Complete Rick Riordan Interview on Thursday, 10/7/10

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Complete Rick Riordan Interview on  Thursday, 10/7/10 Empty Complete Rick Riordan Interview on Thursday, 10/7/10

Post by Posidonsdaughter on Fri Oct 15, 2010 9:58 pm

Mortalnet was the only Fan site invited to interview Rick Riordan on Thursday, October 7, 2010. Suzanne and Terry joined six news/trade reporters on a phone/web connection with Disney/Hyperion to interview Rick. After watching the video introduction that is on The Lost Hero website Disney's Mindy Johnson led the interview.

Rick Riordan


Moderator: Mindy Johnson
- Disney Book Group
October 7, 2010

Mindy Johnson: Hi, my name is Mindy Johnson and on behalf of the Disney Book Group, I’d like to welcome you to a very rare and exciting opportunity to speak with one of the leading best selling authors for several series of books.

But today we’re here to focus on “The Lost Hero” and we’ll be speaking shortly with Rick Riordan. With that I think we’ve got most of our participants on. There are just a couple more we’re anticipating but I think we can get underway.

Rick Riordan: Hi, this is Rick Riordan, you probably know me from the Percy Jackson and the Olympian series or from The Kane Chronicles. I’m here to talk to you about my brand new series, “The Heroes of Olympus” the first book “The Lost Hero.”

As I was writing the Percy Jackson series I knew that there were a lot of stories that I wouldn’t be able to include from Greek mythology in the five book series. And as I wrote about it I discovered that I really had enough to make an entirely new series and that’s where “The Heroes of Olympus” comes from.

At the end of the “Last Olympian” a new prophecy is issued, the heroes of Olympus will follow that new great prophesy. You’re going to meet three new demigods who play important roles in the series. There’s Jason, he wakes up one day on a bus and he doesn’t know how he got there, has no idea of who he is and where he came from.

There’s Piper, her father has been kidnapped and she’s trying to figure out who and why and then there’s Leo, a guy that can make anything with his hands and yet he’s never felt like he fits in anywhere until he arrives at Camp Half Blood.

By far the biggest question I get asked is will we see Percy Jackson,? Be assured you'll find out what happens to Percy, Annabeth, Grover and all the rest of the gang in the course of the new series.

Mindy Johnson: OK, so there’s a lot of excitement ahead. It is this Tuesday, October 12th which marks the official release of “The Lost Hero” with 2-1/2 million first printings, a remarkable feat.

The first book again in the Heroes of Olympus series which is a brand new series by Rick Riordan, the best selling author, and fascinatingly enough, Rick is a former teacher who worked and taught English and history in private – in both private and public middle schools in the Bay area as well as in Texas.

So clearly he knows his audience well. In both of these highly successful series, over 20 million books are in print in the U.S. both from the Percy Jackson and the Olympian series as well as the Kane Chronicles and these two series are also available in more than 35 countries world wide. They are mainstays on the “New York Times,” “USAToday,” “Wall Street Journal,” “Publisher’s Weekly” and (“Indie Bound”) best seller lists.

This past May the Kane Chronicles kicked off with “The Red Pyramid” which is a very exciting series with the second book in the series out in the spring of 2011. With that I am very excited to introduce you to Rick Riordan.

Rick, thank you so much for taking time and joining us today.

Rick Riordan: My pleasure.

Mindy Johnson: It’s a very exciting time, we’ve got lots of terrific events coming up in the next week of course so we appreciate you taking the time this morning. Tell us a little bit about where you got the inspiration for the new series.

Rick Riordan: Well the new series, the Heroes of Olympus really allows me to cover some of the Greek and Roman myths that I haven’t been able to talk about. There’s so many I mean after five books in Percy Jackson I thought that I would pretty much have covered everything but the mythology is just so deep the more I get into it the more I discover and the more I remember.

And there were just so many stories I couldn’t – I couldn’t get into the first series. Plus Greek mythology really has some built in sequels to the story that I told in the Percy Jackson series. So it seemed only natural that I would follow-up with that content. And it gave me a different view of Percy Jackson’s world too.

A chance to go back and give the fans what they’re interested in and what they have been longing for is more Percy Jackson and his world but to do it in a way that’s fresh and kind of a different spin that keeps things fresh and entertaining for me too.

Mindy Johnson: Great! How does this series differ from Percy Jackson and the Olympians?

