Q&A from Twitter Solstice Weekend

In case you missed it, here’s the entire conversation from the weekend: three days answering questions from fans on Twitter. Now I have to go back to writing, so I’m back to not reading or responding to tweets — only way I can keep from getting distracted! But thanks to everyone who asked questions. It was fun!

Q&A from Twitter Solstice Weekend 2012

Will read & respond to some selected Tweets over the weekend. Usually can’t b/c it distracts from writing, but in honor of summer solstice!

Most questions ppl ask, however, are already answered on the FAQ: check there first!

Q @MaggheeraIs Drew in the Serpent’s Shadow the same Drew as the one in The Lost Hero?

A Yes. ๐Ÿ˜€

Q: @Sir_CumstancesWhy are you so great at writing cliffhangers?!

A: A true cliffhanger means characters end the story in imminent danger

Most of my endings aren’t actually cliffhangers. They just leave unanswered questions. Mark of Athena, however, ah… never mind.

Q: @EliCharisseDRwould u go to manila one day? i really want ur autograph!

A: I kinda doubt it, sry. Travel abroad is hard w/my deadlines.

Sadly no international travel anywhere anytime soon. The next few years, I have to stay home and write or the books won’t get done on time!

Q: @Pob584how did Frank & Hazel kill the Giant in S.o.N when they can only be killed by Gods & Demi-gods working together?

A: The giant Alcyoneus is unique. He is only immortal in the land where he spawned, in this case, Alaska. Once outside, he’s fair game.

Q: @brogueskittlesTell me Nico is safe! Tell me he’s gonna have a bigger role!

A: Nico has a key role in MoA but demigods are rarely safe!

Q: @GirlOfAthenaMy mom is eternally grateful to you for making me love reading. Now she has to say “STOP READING, GIRL!”

A: Love it! ๐Ÿ˜€

Q: @AtrociouslyMadWill we be getting a Percy and Annabeth reunion in MoA or not?

A: Don’t think it’s too much of a spoler to say yes.

Q: @pqpayneplease say hi to Brazil!

A: Olรก, meus amigos do Brasil! I love you guys!

Reminder, as explain on my FAQ I just write the books, guys. I have nothing whatsoever to do with the movies.

Q @TheSwiftFactorARE YOU PLANNING A CROSSOVER? (Kane/Heroes).

A: If I did, that would be way down the line. Heroes & Norse series first.

Q: @emmeheinrichWhat are you reading now?

A: Just started Shadow & Bone by @LBardugo. Russian mythology-based YA. Really good so far!

Q: @cs412How come, in the new series, not all demigods have ADHD and dyslexia?

A: That’s true in PJO too. Many demigods do, but not all.

Q @ClavineriseY don’t u ask ur sons to help u write?

A: I’m editing Haley’s 1st manuscript now, but he’s writing his own story. ๐Ÿ˜€

Q: @LivFanIanoIs percy one of the 4 narrators of Mark of Athena? (Have to wait & see) Any chance of an advanced copy? (No!)

Q @freshsmileyfaceAfter MoA, are you going to come to Canada?

A: Been to Toronto & Vancouver several times. Don’t know yet for future.

Publisher sets the tour stops. I don’t choose, so I can’t take requests. Usually I don’t know where I’m going until right before the tour.

Actually, I often don’t know where I’m going in general.. But that’s just me.

Q: @ItsSimplyGabyIs there anything that you could say about the Leo/Sammy thing in MoA?

A: No spoilers. Sorry! But it will be explained in MoA

Q: @ellierugenare you ever going to come to england?

A: Afraid you missed me. Been there dozens of times, but now I can’t b/c of deadlines.

Q: @rubys_universeif you could be a god of anything what would it be?

 A: The god of time so I could make more. I never seem to have enough.

Q: @karimelgendiDude no offense but don’t you have a deadline…

A: Haha. Tell that to my editor. And the ppl who want the books faster! ๐Ÿ˜€

Q: @maisumamariana_TheHeroes of Olympus is going to have how many books?

A: Five.

Sry, questions quickly get buried beneath other questions. Some1 asked PC or MAC & what my writing desk looks like.

PC and Mac. I write on Mac. Haley prefers editing format on a PC, so I use both.

Q: @nasyamatramhow do you handle writer’s blocks?

A: outline first. That way I don’t get to the middle of the story & get stuck (as much)

Q: JacquelyneKampe do you have any tips for a new writer?

