Monday, May 10, 2010

The Wonderful Mr Riordan and The Red Pyramid

So this weekend, despite a sudden cold streak, a terrible fit of allergies and a general lack of wanting to leave my couch or the blankets I was wrapped up in on it, I ventured to the northern most hemisphere of what's still considered non-suburbia Toronto, to Yorkdale Mall.  There I joined an enormous snaking line of children and parents, every bit as excited as the 9-13 year olds surrounding me, to meet the charming Rick Riordan; author of my beloved Percy Jackson and the Olympians series.

After reading Rick's earlier post about the 1000 people at Politics and Prose in Washington (it took him a mere 4 hours to sign all those books!) I was a little concerned about our line up.  This was his first and only Canadian stop on any of his previous or current tours so it had the potential to be really, really crazy.  The hubby and I decided we would leave the house two hours before the signing, half an hour to drive up, and an hour and a half in line.  Well, we should have anticipated the 15-20 minutes wandering around the store looking for the end of the biggest line I've ever seen in a bookstore! hahahahah. 

Turns out the first arrivals were there half an hour prior to opening at 9:30am and one of them had driven 7 hours to get there!  Some of the kids had  purchased The Red Pyramid that morning and were more than half way done from waiting all day.  We were lucky enough to end up in line behind the loveliest mom and daughter, with whom we chatted away and had enough fun that the hour + in line seemed to go by in a blink.  Needless to say, I think I was actually the oldest person lining up and not accompanying a child.  It reminded me of all the midnight releases of Harry Potter, inevitably we always ended up with some entertaining parents  laughing away the time until we could get our books.

Shortly after 4pm Rick hit the stage, and for a fellow who's been busy, busy, busy since last Tuesday he was all smiles and good energy for our crowd.  He chatted a bit about writing and made a few exciting announcements, then kindly answered a handful of questions from the audience.  Within 20 minutes he was hardcore signing books, chatting up those of us who could get over shyness and ask questions (I almost didn't do it, but figured if the 9 yearolds could then obviously I should be able to handle it). 

What a gracious man! he had a huge line up and still he signed every book brought to him, and let me just say, some kids had brought everything he'd written and then some!

So to the announcements! 
-The Heroes of Olympus (the new camp half blood series) has a firm publishing date now, October 12th.  And further to that, Rick let the crowd know he intends to publish twice a year, one The Kane Chronicles book in the spring and one The Heroes of Olympus book in the fall.  Because he "knows we're all dying waiting and that's as fast as he can possibly write."  He plans to write for those dates for the next 4 years!  I can't even imagine how challenging that will be.
-Currently Rick plans to have three The Kane Chronicles books, but, if at the end of three he still has a lot to say then he is not adverse to doing more.
-The Heroes of Olympus will have lots of the characters you loved in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series as well as the new characters.

Finally some interesting Tidbits he shared in the Q&A:
- Percy Jackson and the Olympians story stemmed from his one son, who was struggling in school and was really only enjoying the Greek Mythology he was learning.  So at night Rick was making up this story for him, and he enjoyed it so much he told his dad he should write it down.
-The Kane Chronicles stemmed from a question from one of his fans on tour, who asked if he would ever write about any of the other gods from mythology.  He thought about it and realised the only other popular mythology unit he taught was the Egyptian one (which was actually more popular than the Greek one).  And so he started researching the Egyptian mythology and realised there was loads of cool stuff.
-Of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians books, his favorite was The Last Olympian (mine too!) he loved writing all the big fight scenes and wrapping up the story.
-His favorite Greek gods are Athena (because she's really handy and gets things done), and Poseidon (because he thought control over the Ocean would be really amazing).
-His favorite Egyptian god is Bast (the cat one) because he loves cats (yay! me too Rick, me too)
-Finally I asked him if it was hard to write so clearly about New York City since he was born and raised in Texas.  He said he's always travelled to New York quite a bit for publishing and that if he was a God  he'd pick New York as his base.

So, if you find out Rick is making a stop in or near your hometown during this tour, I highly reccomend you head out to meet him.  He's worth the wait!


  1. Are you sure that's his signature? Looks more like Pil @dan or something.

  2. hahahah, wouldn't that be ridiculous if you went to an author signing and they signed your book with something really random that wasn't even their name?! hahahahahaah

  3. I'm not sure which I'm looking forward to more, a new Olypians story or this new Egyptian series. Both are sure to be great.

    re signatures: I was once told to not sign books the way I sign cheques. Not that forgery would be a big problem with my bank account. ;-)

    -Karen B

  4. hahhhahah, I never thought of that! Also I'm guessing that after days of thousands of signatures it likely gets a bit wonky.