James Dashner in Argentina

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The best-seller author of the saga “The Maze Runner”, James Dashner, came to The Book Fair in Argentina to speak with the fans about the book and the upcoming movie. The Outsider Argentina was there.

First of all, he thanked to the fans in Argentina: “You all have treated me like family. This is really hard for me to describe just how amazing this has been, your passion and your excitement really touched me”. He liked our country and our food, like “asado, empanadas, choripan and dulce de leche”.

James hasn’t always been a writer. He started in the finance field, but he didn’t like it very much. “Since I’ve been a little boy I wanted to be an author, a writer. When I was very young I started writing stories, they were terrible and stupid stories. But I wanted to do it. The last line of a story I wrote when I was 8 years old was ‘and then they all died’. It kind of sounds like ‘The Maze Runner’, right?”, he asked to the audience who was screaming and clapping.

“The Maze Runner” is about a group of kids who appeared on the Glade (not knowing why or how they got there). They only know that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened and every night they’ve closed tight. Every 30 days a new boy has been delivered to the lift. Thomas, the main character who the only thing he can remember is his first name, was expected. But the following day, the first girl was sent up, delivering him a surprising message.

The saga was inspired by several things he liked: Lord of the Flies, the book Ender’s game and the TV show Lost. The book was a success, not only in United States, where he lives, but also in different countries; it has been translated in 34 languages.

“When I was planning this book, I really liked to think about the future; it can be scary. And it makes people think about the environment, the future and our responsibilities to the world”, the author said.

The characters’ of “The Maze Runner” are not safe. “Terrible things happen to these poor people. In a good book you have to create characters the people would love, and sometimes you have to do bad things to them, sorry”. And joking he said: “If you tell me you hate me that makes me happy”.

The movie of “The Maze Runner” is premiering on September. “I was very lucky that 20th Century Fox wanted me involved in the movie. So for the very beginning I spoke to the director all the time, I consulted our screenplay, I visited the set twice, I could be with the actors”, explained James and he gave good news to the fans: “Luckily for me and for you guys they have stayed very true to the book. Every single character in the book is in the movie. The movie starts and ends just like the books. And every major scene is in the movie”.

James has also anticipated that he is probably going to write another pre-book of “The Maze Runner”, about the larchos before they went into the Maze.

Besides this saga, the author wrote another one, called “The Eye of Minds”, which is coming out in Spanish in three months. The first book is available in English and the second is going to come up in August. It is about virtual reality and artificial intelligence.

But he didn’t speak only about his books, he also gave some advices to young writers: “It can be very challenging to be a writer. There are going to be times when you want to quit but you can’t quit. Even if it is the worst book ever written, something changes in your mind. And you think, ‘wow I’ve finished a book, I can write a book’. And then it is like playing piano, football or singing, practice makes you better. So keep writing and you’ll get better and you’ll get publish”.

James thanked all the fans in Argentina for making him feel so special and left with a standing ovation. We hope to have him here again soon.

Samantha Schuster

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