Yasmin Ribeiro: Which scene, changed from the book, that you most loved in the movie?
James: No doubt: adding the actual in-scene presentation of the Maze walls changing. Director Wes Ball said that as soon as he read in the book that it happens at night when they can't see it, he wanted to change it, knew it'd be an awesome thing to show on the big screen. And let me tell you, it's spectacular. The visuals and sound both.


Rawan: What was the hardest idea or scene you wrote in the series and what gave you the idea to write such a difficult thing?
James: The hardest scene for me to write happens about halfway through the third book, and anyone who has read it knows what I'm talking about. It's something I knew would happen for a long time, and it was sad and heart wrenching and so difficult to get right. But it had to happen! It's a dark story, and I had to stay true to that terrible world.


Dominique Javet: What's your writing process like? Do you have the whole story in mind or it's a journey?
James: My writing process is pretty simple. I use a laptop, and I use Microsoft Word. Nothing too fancy. And I usually start with a premise, brainstorm for a couple of days, do some outlining, then let the creative process take over as I write the first draft. It's a lot of fun!


dsbaercub: What's your favorite thing about being an author? How many years did it take for Maze Runner to become publishes? Were you expecting it to be a big success? Any advice for writers looking to become authors?
James: My favorite thing is doing what I love for a living. I mean, it's ridiculous. I realize and will never forget how lucky and fortunate I am. I'll never take it for granted, and it's people like you that make it possible. So thank you, truly. I started writing Maze Runner in 2005, and it went through a series of rejections and rework before getting published in 2009. It was quite the journey! I was never arrogant enough to expect it to be a huge success, but I sure HOPED so. It's gone beyond my wildest hopes and dreams, though. My advice: write every day, and attend professional writer's conferences. They help so much. You meet your peers, agents, and editors, and you also improve your craft in big ways.


Spoooon: So did you ever play this back in the eighties?


James: Oh my, that is AWESOME! I don't know what's cooler, the commercial or the game. I'm not sure I ever actually played that one, but we did have an Atari. But I've always been fascinated by Mazes, ever since I saw The Shining.


PlayerOne: Do you have any thoughts on going back to Thomas and the Gladers at any point, or do you see their tale as finished? Where did you get your inspiration from? Eye of Minds is about a different as Maze Runner could possibly be. How did you "dream" up these two riveting stories and characters?
James: If I ever write more Maze books, they'd be prequels, probably just one. We shall see. And my inspirations for my books are pretty clear cut, and I do like to change things up. I wanted the new series to appeal to the same people but be very different. It was heavily inspired by The Matrix and Inception. Maze was inspired by Lord of the Flies and Lost. Can you see their influences? Pretty obvious, huh? :)


Mel: As a writer, what does it feel like to see the characters in your book come to life on-screen? Do you feel proud? Is it exactly like you imagined it in your head while writing it?
James: I don't even know how to express how awesomely awesome it is. I'm so incredibly lucky that Fox and Wes Ball matched my vision so perfectly. It's just unbelievable how much they got into my head. The first time I saw it all put together, with the music and sound and special effects, I cried and shook and laughed and acted insane. It was an experience I could never forget.


wckdglader: Which character was the hardest to kill, and why?
James: Ummmm, the same one I mentioned above, in the third book. I'm crazy like most writers, and that character had become very real to me. It was tough.


Devon: Which book in the series was your favorite to write?
James: Probably the last one. So many of the things in that book had been in my head for years, and it was surreal and a lot of fun to finally be putting them into words.


NewtandThomas: What do you think of the cast?
James: I love and adore the cast. Seriously. I'm not blowing smoke, here. Not only are they incredibly talented, but they became like a family on set and welcomed me with open arms. Sometimes there is a lot of cynicism regarding "YA" movies by grumpy old people, but if people go with an open mind they are going to be blown away by some of these performances. They really are fantastic.


GiveMeMyDylPills: In terms of their relationship with Thomas, what are the key differences between Brenda and Teresa, and what are some of the lessons we can learn from them? Also, who do you prefer, Brenda or Teresa?
James: Wow, that is deep! :) I don't even know if I can answer that question and I wrote the book! I think the biggest difference that jumps to mind is the mental stability and capacity for handling the horrific nature of the world in which they live. Brenda and Thomas somehow survived it, mentally and emotionally (though scarred for life). I always saw Teresa as someone who just snapped, became emotionally damaged. The world, and WICKED, ruined her. My heart bleeds for her.


Ivey West: Can you talk about how you built that story arc? Was it planned from the beginning?
James: I really wanted each of the three books to feel completely different from each other. And I think you can see that, especially in the settings. It was very planned out that way. I saw the first two books as being very different testing situations, and then the third one to be the results of that and the resolution. Although I did map it out in the beginning, I can tell you that a lot of work went into it as we went along, between myself, my editor, and my agent.


Miranda Jansen: A lot of people can agree that The Maze Runner fandom is awesome and so loving. Who are some standout fans that you have had encounters with? How does it make you feel?
James: The fandom is amazing. I don't want to start naming names, though! Too many to count. But yes, I love their loving nature and their relentless positivity. Some fandoms have a lot of cynicism and hate and mean-spiritedness. But I feel like ours, which grew slowly and organically enough in the beginning to set a solid foundation for welcoming all the new fans as it grew, is just really like a family. I can't tell you how often people tell me they've become good friends with those they met through my books. You can imagine how awesome that feels!


