Rick Riordan was interviewed by The Guardian about Percy Jackson, The Kane Chronicles, and the Heroes of Olympus. Here’s an excerpt from the interview:
You are known as the Myth Maker because you have popularised ancient myths in Percy Jackson series, the Kane Chronicles, about Egypt, and the Heroes of Olympus series. Why do you think there is such an inexhaustible appetite for stories about the whims of the gods?
To a degree, the Greek and Roman mythological heroes are just the first superheroes. They appeal to children for much the same reason. These gods and heroes may have powers, but they get angry and they do the wrong thing. They are human too. Children relate to gods because they are really parental figures, who make mistakes and who seem very capricious.
You taught classics in schools for 15 years. Do you look back at your old texts to decide which myths to mine for stories, or do you spot things around you that have echoes in the ancient world?
I tend to think of a myth and then explore how it would play out if it were happening in the modern-day world. I modify all the myths I use, but I stick very closely to their structure – it is the hidden teacher in me.
With a lot of them it is easy to imagine the modern context by, say, having Aries riding on a motorcycle. These myths are universal and are totally ingrained in our culture. We are still struggling with the same things, so they fit neatly into the modern world.
To read the rest of the interview, click here.