EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: James Dashner on THE KILL ORDER *Spoilers*, Part 2

killorder-dashnerHere’s the conclusion to our EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW with author James Dashner, in which we also ask him about The Maze Runner movie.  Remember, there are *MAJOR SPOILERS* about The Kill Order.  If you haven’t already done so, please read the book before continuing on with this interview.

What was the challenge to writing this book as compared to the Maze Runner trilogy? Or did the story come out fairly easily?

JD: It was actually easier. And a lot of fun. I always had to worry about the over-arcing story of the trilogy when writing the others, but this one was self-contained and I wrote it very quickly.

Did you think about making this prequel into its own trilogy or was it always the plan to have only the one book?

JD: No, the plan was always just to write one book. Always. Like I said earlier, there’s just not any more story to pull from this world.

Where did the idea of a Transvice come from? Star Trek?

JD: Not really Star Trek. It’s just the one scientific achievement that I daydream about the most. Instant travel to anywhere. I’d give anything to have that ability. I can’t think of anything that could change the world more than that development.

(NOTE: Yes, I do believe James is talking about the Flat Trans, not the Transvice, but I won’t hold it against him.  It’s hard even for the author to keep track of all the things he’s created.)

This book barely gave the reader time to breath, being that it was so action-packed as well as mentally tiring (not that I didn’t love it, though). Why was it necessary to make their journey so bleak and ultimately tragic?

JD: Well, the trilogy was bleak, as you know. And this book’s purpose was to set that up, to show how the world got into the mess that made the story of The Maze Runner necessary in the first place. It was just a dark story from the get-go.

tmrcoverIn regards to the Maze Runner movie, are you going to have any involvement in the development or pre-production of it? 

JD: I’ve had a conversation with the director, and there’s a chance I could get involved a little bit later down the road. But it’s still very early in the process.

Were you able to give any suggestions as to who they should cast for any of the characters? 

JD: Not yet. They haven’t reached the casting stage as of yet.

As with many movies based on books, not everything that the book has will be included in the movie. Are there any scenes that you think are essential to have in the movie?

JD: That’s such a hard one. I know that movies represent a very different form of storytelling, and that changes are always necessary. But it makes me sad to think of any scene being cut or altered too much. But I’ll leave it in the hands of the experts and hope for the best.

There you have it, folks!  We hope you enjoyed all the insights from James about The Kill Order.  Might I suggest this book as a Christmas gift for your reader friends and family.  Click on the link the sidebar to order The Kill Order now!  

Read Part 1 of our exclusive interview with James here.


EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: James Dashner on THE KILL ORDER *Spoilers*, Part 1


James Dashner has been touring internationally lately, however, he was able to spend a little bit of his time in answering my questions.  Just to let you know, there are *MAJOR SPOILERS* about The Kill Order.  So, if you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend that you do before you read on in this interview.  Now let’s get on with it.

To refresh your memory, The Kill Order (TKO) takes place 13 years prior to the events in The Maze Runner.  This time the story is seen through the point of view of Mark as he deals with trying to survive along with a group of other survivors after the sun flares hit the earth , including his schoolmate Trina.

The relationship between Mark and Trina seems like what could’ve been the relationship between Thomas and Teresa before they were in the maze. Did you mean to make that similarity or is it just my imagination?

JD: I’m not sure it was intentional, to be honest. Although I can say that the relationship, and its lost potential, for Thomas and Teresa is always prevalent in my head, so it very possibly affected me as I wrote TKO.

Virus VC321xb47 was a vicious killer. Is there any significance to the name of the virus?

JD: Only in that we did our research and wanted it to sound legitimate. Plus, I love it that something so deadly has such an emotionless, scientific name.

The way that the sun flare happened is horrifying.  Do you mean to put fear into every kid’s heart about the sun exploding on us?  Or did you just want them to understand one different end-of-the-earth possibility?

JD: Oh, my goal is always to terrify kids and give them nightmares! Maybe haunt them for life. 🙂 I just wanted an apocalyptic scenario that hadn’t been used too much already. It was fun to research.

Darnell’s death from the virus was pretty gruesome.  Did you come up with a detailed explanation as to what the virus exactly does to the brain?

JD: Yes. Basically it eats away at the parts of the brain that run our mental abilities and conscience, driving a person utterly and truly insane. That concept terrifies me.

solar flareHow much research did you do in regards to sun flares and the earth’s reaction to it? 

JD: A lot, actually. I had to take some liberties for the story, but I tried to stay as true as possible to what scientists believe might happen in such a disaster. Most people think about the heat, but radiation is actually the bigger problem.

When did you decide to make Teresa a main character in TKO?  And why choose Teresa over, say, Thomas to be a part of TKO? 

JD: It all had to do with the backstory I’d created a long time ago. Thomas was discovered after the creation of WICKED, when they actively sought out those who were immune. Teresa was the first discovery that such people even existed.

Do you think the fact that Mark had sent Deedee through the Flat Trans, seeing that Mark and Trina were unwilling to go through it themselves for a possible cure and to avoid infecting anyone else, was the reason she became so loyal to Wicked?  Because she felt in her own way that it was her responsibility to save humankind?

