming to 8 cities, and I hope to see many of you while out and about. Just click on the author section to see the tour details.

5. If you haven't played the game on there yet, do it! Even the great Shannon Hale got addicted to it and ignored her children. Serious, they were taken by the state child services just last night. Isn't that awesome?

6. I received some fun stuff in the mail: bookmarks and teaser chapter booklets for MAZE. Here's a picture (sorry my camera phone is so sucky - not sure where that glare came from):

7. I'm off to the LUW writer's conference at the Homestead in the mountains for 2 days. It's gonna be fun - I get to MC the awards dinner. Let's hope I don't make a fool of myself.

8. Everyone have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

James Dashner Forum

Okay, for months we've been toying with the idea of making a forum for all the faithful Duders. Well, we finally have our chance! Random House has their own forum website for its young adult authors, so this works out perfect.

It's called Random Buzzers. aka There are a couple of links for my stuff on the main page.

All you need to do is register with the site (it's free) and then you can post, reply, whatever. They already have a section set up for us. (Beginning Sept 28th, I'll be doing a weeklong series of chats with the random buzzer members. But we might as well get things started!)

CLICK HERE to go to the section for my name. (You have to join and login before you can do anything.) I figure this will be a great testing ground to see if a forum is worth the effort. Duders, don't let me down! If you join, please leave a comment telling us your user name, and I'll give away a book or two.

That reminds me - Jenn, I know I owe you a book! And I never announced the winner from those of you who left silly comments over at Aprilynne's blog contest for my book. The winner is... LouMac!!! Please email me, dashnerjames, gmail.

Okay, we'll see how that goes.....

By the way, if you missed it, please go and check out the official website (, which just went live on Friday. The online game is so awesome and addicting. Let us know in the comments if you're able to achieve all ten missions!

Lyrics of the Day:

You wear guilt
Like shackles on your feet
Like a halo in reverse
And when our worlds they fall apart
When the walls come tumbling in
Though we may deserve it
It will be worth it

Halo, Depeche Mode (Trying to give the young whippersnappers some lessons in music)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Maze Runner Website

Holy crap! I know I just posted a blog this morning, but you guys gotta go check out the official website. It just launched:

Be sure and go to the "join the discussion" link because they're giving away 5 ARCs. Also, they have the entire tour date schedule up.

And you HAVE to play the online game. It's amazing!

Wow, I am just blown away. THANK YOU RANDOM HOUSE!!!!!

Three Exciting Things

Just a quick post to report some good news:

1. I finished the first draft of THE BLADE OF SHATTERED HOPE, Book 3 of THE 13TH REALITY. It clocked in at 97,230 words, 63 chapters, and lots of coolness, death and mayhem. Now for editing..... Bleck!!!

2. My agency sold rights to THE MAZE RUNNER trilogy in Brazil. Publisher: V&R Editora.

3. Then they sold rights to the United Kingdom (which sounds so much cooler than UK, but not as cool as The British Empire). Publisher: Scholastic/Chicken House. (Interesting sidenote that I thought was neato: the acquiring editor is Barry Cunningham, who discovered Harry Potter when he was at Bloomsbury in England.)

This is now the current list of foreign rights, in order of sale:

Russia, Ast
France, Pocket Jeunesse
Greece, Platypous
Taiwan, Sun Color Culture Publishing
Brazil, V&R Editora
United Kingdom, Scholastic/Chicken House

I'm so excited at the prospect of my book being available across the world like this. One of my favorite things for sure. Hopefully more will be coming soon. A big thanks to Lauren Abramo and Dystel & Goderich (and the foreign agencies and publishers of course - I don't really know much about you, but thanks!)

Lyrics of the Day:

I was struck by lightning
Walking down the street
I was hit by something
Last night in my sleep
It's a dead man's party
Who could ask for more
Everybody's coming
Leave your body at the door

Dead Man's Party, Oingo Boingo (Delightfully creepy lyrics from an 80's song)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Kirkus Review of The Maze Runner

We're really excited to have such a positive review! WARNING: Major Spoiler Alert!!! If you don't want to read the synopsis part, scroll down and I'll post the last couple of lines only.


Dashner, James

Boys come to the Glade via an empty freight elevator with no memory of how they got there or of their prior lives. This disorientation is made more frightening when they realize that to survive they must lock themselves in every night to avoid the horrors of the Grievers, beings that are part machine, part animal—and altogether deadly. The boys in the Glade send out Runners each day to find a way out through the Maze that surrounds their one patch of safety, with no success. Life goes on until one day the elevator delivers a girl. She brings a message: She is the last child to be sent, and there will be no more deliveries of food or supplies. Now the Glade is cut off, and as the Grievers gather for an all-out attack, it’s clear that it’s now or never—the Maze must be solved. Dashner knows how to spin a tale and make the unbelievable realistic. Hard to put down, this is clearly just a first installment, and it will leave readers dying to find out what comes next. (Science fiction. 12 & up)

End of Spoiler Alert!!!

Here are the last couple of just-reviewish lines:

Dashner knows how to spin a tale and make the unbelievable realistic. Hard to put down, this is clearly just a first installment, and it will leave readers dying to find out what comes next. (Science fiction. 12 & up)

In other news, I received a copy of the hardback from Krista! (My box of author copies will come later - I'm guessing Krista stole this one out of the very first box to RH and got it right in the mail so I could see it. She's so awesome!)
Here are some pics. Notice the front flap says "A Junior Library Guild Selection." Did I ever tell you guys about that? I can't remember.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

T Minus 33 Days and Counting

A few things:

1. 33 days. The Double Triple. Eleven Times Three. Ye Olde Thrice Thrice. It's coming!

