Friday, January 13, 2012

Catch Up: Bidness and Pop Culture

2011 was a great year for my career, but I think 2012 is going to be even better:

We've got the prequel to the Maze Runner series coming in August. (What? You didn't hear about THE KILL ORDER? Then CLICK HERE.)

We've got the debut of INFINITY RING from Scholastic coming in September. (What? You didn't hear about that? Then CLICK HERE.)

But that's not all. There's much more to come and to be announced. There'll be a new, and amazing, James Dashner website debuting in a couple of months. A place for all of us to gather. And maybe this is the year that the movie gets green lit for production. Who knows? And I might even have a new book written that you don't know about yet. Lots of fun things to come.

So what's been on my mind lately? I'll do fun things first, then more book-related stuff last. Let's see...

Fun things:

1. This is going to be a great year for movies and I can hardly stand the wait. Hunger Games, Dark Knight, Prometheus, The Hobbit, lots of other stuff. I have two things in my head constantly: the haunting chant from the Batman trailer and the cool song by the dwarves in the Hobbit trailer. Yowza, my level of dorkiness is truly disturbing.

2. By the way, weird thing about me: I don't usually watch trailers. I go to great lengths to avoid them because I HATE the spoilers. But I just couldn't resist with the two mentioned above.

3. What I'm reading: THE LITIGATORS by John Grisham. I know, completely random, but it'd been a long time since I'd read a Grisham book and I used to love them. It's pretty good so far.

4. Let's continue branding my dorkiness: I really, really liked the new Mission Impossible movie. I saw it twice. And I almost cried at the end of the second one solely for the reason that I thought, man, that was truly a masterpiece of tension and suspense. And plus I love Tom Cruise. He's so good at looking scared and anxious. It's good to have him back!!!

4.5. Not coincidentally, I'm imagining the main character in Grisham's book as Tom Cruise from The Firm. Boom.

5. I've also discovered the magic of some TV shows that I missed the first time around. Breaking Bad especially. Besides the holy and hallowed Lost, this is now my favorite show of all time. Excellent on every level. I seriously can't believe how good it is, and I'm so mad that I'm now caught up and have to actually wait for the fifth and final season.

6. Others I've discovered: The Wire, Dexter, and Boardwalk Empire. And, of course, sealing my dorkiness once and for all, I'm so happy to see the return of Downton Abbey. If you don't know what I'm talking about, please don't ask.

7. You may wonder, when does this lazy sack James Dashner actually write books? Well, I take a page from my idol, Stephen King (known to me as Uncle Stevie. And to millions of other people.) I need the creative stimulation of books, TV, and movies to keep my writing juices flowing. For example, an episode of a TV show is the perfect-sized break during the day, and gets my idea factory churning at full speed.

8. Yes, I realize I have the greatest job on Earth. And I NEVER take it for granted. I'm extremely thankful to my readers for allowing me to do the things I love for a living.

9. Let me know what kind of pop culture things you're enjoying in the comments!

Book-related stuff:

1. Finishing up the prequel. I'm very proud of it and I think you guys are really going to love it. It may not be about what you think or assume it will be about. Let's just say there's a whole cast of new characters. And we see first hand all the horrible things that happened to make the events of the trilogy necessary in the first place. How's that for a teaser?

2. Covers. We'll be revealing the covers for the two books mentioned at the top very soon. I've seen the initial one for THE KILL ORDER and I absolutely love it. The artist, Philip Straub, has done all four books, and he's just amazing. (I'm pretty sure THE DEATH CURE will be my favorite book cover of all time.)

3. For you educators out there, I wanted to let you know about a really cool study guide that Random House created for the entire Maze Runner series. It's great for students and discussion. You can view it online, CLICK HERE.

4. I was really honored to have Death Cure chosen as one of nine "Best Books of 2011" for teens by Barnes and Noble. Check it out: CLICK HERE.

5. I've started a new program with my local indie bookstore, The King's English, to sign and personalize books for people who order them through their website. It's a great way for you to have my signature in your book if you can't make it to my events. For more information, CLICK HERE.

6. Is it me, or do we have a lot of links in this posting? It's starting to get annoying, so here's the last one: If you've had an uncontrollable urge to see a corner of my office, today is your lucky day! Scholastic does a feature where they show bookshelves of various authors, and they recently had me on there. Check it out: CLICK HERE.

If you haven't already, be sure and follow me on Twitter and Facebook. Talk again soon...

Don't forget to tell us in the comments about your pop culture likes or dislikes lately! Focus on the likes, actually.