Exclusive Interview with James Dashner on THE EYE OF MINDS

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Hello Dashner fans!

I got a chance to read an ARC of James Dashner‘s new book, The Eye of Minds, and posed several questions for him to answer about it. No worries, there are no spoilers for this part of the interview.

1) Describe The Eye of Minds in 3 words

James Dashner: Twisty. Fast. Fear.

2) There were some pretty interesting riddles in the story. Was it difficult to come up with the riddles?

JD: I’ve always been fascinated with riddles. In fact, every series I’ve ever written has had some type of riddle embedded within it. The funny thing is, I grew up so impressed with authors who did that and it was something about which I had very little confidence in myself. But I keep trying, and it seems to keep working.

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3) You said this book was inspired by certain movies. Were there any video games that also inspired the story?

JD: The first video game that truly struck me and stayed with me was The Legend of Zelda. That sense of going on a mission and meeting different challenges definitely inspired The Path in my book.

4) You gave almost all your characters from The Maze Runner a first name only. And it seems you’re keeping that trend for this book as well. Any reason for that?

JD: I usually don’t find much point in telling you what someone’s last name is. They rarely come up in casual conversation, especially amongst friends. It just seems info-dumpy. Plus, it makes the character a little more open to your interpretation the less you know specifically.

5) What was the most challenging part about writing this novel?

JD: Crafting it to build to the end I wanted. I’ve never planned and crafted this much.

6) You have three major characters in this first book of the series, one of them being female. Will there be any romantic development between any of them, minor or major?

JD: I’m not a big romance guy, as my readers can attest. If something develops naturally, it will, but it will never be a main aspect of my works.

7) What are your favorite video games to play?

JD: Skyrim is awesome. But, honestly, I like physical gaming more than video gaming. Everything from Magic to Ticket to Ride!

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With that said, if you haven’t read The Eye of Minds yet, then you might want to skip out on this interview until you have.

1) How did you come up with all of the stages of the Path and the challenges that were in them and before them, including those really disturbing and violent ones?  

James Dashner:  It’s hard to say where I come up with things. My main goal is to feel different, unique, surprising. I wanted the Path to have the feel of levels within a game, but have the stages vastly different from each other and meant for varying purposes.

2) Devils of Destruction was pretty violent and seemed pointless from a gaming standpoint.  Do you have an opinion on the violence in mature-rated video games?  

JD:  If anything, that game was a statement in and of itself. A lot of games have violence for violence’s sake. I’m fine with it, but I think parents should be responsible and keep young kids away from it.

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3) Now that Michael is no longer a tangent, how much of the second book will be in the VirtNet and how much will be in the Wake? 

JD:  Well, the second book is actually written and through one round of revisions! I’d say the book is about half and half, and hopefully has a few more rugs to pull out from under the readers.

4) Which character did you love writing words for in this book?  

JD:  Michael, I think. I tried so hard to truly get in his head and feel what it’d be like to go through that. Something that none of us have or ever will experience. Or will we…

5) Considering your love for movies, is there any actors in particular that you imagined in the roles of Michael, Bryson, and Sarah?  

JD:  Honestly, no. I do that a lot when I read other peoples’ books, but I never do it when I write. It’s so hard to explain how I see them in my head. They are just there, almost real.

6) How close do you see the type of virtual reality technology in the book becoming technologically realistic for us?  

JD:  I think it’s not only feasible, but inevitable. And much closer than we think. I’m guessing… 20 years from now. I really believe that!

7) Will we get to know more about the person whose body Michael took over?  

JD:  Oh, yes. Very much so. You’ll hear that person’s name many times, and learn much more. He’s important to the series. Dun dun dun!

There you have it!  Sounds like there’s going to be more excitement and drama in the next book, now that we’ve established who Michael and his friends are.  I definitely can’t wait!
The Eye of Minds comes out Tuesday, October 8, 2013. Check out my short, non-spoiler review of The Eye of Minds.

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