A: Yes, on my FAQ page: Short answer: read a lot, write a lot

Can’t answer any “What will happen…” questions about the content of future books. For that, you just gotta wait for the books!

Q: @MsErmayneehave you ever been criticized for your books ?

A: Gasp! Never! (sarcasm) Sure. Not everyone likes every book, but that’s ok.

I feel fortunate that so many people DO like them!

Q: @o_TysonThanks for showing me reading is not an “adult thing.”

 A: Young readers lead the way these days! Adults follow your trends.

Q: @AshaAshaAsha13when your books are finally published, are they mostly changes you made revising, or are they the original draft?

A: There is no such thing as a perfect first draft. It’s impossible. 90% of writing is revising, over and over.

Q: @haymitch_drunkHave you read the Harry Potter or the Hunger Games?

A: Yes. As I’ve tweeted before, I love them both.

Q: @HermioneMilaWhen is Annabeth’s birthday?

A: I don’t know. I’ve never had a reason to determine it, at least not yet.

Q: (got buried) Have I ever been to Russia?

 A: I visited St. Petersburg on vacation. Beautiful city. I’ve never done an event in Russia.

As I said, I had to stop touring internationally, as I can’t write this fast and travel the world, too. Getting the books done comes first!

Q: @OlympusTributeswhat happened to Calypso?

A: She will make an appearance later in the Heroes series. Right now, that’s all I can say.

Q: @tom_emilyDo you ever do book signings at book stores in San Antonio?

A: Almost every tour. Just did one in May. Check website in Sept.

Q: @JoshuaDanielssOut of the characters in the HoO, which is your favorite to write about?

A: Gleeson Hedge. He cracks me up. Also Leo.

Q: @kklormanWhat is your favorite book that you’ve written?

A: It’s usually the most recent one, b/c it’s freshest in my mind. Hard to say!

Q: @heyitsgeai have a friend who wants to become a writer & she’s writing fanfictions now, any word of encouragement? (continued)

A: Fanfic is not a bad way to practice writing IMHO. I learned a lot writing D&D stories when I was younger. But move on to your own ideas!

Q: @Filhade_Hadeswhat is your favorite book?

A: The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Got me into mythology & reading when I was about 12.

Q: @DemigodOfDrewHave you read Game of Thrones?

A: Yes, was reading it LONG before the TV show. Awesome series, but def mature stuff!

Q: @TheCliffhangersWhat other mythologies besides Greek/Roman, Egyptian & Norse would you like to write about?

A: That’s 6-7 years in the future, so I have no idea. I can only write 1-2 books max a year, and I’ve got 2 Heroes and 3 Norse still to do!

All I can tell you is if you’ve thought about it, I probably have too & I’ve got more ideas than I’ll be able to write in a lifetime!

Q: @2cute4urscreenDo you usually listen to music while writing?

A: I love all kinds of music but I can’t listen to it while writing.

Some faves: Classic: Dylan, Stones, Beatles; modern: Black Keys, Jack White, Arcade Fire, Decembrists, Mumford & Sons, Adele. I could go on.

Q: @_AmamosPJwhen you’re not writing, what do you do for fun? ๐Ÿ™‚

A: I play guitar, read, swim w/the kids, MMORPG, sometimes go on cruises

Q: @BarcaCatalan10When u were a teenager, were u the best student in each class? A: Haha. Hardly. I was like Percy. (continued)

I got kicked out of classes for being a troublemaker & I barely passed math. My writing got me through English, but I never read the books.

Of course my karmic punishment was that I grew up and became an English teacher, but I can relate to reluctant readers.

Q: @im_a_halfbloodAre you planning on writing another Camp Half-Blood series?

 A: Like I said, that’s waaaay far in the future (continued)

But some day, I’d like to do 1 more CHB series where all the action actually happens at camp, b/c most of the other books happen on quests.

That’s part of the story that hasn’t been told, & would be fun. But like I said, that’s way, way in the future, so don’t hold your breath.

Q; (got buried) Any characters based on real life?

A: Yeah. Mrs. Dodds is a real math teacher, but she’s not actually a monster.

Mr. Brunner (aka Chiron) is a real Latin teacher. Travis & Connor Stoll, Beckendorf, Miranda & Nico are named for former students of mine.

Q: @alondrasanche21If you hadn’t written any Percy Jackson books what would you be doing now?

A: I’d still be teaching, which I loved!

Q: @Laura_FB_what is your favorite TV show?

