He was born and raised in Austell, a small Georgia community, so going to Provo -- to attend Brigham Young University -- was "really big."
"At that time, that seemed about as huge a jump as I could possibly make in my life," the 37-year-old LDS novelist said with a laugh.
But that was only the start of a series of "really big things." After spending a decade working as an accountant, and writing, Dashner finally made the transition to full-time author.
He's been a best-selling author and may now be Hollywood bound as well.
Major movies studios have been sniffing around Dashner's books, in particular, "Maze Runner," his 2008 young-adult adventure about Thomas, a teen who awakens amid other teens in a dystopian society called the Glade.