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Kidsday talks to author James Dashner

Kidsday reporters (l) Jack Marcincuk, Jillian Kolarik, Carly

Kidsday reporters (l) Jack Marcincuk, Jillian Kolarik, Carly Cenzoprano and Connor Rozzi, all 12 of Southampton, met with author James Dashner at the Barnes and Noble bookstore in Carle Place (Nov.19, 2013). Credit: Newsday / Pat Mullooly

We met with author James Dashner at the Barnes & Noble in Carle Place recently. His latest novel is "The Eye of Minds." We also enjoy his book series, "The Maze Runner."

What influenced you to become an author?

I love to read. When I was a kid, I read books like crazy. It was my favorite thing to do. I hung out in the library, and I just thought it would be the coolest thing ever to be an author someday. So that was the biggest reason.


When you were writing this book, was it based on real life?

"The Eye of Minds" was definitely inspired in part by my dad, who was a computer programmer. So I grew up seeing all the latest developments in computers and technology and all that stuff. It was sort of a tribute to him, but also it was inspired by a couple of my favorite movies, "The Matrix" and "Inception."


When you go to the movies and you see a movie that was made from a book, which one do you prefer, the book or the movie?

To me, a book and a movie are two very different ways of storytelling. Generally I would say I prefer the book over the movie, but I really feel I can enjoy both of them for what they are. I don't really try to compare them, and a good example is "Lord of the Rings," which is one of my favorite book series, also one of my favorite movie series. Also, Harry Potter. Both of those -- I feel I loved each one as a separate story even though they're telling the same story.


Have you ever had any books rejected?

Yes. Pretty much every author I know has to go through the rejection stuff. I really wanted to be an author, so I didn't give up.


As you know, "The Maze Runner" series was on The New York Times bestseller list. How was your reaction to the feedback on that book?

It's hard to describe. I spent so many years wanting to be an author. It was cool to get published and see your name on a book in a bookstore. But then suddenly have this huge response from all these people liking my book and them wanting to make it into a movie -- it's something I'm still not used to. Still, I don't take it for granted. It's hard to describe how awesome it is.


Do you want any of your books to be turned into movies, and if so, which ones?

"The Maze Runner" is being turned into a movie, and it comes out next September. That's taking up a lot of my life this past year . . . it's just crazy fun. It comes out in September from 20th Century Fox, and Fox is already working on the sequel. So once we're through with "Maze Runner" stuff, hopefully this could be made as well.

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