Rick Riordan: I think the biggest difference is the story telling mode. There are three main characters, there were three characters in Percy Jackson too but you weren’t really inside their heads. It was mostly Percy telling the story. Here you have three new demigods all coming to camp at the same time, all thrown into the same situation not knowing who their godly parent is, trying to figure out this brand new world with no help except for themselves.

You have Jason and Piper and Leo and you’re inside each of their heads and so you get to see Camp Half Blood from three different perspectives at once as we’re going through the story. And they have never heard of Percy or Annabeth or any of these people so they’re learning about that world and bringing their own perspective to it.

Mindy Johnson: So we will certainly see a new cast of demigods as you mentioned, but some of your favorite characters are returning?

Rick Riordan: Absolutely, you won’t see everyone of course I mean in a five book series there’s a lot of characters so you won’t see everyone in every book but I will make a point of revisiting each character somewhere along the ways. So you know what’s happening with your old friends.

And then they will definitely have major parts to play but I suspect that once readers read “The Lost Hero,” at least I certainly hope, that you'll be just as invested in the new characters as you are in your old friends from Percy Jackson.

Mindy Johnson: Terrific! How many books are in the series?

Rick Riordan: It’s going to be a five book series. So it mirrors the Percy Jackson series in that way. That’s just – it’s a nice number for me to work with and it allows me to develop a story arc that has all the details and all the character development that I want to put in there.

Mindy Johnson: So with this series, we’re returning to Camp Half Blood. Can you describe this world, is there anything different, new that we’re going to see and experience here?

Rick Riordan: There’s so much that’s new. And I can’t – I can’t tell you the biggest thing because it would be an enormous spoiler but let’s you know suffice to say Percy Jackson’s world is going to get turned on its head.

There are going to be some revelations that completely change the world of the demigods. At the same time though, Camp Half Blood is very much as it always has been. It’s the same kind of exciting place, it’s a summer camp for young heroes where they can go and learn how to ride the pegasi and learn how to fight with swords and try not to you know spear – skewer each other with arrows and climb the lava wall.

All of that stuff, all of that world is still there with a bunch of new challenges as well. You’re going to find out what’s happened to camp after this huge titan war that they’ve had. How did that affect the camper?

So you’re going to find out all of that.

Mindy Johnson: OK we had a little bit of drop out…so you were saying how does it affect the campers and (inaudible)?

Rick Riordan: Right, how does that war affect the camp? How has – how are things changed since the Percy Jackson series? So you’re going to find out what happens after that and all the new directions that the camp is going to go. I think that you’re going to be pleasantly surprised.

Mindy Johnson: Perfect, well let’s take a look and meet some of these new characters. We have an image of Jason; tell us a bit more about him.

Rick Riordan: Well Jason is an interesting guy to write about especially in this first book in the series because he wakes up not knowing who he is or where he came from. He just wakes up one day, he’s on the field trip on a bus with a bunch of kids who know him but he doesn’t know who any of them are.

He can’t remember where he came from or how he got there. All he knows is he has this feeling that he shouldn’t be here, this is wrong. He should be somewhere else. During the course of the field trip he finds out about Camp Half Blood, monsters appear and as always the case with demigods there’s a rescue and they find their way to camp. But it really doesn’t answer Jason’s question.

There’s some very strange things about Jason that even the people at Camp Half Blood have never really seen before. He doesn’t fit their normal model for kids that they rescue; even for demigods he’s a little bit different. And so they have to figure out what is it about Jason, what is his background and you’re going to find out of course during the course of the book.

But I can tell you that he has a connection to one of the characters from Percy Jackson that you know very well. But that’s all I’ll say about him.

Mindy Johnson: Good cliffhanger. Well I’m curious to know -- we see a pretty prominent coin happening here in this image. Can you cast some light on that?

Rick Riordan: Yes the coin – since the first two chapters are available online to preview I guess I’m not going to be spoiling too much by saying the coin is Jason’s weapon in the same way that Percy has a pen that turns into a sword.

This golden coin that Jason finds in his pocket he sort of instinctively knows that if he flips it, it will turn into a weapon and he ends up with this golden sword that he uses to dispatch these monsters in the first chapter. And it is a Roman coin, it has a Julius on one side and it looks very much like an ancient imperial Roman coin. Well what it means, what its significance is, that’s the mystery.

Mindy Johnson: All right, deeper and deeper we go into these mysteries. Let’s meet another character here, this interesting fellow -- Leo.

Rick Riordan: Leo is such a riot. I love writing Leo. He’s this kid from Huston and he grew up with his mom in the machine shop where she worked and he, she used to tease him that his first pacifier was lug wrench I mean this kid loves tools he’s always getting his hands dirty, he can build anything he’s great in the machine shop. But there’s a tragedy that happens and for most of Leo’s life he’s bouncing around from foster home to foster home.

