One of My All Time Favorite Authors Actually Visits Pittsburgh, PA!!

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All manner of gods and demi-gods lined up outside the Carnegie Lecture Hall to get a chance to meet that mighty master of all things mythological –

Rick Riordan! He’s the best selling author of all five books in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, along with his Kane Chronicles, and Heroes of Olympus series.

Prior to becoming a writer, Rick taught middle-school English and social studies, always including mythology in his lesson plans.

He was here in Pittsburgh to celebrate the release of The Son of Neptune, picking up where he left off in the first Heroes of Olympus book, The Lost Hero.

And of course, I have to go in costume. I do have acting in the blood, not to mention it’s just tons of fun!


So as you can see, yours truly and the hubby dressed up as Aphrodite and Ares.

(They were a couple in Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians series.)




I really wanted to make Ares’ eyes glow with flickering flames behind the shades as Riordan described:

     “ You’re Clarisse’s dad,” I said. “Ares, god of war.”

     Ares grinned and took off his shades. Where his eyes should have been, there was only fire, empty sockets glowing with miniature nuclear explosions.

- The Lightning Thief, page 226


But sadly there just wasn’t enough time. After all, we’d only found out the day before that someone had returned tickets and we could go. (ps-THANKS Penguin Bookshop for all the help! And for all the work you did to bring Rick to the 'burgh!!! You all rock!)   


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And as it turned out it

took me 3 hours

just to do my hair LOL!!!  



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But I do SUPER wish we’d had time to figure out how to rig the electrical for those awesome flames behind Ares’ shades.




Even though we got there 4 hours ahead of time, people were already lining up.  With so much time on our hands, the hyperactive side of me needed to keep busy.  


Before I knew it, I had started a Percy Jackson Trivia Game for everyone around me:


How many times have you read the Percy Jackson series?

I’ve read it 4 times. But these fans totally beat me. Some had read it 6 or 7 times!













Nathan and Dad from Baltimore                 Marcus from Syracuse

(Yes, these faithful parents drove all the way to Pittsburgh - what an INCREDIBLE sacrifice! How awesome that they were willing to support their kids' reading, while demonstrating through action the importance of literature - that really encouraged me! What a priceless gift they gave to their kids - a deep value for writing and the writer! Sorry, my English teacher passion couldn't resist. :D)


Nathan and Marcus actually answered what I considered to be a really hard obscure detail question. Here's the question they not only got right, but answered in like 5 seconds!


SUPER HARD Trivia question - Could you answer this? (no peeking):


In Bunker 9 Leo discovers an old map on the wall,

what year was dated on the map?

The answer? I’m not gonna tell. (Hint: the Civil War takes place during one of these years.)  You’ll just have to look it up.


Ahh the fun!


It was so cool to meet all the other fans who love Rick Riordan’s writing

as much as I do!


And many fans (parents too) dressed up in costumes of characters

from the books:




















Students from local schools got to ask Rick questions.

One question that stuck out to this writer: How do you handle rejection?

"Never give up," Rick answered.

He shared that his first adult novel, set in Texas, was rejected 14 times.

" But," he asked us, "what if I had given up and stopped sending it out
after the 6th or 10th time?"


Thank the gods he didn't give up!






To meet a fellow educator and my favorite author – worth all the effort! But to rub shoulders with all the kids and see the excitement for the books – to see the joy they had in meeting their favorite author – incredible









For me, much of my teaching career took place in urban settings struggling to help at-risk teens. One student, let's call him Joe, had been born a crack baby. When I met him at 14, he still had moments he would tremble and space out. He didn’t want to read, and hated anything to do with writing. 


Through the efforts of many faithful teachers, we had the joy of watching that moment when words became pictures, and soon carried him away into another world. Soon he couldn’t stop reading. And in time he had something even greater than when he started – hope and dreams for a new kind of future. Joe even started writing his own stories.


Tonight I had the amazing privilege of watching kids live what they read. The written word came to life in our imaginations, and our imaginations transformed even this average girl into a goddess of love!

Only a well-written story could do that! Thanks Rick – keep on writing!


-Aphrodite out.