Rick Riordan Talks Life, Writing History, and What’s to Come at Virginia Tour Stop

Rick Riordan stopped in my city during his Magnus Chase: The Sword of Summer tour, and I was ecstatic. I had never seen him in person, and the Barnes and Noble only 5 minutes from me was hosting! The event was in a high school auditorium set for their 2000-large student body. And it was PACKED.

The night started with some unintentional humor when the school was having a fire drill, then the principal thanked a special guest on the loudspeaker– a special guest that was not Rick Riordan. But then it was time for Riordan to do his thing, and he certainly did not disappoint.


This man can speak as well as he can write. He told of his early life, his parents, meeting his wife, his constant love of mythology, and how his writing career got started (including his first rejection letter at age 13, which his mother posted in her house so carefully it survived a fire!). He spoke of his teaching career, how much money he made off his first book (hint: not enough to live on!), and the fact that his first book went through fourteen drafts before it was published.rr2

Finally, he started talking about the Percy Jackson series, including the inspiration (his son), and some of the best (and most ridiculous) foreign cover designs throughout the series.


He showed some fan art and discussed how the fans usually do it better than the professionals. He talked briefly about his other series and how excited he was to finally be writing about Norse Mythology, which he has loved since childhood, when he only read comic books. He discussed a few of the characters including Magnus Chase (who he confirmed is Annabeth’s cousin) and Sam. He also explained why Magnus looks like Kurt Cobain on the cover (this was in the fan art discussion, also discussing why Percy’s face is never shown… didn’t want to ruin fans’ views!).

The event ended with news of his new series: The Trials of Apollo. He read out the synopsis, including information that newly 16-year old mortal Apollo only knows one place to go for help: Camp Half Blood. He also confirmed that all characters from Percy’s world (of both Greek and Roman decent) will show up in this new series, as well as that all chapters titles will be written in bad haiku.


Furthermore, he said that in the requested crossover between the worlds of Percy Jackson and the Kane Chronicles, which will come out in April 2016 (Demigods and Magicians), there will be a sneak peek from Trials of Apollo. And from there, you will only have to wait ONE MONTH, because ToA is set for release on May 3, 2016. Also in this discussion, he revealed that the second Magnus Chase book will be released October 4, 2016.

rr4You read that right. THREE Rick Riordan books in the next year.

The event concluded when we each got our pre-purchased signed copy of The Sword of Summer and a foam shield (which you may have seen at previous events).

If you ever have a chance to hear Rick Riordan speak live, do not pass it up. It was definitely worth the waiting in line and having Barnes and Noble keep my to-be-signed book for two days.

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