I have yet to blog about any of the author events I’ve been to this year. I took pictures (which I will belatedly instagram) and got signed books (yay!) and that has been enough for me. But I went to Rick Riordan’s Norse American tour last night with my sister and nephew and there are things I’d like to remember.
I admittedly haven’t read any of Riordan’s books. I saw the Percy Jackson movie and was less than impressed – with some of the casting and with some of the plot and with how wrong most of the mythology was. But my nephew has read the first Percy Jackson series and possibly some portion of later series. So, we went for him. And it was a lot of fun.
We got Chipotle on the way then sat in line on the sidewalk eating dinner and talking. The wait was maybe an hour and we were right about in the middle of the line. The whole thing was pretty well organized by a local Barnes & Noble with wristbands and information on how everything would go.
I guess I should mention at this point that it was at a local high school. Because just as it was getting started the principal got on the intercom and had a fire drill. We all sat patiently through the announcement and then Rick came out and started his presentation.
Except that about 2 minutes in, the principal got back on the intercom to announce the end of the fire drill. He then mentioned that there were special guests in the school and everyone cheered. When the cheering died down we heard, “…from George Washington University…” and the crowd was like, what?! For the next few minutes it was alternating cheering at Rick’s reaction to the announcement not being about him and laughing that the principal kept talking until it was all finally over.
The presentation itself was fun. Rick (we’re totally on a first name basis) was funny and a good speaker. He spoke a little about growing up, about his early years writing and how he got to Percy Jackson. Then he went through some covers from different countries as a sort of chronology of the series and he was self-deprecating and again, funny. We got to Magnus Chase and he explained why Magnus looks like Kurt Cobain and some fun things about the series that weren’t really spoilers.
Then he got to what he’s working on… and oh boy. He drew it out well, acknowledging that he left some loose ends in Percy Jackson. And the auditorium started like humming [what, no… is he going to…]. He talked about how some characters were left in the air [he… is he really…]. Everyone was just waiting for him to say what he was alluding to with barely contained anticipation (as you can guess from my color commentary). Then he said there was going to be a third Percy Jackson series and, well the audience was probably a mix of guys and girls but the boys were young so it all just sounded like a bunch of girls cheering [HE IS!! HE REALLY IS!!!!]. Every other sentence. There’s this whole thing with Apollo [CHEER!! I guess they like Apollo] which is in the synopsis so this isn’t spoilers [they’d cheer anyway] and it’s a five book series [cheer!] about how Zeus has made him human [cheer!!] and he doesn’t know what to do [I don’t know but they’re cheering!] so he needs help [yeah, cheering] and there’s only one place to go… Camp Half Blood [CHEERING!!!]
It was almost like being at Comic Con. Not like when the Avengers all came out on stage, but probably like when they showed footage of Pacific Rim.
And even though I’m not a fan, it’s always fun to be in the midst of energy like that – to have everyone around you so excited, even if you’re not.
Except for my nephew who was not cheering (because he hasn’t read the second series so he doesn’t know all the fun there is to get excited about – and also because he’s pretty cool. when he gets excited, he just smiles). He just kept covering his ears because it was loud.
Afterward, everyone got their signed book (that they’d pre-purchased) and a fun squishy shield. My sister found a picture of Kurt Cobain to explain who that was to my nephew and I think she got the exact picture the cover artist modeled him after because the coloring and everything – it’s like exactly the same.
On the drive home my nephew mentioned that Magnus Chase is a funny name – it sounds like he’s chasing Magnus. Which led to a conversation about boys named Chase and also to the title of this post.
I will likely not be chasing Magnus, but it was a very fun night with my sister and my nephew. Who are currently racing each other through the book. So, they’re chasing Magnus (ok, I’m done with that now).
I’ve only read the first Percy Jackson book, but the following for this series is immense. It’s wonderful you were able to see Rick (can I call him Rick too? :D) live and to have that energy. I know what you mean – it’s so much fun to feel a crowd so excited by something. And it’s so weird that the principal seemed so clueless about what an important event was going on at the school! 😀 Thank you for recapping this!
You can totally call him Rick 😉
The next day I was wondering if maybe the principal like did know and was just trying to be funny… like why have a fire drill at 7:30 at night. super weird but it makes for a good story 🙂
I love how excited everyone gets when they’re in an environment like that; it’s great to be around people who all geek out about the same things as you 😀 I’m REALLY excited for the new series, because I’m about to finish the Heroes of Olympus and I already know I’m not done reading about these characters. It’ll be interesting to see the books from a god’s perspective instead of a demigod – now just to wait for May!
There’s something so communal and awesome about being surrounded by people who get excited about the same things you do with as much enthusiasm. It’s why I love author events and conventions 🙂