New LDS author seeking success with 'Maze Runner'

James Dashner was reading from his latest book at the 15th Street Gallery in Salt Lake City when he paused and looked at his son in the front row.

"Bryson, close your ears," he said with his typical dry humor.

The Utah author of middle-grade fiction has admittedly ventured into some scarier, monster-filled territory with his latest work. His children, though, are apparently pretty excited about seeing Dad's name on this book cover -- the ominous ivy-covered walls notwithstanding.

"They love to brag about it at school," Dashner said.

Dashner recently visited eight major U.S. cities to promote "The Maze Runner," published in October by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House. The tour was a three-week flurry of airplanes, hotels, school visits and book signings that took him across the country.

Upon returning, Dashner reported that "The Maze Runner" is running on schedule "Yeah, it seems to be on the right track," he said.

Dashner, a returned LDS Church missionary and BYU graduate, is also author of "The 13th Reality" series, published by Utah-based Shadow Mountain, and "The Jimmy Fincher Saga," published by Cedar Fort of Springville, Utah. With the release of "The Maze Runner," along with the upcoming paperback publication of "The 13th Reality" by Simon & Schuster, the author's reach is expanding.

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