He has learned to use humor as his defense. He’s a very funny guy and that’s how he avoids getting beat up. He’s not big or strong but he can talk his way just about out of anything. So Leo is Jason’s best friend at least that’s what Leo thinks. Jason doesn’t remember him at all.

So Leo’s going to have to figure out what is he doing at Camp Half Blood and what’s the deal with Jason who he thinks that he’s known for two months but Jason has no memory of that whatsoever.

Leo has a pretty important magic item too that he’s going to get at camp and you can kind of see that in the picture there. And there’s a little information, a little teaser online about that. But he finds a tool belt at camp that allows him to pull anything out of the tool belt that he wants, a hammer, Phillips head whatever he wants as long as it’s sort of a normal everyday tool he can pull it right out and use it for whatever purpose he wants. And that’s going to come in handy because he has some big fixing jobs ahead of him.

Mindy Johnson: He looks like a terrific character, I’m anxious to discover more about him. And then we also have Piper, this is an intriguing image please tell us more.

Rick Riordan: Well that’s Piper looking into the reflection of her dagger, Katoptris, and there’s a long, long and interesting history about that dagger but I’ll let you read about that when you get into the story. Piper is also at this wilderness school that Jason and Leo go to.

Mindy Johnson: OK. I think we’ve got another little bit of drop out there, let’s go back to Piper.

Rick Riordan: OK sorry about that, Piper as I was saying thinks that she is Jason’s girlfriend. Which makes it very disconcerting for her when Jason suddenly doesn’t remember her and says who are you?

Well Piper has to deal with that and she also has a very, very terrible secret. Her father who is a well known movie actor is missing and she’s been having these terrible dreams about what happened to him and she doesn’t know what it means, she doesn’t know what to do about it all she knows is that she’s been told that she can’t tell anyone.

So she goes into Camp Half Blood with all the normal baggage of not knowing who she is or who her godly mother might be and she has this horrible secret that she can’t even tell the other demigods and how she resolves that is really very much on her mind. Not to mention the fact that the guy she likes doesn’t remember her anymore.

Mindy Johnson: She’s got her hands full clearly. Let’s take a look at Hera.

Rick Riordan: Good old Hera, what can you say about Hera the queen of the gods? She is really the bane of heroes in ancient mythology and I guess I can understand her point of view since most of those heroes were Zeus, her husband’s illegitimate children. You know I guess I would be a little annoyed with the heroes too.

Because Zeus was always having affairs with the mortals and you know Hera obviously didn’t like that very much. So she can’t really get back at Zeus, he’s too powerful so instead she takes it out on all his demigod children. She doesn’t have a very good reputation.

Well what’s going to happen though is Hera gets herself in trouble and she needs the help of some demigods. It’s going to be kind of tough to pick who is going to come to her aid. Well that’s exactly what happens in “The Lost Hero.” Hera is in a great deal of trouble and she needs some help and you can probably guess who she’s going to call on to bail her out.

Mindy Johnson: Intriguing conflicts all over, this is great. And then lastly we have Festus.

Rick Riordan: Yes Festus, actually people might be familiar with Festus if they read a story in “The Demigod Files” that came out between Percy 4 and Percy 5. There’s a story that introduces the bronze dragon of camp and that is Festus.

He is going to have a major makeover in “The Lost Hero” and he has an incredibly important role to play and one of my favorite things about the cover for “The Lost Hero” is the way that our illustrator John Rocco pictures Festus on the cover there. It’s just a fabulous image so yes great, great character.

Mindy Johnson: Absolutely, well with that, our appetites are whet with these terrific characters and lots of great conflicts to explore. If we could take a look at – I wanted to talk a little bit about this upcoming live simulcast from Camp Half Blood which will be occurring on next Tuesday. We’ve got various times I believe 4 o’clock pacific, 5 o’clock mountain, six o’clock central and 7:00 p.m. Eastern.

A pretty exciting opportunity for fans all over the world to log in, it’s completely free, and to experience a few perhaps, sneak peeks. Rick, is there something you’re going to be revealing perhaps at that event?

Rick Riordan: We have a lot going on next Tuesday, yes, during the simulcast I do have an announcement that I’ll be making I can’t tell you what it is but it’s kind of cool and kind of exciting.

I will also be reading from “The Lost Hero,” doing a section that has not yet been done as a sneak peek. I will be answering selected questions from demigods all over the country and everyone will get the chance to be at Camp Half Blood virtually for the day, even if you don’t live in Austin and can come to BookPeople where the event will be.

