From the Mailbag

With the holidays officially behind me, I sat down yesterday at my desk, determined to respond to the pile of fan letters that arrived just before Christmas. I was at it for a few hours and feeling very proud of myself, about to see light at the end of the tunnel,when the UPS man rang the doorbell. You can guess what he brought me: another huge pile of fan letters! Becky and I couldn’t do much but laugh. What a wonderful problem to have, after all. And the letters are always so much fun to read.

Some of the highlights from the latest batch: Brayden from Kent, Washington sent me the above picture of Luke challenging Percy aboard the Princess Andromeda. Serena from San Diego, CA sent me three “horrible haiku for Apollo,” including this beautiful specimen:
Chill, ax my just sis,
it’s the truth, you’re uptight, so
Come on and download your mind.
I’m sure Apollo would approve!
Ian, a musical virtuoso from Placitas, New Mexico, sent me a CD of an original composition he wrote. He imagines it as music for The Lightning Thief movie. Thanks, Ian! 
Ryan from Scottsdale, Arizona sent me a project he did for school. He wrote a whole collection of Greek-style epic poetry retelling the story of the Percy Jackson series. The poetry was excellent, though Ryan bemoaned the fact that he only got a B because his glossary didn’t follow the teacher’s guidelines. If it’s any consolation, Ryan, that’s exactly the sort of thing I would’ve done in school. My teacher’s remarks were always along the lines of: “Great ideas. Did not follow directions.” Don’t feel too bad!
I got letters from every state, including Hawaii and Alaska. My international mail is starting to get so interesting Becky and the kids may start a stamp collection. Thanks to Talia from Hong Kong, Guy from Milan, Alexa from Abu Dhabi, and of course the many young readers from Great Britain and Canada who continue to write. It does take a while for mail to get to me. A lot of the letters that just got here yesterday are dated October! So if you wrote me and haven’t heard back, don’t despair yet. I can’t promise, but I do try my best to respond to almost everyone. 
Thanks also to all the teachers, librarians and parent volunteers who contacted me just after New Year’s about school visits for 08-09. The calendar filled up within twenty-four hours, which was even faster than I’d anticipated. Sorry if I wasn’t able to book a visit to your school next year, but hopefully I’ll do a public event somewhere near your area when Battle of the Labyrinth comes out. The details of the tour won’t be available until probably March, but as soon as I know anything, I’ll put it on the web calendar. 
And now, back to writing letters!

Rick Riordan