Author Spotlight: Rick Riordan

Rick Riordan at the 2007 Texas Book Festival, ...

Rick Riordan at the 2007 Texas Book Festival, Austin, Texas, United States. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have decided that in between reviews that I will post information about authors and anything I can find relating to books! Books are amazing and the people that write them are even more amazing because they make air and imagination into this fantastic world, even if it is just an extension of our own world, and characters who we can relate to, love, or hate, that have flaws and personalities all their own.  Rick Riordan has taken the world of myth and magic, and made it into books that all ages and genders can dive into.

I personally, love Rick Riordan. I told my fiance that if Riordan wasn’t married that I would marry him. My fiance didn’t like that very much, but I was kidding (slightly). If you enjoy mythology, then you will love Rick Riordan. I would venture to say he’s the new J.K. Rowling. He has written Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Heroes of Olympus, and Kane Chronicles. There’s so much in his books though: adventure, romance, magic, character development and growth, pop culture references, and of course, mythology. I chose to discuss him first, because he is my favorite Y.A. (young adult) author. And it gives me a reason to look up lots of information about him with out my fiance getting suspicious.

Rick Riordan was born June 5, 1964. So he’s only 27 years older than me. I really didn’t think he was that much older. Not only did he write on his school’s newspaper, he wrote an underground newspaper that bashed his own school’s football team. I just like him more and more. After highschool, he went to school at North
Texas State as he thought he wanted to be a guitarist. I wonder if he had long hair.  But he figured out that’s not actually what he wanted as most college students do, and transferred to University of Texas where he graduated with a degree in English and history.

It says that the first book he read for fun was Lord of the Rings. I read the entire series one day in Saturday school, but didn’t enjoy it as much as The Hobbit as Tolkien just gives you more information than you’d ever want to know.  He, of course, liked Greek and Norse mythology, but also fantasy and sci-fi. As with many writers, Riordan was a teacher, but was writing books for adults, his Navarre mystery series. I found this quote from his biography on Scholastic.com really interesting:

Already an award-winning author of mysteries for adults, Riordan, a former teacher, was asked by his son Haley to tell him some bedtime stories about the gods and heroes in Greek mythology. “I had taught Greek myths for many years at the middle school level, so I was glad to comply,” says Riordan. “When I ran out of myths, (Haley) was disappointed and asked me if I could make up something new with the same characters.”

At the time, Haley had just been diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia. Greek mythology was one of the only subjects that interested the then second-grader in school. Motivated by Haley’s request, Riordan quickly came up with the character of Percy Jackson and told Haley all about “(Percy’s) quest to recover Zeus’s lightning bolt in modern-day America,” says Riordan. “It took about three nights to tell the whole story, and when I was done, Haley told me I should write it out as a book.”

I know that was a long quote, but it is so interesting I didn’t want to take anything away from it. It is really great that he made a strong main character with ADHD and dyslexia. I believe that will give children with those qualities a reason to read, because they will have a character they can relate to, and empower them. I say qualities, because I believe children shouldn’t be told they “suffer from this” or it is a disability. Then they will be ashamed; I say this, because I have have seen this even in college.

His family consists of a wife, two sons, a Golden Retriever, and two black cats. Overall, he’s a pretty cool and smart guy. Here’s a video in which he talks about his new Norse demigod series:

I hope you have enjoyed this author spotlight and if you would like me to find information on an author or share information about an author please leave a comment!

Sources: Scholastic.com and Rickriordan.com

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