Monday, November 24, 2014

Rick's Recent Reads

A quick report on my recent reads, as I've had the pleasure of making some great new fictional friends in the past month!



It's been a long time since a book has made me teary-eyed, but Gracefully Grayson had me sniffling at the end. The story is beautiful and authentic. To say it is the tale of a young transgender person coming of age and finding his (her) identity misses the larger picture. This is a book about how we treat each other as human beings -- whether we choose compassion or mistrust, kindness or ostracism. Most of all, it's a story of courage. Grayson is a sixth grader who has always felt different and alone. His parents died when he was young. He hasn't eaten in the lunchroom with his peers since second grade. When he looks in the mirror, his reflection does not match what he feels inside. Secretly, he imagines his over-sized shirts are dresses and his workout pants are long skirts. He wishes more than anything that he could be who he really is on the outside as well as the inside. When the school play comes around, The Myth of Persephone, Grayson tries out for the lead female role of Persephone, causing a storm of reaction that will affect everyone in his life. I know the character of Grayson. I have taught Grayson in my own classroom. His struggle and his bravery are portrayed with great love and insight. I'm grateful this book exists -- not just for transgender youth, but for all young readers who are searching for their own identity and their own voice in the face of societal pressures.




Caleana Sardothien, young woman assassin, is betrayed and sentenced to the salt mines of Endovier. After a year, however, she is given an opportunity: If she wins a contest to become the king's champion, she will be granted a four-year contract, working as an assassin for the empire she hates, at the end of which time she will be freed. After reading the premise of the book, I thought, "Sign me up!" After the first chapter, I knew I was in good hands. This book has plenty of mystery, magic, humor and romance -- a perfect brew for fans of good YA fantasy. If you liked Graceling, Grave Mercy, Shadow and Bone or other fantasies featuring strong female protagonists with scary good skills, I think you'll enjoy this quite a lot. And it's the first of a series!



An adult sci fi novel with an intriguing premise: Mankind has reached its first extraterrestrial world, Oasis, and the giant corporation USIC is working hard to build a colony there while economic and climatic conditions on earth continue to deteriorate. There's one hitch to their plans: the natives of Oasis want a preacher. They've had a limited introduction to the Christian faith, but after their first human pastor mysteriously goes missing, they refuse to provide food to the human settlers until a new preacher arrives to replace him. Peter Leigh steps up to take the job, leaving behind his wife Bea in England to become an interstellar missionary. When Peter gets to Oasis, we know something is not right. Why have two colonists disappeared? Why are the natives so intent on learning about the Christian gospel? And why is USIC censoring news and correspondence between Earth and Oasis? As Peter and Bea write back and forth to one another, sharing what is happening on the two planets, the story becomes both painful and compelling. And when you find out the answers to some of the novel's central mysteries . . . Well, I won't give anything away, but the answers pack a punch.


An awesome comic book debut -- Ms. Marvel introduces Kamala Khan, your typical 16-year-old Muslim Pakistani-American girl from Jersey City, who is endowed with the power to change her form and size. The writing in this series is so good -- punchy, funny, believable and fresh, and Kamala's daily-life struggles dovetail wonderfully (and sometimes hilariously) with the exploits of her secret alter ego. If you like the Marvel universe and are looking to check out some original new superheroes, I highly recommend Ms. Marvel.



Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes

During the Blood of Olympus tour, we announced Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes, which will be published on Percy's birthday, Aug. 18, 2015. This is very much like Greek Gods, except about (you guessed it) the Greek heroes like Hercules, Theseus, Atalanta, Perseus, Orpheus, and all the rest. Filled with Percy's snark and sass. Illustrated with full-color art by John Rocco. So heavy you won't be able to lift it. Yes, it will be awesome!

Here's the description:

Who cut off Medusa's head? Who was raised by a she-bear? Who tamed Pegasus? It takes a demigod to know, and Percy Jackson can fill you in on the all the daring deeds of Perseus, Atalanta, Bellerophon, and the rest of the major Greek heroes. Told in the funny, irreverent style readers have come to expect from Percy, ( I've had some bad experiences in my time, but the heroes I'm going to tell you about were the original old school hard luck cases. They boldly screwed up where no one had screwed up before. . .) and enhanced with vibrant artwork by Caldecott Honoree John Rocco, this story collection will become the new must-have classic for Rick Riordan's legions of devoted fans--and for anyone who needs a hero. So get your flaming spear. Put on your lion skin cape. Polish your shield and make sure you've got arrows in your quiver. We're going back about four thousand years to decapitate monsters, save some kingdoms, shoot a few gods in the butt, raid the Underworld, and steal loot from evil people. Then, for dessert, we'll die painful tragic deaths. Ready? Sweet. Let's do this.

