Update from the Road

At the D.C. Fairmont, getting ready to leave for Atlanta. The tour so far has been great!

Favorite moments: the kids who made ‘What Would Percy Do?’ T-shirts. (Answer: If it moves, kill it), the party atmosphere at Politics & Prose’s parking lot party (the food helped a lot, and the Good Humor man couldn’t believe his luck to find a built-in audience of 1000 kids), and the countless wonderful costumes, artwork, letters and stories that kids give me during the signing.
Favorite questions: “Would you have read your own books as a child?” I hope so, but I was a picky reader, like my sons! “What question haven’t you been asked that you want me to ask?” That, in itself, is a great question. “You must really like mythology, huh?” What gave me away?
Thanks to the great bookstore staff who had all the events so well organized. Bank Street Books had things humming along at Symphony Space. Special thanks to Colum McCann and his children, who came backstage to say hi. Colum’s book ‘Let the Great World Spin’ has been high on my to-be-read list. Little did I know he’d hand-deliver a signed copy for me! What a fantastic treat. Thanks also to Matthew Cody (author of Powerless) who interviewed me so well and served as master of ceremonies, and Sonia Manzano (Maria from Sesame Street) who performed a reading from Red Pyramid.
The next night, Children’s Book World hosted a super event at Haverford College, with special help from Haverford Bookstore which co-sponsored the event and got access to the theater (thanks, Julie!). Hannah and the staff at CBW were awesome, as usual. We had a sold-out crowd of 700+. Funniest moment: someone asked me what I thought of the Lightning Thief movie, I admitted I hadn’t seen it, and the crowd burst into spontaneous applause. LOL. Wasn’t planning that response. As I told the crowd, it’s just that I’m still writing about Percy’s world in The Heroes of Olympus series which starts Oct. 12, and I wanted to keep my own vision of the characters and settings intact without having them influenced by the movie interpretation. Anyway, the crowd was very enthusiastic with great questions.
Yesterday, the Politics and Prose event was enormous! Over a thousand people filled the parking lot, which the landlord was kind enough to close for the event (a first for the store, I understand). Food vendors did a brisk business, and the weather was beautiful. After my signing line at National Book Festival was cut-off last fall (not my idea!), I’d promised that this time I’d stay until everyone got a book signed. Four hours later, mission accomplished! Thanks to the store staff and Edie, media escort extraordinaire, for keeping the signing line moving. The audience was just great — excited, patience, polite — and I think they know how lucky they are to have a store like Politics and Prose in town!
Now I’m off to Atlanta for my event with Little Shop of Stories. Hope to see some of you on the road!

Rick Riordan