They can log in and join us and so it’s really going to be a world wide party and everybody is welcome to participate.

Mindy Johnson: Well it sounds like a terrific event and I know that it’s kicking off a pretty extensive book tour for you. You’re going to be traveling throughout the U.S., doing signings and appearances?

Rick Riordan: Yes absolutely.

Mindy Johnson: Are your bags packed?

Rick Riordan: Absolutely -- all the details I just posted them in fact we’ve been putting them up as they come in and they’re all on my Web calendar which you can get through from the various Web sites that we have. for instance, has a link.

It’s amazing, of course the hard thing is always that there’s only one of me and there’s so many places I would like to go and we only have two weeks. So we never get to everywhere that I’d like to be but for the, for the Kane Chronicles in May we concentrated mostly on the east coast and a few in the center of the country. So we thought it was only fair this time to give the west coast more attention. So we’ll be going mostly from the middle of the country west for “The Lost Hero.”

But yes it’s going to be a fabulous tour and Tuesday a big day I guess “The Lost Hero” comes out and we also have the graphic novel for “The Lightning Thief” that just got a stared review in “Publisher’s Weekly” and is just an incredible, incredible piece of work. I mean I can’t take credit for it, it was done by an amazing team of the adapter and the artist and the colorer and illustrator – (just a) fabulous, fabulous piece of work though that also comes out on Tuesday.

Mindy Johnson: Very exciting, a lot happening for you then in the next few weeks. And for your fans, this is a terrific opportunity to expand the world that they’ve been enjoying for some time. Again the event is at and there are further details on your Web site and also on “The Lost Hero’s” Web site as well.

So, fans and friends alike can go online to get further details on that. With that we’d like to open up the line, so if you bear with us for just a moment we’ll open up the lines for questions. And if you would please just state your name and where you’re perhaps writing from and then we’ll have that on record but let’s open up the line.

Sharyn Vane: Hey Rick it’s Sharyn Vane from the “Austin American Statesmen”

Rick Riordan: Yes hey Sharyn.

Sharyn Vane: Hey I’m interested to hear a little bit more about you know you mentioned in Percy Jackson yes there were lots of characters but it really was Percy’s story. But with “Lost Hero” it sounds like it’s very much going to be three demigod’s stories. And I’m interested to hear a little bit more about how you made that decision to kind of expand out the pool a little bit.

Rick Riordan: Right well I mean I think the easy sort of default thing to do would be to make you know Percy Jackson six, Percy Jackson seven, Percy Jackson 28 you know. And I just felt like I’d seen too many series as a reader that went on way too long and you could tell that they’d gone on too long because the author starts getting tired of them and the book quality suffers and I never thought I wanted that to happen to Percy Jackson.

I wanted his story arc to have a good strong ending. I think that was just as important as having a good beginning and I think I managed that to the reader’s satisfaction pretty well from what I got, feedback I got in the lost, “The Last Olympian.”

But you know I haven’t said that I also recognize that there is a lot of interest in finding out what happens next. You invest your time and these characters and you go through the experience with them for five books and you don’t want to let go of that and that’s perfectly understandable too.

So I tried to find the middle ground where I could keep the story going and yet put a twist on it and make it a little more exciting and a little more original and just find a different way into that world and my compromise for that was “The Heroes of Olympus,” “The Lost Hero.”

And yes it is told from different perspectives. I would love to tell you more about how Percy will weave into this because I’m certainly not saying goodbye to him. However, I can’t really explain that without spoiling something fairly enormous. But I think you'll see what I mean when you read “The Lost Hero” when it comes out next week.

You’re going to get to the end and you’re going to say that’s where he’s going with it and I think it’ll make sense to you. I can only tell you that the people who have read “The Lost Hero,” my kids, the editor, my agent actually told me that they like this even better than “The Lightning Thief.”

The fact that there were the three personalities bringing them through really, really worked and it brought a whole new level of excitement to Camp Half Blood. I’m crossing my fingers that you guys feel the same way.

Sharyn Vane: Well I’m looking forward to it on Tuesday.

Rick Riordan: Yes me too.

(Claire ): This is (Claire ) from “Publisher’s Weekly Magazine.”

Rick Riordan: Yes (Claire ) how are you?

(Claire ): I’m good how are you?

Rick Riordan: I’m doing well

(Claire ): So I’m wondering is having a female protagonist, Piper, are you trying to draw in more female readers into your various series?

