Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Magnus Chase!

So yesterday on our webcast from Mount Olympus (er, the Empire State Building) I announced the title of my Norse mythology series: Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard. So excited to share it with you! The first book will be out next October, 2015. The title for that first book will be announced at the back of Blood of Olympus.

And yes, I know what you're wondering. Chase . . . hmm, where have I heard that name before? Isn't that Annabeth's last name? Yes, it is. And no, that's not simply a coincidence. Beyond that, I'm afraid I'll have to leave you guessing.

If you missed the webcast, you can still register to watch the archived version. As soon as it is available to see, School Library Journal will send you an email with the link. You do not have to be a librarian or teacher to register. Just choose "Other" when it asks you for your job description.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Blood of Olympus book tour -- the full scoop!

Here you go, demigods! Details for each Blood of Olympus event is posted below. Contact the host bookstore for more information on how to reserve a spot for each specific event.

What to expect at the events:

This is important. If you're planning to come to an event, I don't want anybody going away disappointed. We've been doing events differently the last few years as the crowds have gotten larger and larger. Again, check with each location for exact details, but in general, here's what happens:

When I arrive on location, before the event, I will be signing a thousand books. These autographed copies will be available for you to buy. In some cases, they are your ticket into the event. In some cases, you can choose to get a ticket without a book, or both.

The event will be about an hour long. I'll tell you all about how and why I wrote the books. I'll show you behind-the-scenes cover art that was never used. I'll make stupid jokes. I'll give you a sneak peek at my upcoming Norse series. And of course I'll answer your questions, as many as we have time for. It's always a blast!

We WON'T be doing a signing line. There are a lot of reasons for that, but it all boils down to the size of the crowd. About three years ago, I realized that so many people were coming through the signing line that nobody was really getting a chance to meet me. We had to move so fast, just to make sure everyone got through the line, that it just wasn't a quality experience for anybody, including me.  I would either have to do a brief "Hi, how are ya?" speech and then launch straight into signing, or the store would sit me right down to sign. Kids would wait for two or three hours to get a two-second face-to-face with no chance to really interact. I couldn't sign all your books. I couldn't do pictures. I couldn't personalize the books. There was maybe time for one quick question, maybe. Well . . . it just wasn't working. Back in the old days, I was able to do all of that stuff, and of course everyone understandably wants a picture and wants all of their books signed, but even if I only spent thirty seconds with each fan (which is way too short to do all that) if a thousand fans show up, the signing would last eight hours. You see the problem? Also, to be honest, I'm getting older, and sitting in a chair for so many hours each night was murdering my back.

Because of all this, I decided if we didn't have time to do a quality signing line (and with a thousand folks, there really is no way) we would make it a quality evening, with tons of time for the presentation and lots of Q&A.

Don't bring all your books from home, because I won't be able to sign them, but I wouldn't be able to do that even if we were doing a signing line. There are just too many people with too many copies. The good news: You'll still get a signed copy of The Blood of Olympus. You'll get a chance to ask your questions and really feel like you got to know me a little. And you won't have to wait in line for hours and hours!

Hope that makes sense. I'm really excited for each of the events. Of course, every tour I wish we could go to more places, but with my writing schedule we just can't. I know you guys want the books to come out as quickly as possible, and that means I have to spend most of my time writing.

Apologies to all my international fans, too. I've been invited to so many amazing countries, and I'd like to visit them all, but sadly it just isn't possible. We can't even cover more than a fraction of the US in the time that we have! As I always tell people, however, the main way that I communicate with you is through my books. I may not be able to meet you in person, but the best way to get to know me is to read the books. Each one is a private conversation between me and the reader, and I love you guys! You're all awesome. So if I get to see you on the tour, fantastic, but either way, I hope you'll enjoy The Blood of Olympus!