In the meantime, thank you to everyone who came out on the Blood of Olympus tour. The book is #1 on the USA Today bestseller list!

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Blood of Olympus, October 7!

The date is almost upon us! Below is the press release from Disney Publishing about the first printing for Blood of Olympus. Three million copies . . . that's a lot.

 

Disney Publishing Worldwide Announces 3 Million-Copy First Printing of #1 Best-Selling Author Rick Riordan’s The Blood of Olympus, Finale in the Heroes of Olympus Series and Last Novel Featuring Percy Jackson









National Laydown for Print and Digital is Tuesday, October 7, 2014
 
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Disney Publishing Worldwide (DPW) announced today a 3 million copy first printing of The Blood of Olympus, the fifth and final book in the New York Times #1 best-selling Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan. The Blood of Olympus simultaneously releases in hardcover and as an eBook from Disney Publishing’s Disney-Hyperion imprint, and as an audio version through Listening Library on October 7, 2014. More than forty million books are currently in print in the U.S. across Riordan’s three series from Disney-Hyperion: Percy Jackson & the Olympians, The Kane Chronicles, and The Heroes of Olympus. The books have been translated into 37 languages in 36 countries.

As The Blood of Olympus opens, the Greek and Roman crewmembers of the Argo II have made progress in their many quests, but they still seem no closer to defeating the earth mother, Gaea. Her giants have risen—all of them, and they’re stronger than ever. They must be stopped before the Feast of Spes, when Gaea plans to have two demigods sacrificed in Athens. She needs their blood—the blood of Olympus—in order to wake. The demigods are having more frequent visions of a terrible battle at Camp Half-Blood. The Roman legion from Camp Jupiter, led by Octavian, is almost within striking distance.

Though it is tempting to take the Athena Parthenos to Athens to use as a secret weapon, the friends know that the huge statue belongs back on Long Island, where it might be able to stop a war between the two camps. The Athena Parthenos will go west; the Argo II will go east. The gods, still suffering from multiple personality disorder, are useless. How can a handful of young demigods hope to persevere against Gaea’s army of powerful giants? As dangerous as it is to head to Athens, they have no other option. They have sacrificed too much already. And if Gaea wakes, it is game over.

“The battle intensifies between Camp Half-Blood and Camp Jupiter, and Gaea’s thirsty for blood,” said Suzanne Murphy, vice president and publisher, Disney Publishing Worldwide. “Filled with his usual edge-of-your seat excitement, Rick brings the action-packed Heroes of Olympus to an electrifying finale. It’s undoubtedly the best of his best.”

In support of the release of The Blood of Olympus, Riordan will embark on a multicity tour across the U.S. beginning on the national laydown date, October 7. Exclusive “Camp Half-Blood” and “Camp Jupiter” T-shirts, tattoos, hats and wristbands will be given out at each stop.
The Blood of Olympus Tour*:
  • Porter Square Books (Cambridge, MA) – October 7
  • Indigo (Toronto, CAN) – October 8
  • Little Shop of Stories (Decatur, GA) – October 9
  • Books of Wonder and the New York Public Library (New York, NY) – October 10
  • Anderson’s Bookshop (Downer’s Grove, IL) – October 11
  • Boulder Book Store (Boulder, CO) – October 12
  • BookPeople (Austin, TX) – October 13
  • Barnes & Noble Ventura #2054 (Ventura, CA) – October 14
  • Kepler’s (Menlo Park, CA) – October 15
  • Apple Soho (New York, NY) – October 18
  • Boston Book Festival, Children’s Keynote (Boston, MA) – October 25
*NOTE: All stops on the tour are sold out, and tickets for the Barnes & Noble Ventura show on October 14th will be given out on a “first come, first served basis” the morning of the event.

Rick Riordan is the author of the award-winning New York Times #1 best-selling Percy Jackson & the Olympians series. In 2010 he launched two all-new series that both debuted at #1 on multiple best-seller lists: The Kane Chronicles and The Heroes of Olympus. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts, with his wife and two sons. For additional information about Rick, visit www.RickRiordan.com.

About Disney Publishing Worldwide
Disney Publishing Worldwide (DPW) is the world's largest publisher of children's books and magazines with over 700 million products sold each year. DPW consists of an extensive worldwide licensing structure as well as vertically integrated publishing imprints, including Disney Book Group in the U.S. and Disney Libri in Italy. DPW publishes a range of children's magazines globally, as well as Disney kids magazines in the U.S. Disney English is DPW's English language learning business, which includes Disney English learning centers in China and a worldwide retail-licensing program. DPW's digital products include bestselling eBook titles as well as original apps. Headquartered in Glendale, California, DPW publishes books, magazines, and digital products in 85 countries in 75 languages. For more information visit www.disneypublishing.com.


