Friday, October 9, 2009

Author Spotlight: Rick Riordan

Rick Riordan knew from the time he was young that he wanted to grow up to be both a teacher and a writer, but he credits his ninth grade English teacher, Mrs. Seaholm, with sparking a strong interest in reading and writing, and his "fascination with literature that combines humor and darkness."

In fact, he ended up realizing one goal while living out another. Mr. Riordan taught English and history at middle schools both private and public in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Texas for 15 years. During that time, he began taking writing seriously, and started writing mystery novels for adults. His first book, Big Red Tequila, was published in 1997, and became the first in his Tres Navarre series. It was a great success, and soon his students began to ask, when would he write for kids? That made him think.

It was his son Haley who finally pushed it further. One night, when Haley was in second grade, he requested that his dad tell him a bedtime story - one with Greek gods and heroes in it. Since that was a subject upon which Mr. Riordan frequently taught, he had plenty of stories to retell. But, he says,
"When I ran out of myths, (Haley) was disappointed and asked me if I could make up something new with the same characters."
After three nights of telling this new tale to his son, Haley suggested that Mr. Riordan write it all down as a book. The result was The Lightning Thief, published in 2005 - the first of five titles in his Percy Jackson & the Olympians series.

Mr. Riordan has won many prestigious awards for his work in both children's and adults' books. In addition to his Tres Navarre mystery series for adults, and his Percy Jackson series for kids, he has also penned short fiction pieces for magazines, and is the is the creator of the popular The 39 Clues series for kids (and author of its first book, The Maze of Bones). He has two other kids' series in the works: one based on the ancient Egyptians, and a Half-Blood Camp series.


  1. This has helped me with a school project, and I wanted to Thank You for that.

  2. You are most welcome! I'm glad you found this post useful :-)

  3. i am glad i found this post... i like the backround story on how you started the kids series of the persy jackson series. im doing s priject in school and that story will relly help me out. thank you for your great books and tell you son thanks too.

  4. Thank you for putting your name under the article. I've read many website articles where there was no author's name present. Thank you also for posting the date and time of publication- it helps alot! Thanks, :)


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