Tuesday, October 7, 2014: Boston/Cambridge-Brookline, MA

Event hosted by:
Porter Square Books
25 White Street
Cambridge, MA 02140

Location of event:
Temple Ohabei Shalom
1187 Beacon Street
Brookline, MA 02446

7:00 PM ET

Wednesday, October 8, 2014: Toronto, ONT, Canada

Event hosted by:

Location of event:
Bloor Street United Church
300 Bloor Street West
Toronto, ON M55 1W3

7:00 PM ET

Thursday, October 9, 2014: Atlanta/Decatur, GA

Event hosted by:
Little Shop of Stories
133A East Court Square
Decatur, GA 30030

Location of event:
Glenn Auditorium at Emory
1652 North Decatur Road
Atlanta, GA 30302

7:00 PM ET

Friday, October 10, 2014: New York, NY

Event hosted by:
Books of Wonder
18 West 18th Street
New York, NY 10011

Location of event:
New York Public Library
Main Branch
Celeste Bartos Forum
5th Avenue at 42nd Street
New York, NY 10018

*Note: space is limited at the main branch event, but 25 branch libraries across the city will also be participating via live video stream.

4:00 PM ET

Saturday, October 11, 2014: Chicago/Downers Grove, IL

Event hosted by:
Anderson’s Bookshop
5112 Main Street
Downers Grove, IL 60515

Location of event:
Tivoli Theatre
5021 Highland Avenue
Downers Grove, IL 60515

4:00 PM CT

Sunday, October 12, 2014: Boulder, CO

Event hosted by:
Boulder Book Store
1107 Pearl Street
Boulder, CO 80302

Location of event:
Boulder Theater
2032 14th Street
Boulder, CO 80302

1:30 PM MT

Monday, October 13, 2014: Austin, TX

Event hosted by:
603 N. Lamar
Austin, TX 78703

Location of event:
Westlake Community Performing Arts Center
4100 Westbank Drive
Austin, TX 78746

6:00 PM CT

Tuesday, October 14, 2014: Santa Barbara/Ventura, CA

Event hosted by:
Barnes & Noble Ventura #2054
4820 Telephone Road
Ventura, CA 93003

Location of event:
Buena High School Auditorium (with Ventura Educational Partnership)
5670 Telegraph Road
Ventura, CA 93003

6:00 PM PT

Wednesday, October 15, 2014: San Francisco/Menlo Park, CA

Event hosted by:
1010 El Camino Real
Menlo Park, CA 94025

Location of event:
Fox Theater
2215 Broadway Street
Redwood City, CA 94063

7:00 PM PT

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Blood of Olympus book tour!

Get ready, demigods! The Blood of Olympus will be published October 7, 2014! Below are the cities I will be visiting on tour. Later in the week, when a few last details are worked out and the host stores are ready to take your calls and orders, I will give you the exact locations and information on how to get tickets to attend these events. Do be ready to reserve a spot promptly if you plan to attend, because if history is any guide, each event *will* sell out.

Tuesday, October 7: Cambridge, MA
Wednesday, October 8: Toronto, Canada
Thursday, October 9: Decatur, GA
Friday, October 10: New York, NY
Saturday, October 11: Chicago, IL
Sunday, October 12: Boulder, CO
Monday, October 13: Austin, TX
Tuesday, October 14: Santa Barbara, CA
Wednesday, October 15: Menlo Park, CA

As usual, apologies if I'm not coming to your city on this tour, but I'm excited to visit all these venues!

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, coming August 19 to a bookstore near you!

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Demigods of Olympus

SO excited about the new app from Disney Publishing: Demigods of Olympus! It's free to download for iOS and Android. Basically this is a digital library for your Riordan titles. You can purchase e-books to add to your collection or other cool titles from Disney, but you can also access new, original content where you are the hero.

In the first free story, My Two-Headed Guidance Counselor, written by yours truly, you become the demigod, and the choices you make will affect your destiny. Who is your godly parent? What is your fatal flaw? We don't know until you make your choices!

If you choose to follow the adventure, you can buy more installments of the story and pay as you go, gradually revealing your godly parentage and your destiny. Your demigod profile will depend on which choices you make in each story. The second one is up now for $2.99, The Library of Deadly Weapons.

Stay tuned for more installments, and we're hoping to add more demigod content as the app takes off. You can find the Apple version for iOS here.

Here's my demigod profile after playing (er, reading) the first story. My name is Clayton Sato, but there's still a lot I don't know about myself . . .

Friday, July 11, 2014

A Trip to the Met

So I took a quick trip to New York to sign books at the Disney offices. While in town, we visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art to say hello to Percy's old stomping grounds. No sign of Mrs. Dodds or the field trip from Yancy Academy, but we did run into some old friends:

Uncle Ferdinand, is that you? Well, it's one of Grover's satyr relatives, anyway, cast in bronze from Ancient Greece.

