Your Barista Today is Hades

Heading home from Phoenix after a fun signing last night at the Mesa Barnes & Noble. The event was part of the B&N Summer Reading program, and the store staff did a fantastic job organizing. Many of them dressed in costume. We had Demeter working crowd control, Hera helping put names on sticky notes, and Ares stood on my right all night as my bodyguard. Needless to say, we had no security problems. My favorite, though, was Hades in full armor working the cafe espresso machine. Ever try to order a venti latte from a guy wearing the Helmet of Terror? It isn’t easy.

Donna the community relations manager estimated we had about 1800 people come through. Holy Schmokes! The weather cooperated beautifully. It was unseasonably cool and overcast. Everyone was very patient and enthusiastic, and although the signing line took a little over three hours, that was actually very fast for the size crowd we had. Thanks to Donna and the staff for running things so well.

My favorite comments: “What would a camper do if they needed a prophecy during the school year and Rachel wasn’t there?” Good question. Probably wait! Another: “What does Olympus look like now that Annabeth has redesigned it?” Ah, you’ll have to wait for the next series!

A special shout out to Wayne, a very dedicated dad who waited in line for his daughter, who was out of town. Becky happened across Wayne’s blog of the event here, and you can see his videos, comments, etc. And for that conversation we didn’t get to have, Wayne: That is so cool about your kids getting into the Percy series! The movie will just cover the Lightning Thief. It will not combine the books. I agree it’s pretty cool to see such a big crowd of kids come out for an event about reading. Hope you have a great summer and get rested up for next school year. And thanks for waiting so long to get Sofia’s book signed. You deserve a wonderful Father’s Day!

Now I’m heading home to get back to work on writing! Thanks, Phoenix demigods, for a wonderful visit.

Rick Riordan