Describe your new book.
The Maze Runner is a dystopian story about a group of boys called the Gladers, forced to live in a community surrounded by a gigantic stone maze full of horrible biotech creatures. Their memories have been wiped, and they spend each and every day trying to escape. One day a girl is sent to the Glade, something that has never happened before. With her arrival, everything changes.
If you could choose any story to live in, which story would it be? Why?
Definitely The Lord of the Rings. I mean, that would just be so cool to live in Middle Earth. As long as I didn't get eaten by orcs.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I always wanted to be an author deep down, but it seemed like a pipe dream. I can't believe it actually happened! I'm a lucky guy.
Why do you write books for kids?
There's something magical about being a kid and falling in love with a book. It's something unique, and it's hard to copy when you're a boring old adult. I write for younger readers because it's the closest I can get to experiencing that magic again.
What book by another author do you wish you had written?
Harry Potter. Because then I'd be richer than the Queen of England and would live in my very own castle. Plus, I could give a million dollars to Powell's every week and hardly even notice it was gone.
Is there a maxim or philosophy that you live by?
Never give up. I know I didn't make that up, but I live and preach by it. I had many, many things happen that made me want to quit my dream of being an author. But for some reason, I didn't. And my dream came true.
If you could have lunch with a person of your choosing — living or dead, fictitious or real — who would it be?
Stephen King. The man is a genius and he's so fascinating to me. I want to meet him!
What kids' book do you think would make a great movie — that isn't one already?
Ender's Game. Someone please make this happen! Please!
Make a question of your own, then answer it.
Q: James, are you the sexiest man alive?
A: No, but my goal is to pass Christopher Paolini on the list.