Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Indigo Teen Read Awards

I'm happy to announce that THE MAZE RUNNER is a nominee in the first ever Teen Read Awards presented by Indigo, the largest bookstore retail chain in Canada. I'm very honored!

There are several categories, and MAZE is nominated in the category of "Best Hero," along with some pretty good company: Holly Black, Scott Westerfeld, and Ally Carter. I'm a long shot against such established talent, but I'm just happy to be included. No, really! (I know, sounds like the pathetic rant of a guy about to lose.)

The hero is, of course, Thomas. Poor guy. Memory wipes, Griever stings, has to run all those miles and miles. I'm glad he gets something in return. Especially right before he has to go through all the crap in THE SCORCH TRIALS.

The part I'm most excited about: I get to go to Toronto for the awards gala in September! I've never been there and I can't wait to visit. See, I KNEW Canada was awesome.

To learn more about the awards, and to, ahem, vote, please CLICK HERE. If I win, I'll give 37 billion dollars to charity. (Like I said, I'm just happy to be nominated!)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The New Yorker and etc.

Happy Tuesday everyone! We are back from our vacation to visit my family in Georgia, and I've settled in for a long summer of hard work. Here's a random list of the latest...

1. The main task at hand is writing THE DEATH CURE, Book 3 of THE MAZE RUNNER. It now stands around 15,000 words and I have a long way to go. But thanks to my editor, who made me outline this one as part of our revisions for Book 2, it should be a smooth and fairly quick experience.

2. I'm really excited to share that my book and I are mentioned in an article in the current issue of THE NEW YORKER. It's a special 2-week issue, so you should be able to buy it on newstands or in bookstores for the next week or so. Or, you can read it online: CLICK HERE.

3. Funny story about this article. When my publicist told me about it, she seemed extra excited. Then my editor did as well. Then Random House sent out a special email about it. Finally, I realized maybe I just wasn't quite getting it when my agent emailed me and asked if I ever thought I'd be in the New Yorker. I told him I didn't know it was such a big deal, and he only responded with, "Oh, James, that's what I love about you."

Anyway, I've repented and I'm thrilled and thank you New Yorker! I'm honored. And I bought 4 hard copies.

4. THE SCORCH TRIALS is just about complete, and I imagine we're only a few weeks away from ARCs. I've gone through the copyedits and I imagine it's already been typeset by now. It'll be out in less than 4 months!!!!

5. I enjoyed everyone's reaction to my thoughts on the LOST finale. I only have one more thing to say about it. Some people were disappointed because not every single little thing was answered. For example, WHY is the island the heart of the world? HOW does it work? WHAT is the smoke monster? Yada yada.

To you I say this: Were you satisfied when George Lucas explained to us how the Force works, mitachloriyabbadabbadoians, and all that? It was much better when we just knew the Force was magic and really cool. LOST was not about nitty gritty explanations. It was about characters and fate and redemption and speculating, all of which would've been ruined by a seven hour finale where all was explained in detail.

6. So I'm kind of keeping up with the World Cup. And I think I'm the only one on the planet that actually likes the sound of those beehive horns. It just creates a cool atmosphere that makes me feel like something really important is going on. I just wish people actually scored in soccer. That'd be nice.

7. I haven't seen a movie in like three weeks. This shames me to no end.

8. We're getting our backyard done and it'll finally be done by tonight. My kids can finally play outside without getting ticks, spider bites, or weed rashes.

9. I'd like someone to please invent a big machine that causes the Earth to have no humidity without causing damage to the environment. My kids couldn't handle it in Georgia. We kept trying to do things outside and they'd beg to go back in. We left Georgia in the 90s with 110 percent humidity and arrived in Utah with no humidity and 60 degrees. I love it here.

10. Dear Bud Sehlig, Commissioner of Major League Baseball: I've analyzed your decision not to award Armando Galarraga a perfect game even though the obvious bad call came on the last out. And my official conclusion is that you are a d bag.

Back to work for me!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

My Thoughts on LOST Series Finale

I know I'm officially the last person on Earth to do this, but here's what I think. Don't worry, no serious spoilers until the last section, which will be properly labelled.

I absolutely loved the series finale. I honestly can't think of one thing, not one, that I would change. It was heartbreaking, brilliant, moving, awesome. I just don't understand the haters out there. They baffle me. Everyone is certainly entitled to their own opinion, it's just really annoying when they're wrong.

The whole series was an experience I'll never forget. Easily the best thing I've ever seen on television, by a trillion light years the best, and probably tied with the LORD OF THE RINGS movies and SAVING PRIVATE RYAN and LES MISERABLES in terms of media / entertainment that affected me on a superhuman level. I'll never forget it, especially the finale, which still haunts me as I write this.


Oh Jack. Jackity Jack Jack. Your face in the final scene has made me half depressed and half in awe since your eye closed. And the music! And the writing! And the acting! And the directing! Everything about that finale and the series itself can only be summed up by one word in my (sadly) limited vocabulary. (Hey, I'm just an author.) That word is BRILLIANT.

I can't get over it. I didn't think something could be that good. The writers and creators should be given a special award that no one else ever receives. And that award should be called the YOU'RE MORE BRILLIANT THAN ANYBODY ELSE EVER AWARD. I don't say any of this lightly. I see tons of movies, watch lots of shows, read lots of books. And LOST is one of a kind, a true once-in-a-lifetime experience. I'll never never ever ever forget it.

I'm really glad that we watched it, week by agonizing week, year by agonizing year, from the very first airing of the pilot. That waiting and expecting and speculating was half the fun. We plan on waiting about five years and then watching the whole thing over again with our kids. I can't wait!


There's a lot of debate out there about what happened in the finale. I think it can be summed up pretty easily. Just like Jack's dad said, everything, every single thing that occured on the island really did happen. It is the heart of the world and in the end Jack saved it. He died to save it. His best friends escaped and lived out happy lives back home. Hurley and Ben safeguarded the island for many many years, maybe centuries. All these people died at different times along an extensive timeline.

Once they did, all at their separate times, their souls entered an alternate reality which they collectively created, their very own Heaven, where past, present, and future are the same. Just like Jack's dad said, "there is no now, here." They all discovered each other once again, in several scenes that I can't imagine have ever been topped in the happy tears department. And then they gathered and went to some special place beyond.

Ben wasn't ready, still had things to atone for. That's why he didn't go.

That's about it. And how incredibly BRILLIANT is it that the very first shot of the series was Jack's eye opening, and the very last was that same eye closing. I know it's simple, but it's just really really awesome, too.


I don't know what else to say. I'd love to hear any thoughts you guys might have. Even from those who for some reason feel like it's their role in life to tell everyone how stupid LOST is, even though the vast majority of them haven't seen even half the episodes because it got too "complicated." Ya know, some things you just shouldn't admit to people.

Sorry if I sound petty or defensive. I just love this show so much that I feel like it's my kid or something, and it hurts to see people rip on it. And usually they have nothing intelligent to say, just, "Man, that show is so lame. I'm gonna go watch CSI: Kentucky."

And lost in all this (ha, sorry for the pun) is the effect the show has had on my own writing. I took something away from every single episode. The writing, the structure, the plotting, the character development. How they end episodes, even commercial breaks. The visuals. All of it helped my writing more than perhaps any other one identifiable thing.

Which leads to my final thought: to the creative talent of LOST, every one of you, both behind and off the screen, I say thank you. I can only hope that somehow you get neurotic in the middle of the night and google your own show and find this blog post. I can only speak for myself, but you gave me something, a six year experience, that changed my life and will remain with me FOREVER. Thank you thank you thank you!!!!!!!