Friday, July 30, 2010


Look at this beautiful chunk of paper I got in the mail:

I love it! I can't wait for the hardback now. Just over two months to publication. I'll run a contest to win an ARC beginning Monday, since a lot more people seem to check in on that day. Be sure to come back and enter.

In the meanwhile, it's been a long time since I've mentioned the incredible book trailer that was created for MAZE. Has everyone seen it? Check it out:

Monday, July 26, 2010

Inception by Christopher Nolan

I'd like to share a quote from the acknowledgements of my second 13th Reality book, which was written way before I'd ever heard of a movie called INCEPTION and before THE DARK KNIGHT came out.

"Thanks to the mother of Christopher Nolan for going through the pain of birthing him."

I'm so glad I wrote that. I knew I loved the genius of this man just after three movies: MEMENTO, THE PRESTIGE, and BATMAN BEGINS. (And a lot of credit goes to his brother as well, Jonathon, who has co-written some of the scripts.)

And then came INCEPTION.

I love movies. If anything, I love movies even more than I love books (which is pure blasphemy so pretend you didn't hear me just say that). I see any movie that has even the slightest, remotest chance of being good, including the many great indies. Most of my best writing sessions happen right after I've gone to the theater and been inspired by a brilliant movie. Or sometimes even a dumb one.

Among these countless movies, I have those that I call "Event" movies. These are the ones that go to the top of my list as soon as I hear about them. I'd say there are only four or five of these a year. When I first heard about INCEPTION, I was hit by an instant trifecta of information: Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio, and the words, "Your mind is the scene of the crime." I knew I had an "Event" movie, and started counting down the days.

I saw it the day it came out. And then again the next day. Cuz I'm like that.

And I wasn't in the least bit disappointed, even after all that build up. I absolutely loved every single minute of it, both times. It's firmly entrenched in the James Dashner's Top Five Movies of All Time list. (I actually couldn't name you those top five movies, I just every once in a blue moon give a movie that designation. It just might be more than five by now. Yes, it makes sense. Go with it.)

INCEPTION is utterly brilliant. I feel like I can't do it justice. If you haven't seen it, do so immediately. And then do it again because it's even better the second time around. Every single aspect of this movie is brilliant. And I can't go on because I don't want to spoil it and I don't want to use the word "brilliant" too many times. You don't need to know anything else: just go see it. The less you know, the better the experience you'll have.

Why can't more people make movies like this? Trippy, visually stunning, creative, mind-bending, well cast, well acted, well written, heart-wrenching, the MUSIC (yay Hans Zimmer!), brilliant brilliant brilliant. Oops, sorry. I won't use that word again, I promise. A day hasn't gone by since last weekend where I haven't thought about it. Now that's an Event movie.

I only want to comment on three more things about it.

1. I had a major epiphany about the creation process in this movie. (This isn't really a spoiler, so don't worry.) Leo and Ellen Page have a conversation about how the mind works during the process of creating a dream. Leo draws two curved arrows that point at each other, forming a circle. He says the mind simultaneously CREATES and PERCEIVES, and the two become indistinguishable from each other.

Never in my life have I been able to describe how I write books until that moment. It became even more clear when Ellen responds by saying that when she designs architecture, she feels as if she's DISCOVERING it, not necessarily creating it.

This is how it is for me. I can sit for hours and hours, trying to come up with good ideas, but they usually doesn't flow until I sit at the computer and start typing. Then I feel like it becomes just as Leo described it. I can't tell the difference between my mind creating ideas and perceiving them. I honestly can't. They happen simultaneously, feeding off each other to form the story. It really is like discovery more than creation.

I don't know if that seems as cool and mind-blowing to anyone else, but to me it was a real life changing realization. Food for thought.

2. I won't spoil anything, but I loved the way the movie literally ends, right before the credits. If you've seen it, you know what I'm talking about. It couldn't have ended any other way, and I love the many layers of small questions it brings up. For me, that was the final stamp on how perfect a movie it was. Just how old were his kids, what were they wearing.......

3. I've heard several people rip on the trailer for this movie. Say huh? That, I just don't get. Now, you all know I try to avoid trailers because they spoil movies, but I've watched this one several times since going. I think it's one of the greatest trailers ever. That loud, tonal, booming sound. That's my new favorite sound.

Anyway, there you have it. INCEPTION is a movie that I will own, that I will watch many times. I plan to see it in the theater again. I really, really loved it, and I hope everyone will go see it.

Because it's brilliant. Doh!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Dude is Back

This is a teaser blog post. I'm officially announcing that I'm going to be back and at it beginning next week here on the Dashner Dude. I'm looking forward to hanging out with you guys more often as we get ready for the release of THE SCORCH TRIALS.

On Monday I'm going to discuss INCEPTION, one of the greatest movie going experiences (twice) I've had in a long time. And it also gave me an epiphany on the creation process, which will be fun to talk about.

See you soon.......

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Covers: Spanish and Portuguese Maze Runner

Hi everybody! We're coming up on some exciting things in the world of The Dashner Dude as we inch closer to the paperback release of THE MAZE RUNNER (Aug 24) and the hardback release of THE SCORCH TRIALS (Oct 12). Soon we'll have an advance copy giveaway, as well as a lot more information about the sequel. (By the way, it IS a direct sequel, beginning four hours after Book 1 ends.)

But today I want to show off the INCREDIBLE covers from V&R publishing in Brazil. These books are going to be released this fall and available anywhere in Latin and South America. I absolutely love the artwork and the design. Thanks to Maria Nazareth from V&R for sending these to me. I can't wait to get copies!

Here they are. The artist's name is Marcelo Orsi Blanco (check out his website: CLICK HERE), and he's awesome. What do you guys think?