A: Probably Dr. Who. Been watching it since the ’80s. Old series, new, love them all.

Q: How many questions do you get a day? (this ? ironically got buried under other ?s)

A: Too many to answer, which is why I usually can’t!

Q: @AngelOz13Do you feel nervous when your books come out?

A: Every single time! I do my best, but I always worry you guys won’t like it.

Q: @jvolrI heard a rumor that Thalia will die in The Mark of Athena, you confirm?

A: I can confirm that you shouldn’t listen to rumors.

Q: @Real_me5any advice for people who want to be teachers?

A: Do volunteer work w/kids to make sure you’ve got the right temperament.

Get as much teaching experience as you can, subbing or whatever. You’ll know very quickly if you’re cut out to teach. We need good teachers!

  And the second year of teaching is 500% easier than the first year. Don’t get discouraged and don’t give up!

Q: @OnlyDemigods_HiUncle Rick, what’s your favorite character from the Percy Jackson?

A: Grover or Tyson. They’re so fun to write about.

Q: @helloandieHave you ever cried while writing?

A: Only because the first draft is so bad and my deadline is so close. ๐Ÿ˜€

No, actually I got teary-eyed when I wrote one scene in Mark of Athena, and no, I can’t tell you what it was. Yes, I know that’s mean.

Q: @camphalfbloodWhat did you think about this nickname: Uncle Rick?

A: Honored! Did you know Tio has its root in the word Theo, for god?

Q: @caseyjaneolvismy nickname for you is Ricky!

A: That was my nickname as a little boy, so I’m used to it!

Q: @Jackieromano199after the TitansCurse, Annabeth and Percy’s Grey streaks are never mentioned…shouldn’t someone question them?

A: Actually that question will be addressed in Mark of Athena.

Q: Someone (sry got buried) asked what’s my favorite ship in my books.

A: The Argo II. Oh . . . not that kind of ship?

Q: @pinkypoodle12do you think you belong in Camp Half-Blood or Camp Jupiter? A: No. I would fail in either place!

However, I can see living at Brooklyn House and studying magic. I would ace Advanced Napping class w/Bast.

Q: Do I follow the Spurs (basketball)?

A: Gotta confess, I’m not much of a sports fan. Probably because I have zero athletic coordination.

Playing catch w/my sons basically means we go outside and take turns hitting each other in the head with the ball.

@CarlsonJin123Q. I talked to a YouTube channel called RiordanRick. Was that account really you?

 A: Nope. Only legit accts are on my site.

Usually I can’t respond to ppl on the Internet. Too many questions, gotta stay focused on writing. This weekend is a rare exception.

This account is verified. is my site. Aside from that, if somebody writes you back, that’s a good sign it ain’t me.

Q:@juliadalboscoDo you keep an edition of your books in another language besides english?

A: My garage is full of them. 35 diff languages!

Q: @kklorman2Who would you rather have: Festus or Blackjack?

A: At the risk of hurting Blackjack’s feelings, Festus for sure.

Q: @TheNightCountrywhy is the book cover art different from the UK and the USA versions? A: different publishers make diff. covers.

The thinking is UK kids r attracted to different cover art than US kids. *shrug* Each publisher has final say over the cover in that country

Q: @somalinectori think you should do a blog on the do’s and don’t’s on how to write novel.

A: 1st ‘don’t’: more writing, less blogging!

Q: @allaboutmajuwhy you decided to start answering questions by twitter?

A: just this weekend! had a few days between projects. Solstice!

Q: @DanielleEmmieQ: Do you write cliffhanger endings on purpose?

A: Yep used to do that in class when I told stories. My students hated it!

But they were always eager to come to class the next day and hear what happened next. When I wrote Percy, I imagined telling it to my class.

Q. @rotiunyelHow do you stay focused whilst writing? I always get distracted…

A: Me too! That’s why I had to shut off email access.

Q: @MooWarriorYou said that you MMORPG. Which ones do you play?

A: Name it, I’ve played it. But I just dabble, not hardcore. No time!

I did receive your birthday artwork, Brazilian demigods. Thank you! I just shared it on my blog:

Okay, guys, gotta stop reading tweets & go back to writing mode. Thx for all the questions. Maybe we’ll do this again next solstice!

I leave you with this — a collection of new covers from around the world:

And most of the questions I didn’t get to answer were already answered in my previous tweets or on the FAQ:!

Rick Riordan