Rick Riordan: Well I had Carter and Sadie Kane in “The Red Pyramid” in the Kane Chronicles alternate narrating and I really thought that worked very well. I enjoyed that. I don’t know that it’s a matter of drawing in the girls because really they’re already there.

I mean I know the series is often touted as a series for reluctant reader boys. And that’s great because I have reluctant reader boys at home and I’m perfectly satisfied to have the series promoted that way.

But when people say it’s a series for boys I know that a lot of my female readers get very annoyed with that because there are a lot of them and they’re quick to say this is not just a boy’s series. And you see that right away if you go to one of my events I mean invariably the audience is exactly 50/50 boys and girls.

(Claire ): I (inaudible) with my daughter too.

Rick Riordan: Yes.

(Claire ): She loves it.

Rick Riordan: So I think more it’s just my recognizing that I do have a very large female readership and they also like to have a touchstone in the story that they feel they can relate to. And of course they did with Annabeth. But Annabeth was always a supporting character and now with Sadie and the Kane Chronicles and with Piper in “The Lost Hero” it does give them more of an inside view of one of the major female protagonists.

Mindy Johnson: Thank you, next question?

Vicky Smith: This is Vicky Smith from “Kirkus.”

Rick Riordan: Hey Vicky.

Vicky Smith: Hey there. I’m interested in your bringing in the Roman mythology, would you want to talk a little bit about how you decided to expand from the Greeks to the Romans and I can imagine all sorts of terrific very funny and tense situations that arise from that and am I, am I going too far off in anticipating, in anticipating that in the books?

Rick Riordan: Anticipating a Roman spin to the books, no I don’t think you’re going too far off at all. I think certainly there are some clues just in the sneak peek chapters that are online that that’s definitely going to be part of this.

It’s not something that was explored very much in the Percy Jackson series. There were hints that some elements of Roman mythology were there, the god Janus for instance, the two headed god of doorways, made an appearance, Pomona one of the Roman goddesses made an appearance.

But yes it is something that’s addressed much more in the new series, The Heroes of Olympus and it allowed me to explore this idea that is first put forth in “The Lightning Thief” that the gods follows civilization around. They’ve jumped from Greece to Rome to Europe to the United States.

And so what was it like when these Greek gods were Roman and what if their Roman aspects were still very important and still part of their identity. So yes that is an issue that’s explored and as to why I did it, it just seemed like a very natural, very interesting extension of Percy Jackson’s world.

So I don’t want to you know spoil anything but I think you’re on the right track when you start imagining the different things that could happen if the Greek and Romans got intermixed and a lot of tension and a lot of confusion and interesting stuff.

Vicky Smith: Thanks.

Rick Riordan: You bet.

Mindy Johnson: Thank you, next question.

Sharyn Vane: I have another question if nobody minds me jumping back in, Sharyn from Austin, I wondered if you know over the Percy Jackson books everybody aged you know sort of consistent with the amount of time between books? And if I’m remembering correctly our three new demigods are starting at kind of an older age than Percy did. Will they also continue to age as the series progresses?

Rick Riordan: They will, they – the new series picks up very, very shortly after the last Olympian. So this is not you know 20 years in the future, this is – the Percy Jackson characters are still pretty much the same age as when you last saw them. And the new cast is a little bit younger than that, they’re 13, 14.

And yes they will age as the series goes through. So yes Percy you know he’ll be 16, 17 but I wanted to keep the main characters especially in this first book really in the target range that I write for which is the middle school ages, the 9 to 14 kind of age bracket.

And you know people have asked you know well have you ever thought about you know writing for more of a teenage novel, no. I really, I really haven’t I – you know I’m always very gratified when teens read the books and adults read the books and that’s been fantastic but that’s not my core audience.

My focus audience the one I know best, the one I spent 15 years in the classroom with was middle school. And I’m fabulously gratified that the elementary grades love it and the high-schoolers are reading it as well and that’s great.

But I think that it’s really important for me to play to my strengths and not try to skew what I’m doing to an older group. So, yes. I am staying with those middle – those middle grade sort of protagonists.

(Terry K): (Well), again Rick …

Rick Riordan: Hi.

(Terry K): Hi Rick, this is (Terry K) from the Mortalnet Fan Site.

Rick Riordan: Yes hey (Terry) good to talk to you again.

(Terry K): Yes good talking to you again. First off I’d like to say thanks for clarifying that the dragon we see on the cover, Festus, is the dragon from “The Demigod Files.” I was wondering about that.

Rick Riordan: Yes that’s him.

