Thursday, February 25, 2010

Book 3 Cover, Giveaway: THE DARK DIVINE

Well hey there.

Two things today:

1. I can finally show you the cover for Book 3 of THE 13TH REALITY (coming April 6). It's by Brandon Dorman, and I love, love, love it! For the record, that's Sato on the cover.

2. To celebrate, I'm giving away a signed copy of my good friend Bree Despain's book, THE DARK DIVINE. To be eligible, all you have to do is leave a comment and let me know what you think of the new cover. Or Bree's cover. Or the techniques of curling.

I'll announce the winner next week, at which time I'll also be announcing my tour cities and dates for the release of Book 3 in April. So, without further ado, here is the cover:

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

13th Book 2 Paperback: Come and Get it!

Just wanted to let everyone know that the second book of THE 13TH REALITY is now available in paperback.

I said this when we first revealed the new cover, but I'll say it again: I love, love, love it!!! Kudos to the artist, Owen Richardson. The inside illustrations are the same as the hardback, done by the equally talented Bryan Beus.

We continue to get a steady stream of newcomers to the Dashner Dude, so I'll just give a quick recap of this series. Book 1 (THE JOURNAL OF CURIOUS LETTERS) and Book 2 (THE HUNT FOR DARK INFINITY) are now available in paperback. Book 3 (THE BLADE OF SHATTERED HOPE) comes out on April 7th. We should be revealing that cover here on the blog very, very soon.

I have two publishers for this series. The hardbacks are done by Shadow Mountain, the people who brought you FABLEHAVEN. The paperbacks are from Aladdin, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, and they've decided to have different covers, but keep the inside illustrations. It's scheduled to be five books in total.

The basic premise: a group of scientists called the Realitants study alternate realities. In the Thirteenth, they've discovered that science has been mutated into a dark magic. Very bad things happen.

How's that for short and sweet?

Many of you found me through THE MAZE RUNNER. If you liked that, I hope you'll give THE 13TH REALITY a try. I'm really proud of it, especially as it gets deeper and deeper into the story. Enjoy!

I'll answer your questions from the comments in my next post. I hope everyone is enjoying the Olympics. Pretty sure I've watched more coverage than anyone save Bob Costas. Curling rocks! So does biathlon! And all the usual stuff. The Alpine skiing is my #1 favorite though. And hockey. And short track speed skating.

Talk again soon...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Greek Cover for Maze Runner

In Greece, the book will be called THE TEST. What do you guys think?

Some quick background: The book is coming out in March (I think) from Platypus Publications, the same publisher that did Twilight and Hunger Games in Greece. They told me that The Maze Runner didn't sound very cool in Greek, hence the title change. Also, they decided to use more of the full cover art by Philip Straub. I really love it!!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

LTUE and Great Pub

I had so much fun at LTUE (the scifi and fantasy symposium at BYU). I don't know how else to describe it. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I served on some great panels, mingled with many writers and Duders, had a wonderful book signing, and read a couple of chapters from THE SCORCH TRIALS to a very enthusiastic audience.

Just a sampling of my favorite moments:

1. I was honored to record a couple of live podcasts of WRITING EXCUSES with Brandon Sanderson (MISTBORN, WHEEL OF TIME), Howard Tayler (SCHLOCK MERCENARY), and Dan Wells (I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER). These guys are hilarious, and all three of them are very good friends. So you can imagine the fun we had, especially fed by the crowd of people that was hundreds if not pushing a thousand. You can listen, for free, to the result by CLICKING HERE. You can also learn more about these three yahoos who made me the butt of all their jokes.

2. Speaking of being the butt of jokes, I was also "honored" to be the main buttster for Brandon's keynote address on Saturday, also in front of many people. Best line: Brandon squinted at his notes and said, "This is getting too dry, make fun of Dashner." He looked at me and said, "You stink." Then he said, "My notes actually say that, 'squint at notes and then tell Dashner he stinks.'" Hey, any publicity is good publicity!

3. Brandon's address was really, really, really good. The basic gist was that there is some great stuff in speculative fiction and people who say differently are stupid (though he said it much more intelligently and inspiringly). Boo yah! I don't think I ever realized just how funny Brandon was until this conference, where he was Guest of Honor and really let himself go.

4. Serving on a panel and talking with L.E. Modesitt Jr., one of the most successful scifi/fantasy authors ever. I've known him for several years now, and he's always been so real and down to Earth and inspiring.

5. What I mostly enjoyed was seeing and hanging out with the attendees at the conference. It gets better every year, and I really had a great time. Hello to everyone I met, saw again, ate with, talked with, discussed writing with, etc. Especially to the Duders who came!!!

I also wanted to share a couple of cool articles in which THE MAZE RUNNER was mentioned, especially since these are both huge publications:

1. The L.A. Times: CLICK HERE.

2. Publisher's Weekly: CLICK HERE.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Q&A from the Comments

Time to catch up on some of your questions! Before we get to that, just a reminder that I'll be at the LTUE event at BYU this weekend (11th-13th), including a signing on Friday at noon in the bookstore and a reading of THE SCORCH TRIALS on Saturday at 6:00. I'll also be speaking on several panels. For details, CLICK HERE.

As for the Superbowl, I didn't care who won since my Falcons weren't there. But I really, really wanted overtime so I was very upset when Mr. Manning threw that interception instead of tying up the game. Boo.

One more thing: We're very, very close to revealing the cover for THE BLADE OF SHATTERED HOPE, Book 3 of THE 13TH REALITY. Stay tuned!

Okay, onto your questions...

First off, as always, THANK YOU for all the nice words, congrats, etc. in the comments that continue to perk me up throughout the day. I read them all and love getting them!!!

