From KC to PHX

Greetings from Scottsdale, Arizona! From my hotel, I can see Camelback Mountain, where Set built his infamous red pyramid. Thankfully Carter and Sadie Kane took care of that problem, so the city is now safe for my event tonight with Changing Hands Bookstore.

On Friday I arrived in Kansas City, my first visit there. I didn’t get to sample the barbecue, but I did find KC to be a hip little city with lots of cool shops, nice people, and pretty neighborhoods. Our event was sold out with about 1300 people. We had a fabulous time. I loved all the homemade T-shirts and the stories and pictures kids were giving me. Some of the questions:

Q. What’s your favorite book that you wrote?

A. Usually the most recent one. This is a hard question. It’s like asking a parent who’s your favorite child.

Q. Will the worlds of Kane Chronicles and Heroes of Olympus ever mix?

A. They exist side by side, but I think it’s already confusing enough to keep the mythologies straight without mixing them together! Maybe someday in the very distance future, but not soon.

Q. How do you name your characters?

A. I simply pick names I like. Sometimes they are from former students, more often they are just cool names. I also can’t have too many names that start with the same letter. Since I already have a Percy and a Piper, for instance, I can’t have a Paul and a Pedro.

Q. What’s your favorite thing about writing a book?

A. Finishing!

On Saturday morning we had a Hades of a time trying to leave because of the Kansas City marathon, but fortunately our cab driver was Apollo in disguise and managed to take some unorthodox shortcuts. We made our flight to Denver, where we did an event on the opposite side of creation, i.e. Highlands Ranch Tattered Cover. We had a great lunch at the Old Blinking Light (the enchiladas are highly recommended) then headed to the bookstore.

I told the crowd that the first time I’d visited that store for The Lightning Thief, ten people showed up. Yesterday, we had over 500. Everybody was great. I signed a ton of Camp Half-Blood T-shirts, some casts, and even one bow for a young Artemis. I think that was a first. The crowd ranged from seven-year-olds to high schoolers, college kids to teachers and librarians. As always, the mix was almost exactly half-and-half boys and girls. My editor Stephanie joined us for the event and afterwards we got to explore Latimer Square in downtown Denver. It was a pleasant afternoon for walking around, and a chance to catch my breath before heading back to the airport and flying to Phoenix. Phew!

Today, I get to relax a little and catch up on my writing before tonight’s event. As far as I know, tickets are still available for this one, so if you’re in the Mesa/Phoenix area, come on by!

Tomorrow, I’m off to my first-ever event in Salt Lake City. Thanks to my readers for all the great and super-positive feedback about The Lost Hero. I’m so glad you enjoyed it. I hear your pleas for the Son of Neptune, but I kinda gotta write it first, guys! And don’t get mad because I’m working on the Kane Chronicles too. For one thing, the second Kane is already done, and for another thing, if I wasn’t writing Kane, Son of Neptune would still come out in a year. I’d just take longer writing it! Besides, I know a lot of you are just as anxious for Kane 2, because you’ve been telling me so on the road. I’m having a great time switching back and forth between those worlds. We do have a title for Kane 2, but it is secret for now. Look for the title and cover to be revealed in January! That’s all for now . . . keep reading and see you on the road.

Rick Riordan