This lovely statue is labelled "A Wounded Amazon." She's missing one hand and is having a wardrobe malfunction, but if she's wounded otherwise she doesn't look unhappy about it. Unfortunately because of her damage, this Amazon is no longer able to offer free two-day shipping.

Pegasus meets pegasus! See, I didn't make up the idea that pegasi can be black. I think maybe these are Blackjack's great-great-grandparents.

This is a bronze siren from Renaissance Italy. Two serpentine fish tails means she's exceedingly good at doing the splits.

A cool bronze medallion from Venice called 'The Triumph of Neptune.' I wonder if Frank saw something like this when he was in Venice. Hmm ... he was probably too busy killing poison cows.

This vase depicts a battle between the Greeks and the Amazons. Maybe that's how the Amazon lady above got wounded.I guess the Greeks weren't big fans of online shopping, because they had lots of wars with the Amazons.

This is a painting from the Italian Renaissance called "The Dream of Aeneas."  That's Aeneas, son of Aphrodite, asleep on the left. Perhaps he passed out because he was so tired after fleeing the fall of Troy and escaping to Italy. While he's asleep, Tiberinus the god of the River Tiber whispers in his ear, telling Aeneas that his city will one day be founded on the banks of the river. That city, of course, will be Rome. Cool picture, but I still like Tiberinus better as Gregory Peck.

This is a statue of an Ancient Greek youth, with a sphinx hovering in the background. The youth does not look very excited. Probably because the sphinx is going to make him take his standardized testing.

That's just a tiny sample of the cool stuff at the Met. If you go, see if you can retrace my steps!

And finally:

This is a baby llama we spotted at the Central Park petting zoo as we were walking past. Why am I including this picture? BECAUSE IT'S A BABY LLAMA. That is all.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Blood of Olympus -- the UK cover

The UK cover for Blood of Olympus was released today. This is also the cover that will appear in other markets that typically get the UK covers -- Australia, New Zealand, India, etc.  I don't usually post the British covers, because they're really not my favorites, but this one is pretty good! The seven demigods look like twenty-year-old Abercrombie models, in my opinion, but whatever.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Loot Hits the Jackpot

Looking for a good middle-grade adventure this summer for you and your kids? LOOT by Jude Watson should be at the top of your list. Jude knows this territory well. Not only does she write beautiful prose worthy of the National Book Award (which she won, writing as Judy Blundell). She also understand what kids want in a fast-paced action story. She has written numerous novels set in the Star Wars universe, and is also a veteran of the 39 Clues, which I was lucky enough to be part of.

Still, none of that prepared me for the fantastic thrill ride of LOOT.

Imagine your dad is the world's most notorious jewel thief, Alfie McQuin. You live on the run, traveling from heist to heist, never attending school but learning all sorts of other skills -- how to bluff at poker, how to blend into crowds, how to con someone out of their money, how to pick any lock. Sound fun?

That's life for twelve-year-old March McQuin, until one night in Amsterdam when his dad falls from a roof (or was he pushed?) and lies dying on the cobblestones at March's feet. Alfie's last words seem to be a riddle: "Wait one month. Find jewels. Follow falls to day. No!"

Soon March is plunged into a dangerous search to find out what his dad was up to, and who might have killed him. He is reunited with a twin sister -- Jules, not jewels! -- whom he never knew he had. Together they race to find the secrets of Alfie McQuin's biggest, unfinished heist, but they're pursued by a crooked cop, a sinister old heiress, and many others who will do anything to stop them. Who can they trust? Can they even trust each other? The stakes are clear: If they succeed, they'll be set for life. If they fail, they'll be dead.

So many things I love about this book: the ultra-short chapters that keep you turning pages, the pitch-perfect dialogue, the supporting characters Darius and Izzy, the humor, the action, the twists and turns. Cursed jewels, a dangerous prophecy, a crash course in the history of thievery, acrobatics and grift . . . this is LOOT you can take to the bank. It's the perfect summer read for kids (or adults who like kids' books!).  LOOT will be published June 24, but order your copy now!