We’re still anticipating the release of a trailer for The Maze Runner movie, but in the meantime, check out this interview with James Dashner on his upcoming book, The Eye of Minds.
MTV Geek: I must admit, I was really surprised at some of the twists and turns this story took. I’d seen it publicized as a virtual reality/cyberpunk thriller, but it seems like you used the premise as a launchpad to spin off in all kinds of directions, and break down barriers between genres. Was that your original intent, or did that evolve as the story developed?
James Dashner: My main intent from the start was to do something that felt different from Maze Runner. Other than that, I just wanted to take my readers on a trip that would constantly surprise them while having a good time along the way. It was a lot of fun for me to have the backdrop of a virtual reality world because the possibilities are endless. The challenge was to keep it grounded in reality somehow, where the real terror can come to life.
Geek: Did this story come about as a reaction to the wide-open feel of your Maze Runner series, where tech didn’t play as much of a part in the story?
Dashner: I specifically wanted to avoid this book being called a dystopian or post-apocalyptic tale, even though it was set in the future. It was important to me for the new series to feel different. And yes, it was liberating to be in an entirely different world where I could flex those creative muscles like crazy. I had way too much fun writing this book.
Geek: Given that this new book envisions all sorts of advanced tech, where do you go for information and inspiration on that front? Are you a gamer yourself? Do you keep up with Wired/BoingBoing/tech journals/etc?
Dashner: I’m the type of person who stays very dialed-in with the latest advancements in gaming and technology because it fascinates me. If you’d shown me as a kid what we have today, I would’ve died of shock and excitement. That’s why I think the world of the VirtNet is not even remotely implausible. I think it’s 20 to 30 years away at most.
Geek: This is the first of a planned series of novels… Do you have a specific end in mind, or are you just seeing where the characters take you, and leaving it open-ended?
Dashner: I’ve already mapped this particular story arc as a trilogy, and not just because that’s a popular length for a series. It just really worked out well for what I want to happen overall. I do think this series would have a better chance of having a sequel than The Maze Runner did. That trilogy pretty much had an end with no story left to tell (except for prequels).
Geek: And as a motion picture adaptation of Maze Runner is now in production, has there been similar interest in this new series? It certainly seems that there’s pretty great cinematic potential…
Dashner: There’s definitely been interest, but nothing is a done deal as of yet. But when I write, I always envision my scenes cinematically before they hit the page, so I really would love to see this one on the big screen some day.
The Eye of Minds will be released on Tuesday, October 8, 2013.
Read the full interview at MTV Geek.