James Dashner Signing in Toronto!10:00 AM
Since I was done classes earlier that day, I was able to make my way to Indigo Yorkdale and get a good spot in line that was only behind a few other people. I had several hours of waiting ahead of me, but the wait passed by rather quickly because I was able to strike up a conversation with the girl in line beside me and we just chatted away about some of our favourite books, including The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare.
As I'm sure most TMI fans know, City of Bones is currently filming in Toronto and she told me that she'd seen the film set one day and even got Lily Collins' signature, which just cued my fan-girling that she'd been so lucky to meet her! I also recognized another fellow book blogger, Terri from Read & Riot, and we talked about our love for Maggie Stiefvater's The Raven Boys (and Gansey!). I'm sure you can see how it's easy to pass the time when you're talking about awesome books!
As it drew closer to 7:00 pm, more and more people arrived, and you could tell we were all getting excited for James Dashner's arrival. Right on time, he made his appearance and was greeted by warm applause! He quickly introduced himself and proclaimed, "I'm a nerd!" to a cheering audience. He skipped over reading from A Mutiny in Time and quickly launched into taking questions.
Someone asked him why he made up words like "shank" for the Maze Runner series, and his reply was that he wanted them to be similar to swear words but not have to be censored too much, and hoped the made up words would also go along with the tough world he'd created. He also added that his kids like to use the insults from the books too!
When asked if he personally thought WICKED was good or evil, he felt empathy for them and thought that things are not so black or white in the world. He elaborated on the thought by pondering the situation of facing death, and how far you would go to save others. Is a person's death okay if it's considered for the common good? He reckoned that WICKED was just trying to do what they could to save humanity.
When writing The Maze Runner, there were two books which inspired him: Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game and William Golding's Lord of the Flies. Before the Maze Runner trilogy was even finished, Dashner had already planned to write the prequel novel, The Kill Order, which was just released mid-August. When asked if he was Team Teresa or Team Brenda, he said that he'd never intended there to be a love triangle in the series, but that he's probably closer to Teresa because she's more developed as a character in his mind.
While there were a lot of questions related to the Maze Runner series, there were some about A Mutiny in Time as well! (I don't think as many people had read it yet because it's so newly released.) A Mutiny in Time is about two best friends who learn that history has gone off course and that they need to travel back in time, using a device called the Infinity Ring, to fix it.
If he could go back in time to meet someone, James Dashner said he'd want to meet his historical hero, Abraham Lincoln. In A Mutiny in Time, one of the main characters, Dak, really loves cheese, so when asked what James Dashner's favourite type was, he said he really likes eating cheddar cheese... especially with salt and vinegar chips. There also hasn't been any news of a movie deal for the Infinity Ring series yet, but Scholastic is hopeful.
Once the questions were over, it was time for the book signing! I was kind of nervous when I got up to the stage, but James Dashner was super friendly! While he signed my books, one of the ladies who works at Scholastic Canada was helping to hand over the books to him and the three of us had a quick chat that the last time the author had been in Canada for something book-related was probably at the Teen Read Awards a few years ago... I'm so glad my brain didn't completely blank when I was speaking...
Thanks so much to James Dashner for coming to Canada to meet some of your Canadian fans! Also, tons of thanks definitely goes out to Indigo Yorkdale, Chapters/Indigo, and Scholastic Canada for hosting the event!