Young adult super-star author James Dashner has embarked on an internet-wide blog tour promoting the paperback release of his hit novel, The Kill Order. As part of the tour (all of which can be found at the end of the article), Dashner is joining us for an exclusive guest post discussing why he wrote The Kill Order.
Dashner and his Dashner Army are looking forward to the upcoming release of The Maze Runner film, the film adaptation of his first Maze Runner book by the same name. Dashner is also hard at work on two other series, including The Mortality Doctrine, which started with The Eye of Minds in late 2013 — a book we reviewed and raved about here on Lytherus!
The Maze Runner series has pretty much consumed my life for the last 9 years. I first came up with the idea in 2005 and was so excited about it that I dove right into the first draft of the first book, completing it in only 2 months. I was in love with the world and the story, but had no idea back then that it would ever become what is has today. It’s been a fun ride.
After several years of rejections and major rewrites, the series finally sold to Random House. That was a happy day, let me tell ya. Changed my life in so many ways. For one thing, I was able to quit my old accounting job, which I miss about as much as I’d miss having my legs chewed off by an armadillo (not sure where that came from). Finally, after years of dreaming, I could do what I love for a living.
Way back then, before I’d even started writing the second book, I knew that someday I would want to write a prequel. The story is just one that lends itself to such a thing. I told my agent and my publisher that. They patted me on the head and said, “That’s nice, James. We’ll see how the books do first. Now get to work!” (They are actually much nicer than I just made them sound. The best, actually.)
Well, a couple of years later, they called and said okay on the whole prequel thing. It may have been the most fun I’ve ever had writing a book. It’s very much a stand-alone novel, something I don’t get to do very often. I absolutely loved it.
The odd thing is that the final version, the book just coming out now in paperback, is nothing like the one I envisioned all those years ago. I always assumed a prequel would be about Thomas and Teresa, show their lives leading up to that first fateful step into The Box. But my wise, very wise, editor disagreed. She felt that story had been told already, seen enough in hints and dreams and flashbacks. She suggested we go back farther, show how the world got into such bad shape in the first place. I pushed back a bit, but in the end, as usual, as always, she was right. Always, I tell you!
It was a huge risk, having completely new characters from the ones everyone had grown close to while reading the trilogy. But man, it was fun, and the response has been very positive. I always tell people to read the trilogy first, but I don’t feel like the experience is truly complete until they’ve finished off by reading The Kill Order.
So, there you have it. A very happy 2014 to everyone, and only 8 months to go until our Maze Runner movie!
Looking for more on James Dashner’s Kill Order blog tour? James has already made several stops, with a few more on his schedule. Here’s a full list:
1/6/14 – No More Grumpy Bookseller
1/7/14 – Alice Marvels
1/8/14 – A Dream Within A Dream
1/9/14 – Book Twirps
1/10/14 – Adventures in YA Publishing
1/12/14 – Skiffy and Fanty
1/13/14 – Suvudu
1/14/14 – Sci Fi Chick
1/15/14 – Evie’s Bookish