I have been waiting and waiting for The Death Cure by James Dashner to come out (I even wrote up some theories on what I think is going to happen in the book). So I was super excited to find out that the first stop on James Dashner’s tour would be in Salt Lake City. My husband had a conference in Salt Lake, so I picked him up at 5 and dragged him to the book signing two hours early. Since we had time to kill, we decided to go out for dinner and I stopped short when I saw, sitting not two feet away from me on a restaurant patio, James Dashner talking to some guy (I found out later it was his agent). I gave him a dorky wave and smile. He was nice and waved back. Then I whispered to my husband, “That’s James Dashner in the blue shirt – don’t stare.” We decided to eat at that same restaurant on the patio because they served Middle Eastern food and it sounded good. There were only two tables left on the patio – one right next to James Dashner and one right next to the door. I made us sit by the door lest James think I’m a stalker or something and my bewildered husband agreed to sit at the worst table on the patio.
I bought my book at The King’s English and met my friends, Amber and Alyssa, at the gallery where the presentation was going to be. Amber got her book at Barnes and Noble and it had exclusive material at the end. WHAT. Jealous. I got the ebook and I was excited that it came with the cover art this time. The room was pretty packed and chairs filled up quickly. I was delighted that there were lots of kids there (though I’m glad I didn’t bring mine – there were lots of breakable things. It was an art gallery).
James Dashner talked about the philosophical questions that the books raised about good verses evil and how it’s not always black and white. The phrase from the books, “WICKED is good” became very symbolic through the series. He did a short reading and joked that he was going to read the last page and lamented that “And Thomas died” was such a good last line. Then he took questions from the audience. Here are my favorites (I’m paraphrasing from my notes – these are not direct quotes):
- What inspired you to write? I have loved books my whole life, especially Ender’s Game and Lord of the Flies in high school. There are a lot of elements from those books in The Maze Runner trilogy.
- Who is your favorite character? Minho because he is loyal.
- Is WICKED really good? I hope you think about that question for a long time after you finish reading the last one.
- How did you come up with the Grievers? I wanted something terrifying that wasn’t already being used like werewolves, vampires etc. I also wanted something part animal and part machine with no face so it would be a mindless killing machine. Then I added blubber and saws and stuff.
When Amber, Alyssa and I got to the front of the line to get our books signed, we talked about how we had met him before and he said, “I remember you, Amber.” She about klunked her pants. He had looked at the post-it note with her name on it :). I told him that he had told us where he lived last time (because I live about 10 minutes from where he lives apparently) and I hadn’t really listened. I just laughed and then thought, “Wait, did he really just give me directions to his house?”
Alyssa hadn’t read the books yet, and she got the whole trilogy signed. So cool. Amber was getting The Death Cure signed to complete her set and I was getting mine signed to give away on my blog. James asked what my blog was and he said that it sounded familiar. SQUEEL!! James Dashner reads my blog!!!! Okay, that’s not exactly what he said. But it made my day anyway.
I like to ask authors questions when I go to signings and I asked him, “Why did you pick the symptoms that you did for The Flare?” He said that the idea of insanity is so creepy. The disease is not really meant to be zombie-like. If they have sores and stuff it’s from their insanity. I found that so interesing. I always thought the flare was leprosy and insanity. In fact, I can see the theme of insanity more and more in the books as I’m re-reading them – a padded white room, an unsolvable maze, voices in your head…..
Amber couldn’t believe I was giving my signed book away. My favorite part about author signings is meeting the authors and not hoarding books. I have the ebook, plus I won an ARC from Random Buzzers. Why do I need a third copy of the same book?? Where in the world would I put more books in my house? I was going to have him sign my Kindle, but I totally forgot. I’m more mad about being a total flake then not getting it signed. Oh well. Maybe I can remember those directions to his house…
So the moment you have all been waiting for.
Please read the following carefully for entering the giveaway. I’m using Rafflecopter for this giveaway.
- Your name can be seen by everyone when you enter. Don’t put your full name – your first name is plenty.
- There are four options to enter the giveaway – you don’t have to do them all, but you can if you want :).
- Following my blog is never a requirement for giveaways. You can enter the giveaway by leaving a comment on this post and filling out the rafflecopter entry.
- Giveaway is for US/Canada only. I’m mailing this book out at my own expense and I can’t afford to ship it far away. I’m sorry.
- The winner will have 48 hours to respond with their full name and mailing address or a new winner will be chosen.
- Must be over 13 to enter.
And the winner is….Jennelle S. (Entry #15)
(I’ve deleted the Rafflecopter widget for privacy reasons)