2. Good friend and fellow author Aprilynne Pike (WINGS, being made into a movie by freaking Disney with freaking Miley Cyrus!) is being so kind as to give away a signed copy of THE MAZE RUNNER on her blog. To enter, you only have to comment (about anything!) on her blog.

We should have code words to show who made it over there via The Dashner Dude. Hmmmm. Since Aprilynne is a friend and understands my idiotic sense of humor, let's do this: Say what you want in her comments, but sign off by saying something absurdly ridiculous and silly, like, "Wee Willie Winkie had a stinky pinky." Come on, be brave! Anyone who does it will be entered into my own contest for another copy of MAZE.

To visit her blog, CLICK HERE. The contest is open through Labor Day weekend.

3. Now, I'm pretty sure nobody's gonna classify MAZE as a romance anytime soon, but luckily The Romantic Times has a broad vision of books they like. In our very first trade review, we couldn't be more pleased! They made MAZE a "Top Pick" for October and did a really nice feature, including an interview with me. Look for it on magazine shelves at your local bookstore or library. Thank you RT!!!!!

4. I'm very, very, very close to completing the first draft of Book 3 of THE 13TH REALITY. It may even happen today. Or tomorrow. I'll definitely tweet about it when that happens, and probably update this blog post. That's always an exciting moment in which my wife and I celebrate by running naked through the park and tackling old ladies. If you'd like to join us, give me a call. My number: 555-555-5553.

5. College football starts tonight. Pro football starts a week from tonight. Georgia is ranked #11, the Falcons should build on their playoff season from a year ago. And there was much rejoicing.

6. Have a wonderful weekend!

Lyrics of the Day:

Why can't we have unhurried hearts?
To beat in time with our stops and our starts.
Why can't we have unhurried hearts?
To keep the time when things fall apart.

Unhurried Hearts, Harlem Shakes

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Best Day of the Year

The latest:

1. I would argue that today, September 1st, is the single best day of the year. (You could argue that it is not, but then you'd be making a complete and utter ninny of yourself in front of all these people. Don't do it!)

It's the best for a lot of reasons: It begins my favorite time of year, the four months of Sept-Dec. It's the official unoffical beginning of Autumn, Football, Crisp Air, Leaves Changing, Halloween, Thanksgiving, My Birthday, Christmas (or your respective Holiday), New Years, Snow, Skiing, etc.

And now, of course, I have another awesome thing to add to Fall (at least for the next 3 years): the release of a book!

2. Today is also awesome because CATCHING FIRE was released. I was very fortunate to read an ARC of this book, and I can vouch that it's very good. If you haven't read the first one in the trilogy, HUNGER GAMES, get on that bandwagon immediately! (or you'll look as stupid as the neo-Nazi child-hating ninnies who argue against Sept. 1)

3. Today also marks exactly FIVE weeks until the release date of my very own book, THE MAZE RUNNER. For those of you scratching your heads trying to do the math, that also equals 35 days. It's also equal to 3.5 Decadays, a term I'm pretty certain I just made up. Epiphany: it's also exactly one half of a Decaweek! How cool is that?

4. I had a really awesome experience this past Saturday - participating in the 2nd annual Writing for Charity event in Ogden, UT. We had a lot of people show up and raised $8,000, which will go to the Treehouse Museum (am I the only idiot on Earth who forgets what order the "e" and "u" go in that stupid word?) and to put books in the hands of needy children.

5. Evidently I AM the only person on Planet Earth and The Solar System and The Galaxy that didn't know what the word "docent" meant. I was ridiculed and spat upon by the other authors for said ignorance.

6. At dinner afterward, I had the singular pleasure of being forced to pay for Brandon Mull's dinner because he "forgot his wallet." I only tell you this to embarrass him.

7. Shannon Hale was the MC, and she is one funny gal. Anne Freakin' Bowen organized the whole affair, and did just an amazing job. Kudos to her and all the staff at the Treehouse Musuem (ha! I did that on purpose!)

8. Here's a picture of the participating authors, all of whom volunteered their time. The person who can name the most authors in the picture gets a signed copy of THE MAZE RUNNER. If someone gets them all, the contest ends at that very exact second.

9. I'm smack dab in the middle of writing the climax for Book 3 of THE 13TH REALITY. Right now the book stands at about 90,000 words and I'll probably finish the first draft this week. It has a very strange ending, but I've come to expect that from myself.

10. I think I tweeted this, and maybe I even blogged it, but just in case: I've decided to postpone my ACL surgery until after my release tour (8 cities, schedule coming soon!) so as not to take any chances that complications could ruin the whole thing and make me wallow in misery for the rest of my life.

11. If you haven't followed me on Twitter yet, please do! CLICK HERE. I promise I never mention anything about going to the bathroom. Well, I did once, but it was special circumstances. I'll also never mention the words "Demi" or "Moore".

Lyrics of the Day:

No, his mind is not for rent
To any god or government.
Always hopeful, yet discontent,
He knows changes aren't permanent.
What you say about his company,
Is what you say about society.
Catch the witness, catch the wit,
Catch the spirit, catch the spit.

Tom Sawyer, Rush