The Heroes of Olympus, Book Five: The Blood of Olympus
By Rick Riordan
Laydown Date: October 7, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-4231-4673-5 • Price: $19.99 • Ages 10 and up
Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/multimedia/home/20141002006034/en/

Media Contact:
Disney Publishing Worldwide
seale.ballenger@disney.com
Source: Disney Publishing Worldwide

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Magnus Chase!


So yesterday on our webcast from Mount Olympus (er, the Empire State Building) I announced the title of my Norse mythology series: Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard. So excited to share it with you! The first book will be out next October, 2015. The title for that first book will be announced at the back of Blood of Olympus.

And yes, I know what you're wondering. Chase . . . hmm, where have I heard that name before? Isn't that Annabeth's last name? Yes, it is. And no, that's not simply a coincidence. Beyond that, I'm afraid I'll have to leave you guessing.

If you missed the webcast, you can still register to watch the archived version. As soon as it is available to see, School Library Journal will send you an email with the link. You do not have to be a librarian or teacher to register. Just choose "Other" when it asks you for your job description.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Blood of Olympus book tour -- the full scoop!

Here you go, demigods! Details for each Blood of Olympus event is posted below. Contact the host bookstore for more information on how to reserve a spot for each specific event.

What to expect at the events:

This is important. If you're planning to come to an event, I don't want anybody going away disappointed. We've been doing events differently the last few years as the crowds have gotten larger and larger. Again, check with each location for exact details, but in general, here's what happens:

When I arrive on location, before the event, I will be signing a thousand books. These autographed copies will be available for you to buy. In some cases, they are your ticket into the event. In some cases, you can choose to get a ticket without a book, or both.

The event will be about an hour long. I'll tell you all about how and why I wrote the books. I'll show you behind-the-scenes cover art that was never used. I'll make stupid jokes. I'll give you a sneak peek at my upcoming Norse series. And of course I'll answer your questions, as many as we have time for. It's always a blast!

We WON'T be doing a signing line. There are a lot of reasons for that, but it all boils down to the size of the crowd. About three years ago, I realized that so many people were coming through the signing line that nobody was really getting a chance to meet me. We had to move so fast, just to make sure everyone got through the line, that it just wasn't a quality experience for anybody, including me.  I would either have to do a brief "Hi, how are ya?" speech and then launch straight into signing, or the store would sit me right down to sign. Kids would wait for two or three hours to get a two-second face-to-face with no chance to really interact. I couldn't sign all your books. I couldn't do pictures. I couldn't personalize the books. There was maybe time for one quick question, maybe. Well . . . it just wasn't working. Back in the old days, I was able to do all of that stuff, and of course everyone understandably wants a picture and wants all of their books signed, but even if I only spent thirty seconds with each fan (which is way too short to do all that) if a thousand fans show up, the signing would last eight hours. You see the problem? Also, to be honest, I'm getting older, and sitting in a chair for so many hours each night was murdering my back.

Because of all this, I decided if we didn't have time to do a quality signing line (and with a thousand folks, there really is no way) we would make it a quality evening, with tons of time for the presentation and lots of Q&A.

Don't bring all your books from home, because I won't be able to sign them, but I wouldn't be able to do that even if we were doing a signing line. There are just too many people with too many copies. The good news: You'll still get a signed copy of The Blood of Olympus. You'll get a chance to ask your questions and really feel like you got to know me a little. And you won't have to wait in line for hours and hours!

Hope that makes sense. I'm really excited for each of the events. Of course, every tour I wish we could go to more places, but with my writing schedule we just can't. I know you guys want the books to come out as quickly as possible, and that means I have to spend most of my time writing.

Apologies to all my international fans, too. I've been invited to so many amazing countries, and I'd like to visit them all, but sadly it just isn't possible. We can't even cover more than a fraction of the US in the time that we have! As I always tell people, however, the main way that I communicate with you is through my books. I may not be able to meet you in person, but the best way to get to know me is to read the books. Each one is a private conversation between me and the reader, and I love you guys! You're all awesome. So if I get to see you on the tour, fantastic, but either way, I hope you'll enjoy The Blood of Olympus!




