Two Days in the Bay Area

I’m at the Oakland airport, reflecting on two days in the Bay Area. It’s been a blur of activity. On Wednesday night I had a signing at Books, Inc. in Alameda. The crowd filled the entire store. Thanks to all the school groups who came out to say hello. I also got to see a former student of mine, Dan, who is now an adult. Fortunately he introduced himself because I would not have recognized him with the beard! Thanks also to David and his mom, who drove all the way from Lake Tahoe (three hours) to attend the signing, then drove back the same night to make school the following morning. Now that is a dedicated fan. Wow!

Thursday I had a packed schedule. We drove up to Petaluma for a school visit at Kenilworth Middle School. The kids were great, and students from several other schools joined in. Families came from Santa Rosa, Sonoma and Marin County for the event. Afterwards I got to sign stock at Copperfield’s and talk with the staff for a while. It was nice to have a little time just browse and chat about books. After that we zipped down to San Jose for a signing at Hicklebee’s. Again, the store was completely packed with kids, and it was the hottest day of the year, so thanks to everyone for bearing the heat and the signing line. It was good to meet Jen Robinson in person at last, and to see so many of the people whom I’d met at the store last year.

Finally we headed up to the Redwood City Public Library for a signing with Kepler’s Books. I was thinking to myself, “Maybe it will be a small crowd.” As an author, you know something has changed when you start wishing for a small crowd. Not the case – we packed the library with at least four hundred people. So many cool kids with some very perceptive questions. Hopefully I wasn’t too brain dead and they got coherent answers! The Kepler’s staff did a fabulous job organizing the event and thanks to the library for hosting us.

This morning I did a brief visit at Presidio Hill School, where I used to teach. Thanks to Lisa for arranging the visit. It’s always good to go back and see the place, even though it’s changed tremendously since I taught there. The kids were very enthusiastic. A former student of mine, Trevor, now has my old job as middle school English teacher, and he introduced me, which seemed like nice circular karma or something.
Now I’m boarding the plane for Houston. I look forward seeing more fans at Blue Willow and Murder by the Book on Saturday!

Rick Riordan