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!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

A News Round-up from Athena House

Greetings from Athena House, the Riordan family headquarters in Boston.

So much great stuff to share!

First, the Annabeth Chase/Sadie Kane crossover short story "The Staff of Serapis" is celebrating three weeks on the New York Times chapter book bestseller list. Not bad for an e-single! Thanks to my readers for all the great feedback. I'm glad you've enjoyed the story! If you haven't picked it up yet (virtually speaking) the version with the audible bundle features me narrating. In either version, you'll also get the first sneak peek chapter of The Blood of Olympus!

And speaking of that . . .

The Blood of Olympus is going through its final copy editing and typesetting, then it's off to the printers. It will be published as scheduled on October 7 in the U.S. and U.K. markets. No information yet on when it will appear in other countries. When in doubt, ask a bookseller in your area. And, no, absolutely no chance it will be published earlier. Proofing, printing, shipping, and distributing several million copies takes a long time.

What can I tell you about the book? It's roughly the same length as all the other volumes in Heroes of Olympus. Also, don't believe Internet rumors. It's very easy for trolls on social media (besides me) to create fake tweets or claim they have "confirmed information," but I have released no spoilers about what happens to any of the characters, and I won't release any.  You'll just have to wait and see what happens. There will be no cliffhangers, meaning no one will be left in imminent danger with no clear way out. But that does not mean you will know every single thing that happens to all the characters for the rest of their lives. I don't do epilogues. I hate epilogues. It's like nailing the coffin shut on the story, allowing for no further growth and leaving no room for the readers' imaginations. Does that mean there could be other stories about demigods down the road? It's too soon to say, but Blood of Olympus will definitely bring closure to the Heroes of Olympus story arc. I hope you'll enjoy the conclusion!

One thing I will say: I am now starting work on my long-awaited Norse mythology series, the first volume of which will be out in fall 2015, and you will find out the title of the first book (and some hints about the main character) at the end of The Blood of Olympus. Raise your drinking horns to Odin!

A five-volume hardcover boxed set for the Heroes of Olympus should be available at the same time as The Blood of Olympus. I'll post more details about that when I get them.

Also available on October 7:

The Lost Hero graphic novel! It looks awesome. And, no, that is not the hammer of Thor in Leo's hands. Sometimes a hammer is just a hammer, guys. On Twitter, artist Nate Powell posted a look inside the book to whet your appetite:

Oh, a fiery dragon in the palace of the North Wind. This can't be good . . .

And even before October 7, we have the release of Percy Jackson's Greek Gods on August 19, a day after Percy's birthday!

I just got my advance copy of the book, and it is beautiful!

As you can tell, this is also HUGE -- a gorgeous coffee-table-sized volume full of color pictures from John Rocco. Percy Jackson narrates chapters on all the major Olympian gods, giving you the low-down in his own snarky way. Here's a peek inside:

Also, the silly chapter titles are back, like: Zeus Kills Everyone, Demeter Turns Into Grainzilla, and Hephaestus Makes Me a Golden Llama (Not Really, But He Totally Should). All this and more awaits you in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods.

Other things going on: I am presently writing the third crossover story in the Kane/Percy Jackson saga, in which Percy, Sadie, Carter and Annabeth finally team up all together. This will be told from Percy's point of view, a la the 'old school' Percy Jackson novels. I'm having a lot of fun with it. I'll get you more info -- the title, the publication date -- as soon as it's all confirmed.

I will be doing a nine-city North American tour for The Blood of Olympus starting on Oct. 7. I should be able to announce the locations soon. Stay tuned. For international fans, sorry, as always. I just don't have time to do tours in other countries and keep up with my deadlines. It's more important to me that I get the next book to you on time, and make it as good as possible!

If you haven't checked them out yet, the Percy Jackson paperback boxed set with the new covers is now available, with a free poster inside!

(Picture credit to Wes, who tweeted the boxed set his brother bought for him.)

No word yet on when/if the hardcover boxed set will get a new cover treatment, but for now, it's kind of nice you can still get the hardcovers with the original art, so you have a choice! Me, I love both the old and the new.

Phew! I think that's all the news for now. Stay tuned to my Twitter, Tumblr, or Instagram feeds for all the latest.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Blood of Olympus

As revealed today on USA Today, here is John Rocco's fabulous cover art for The Blood of Olympus! (This is for the U.S. version, which will be published October 7. I don't have any information for other countries.)

Your first chance to read a sneak peek from the book is Tuesday, May 20. If you purchase an e-copy of the short story "The Staff of Serapis," featuring Annabeth Chase and Sadie Kane, the first chapter of Blood of Olympus will be included as a special 'thank you.' The sneak peek will be available for free online a little later in the summer.

Hope you guys are excited for the fifth and final Heroes of Olympus adventure!

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

The Staff of Serapis

The Staff of Serapis, a sixty-page crossover story featuring Annabeth Chase and Sadie Kane, is available starting Tuesday, April 8, in the back of the newly released US paperback edition of The Mark of Athena!

The story will be available in e-formats, with the cover above, on May 20. The e-format will also include the first sneak peek of The Blood of Olympus, and if you buy the version with the audio bundled in, you will get to hear me narrating.

Q. Why can't you release The Staff of Serapis as a single print book, rather than bundling it with Mark of Athena?

Because the story was written specifically to promote the paperback release of Mark of Athena. Also, printing and shipping a sixty-page story by itself would be prohibitively expensive. It would end up costing the same as the Mark of Athena paperback anyway, so you might as well get the whole bundle if you want it in print!

Q. Why do I have to buy the e-single of The Staff of Serapis to read the Blood of Olympus preview? 

The preview is included here first as an extra treat to thank you guys who bought The Staff of Serapis. The preview will be available for free, online, later in the summer.

Q. When is this story available in other countries?

I don't know! As always, I really only get information about the U.S. market. The story has been sold into most other markets, however, so you will see it eventually in one form or another. Ask your local bookseller, or the publisher in your country. They might have more information.

I hope you guys enjoy The Staff of Serapis!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Swim That Rock

You really need to read this.

On April 8, Swim That Rock comes out, a young adult book by John Rocco (who illustrates all my covers) and Jay Primiano. I got to read an advance copy of the novel some months ago. Honestly, I started reading it just as a favor to a friend. That lasted about a page. Then I was hooked and I devoured the manuscript just because I wanted to. The story is full of adventure, emotion, humor, great characters, heartbreaking dilemmas . . . well, pretty much anything you could want in a book.

Swim That Rock tells the story of fourteen-year-old Jake, whose dad was lost at sea, and whose family diner is on the verge of getting repossessed by loan sharks. Jake desperately needs to raise money to help his mom, but his options are slim. He can try to go 'quahogging,' hoping to bring in enough clams from Narragansett Bay to pay the bills, or he can join up with a shady mysterious character who has his own not-exactly-legal ways of making money, and who might know something about the death of Jake's father. That's the basic plot, but there is way more to the book. It's one of those you just *have* to read.

Be sure you pick up a copy on Tuesday, April 8. You won't regret it!