Around San Antonio

My visits for 2009 started off easy as I did a couple of events in my hometown of San Antonio.

Last Saturday I participated in Storyfest, which was organized by the Northside ISD Friends of the Library. About six hundred people turned out on a beautiful Saturday and packed the auditorium at Marshall High School. I understand people started lining up two and a half hours early to be sure they got seats. Wow! Thanks to everyone who came out. I saw some amazing homemade Camp Half-Blood T-shirts in the audience, and I was struck by the age range of the crowd. We had fans as young as seven, and as old as high school and college age (not to mention all the parents). I did a forty-five minute presentation and then signed books for a couple of hours. Everyone was very patient, and costumed storytellers kept the crowd entertained while they waited for their turn in line.

On Tuesday I visited Woodridge and Cambridge Elementary in the Alamo Heights district, where I grew up. Woodridge was the first author visit I’ve been able to walk to, as I live right down the street. The kids at both schools were great. It’s interesting doing a visit so close to home, because I see so many familiar faces – lots of former classmates of mine who are now parents. Every other question a kid asked me was, “Do you know ________?” Their moms, dads, cousins, grandparents – everyone had some connection to me somehow, it seemed, which is par for the course in San Antonio. Even with well over a million people, it’s still got that small town feel.
Next week I’m back on the road – off to Long Island for a week of school visits in Camp Half-Blood territory! Fingers crossed for good weather.

Rick Riordan