Thornley2099: What was your thought process in creating a monster as creepy as the Grievers?
James: I wanted it to be different, unique, something that hadn't been seen before. That's not to say it didn't have its influences, because it did. But I didn't want it to be trolls or goblins or vampires or anything that had been used before. And I love the concept of mixing the biological with the mechanical. Animal and machine. And I can say this: in the movie they take the spirit of the books and make them much better and more terrifying.


Elle: When in your life did you find yourself wanting to become an author? Who or what inspired you?
James: Oh, from the beginning. I wrote a lot of stories as a kid, and most of them were awful. I mean, awful. Wretched. But I love storytelling. And from Judy Blume as a kid to Stephen King as an adult, all of my favorite authors have inspired me.


Katherine: If Teresa had the opportunity (and willingness) to choose a job in the Glade, which do you suppose she'd choose?
James: Oh, she'd be a Runner. I have no doubt of that.


b├╝rsa: What is your favorite scene in the film?
James: Yay, Turkey! It's so fun to see readers from around the world. The movie is so great, and there are several scenes that have become my favorite, but I guess I'll choose one that really stands out: the banishment of Ben. That scene is done so well and the music is so fantastic.


Beccaboo7: In The Scorch Trials, Minho is chosen to be the Leader, but throughout the town it is said that Thomas is the Real Leader. Who do you believe is the real leader throughout this series?
James: I believe that WICKED was messing with their minds (literally and figuratively) with a lot of that, but in the end I see Thomas as their leader only because Minho has the humility to allow it. But in many ways, I think they are co-leaders. Cop out? :)


Tintin: Given that everything about The Maze Runner series is close to you, what would be the one takeaway you have after going through the journey of/with the characters?
James: My takeaway is a theme from the books that really solidified the further I went with the story. Nothing in this world is black or white. I purposefully wanted the phrase "WICKED is good," even though on its face it's absurd. I wanted that. Two opposites, stated as equals. By the end of the series, I want the reader to empathize with those they thought as evil, and see the dark side of those they thought were good.


ShuckitNewt: Which character do you think you are most like?
James: Thomas. The entire trilogy is from his perspective, and I wrote it, so I couldn't help but be in his head the entire time. I poured my soul into his character and I relate to him the most. Although, he's definitely the much braver version of me. I wouldn't have lasted twenty pages.


ShuckitNewt: Why doesn't Newt say "Great, we're all bloody inspired." in the movie?
James: Maybe we'll save that for another movie. :) Sometimes things just don't work out with the flow of the film. That's what's great about the book. It'll always be there, forever and ever. Look at the movie as another way to experience that story for the very first time.


Arshad27: The breakdown for The Scorch Trials film just came out. I was wondering what ethnicity Aris was? Do you have any tips for playing him?
James: I'll just say you could play him, I've seen your picture! :) I never want to peg any of my characters. I'm fine with any ethnicity. But I see him as someone who's very uncomfortable with his role in things.


Nann: The Death Cure spoilers…every Glader went through a different trial, but we never got the chance to find out what the other Gladers went through, or what they had to do for their third trial. Have you ever made up any thoughts on the other Gladers' third trial and if you did will we ever find out about what is was?
James: You can actually read about Minho's third trial in the ebook-only short we did, The Maze Runner Files. It has a lot of cool stuff in it that I'd done as bonus material throughout the years of the books coming out. As for the other Gladers, maybe someday!


NewtAndThomas: Do you have a favorite ship in The Maze Runner?
James: I've only been cool enough to know what "ship" means since my fans told me a couple of years ago. I'd have to say that I must let my work stand for itself. Another cop out! :) Oh, but this is important: The Maze Runner was never intended, in any way, to be a romance. There's barely a hint of it and that's on purpose. I've never believed that people have time to fall in love when the world is crumbling around their feet. Only bonds of loyalty and friendship. And I'm honestly kinda proud of this: there is literally no romance in the movie, not even one kiss.


eviegaffney: (From the UK) I was wondering, would you ever come here and do a signing/talk/panel? 
James: Thank you, I love your area of the world. I've been to London and Dublin and had so much fun. I do hope to come back someday!!! And, for the record, because of actors Will Poulter and Kaya Scodelario, I'm now officially an Arsenal fan. Oh, and yes, the movie matches my vision perfectly!!!! Thank you for doing fan art and keep showing me, okay?


peachandblue: Are you and/or any of the cast going to be doing a pre-movie release tour? Also, in terms of things that they changed for the movie, how did you feel about that? What were the biggest changes?
James: The cast is touring 6 cities as we speak, and I'll also be doing a couple of screenings as well a little later, right before the movie. Keep tabs with my website for details because sometimes they are last minute. I'm very satisfied and happy with any and all changes from book to film. It's just absolutely, 100% necessary. If you try to directly and literally translate a book, it comes out dull. They're different forms of storytelling and you have to adapt to that. But we're very, very lucky. Every character and every major scene from the book is in the movie, and it begins and ends exactly the same. Not many people can say that!


Nicole Volovich: Were any of the characters based off of anybody in your personal life? Also, what was your favorite thing about writing this series?
James: I wouldn't say any of my characters are directly inspired by people I know, but each and every one takes bits and pieces from every person I've ever met. Make sense? And my favorite thing? Definitely the movie. Highlight of my career.


Belen: What message do you wanna send to your readers and the world with The Maze Runner
James: My message is to use storytelling as an escape from life, which can be so tough. And be kind to others. Always. Use storytelling to bring people together, not tear them apart.