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Rick Riordan Event: Jen

Posted by Jen Robinson on May 11, 2009 at 3:00 AM in Authors and Illustrators
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LastOlympian.pngThis weekend, I attended a book signing by Rick Riordan at Kepler's Books in Menlo Park, CA. The event was in honor of the publication of the fifth and final book in the Percy Jackson series, The Last Olympian. Despite the best efforts of the Kepler's staff, it was a complete madhouse - some 600+ people crammed into a single store, all with books they wanted signed.

Keplers1.jpgBut it was amazing, too. Hundreds of kids choosing to spend a sunny Saturday afternoon at a bookstore. Kids waiting more or less patiently in line for hours, that eager to meet an author. Kids treating said author like a rock star (my friend Camille, who blogs at Book Moot, calls him Rockstar Rick Riordan). It was a beautiful thing. (The pictures to the right were taken about 30 minutes before the signing, and give you some idea of how mobbed this event was.)

Keplers2.jpgThe event stared with Rick speaking to a packed crowd for just a few minutes, and then answering questions from the kids. He talked about his time working as a teacher in the Bay Area, and how the first seeds for the Percy Jackson series came from experiences that he had in California. It was a nice tie-in for the local crowd.

Here are a few highlights from the Q&A:

Rick's favorite characters from the series: Grover and Tyson. (I agree. I especially love Tyson)

Greek parent that Rick would like to have, if he were a Half-Blood: Poseidon.

Greek parent that Rick thought he would actually have: Dionysus, or someone else like that.

Rick's favorite myth: Orpheus

Keplers5.jpgOn whether the movie set for The Lightning Thief accurately represents Camp Half-Blood: The best pictures are always the ones in your head, so it's always hard to see the movie at first (though he was in general wowed by the movie set - see here for details).

And the two pieces of news that elicited screams of excitement from the crowd:

1. Rick is working on a second series about Camp Half-Blood, with the first book due out in late 2010, featuring next generation characters. He promised that some of the characters that we know and love will be there in the background, though not the major focus of the new stories.

2. He is also working on a new book based on Egyptian mythology, and promises that next spring, "the Gods of Egypt will be invading the modern world." Boy, is that series going to be huge.

Keplers4.jpgYou could tell during the Q&A that the author was a former teacher. All of his attention was for the kids. The signing portion felt like a parade, with people everywhere, and everyone there had books in hand. They even had a wheel that you could spin, to see which of the "Big 3" gods was your father. (The picture shows my better half, spinning the wheel. He landed on Hades. But we thought that the wheel was rigged - most people seemed to land on Hades.)

Keplers3.jpgWe had to wait in line ourselves for about an hour, but it was time well spent. I was impressed by the many parents who took time out on a Saturday afternoon to bring their kids to a celebration of books. Seeing kids, and their parents, treating any author like a rockstar is an inspiration.

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21 Comments

Melissa (Book Nut) writes...

A series based on Egyptian mythology by Rick Riordan... I'm SO there. Thanks for this piece, Jen.

Jen RobinsonAuthor Profile Page writes...

It does sound like a great read, doesn't it? You should have heard the kids shriek in excitement, Melissa. That was beautiful!

SolvangSherrie writes...

I'm so glad Rockstar Rick Riordan is writing more about Camp Half-Blood. And the book with Egyptian gods sounds awesome! I love Egyptian history. Triple R is a fantastic author. I'm glad he's writing more books for kids.

Jen RobinsonAuthor Profile Page writes...

I feel exactly the same way, Sherrie!

Bookworm writes...

Hi Jen!

I wanted to comment so you know that I'm reading you over here!!!

I too think it's WONDERFUL that parents and kids were spending the day at the bookstore waiting to meet an author and have their books signed. Indeed, this is refreshing news! Thanks for sharing!

Jen RobinsonAuthor Profile Page writes...

Hey there, Bookworm! Thanks for reading me over here, too. It's funny - I'm normally a person who is quite impatient with waiting in lines, but when I'm waiting in line because so many kids are eager to see an author ... completely different story. And it's always great to hear from people like you who so completely get it.

Melissa writes...

I'm unbelievably excited by this news! WOO!

However, I'm disappointed to see that a post about a huge, successful event at an indie bookstore includes a link to buy the book at amazon.com. Why not link to indiebound.org's affiliate program? Since PBS is always in danger by being eaten up by loss of funding and other dangers, I would think that the PBS/independent bookstore link would be an obvious one.

Jen RobinsonAuthor Profile Page writes...

That's a fair point about the link, Melissa. I should point out that any links in this post are there by my choice, and don't represent any sort of policy decision on PBS's part. Personally, I do generally use Amazon links when I reference books, for various reasons of my own. Of course people can choose where or if they wish to make purchases, based on their own preferences. But I will give this more thought for the future. Thanks for taking time to comment about this.

And yes, YAY for the news about the Egyptian gods.

jacinda writes...

i love your books i wish i could meet you in person.


your number 1 fan
jacinda

harish writes...

I can't wait till the Lightning Thief Movie comes out in theatres. And im so anxious to read the egyption series!

Jen RobinsonAuthor Profile Page writes...

I'm looking forward to both of those things, too, Harish!

Rick Riordan writes...

Thank you for sharing this information Jen I really appreciate you spreading the news around. It will be great to hear what the kids have to say about the Egyptian Mythology books.

Jen RobinsonAuthor Profile Page writes...

You are very welcome, Rick. Thanks for getting so many kids excited about books! I'm looking forward to the Egyptian Mythology books myself. And I know that lots and lots of kids are, too. Thanks for stopping by this post.

Andrew writes...

Love all of Rick's books, excited about Egyptian Mythology books, I'm a bit bummed that Percy wont be the focus of the next Camp Half Blood series, but I will try to be open to the idea of a new cast. Maybe Percy and Annabeth's children? but since their children would have 2 mortal parents, would that really make them half bloods?

Jen RobinsonAuthor Profile Page writes...

You raise an interesting question on what the children of a pair of half-bloods would be like, Andrew. Quarter bloods? Not sure. However, and this is purely my own speculation, I don't think that the next Camp Half-Blood series will jump that far into the future. I think it will be new kids, or maybe letting kids who had smaller roles in the previous books (like Nico?) take a more central role.

I have to say that much as I love Percy, I do agree with Rick's decision to complete Percy and Annabeth's story arc, with a finite number of books, and then move on to a new story (and new players). I think that doing so allows for a more powerful dramatic arc within each series. But that's just my personal preference.

I am looking forward to the Egyptian Mythology books, too. Thanks for taking time to comment.

Ricardo farfan writes...

I am a HUGE fan of Rick riordan and I hope that a new book comes out soon and I hope I meet his son .

Jen RobinsonAuthor Profile Page writes...

I'm a big fan, too. Rick's next book is The Kane Chronicles, Book One: The Red Pyramid, due out May 4th. It's the first of a new series that draws on Egyptian mythology. I'm sure that it's going to be great.

fahad writes...


cool books from poo fahad

klaire writes...

The Egytian Mythology sounds different but awesome can't wait till those books come out!!!.

Jen RobinsonAuthor Profile Page writes...

Me, too, Klaire. Fortunately, May will be here before we know it!

nick writes...

AW YEAH! a new Olympians series? this is awesome! i'm kinda bummed that its not about percy anymore, but its good enough. as for the egyptian series, ehhh not for me.

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