(Terry K): All right, (first) question by the end of “The Lost Hero” will we have met all seven heroes mentioned in “The New Prophecy”?

Rick Riordan: Can’t tell you.

(Terry K): All right.

Rick Riordan: Yes a lot of – a lot of what will happen in the book questions I’m going to have to answer that way. But it is about the prophecy and you are right that there are seven heroes that are going to be very important in the new series but whether you’ve met them all, can’t tell you that yet.

(Terry K): All right, in the second chapter of “The Lost Hero” storm spirits called Venti are seen and mentioned. Venti’s a Latin word so why are they being controlled by Greek deities?

Rick Riordan: Yes good question, good question. It goes back to the idea of how the Greeks and the Romans intermix. And that there might be a Roman spin to this new series that you haven’t seen before in Percy Jackson but why, why are they there? Yes, that’s another have to wait and see question. But it’s a good one.

(Terry K): Throughout the lost hero at least are the gods going to keep their pledge and keep claiming their demigod children?

Rick Riordan: Well you know I can’t answer that definitively but if you know the gods you know they’re pretty fickle and I’m trying to think of any pledge that they’ve ever kept 100 percent, nope I pretty much can’t think of one. So you know I’m sure they’ll do the best they can but we’ll just have to see how that goes.

(Terry K): All right. Thanks Rick.

Rick Riordan: You bet (Terry).

Mindy Johnson: Great questions and next question. Please feel free we can easily take several more if you have any additional questions jump right in.

Female: OK, I have another question but you’re probably not going to be able to answer it but I’m going to ask it anyway I know you’re making some big announcement at BookPeople and I’m sure you can’t tell me what it is but can you at least tell, say it’s about a book or it’s about a (pub) date or can I get anything more on what the general topic will be of that announcement.

Rick Riordan: I’m sworn to secrecy, I’m sorry.

Female: It’s OK.

Rick Riordan: They would kill me if I said anything more.

Female: We have to ask.

Rick Riordan: I know, no problem, no problem.

Mindy Johnson: Absolutely, it’s good to know what everyone is eager to hear! Next question?

Female: Yes.

Rick Riordan: Hi.

Female: How many cities are you hitting on your tour this fall? You said you were touring for two weeks?

Rick Riordan: Yes that’s the usual window for the tour, or has been the last two or three years. Let’s see one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve. Yes 12 cities and then I’m back home for a week and then I go to the U.K. and I do a tour for a week over there. And that’ll take me to another five or six cities.

(Terry K): Hey Rick, I have another question from our users on Mortalnet.

Rick Riordan: Sure.

(Terry K): This one’s from our webmaster (Christof), what (are the) myths would you consider writing about after the heroes of Olympus and the Kane Chronicles or will you move on from mythology?

Rick Riordan: Well I have a lot of ideas I mean I have more ideas probably than I’ll ever be able to write in my life time but I don’t know. That’s so far in the future I have so much on my plate right now there’s going to be three Kane Chronicles books. There will be five heroes of Olympus books so you know your talking probably three, four years away before I can even think about writing anything else.

You know I’d love to do the Norse myths. I always have loved Norse mythology. But there’s so many other kinds of mythologies as well and I also have some projects in the back of my mind that aren’t mythology based that I’d like to work on. But which one I’ll choose it’s just too early to tell.

(Terry K): Well I definitely know some people that would be very, be very excited if it turned out you were going to do Norse mythology.

Rick Riordan: Well I’d love to do that but you know you’re talking a five year wait before.

(Terry K): Yes.

Rick Riordan: Before that book comes out.

(Terry K): Definitely.

Mindy Johnson: Go right ahead please.

Female: Well I just wondered you know Percy was five books and “The Lost Heroes” five books but then Kane Chronicles is three books, is that why, why is that?

Rick Riordan: I like to mix it up and I thought Egyptian mythology we – frankly we just don’t know as much about it as we do with the Greek and Roman myths. There’s just not as big a body of primary texts to draw from.

That was one reason. I thought that three books would probably be enough for me to say everything that I wanted to say about Egyptian mythology. And the other thing is just simply a logistical thing. I really am committed to doing two books a year until both series are concluded so that the readers don’t have to wait longer than a year for the next installment of either series.

So I have a Kane Chronicles book coming out every spring and a “Heroes of Olympus” book coming out every fall. So I’m writing a book every six months and that’s twice as fast as I normally write.

