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South Salt Lake Journal

The Maze Runner series novelist discusses newest book at local bookshop

Nov 03, 2022 07:45PM ● By Jesse M. Gonzalez

By Jesse M. Gonzalez | [email protected]

Best-selling author James Dashner made a visit to King’s English Bookshop in Salt Lake City for a discussion and signing of his new book—a sequel to the Maze Runner series that garnered massive success—"The Maze Cutter.” 

For the many fans of his young adult novels, the evening of Oct. 4 was a spectacular event as fans lined up for a chance to get to see their favorite author in person, even getting an opportunity to talk to Dashner, ask him questions that ranged from “Did you always know you were going to be a writer?” to “How did you come up with the idea for the trilogy?”

Dashner, who said that the 1954 novel “Lord of the Flies” and the television show “Lost” were both huge inspirations in his own writing, answered every question.

“It’s been a life changer for me; it’s been such a big part of my life,” Dashner said, showing appreciation for the fans and the triumphant results of the award-winning series. “I really thought I was done with the Maze Runner world, but my editor and I were having lunch and he said, ‘One more Maze Runner book. How about it?’”

News of an addition to the Maze Runner series excited his fans, such as David Burks, a young, aspiring film director who sat front row at the discussion before waiting to get his copy of “The Maze Cutter” signed. “I started reading all of his books since the movie came out,” said Burks. “I like the aspect of the characters. If you don’t have one character, then it kind of falls apart.”

After the discussion and answering questions from his fans, Dashner signed his books, took pictures with fans and offered writing advice.

 “Writing can be a very long and arduous, even lonely, journey. Just keep writing. I wrote ‘The Maze Runner’ in a fairly quick amount of time—about three months—but then spent years rewriting, redrafting, editing, making sure the story was as good as it could be only for it to go through rejection after rejection until finally someone wanted to publish it,” Dashner said. “Just keep writing.”

            Burks stood in line with his book, already a few pages in, waiting his turn to meet Dashner. He said the trilogy has been a source of inspiration to him as he works in the film industry.

“I expected him to be a bit more strict, but he’s a very nice guy. He’s very humble,” said Burks after meeting his favorite novelist. “The stories have paved a new path for people. The friendships in the books kind of stick to you.”