November 26, 1972
Austell, Georgia, United States
James Dashner was an American author whose popular young adult novel The Maze Runner (2009) was adapted into a major Hollywood film in 2014. An avid reader, Dashner fell in love with the written word as a young child and always saw himself making a living as a writer. However, when it came time to choose a career, Dashner chose the most mundane field imaginable: accounting. He eventually earned his Master's degree in accounting from Brigham Young University in Utah, and set out on a career in finance. However, it would not take long before Dashner was once again consumed by the writing bug. He started writing stories in his mid-20s and eventually began sending them out to New York publishers - all of which sent him back an impersonal rejection letter. But Dashner, determined to make it as an author, continued to write his stories and in 2003 he published his first novel, A Door in the Woods. The book was the first of several in a series, known as the Jimmy Fincher Saga, which cemented Dashner's status as a young adult author on the rise. Then in 2009 Dashner published the post-apocalyptic The Maze Runner, which became an immediate bestseller. The novel spawned a whole series of Maze Runner novels, while lending even further credence to Dashner's already growing status as one of the most successful young adult authors in the country. It wasn't long before Hollywood came calling. 20th Century Fox quickly bought up the rights to The Maze Runner, and adapted the book into a major Hollywood movie directed by Wes Ball and starring Dylan O'Brien. "The Maze Runner" was released in theaters nationwide in September 2014.