JD: That is one of the most insightful questions I’ve ever received. If I’m honest, I don’t think I thought of it quite that way per se, but I definitely knew that Teresa’s memories of Mark and Trina and the horrors she saw would affect her deeply, leading to her eventual loyalty to finding a cure.

I know you’ve said that the Maze Runner trilogy and this prequel is the end of the whole series.  Are you absolutely certain about that?  

JD: As absolutely certain as I can possibly be at this time. I can’t imagine another story to squeeze out of it. There’d be no surprises left, and surprises are essential to my storytelling.

Please check back tomorrow for the conclusion of the interview and more insight about The Kill Order, plus a bit of information about The Maze Runner movie!

Now Available: The Kill Order

Today was the day! You can now casually walk into a store and buy your very own copy of ‘The Kill Order’!

So, what are you doing reading this?  Try to finish “The Kill Order”! Or, if you don’t have a copy, go and get one! I would personally recommend buying it at Barnes & Noble because of the exclusive content in the back of the book concerning Teresa’s swipe. You can order this exclusive copy here.  Happy reading!

Update on Movie + James Dashner’s Secret Project

James Dashner just did a Q&A with Publishers Weekly and he gave us a great insight into what we will be seeing from him in the future.

When asked about the state of the movie adaption of “The Maze Runner”:

It is in development at 20th Century Fox, but it is not going to be out in 2013, even though that’s what it says on IMDB. I don’t really hear that much, but they have a script and basically they are just interviewing directors. I really think it’s going to happen, but Hollywood is a slow go sometimes.

Future projects:

I have a new YA series with Random House that will be announced probably in a month or two. The first book is already done and it will come out next fall. We’re keeping tight-lipped about it, but it probably has the coolest twist ending I will ever write.

I guess this is the mystery book that we reported from a Q&A a while back. As always, we will keep you posted on this future project. Because this project is so hush, hush give us your predictions in the comments. You could guess right!

You can read the entire interview here. He talks about whether he would want to be in the movie or not and a bit about the first book in the Infinity ring series that will be released on August 28th.



“The Kill Order” Excerpt (!!!)

You can now read the prologue and first five chapters of the Maze Runner prequel on USA Today!!!

The prologue takes place hours to minutes before the original trilogy, but the actual story takes place 13 years before that, one year after the solar flares. In the first five chapters we meet seven new characters: Mark, Alec, Trina, Lana, Darnell, the Toad and Misty, all people trying to survive after the solar flares scorched most of the earth. These chapters take place near Asheville, North Carolina one year after these seven escape New York City and lose almost everybody they love.

I can tell already that this is going to be a great story and I can’t wait for August 14th. 82 days! Feel free to comment what you think about these first few chapters as well as how you would feel if you were in the same situation as Teresa in the prologue.

Your Questions Have Been Answered (Well, at least some of them…)

Last week, James Dashner asked the people who follow his blog to ask him questions. Today, he started answering them! (He also shares his hope for book/movie adaptions and who should have played Katniss in The Hunger Games, and it’s not who you think it might be!)  Here are some of the highlights from the Q and A.

In response to Pherisphena Ladea:

 I’m not one to say never, but I can’t imagine ever writing a book following up the events of THE DEATH CURE. That story is told, and I think any sequel would be extremely boring. However, I’d always planned on writing a prequel – at least one – and you guys can look forward to THE KILL ORDER this August.

In response to Robert MacGillivray:

I appreciate all those who’ve asked about the potential movie for THE MAZE RUNNER. Believe me, no one on the planet wants this to happen more than I do. And I really think it’s going to happen. I’m not allowed to say much, but it’s public knowledge that Twentieth Century Fox optioned the rights, that a script has been written, and that things are moving slowly but surely. Stay tuned!!!

You can read the entire interview here. You can also leave a comment on that post if you have a question for James!

I honestly didn’t know all that about the movie, but I can’t wait to see everything unfold. And am I the only one to catch that there could possibly be more than one prequel? That leads us to today’s polls!

“The Kill Order” Cover… Dissected

As I promised yesterday, I am about to dissect the cover of “The Kill Order”, which was also unveiled yesterday. If you missed the cover, here is a picture of it:

Please note: I may refer to some things that were not present in the trilogy, but did appear in the bonus content that appeared in the back of copies of “The Death Cure” that were purchased at Barnes and Noble. This bonus material contained messages and e-mails that were recovered from before and immediately after the Flare was released. So, if some things are said about the origin of the Flare that you don;t recognize, you now know why.

The first thing that came ti my mind when I saw this cover was the big ball of flame in the top left corner. My guess is that this is one of the solar flares that destroyed the entire middle section of the planet. Will this book be following someone who lived in an affected area? We know that this book has an entirely new cast of characters, so this is quite possible.

I also notice the burnt road, fences and houses. This picture seems to be of a subdivision, judging by the number of cars and houses clustered so close together. We can also assume that this is located somewhere in between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, or somewhere close to there because we learned in “The Death Cure” that not all of the Earth was burned and that most of what was burned was in the center of it. For some reason, something in my head is telling me that this is in Arizona, but please DO NOT take this a fact.

The last thing I want to say about the cover is that I love how it has that cute little “The prequel to the New York Times bestselling Maze Runner series” at the very top. That is sure to catch someone’s eye while browsing for books this fall!

As always, leave you comments below this post about what you think the cover could say about the book. And now, it is time for a poll!