So you know my schedule is pretty crazy these days and I was fairly sure that I could do that for three books. I was not sure that I could run that kind of marathon much longer than that so it was a sort of combination of those factors. I think and so far so good I finished book two of the Kane Chronicles and it will be out on schedule in May and I’m just now turning my attention to “Heroes of Olympus” book two.

Male: Thanks Rick can I ask you a question about “The Red Pyramid”?

Rick Riordan: Sure.

Male: All right. Will the children of the Pharaohs return to Brooklyn to train and will Amos assist Sadie and Carter in training them?

Rick Riordan: Well at the end of “The Red Pyramid” we have sort of set up the premise that Carter and Sadie will attract new recruits to Brooklyn house and begin training them and begin rediscovering the path of the gods which is a completely different type of magic.

So yes they will, they will be doing that in book two, to what extent they’ll be successful, how many people they’ll get and all that you know that remains to be seen. Amos when we last saw him as, had just been possessed by the god Set which was a very, very trying experience of course.

So he’s off healing. You will see him definitely and he has a role to play in book two what exactly that role will be, too early to say.

(Terry K): All right thanks.

Rick Riordan: You bet.

(Atoosa): So you create all these characters and then you assign them god parents. If you were in their place who would you say your god parent would be and why?

Rick Riordan: I would like to be the son of Poseidon; I think that would just be awesome to have water based powers. And make various you know plumbing explode and all of that that’d be great.

But I have a feeling that it would probably be either Apollo because he’s the god of poetry albeit bad poetry in my series or maybe Hermes because he’s sort of the jack of all trades and I’ve always really liked Hermes. I think probably his cabin has the most fun.

(Atoosa): Cool thank you.

Rick Riordan: Yes you bet.

Mindy Johnson: Great questions and next…any additional questions?

(Terry K): Hey Rick I’ve got another question.

Rick Riordan: Yes.

(Terry K): Did you enjoy writing “The Lost Hero” more than you enjoyed writing Percy Jackson and the Olympians?

Rick Riordan: That’s an interesting question it’s hard for me to judge because if you ask me what my favorite book is I will always say the last one. Because it’s freshest in my mind, it’s nearest and dearest to my heart because I just got through with it.

So my perspective right now is yes I really kind of did but then again you know it’s been seven years since I wrote “The Lightening Thief,” so you know it’s sort of hard to recapture exactly what was going on in my mind and how I felt when it was done.

It’s certainly “The Lost Hero” – I mean when my kids looked at me after I read it to them and said this is the best thing you've ever written, that kind of blew me away. I wasn’t really expecting that I was just trying to make something that would make you know the readers of the series happy and they would continue the story and they would really like.

But something about it really worked. I think it was the new narrators and the mix of narrators it just really, really brought something fresh and new to the world of Camp Half Blood. So yes I mean I think, I think that you’re going to be pleased. I certainly hope so. The early response has been really good.

Atoosa: Rick did your ranking change with your sons as far as favorite authors?

Rick Riordan: Yes you know I bump back and forth. I was the third favorite for a while and now I’m the second favorite. I think I’m still the second favorite, but it’s changed.

Derek Landy who does the Skullduggery Pleasant series which is better known in the U.K than it is here. But that’s his favorite author nowadays. It was Suzanne Collins and he still loves Suzanne Collins and I haven’t read “Mockingjay” yet but he hated the ending of “Mockingjay.” And I really haven’t talked to him because I don’t want to get a spoiler.

So he said well that’s it you know I’m bumping her down to number three, now you’re number two. I said well thanks for that (and so in anyway) – but you know it’s always some combination of those three authors. I guess as long as I’m in the top three you know when got a (TNH) done that’s about as much as you can hope for.

Female: Rick I have a question, Ridley Pearson was telling me that it’s kind of hard on him when he – because he’s like you he’s writing so many books so quickly and it’s hard for him to go back to a book he’s already finished and then have to promote it.

Rick Riordan: Yes.

Female: So is – so for you to be veering back and forth between writing one series and then having to promote the other series?

Rick Riordan: Well certainly it’s a change of mindset. I have to put myself in a different place. And yes I know exactly what Ridley’s talking about because usually by – I mean like right now you know I just finished Kane Chronicles two, I finished “The Lost Hero” six months ago and it’s just now coming out.

So I have to remember when people say well what did you mean on page 35 when you say I don’t remember you know? So I do have to refresh my mind and sort of put myself back in Camp Half Blood mode. But it’s a nice, it’s a nice change of pace I kind of like being able to go back and forth like that. It keeps things fresh. I never get tired of what I’m doing when I have to go back and forth between promoting and writing.