BLOOD OF OLYMPUS tour dates

Tuesday, October 7, 2014: Boston/Cambridge-Brookline, MA

Event hosted by:
Porter Square Books
25 White Street
Cambridge, MA 02140


Location of event:
Temple Ohabei Shalom
1187 Beacon Street
Brookline, MA 02446
617-277-6610

Showtime:
7:00 PM ET

Wednesday, October 8, 2014: Toronto, ONT, Canada

Event hosted by:


Location of event:
Bloor Street United Church
300 Bloor Street West
Toronto, ON M55 1W3
416-924-7439

Showtime:
7:00 PM ET

Thursday, October 9, 2014: Atlanta/Decatur, GA

Event hosted by:
Little Shop of Stories
133A East Court Square
Decatur, GA 30030
404-373-6300

Location of event:
Glenn Auditorium at Emory
1652 North Decatur Road
Atlanta, GA 30302

Showtime:
7:00 PM ET

Friday, October 10, 2014: New York, NY

Event hosted by:
Books of Wonder
18 West 18th Street
New York, NY 10011
212-989-3270

Location of event:
New York Public Library
Main Branch
Celeste Bartos Forum
5th Avenue at 42nd Street
New York, NY 10018

*Note: space is limited at the main branch event, but 25 branch libraries across the city will also be participating via live video stream.

Showtime:
4:00 PM ET

Saturday, October 11, 2014: Chicago/Downers Grove, IL

Event hosted by:
Anderson’s Bookshop
5112 Main Street
Downers Grove, IL 60515
630-963-2665

Location of event:
Tivoli Theatre
5021 Highland Avenue
Downers Grove, IL 60515
630-968-0219

Showtime:
4:00 PM CT

Sunday, October 12, 2014: Boulder, CO

Event hosted by:
Boulder Book Store
1107 Pearl Street
Boulder, CO 80302
303-447-2074

Location of event:
Boulder Theater
2032 14th Street
Boulder, CO 80302

Showtime:
1:30 PM MT

Monday, October 13, 2014: Austin, TX

Event hosted by:
BookPeople
603 N. Lamar
Austin, TX 78703
512-472-5050

Location of event:
Westlake Community Performing Arts Center
4100 Westbank Drive
Austin, TX 78746

Showtime:
6:00 PM CT

Tuesday, October 14, 2014: Santa Barbara/Ventura, CA

Event hosted by:
Barnes & Noble Ventura #2054
4820 Telephone Road
Ventura, CA 93003
805-339-0990

Location of event:
Buena High School Auditorium (with Ventura Educational Partnership)
5670 Telegraph Road
Ventura, CA 93003

Showtime:
6:00 PM PT

Wednesday, October 15, 2014: San Francisco/Menlo Park, CA

Event hosted by:
Kepler’s
1010 El Camino Real
Menlo Park, CA 94025
650-861-7810

Location of event:
Fox Theater
2215 Broadway Street
Redwood City, CA 94063

Showtime:
7:00 PM PT

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Blood of Olympus book tour!

Get ready, demigods! The Blood of Olympus will be published October 7, 2014! Below are the cities I will be visiting on tour. Later in the week, when a few last details are worked out and the host stores are ready to take your calls and orders, I will give you the exact locations and information on how to get tickets to attend these events. Do be ready to reserve a spot promptly if you plan to attend, because if history is any guide, each event *will* sell out.

Tuesday, October 7: Cambridge, MA
Wednesday, October 8: Toronto, Canada
Thursday, October 9: Decatur, GA
Friday, October 10: New York, NY
Saturday, October 11: Chicago, IL
Sunday, October 12: Boulder, CO
Monday, October 13: Austin, TX
Tuesday, October 14: Santa Barbara, CA
Wednesday, October 15: Menlo Park, CA

As usual, apologies if I'm not coming to your city on this tour, but I'm excited to visit all these venues!

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, coming August 19 to a bookstore near you!


Thursday, August 07, 2014

Demigods of Olympus


SO excited about the new app from Disney Publishing: Demigods of Olympus! It's free to download for iOS and Android. Basically this is a digital library for your Riordan titles. You can purchase e-books to add to your collection or other cool titles from Disney, but you can also access new, original content where you are the hero.

In the first free story, My Two-Headed Guidance Counselor, written by yours truly, you become the demigod, and the choices you make will affect your destiny. Who is your godly parent? What is your fatal flaw? We don't know until you make your choices!

If you choose to follow the adventure, you can buy more installments of the story and pay as you go, gradually revealing your godly parentage and your destiny. Your demigod profile will depend on which choices you make in each story. The second one is up now for $2.99, The Library of Deadly Weapons.

Stay tuned for more installments, and we're hoping to add more demigod content as the app takes off. You can find the Apple version for iOS here.

Here's my demigod profile after playing (er, reading) the first story. My name is Clayton Sato, but there's still a lot I don't know about myself . . .