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February 4, 2015

State of the Dashner

I hope everyone is having a great 2015 so far. Yeah? Good. No? Hang in there!

So I made a decision. If Brandon Sanderson and the President of the United States and the Commissioner of the NFL (3 very similar people by all appearances) can get away with their respective “State of the Whatnots” speeches, then so can I. So let it be written, so let it be done. This is my first year doing so. I’m just glad that two creepy old men aren’t sitting behind me with grumpy faces while I write.

And, here we go. The official 2015 State of the Dashner Address:

I’d say things are going splendidly. 2014 was a spectacular year that I pretty much can’t believe happened. And 2015 is looking to be even more fantastic. I thought I’d update you all on the accomplishments of the past year and give you a hint of what’s to come. I like numbering things, and so I shall:

1. The Maze Runner movie: What can I say? It performed better than any of us imagined or dared to dream, except perhaps for my own mom. On a production budget of only $34 million, the movie pulled in over 340 million dollars at the worldwide Box Office (and still is yet to open in Japan, coming in May). For those of you not very good at math (I’m looking at you, Scott “crazy eyes” Westerfeld), that’s 10 times the budget, something that doesn’t happen very often in Hollywood.

I tip my hat to 20th Century Fox, Director Wes Ball, Producer Wyck Godfrey, and the good people at the Gotham Group. To all the cast and crew. To all of those crazy fans out there who went to see it several times. Job well done, everyone!

2. Book Sales: As always happens when a movie comes out, book sales skyrocketed in 2014 (thanks, Fox!). Just in North America alone, sales of The Maze Runner series are now over 10 million copies. I’m not sure about the rest of the world quite yet. But in relative terms, the series is growing by even larger proportions outside of the USA. As much as I love the movie, and anyone who follows me on Twitter or Facebook knows very well how much I LOVED the movie (I might talk about it a lot), it always makes me happiest to see new readers come to the source, to the books themselves. I’m so grateful to Fox for allowing that to happen.

3. The Scorch Trials movie: Just last week the production team wrapped shooting the film in New Mexico. Now they’ll be hard at work in post-production, slaving away to make the movie ready for its planned September 18 release. There’s not a lot I can say about things yet. I visited the set and I’ve read the script, and I’m happy with it. Some things may take you by surprise, but I can tell you this: the movie is going to kick butt. You will NOT be disappointed. Wes Ball is a friggin genius and he has an amazing cast, including some stellar newcomers. (Including my two favoritest bad guys in TV history, Giancarlo Esposito and Aidan Gillen.)

It shouldn’t be too long before we start seeing things related to the film. Hold tight and let’s all look forward to it.

4. The Game of Lives: This is the third book in the Mortality Doctrine series, which began with The Eye of Minds and continued with last year’s The Rule of Thoughts. I’m very, very proud of how this series has turned out, and it excites me to see it growing in popularity. Right now I’m knee-deep in edits on the third book, and it’s scheduled to come out in November of this year. If you liked The Maze Runner and want something that feels similar in tone but is totally different in story, check it out. It’s the perfect thing to keep you entertained while we wait through the dog days of summer to get to our next movie!

5. The Fever Code: In case you haven’t heard, we announced this book a few months ago. It’s another prequel to The Maze Runner, or as my mom likes to call it, the “sequel to the prequel.” Although the response to The Kill Order was very positive, I could tell that many of you wanted another one, diving into the characters you all fell in love with in the first place, Thomas, Minho, Newt, Chuck, Alby, Teresa, the rest. This book will be exactly what you asked for. You’ll see everything behind the scenes, leading right up to Thomas himself entering the Maze. You may think you know everything. You don’t. Prepare to be surprised.

I’ll be writing that book over the next few months and it will come out in 2016.

6. 52 books in 2015: This is a goal I set and proclaimed on Twitter. To some of you insane booknerds out there, that may sound like easy pickings, but often I can’t help myself: I pick really thick books. This is definitely going to challenge me. But I love, love, love reading, I really do. (I know, shocking.) I’m truly enjoying this goal so far. And I’ve already consumed six books, so I’m well on the pace. (Mistborn 1 and 2, Winter of the World, Dandelion Wine, The Girl on the Train, and The Corrections.) As you can see, I like reading a wide variety of books. I’d love to hear your goals for the year and what you’re currently reading.

7. 2015 Schedule: As of right now, there’s not a whole lot on the schedule. I’m going to SCBWI this weekend in NYC and to Librarypalooza in San Antonio in a couple of weeks. We’re also doing another movie watch-and-tweet party on February 17 at 7:30 GMT. This doesn’t mean that I won’t be doing a LOT during the year. I’m just kind of waiting to see what Fox expects of me for movie promotion, and what Random House has in store for the release of The Game of Lives in November. So please stay tuned and I hope to see some of you out on the road.

8. THANK YOU. That’s a pretty simple statement, but please know that it means everything in the world in my heart. None of this would be possible without you guys. I love you, and I thank you. You are the Dashner Army, and I consider each of you my friend, even if we haven’t met. You’ve made my life a happy one, and I’ll never forget it. Thank you.

 

That’s it for the State of the Dashner address. I don’t know about you, but I thought it was kinda boring. Most of that stuff you probably already knew. Be sure and follow me on Twitter and my Facebook page (the fan page, not my personal one – I don’t use that thing anymore.) We have an update to this website coming in the near future, and I’ve promised (someone, I’m not sure who) to try to blog more this year. We shall see.

Here’s to a truly magnificent 2015, in which the Hawks, Braves, Falcons, RSL, and Bulldogs all win their championships, the new movie makes everyone’s head explode, I lose 20 pounds, everyone is nice to each other, we get more food and water to the hungry, wars cease, and the new Star Wars movie doesn’t blow chunks.

Until next time…

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