Yesterday was my birthday (thanks for all the Facebook birthday wishes!), and last night I went with Randy to hear Rick Riordan interviewed for Talking Volumes, a local book series on Minnesota Public Radio. There were 1100 people there, and they said they could have sold out the venue three times over. Love that! Hundreds of excited tweens and teens, thrilled to hear one of their favorite authors. Riordan was funny and personable. Here were a few of my favorite tidbits:
- On teaching middle school for 15 years: I’m still a teacher. But now I have several million students…and I don’t have to grade their homework.
- On the funny chapter titles in the Percy Jackson series: I wrote the titles last, and I would look through the chapter for the weirdest thing in it. If I couldn’t find a good title, I knew the chapter wasn’t weird enough yet.
- On who characters are based on: Most of my characters are made up. But not Mrs. Dodds, the evil math teacher. She’s a real teacher I taught with.
- On who inspired him: Mrs. Pabst, my 8th-grade English teacher
- On his favorite Percebeth moment: If you don’t speak fangirl (laughing), that’s Percy and Annabeth. The underwater kiss.
- On his favorite demigod: I have a soft spot for Frank Zhang.
- On the hardest scenes to write. Combat scenes. There’s a huge combat scene in House of Hades where it’s armies versus armies. Trying to keep everything clear for the reader and also keep the pacing up…
It was a great night. I’ll post a link to the podcast of the interview once MPR puts it up!