Female: So do you read the book, re-read your manuscript to make sure that you know what’s on page 35.

Rick Riordan: Usually not, usually it’s just a matter of sort of recalling and getting back into the spirit and I’ll go back and I’ll you know I’ll leaf through it and I’ll look at it and I’ll sort of remind myself of the general structure and find a few scenes that I want to read (at) events.

And that’s usually enough to get me back into the spirit of things.

Female: (OK).

Terry K: All right Rick I’ve got another question about “The Red Pyramids.”

Rick Riordan: Yes.

Terry K: (In) Kane Chronicles, in the next book is Zia, are we going – is Zia going to be recovered, will she still be inhabited by (Nepsis) and is she going to remember the events of “The Red Pyramid” and more specifically Carter?

Rick Riordan: Well as you can probably guess I’m going to have to say I can’t tell you.

Terry K: I thought so.

Rick Riordan: Yes, but you know certainly Carter will be trying to find her but what happens yes you'll find the answer one way or the other but you'll have to wait and see.

Terry K: (OK).

Mindy Johnson: All right, a couple more questions?

Suzanne K: Well as a mother and a teacher and the mother of a teen that you’re talking to, I just want to thank you for everything that you've done as a writer, as a teacher to promote the kids reading. I love it when my students come up to me and tell me that they read yet another book whether it be one of your series or another. They’ve just got so much more excitement for reading and that’s so grateful for any parent and teacher to hear.

Rick Riordan: Thank you, yes certainly that is – that means a lot to me so thank you for saying that. It’s my pleasure; I have the best job in the world.

Suzanne K: Can I ask you for Nico’s presence at Camp Half Blood, will that be a positive or a negative influence?

Rick Riordan: Nico, yes. I can tell you, you will not see Nico in “The Lost Hero.” He does not have a part in that book. I certainly haven’t forgotten about him though he has a very important part to play in the series. Past that, it’s another wait and see.

Suzanne K: OK thank you.

Rick Riordan: You bet.

Mindy Johnson: OK and one final question.

Terry K: Hi Rick I’ve got one more question about “The Lost Hero.”

Rick Riordan: Sure.

Terry K: Is going to be difficult for Leo to get Festus away from the ant hill.

Rick Riordan: Well the ant hill is the situation that he was in, in this story in “The Demigod Files.” No the ant hill isn’t the problem there are other problems that he’s going to have to deal with. Festus is kind of causing some trouble around Camp Half Blood and Leo’s going to have to deal with that. Trouble that goes way beyond ant hills so what that is again you'll see.

Terry K: All right thanks.

Rick Riordan: You bet.

Female: Can I ask if that, those troubles will involve the, I just forgot her name, I’m sorry, the goddess of magic.

Male: Hecate.

Rick Riordan: Yes I can’t tell you, but you know you'll see very soon. I hope you like it when you read it.

Mindy Johnson: Lots of great things to be looking forward to, that’s for sure. Well, I want to thank everyone for your time and participation and especially want to thank Rick Riordan for his time here today with us.

Rick, thank you so much for all your great insights as well as teasers. You've got us all – our interests are peaked and I know your readers are elated and excited for this great book coming out October 12. It will be available next Tuesday, October 12, in hardcover, audio as well as e-book formats, correct?

Rick Riordan: That’s right yes and thanks everybody for joining us today it was great fun talking to you all.

Mindy Johnson: Thank you for having us.

Female: Thank you.

Male: Yes it was great.

Female: Thank you.

Female: Thank you.

Mindy Johnson: Well again thank you all for your participation. More information on the book series can be found at the Web site, Again this has been recorded we will have availability of this recording for you to listen back to the next 30 days for you to help supplement your stories.

And transcripts will be issued as well and any additional information or details that you need please speak with the Disney Book Group, we’ll be certain to get that information out to you and we look forward to a great event happening with the release of “The Lost Hero” October 12, 2010.

Again on behalf of Disney Book Group, I’m Mindy Johnson, thank you so much for your participation.

Female: Thank you, Mindy.

Rick Riordan: Yes thanks.

Mindy Johnson: Thank you, take care.



"You love me...Real or not real?"
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Post by smoothmoves97 on Sat Oct 16, 2010 10:02 pm

whoaa! this is a long interview!
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Post by Posidonsdaughter on Sat Oct 16, 2010 11:01 pm

We were on the phone with Rick for almost an hour.


"You love me...Real or not real?"
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Post by posiden#1god on Sat Oct 16, 2010 11:17 pm

Dang lucky that must have been wicked fun. laugh
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