Quite a few people asked when my next two books will be coming out. Book 3 of THE 13TH REALITY comes out April 6, and Book 2 of THE MAZE RUNNER comes out October 12th.

Charles: Is the latest generation more or less creative because of all the visual media that is so prevalent now? I would say more only because I feel that movies and television really influence my writing, just as much as books in terms of IDEAS. Though if you want to be a writer, reading books is first in priority because that's the best education on HOW to write.

Anonymous: Will there be a 13TH REALITY movie? Nothing in the works as of yet, I'm afraid. However, THE LIGHTNING THIEF comes out this Friday, so we can all be happy!

Erin G: How important is research to your writing? Well, I make most of my stuff up, so I only do a little. However, when I do reference something that needs to be authentic, I look it up. And I always try to have the proper background for the science I throw in.

Karen: Will you be coming to Honolulu anytime soon? Nothing on the schedule, but maybe I need to do something about that! I've never been there, would love to visit.

Emchien asked about more specific details on LTUE. Basically, you just need to know that everything is on the 3rd floor of the Wilkinson Center, and you can find everything from there pretty easily. EXCEPT for the signings, which I believe will be in the bookstore.

SPOILER ALERT! "It's what I want to be" asked who Minho and Zart were named after in TMR. Well, since this book is in the future, I purposefully had a couple of the names come from people who don't exist yet. Like Minho. But Zart is named after a famous composer. Begins with a Mo. END SPOILER ALERT!

Epsilon: How do you pace your writing during the day so as not to get burned out? When I'm in full first draft writing mode, I like to do an hour or two first thing in the morning, then do another session that afternoon, sometimes after seeing a movie to juice up my creativity factory. Other things to do in between are answering email, blogging, taking care of author business stuff, etc.

Aubrey (aka Stacey): How was your trip to California? We had a great time! We got really lucky because the big series of rain storms didn't hit until we were just about done. Although that did make our flight get cancelled and force us to stay an extra day and watch the rain. But we had perfect weather for Sea World and Lego Land. Kids loved it! Dad (that's me) ate lots of junk food!

Libby D: Any events in SoCal soon? I think there's a very good chance I'll be coming there for one of the tours for my releases this year. Stay tuned for the schedules!

Anna: How do we go about booking you for a school visit? Well, due to the time constraints of trying to have two series going on at once, I'm really only doing school visits during the release tours. The best way to make that happen is to go through your local bookstore, and have them go through their contacts with Random House or Shadow Mountain/Simon & Schuster. Thank you for your interest!

Jessica: What was your inspiration for TMR? I think the three things that shaped my ideas for this story the most are: The books ENDER'S GAME and LORD OF THE FLIES, and the TV show LOST.

Jan von Hartz: THANKS for including me in the St. Louis Book Battle. That's so cool and I'm very honored!

Editor Tyler: Any way I can get your autograph? I do lots of events, so stay tuned and try to catch me sometime, okay?

SandPMom: Any relatives in Maryland? Well, I have two brothers and a couple of cousins in that area...

That's about it for now. Thanks again for hanging out with me here, and we'll talk again soon. I hope to see some of you at BYU this weekend!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Happy Superbowl Weekend

Hey everybody - be happy, the weekend is here! The Game is coming. Yeah, that's right. All those awesome commercials and the tasty party finger food. Maybe even some football.

A few things:

1. I'm very honored to be a nominee for a Whitney Award this year (Speculative Fiction). Thanks to everyone on the Whitney committee!!!

2. Don't forget: I'll be at the Southtown Mall Barnes and Noble in Sandy, UT tomorrow (Saturday the 6th) starting at 1:00, with many other authors. Come see us!

3. Also, remember the LTUE symposium next weekend (11th, 12th, 13th) at BYU. My reading has been changed to 6:00 on Saturday night, where I'll be doing the first chapter or two from THE SCORCH TRIALS. My signing is still Friday at noon. For more details, CLICK HERE.

4. LOST. I know I've ranted and raved about this show before, and I'll do it again. I've been looking forward to this, the finale season, for many months and years. During the season premiere on Tuesday, I sat riveted the entire time. Honestly, I don't even care what the resolution is or what's behind it all. The sheer brilliance of every aspect of the show is enough for me. I love it as much as any type of entertainment I've ever experienced. Maybe the most.

If you are a writer, you can learn a lot from this show. Character development. How to reveal the layers of a mystery. How to structure chapters. All in all, just how to tell a story. I love LOST. I love it love it love it love it.

5. What have I been working on? I received the typeset pages for THE 13TH REALITY Book 3, so I've been going through those, almost done. I've also seen the cover and the inside illustrations, done by the very talented Brandon Dorman. (Not to worry, Bryan Beus will be back for Book 4!) Hopefully we'll reveal the cover next week, and the book comes out on April 6! In the meantime, go check out the paperbacks for books 1 and 2.

6. My knee is recovering well from ACL surgery. I've been a good boy and gone to physical therapy 3 times a week (Hi Drew, Chevelle, and crew!) and done lots of exercises at home. It's still swollen and hurts, but not too bad. I really appreciate all the well wishes on Twitter, Facebook, and in the comments. Thanks!!!

7. I'm past due to answer your questions from the comments. Here is a Dashner Gare-On-Tee: I'll do that early next week. So if you have more, let me know. I love hearing from you guys.

8. I'm reading a book that you will all hear about this summer. It's called THE PASSAGE by Justin Cronin. It is amazing. Unique, deep, scary, brilliant. Comes out in June. I also just received the ARC for Book 1 in DJ MacHale's upcoming new series, MORPHEUS ROAD. It's about ghosts!

Well, gotta run for now. Have a great weekend and we'll see you on Monday!