Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Congrats to Rick Riordan

I remember - not that many years ago - when Rick Riordan published his first book. He lived in San Antonio and was a member of the Heart of Texas Sisters in Crime group. As a new member, I was in awe of him and some of the other authors, like Susan Rogers Cooper, Barbara Burnett Smith, Susan Wittig Albert, Nancy Bell, Jeff Abbott, and Mary Willis Walker, who would stand and announce their successes since the last meeting - they’d gotten an agent, or signed a book contract, or heard back from an agent asking for more pages. I kept thinking, these are ordinary people - if they can do it, so can I.

All of those authors have gone onto be successful -- perhaps none more so than Rick Riordan. In yesterday’s San Antonio Business Journal, there was an announcement that made me cheer.

First off, the release date for the first movie based on Riordan’s first book in his Percy Jackson and The Olympians series (The Lightning Thief) is set to premiere on February 12, 2010. It’s being directed by Chris Columbus (he directed the first two Harry Potter films). According to the SA Business Journal, Riordan’s Percy Jackson series “has sold more than 7 million copies to date in the United States and has been printed in 32 different languages.”

I knew about the movie, but didn’t know that Rick is writing a new series and the first in this series will be released through Disney Book Group’s Disney-Hyperion imprint.
The Kane Chronicles, Book One: The Red Pyramid is a new fantasy book that brings ancient Egyptian mythology to life in a modern-day setting. Disney-Hyperion has scheduled a release date for the book on May 4, 2010, in both print and audio editions.
This series is aimed at kids 10 and up.

So, I wanted to say congratulations to Rick Riordan. I also wanted to tell you about Rick because I still see him and other authors as inspirations. The news lately has been mostly how publishers are cutting back on picking up new authors and how mid-list authors are being dropped. Rick got his start back when publishers were more likely to sign new authors and nurture them. Even so, I still remember when he was just a neophyte like the rest of us, hoping to get published and so excited to be able to announce his good news. Most likely, he never even thought about what an inspiration he was to the rest in the group. Even now, in these hard times for writers, I still see him as an inspiration.
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32 comments:

  1. Congrats to Rick. Goes to show what can be done.

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  2. Good luck to Rick.

    As president of Heart of Texas Sisters in Crime, I'd like to invite all those authors who have become so successful in this busy world of writing, to come back to our group and be a part of it. We miss them. I know success leads to busier lives, but don't forget your roots! Our new meeting place should be fun--Mangia'a Pizza on Mesa, in Austin. Come eat and enjoy good fellowship with other mystery authors and fans.

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  3. My son loves his series. And he's been very generous about participating in our public library's pre-teen book club for boys.

    Elizabeth
    Mystery Writing is Murder

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  4. I may not be a teen but I adored the Percy Jackson series! Can't wait to read his next one!

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  5. Kudos to Rick, an inspiration to us all. It's nice to read an uplifting story to keep us aspiring to our dreams!

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  6. I've read the Percy Jackson series and am looking forward to the movie.

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  7. Thanks for this inspiring post, Helen. I've not heard of this author.It's nice to know someone just like us made it.
    Karen

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  8. Congratulations Rick! This is a wonderful testimony.

    Writing can be a long, lonely climb. It's good to see people sticking a flag in the mountaintop.

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  9. He's a nice guy, too. He deserves every bit of his success.

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  10. His story also shows how persistence does pay off. If you work at it, it works. Thanks for sharing this inspirational tale.

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  11. I'm not familiar with Rick, but I appreciate this post and agree his story is inspirational to me and any aspiring author. And I applaud and congratulate him for his example and success.

    Nice tirbute post, Helen. :)

    Marvin D Wilson

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  12. I agree, Mark, he is a very nice guy. Until recently, when he began writing full time, he was a middle school teacher and told his own kids stories as well as his students, then he began to write up those stories and turned them into books.

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  13. What a great story! It just goes to show that persistence pays off. Big time in Rick's case. Good for him!

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  14. Thanks for the inspiring blog, Helen. It is always great to read about the success of an author who worked hard to make it all happen. When one of my sons read one of the first books in Riodan's Percy Jackson series a few years ago, he said that there should be a movie. I think he will be happy to hear of the movie release. He lives in Austin, so maybe he will even try to go to the premiere.

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  15. Wonderful post, Helen!

    And I love that he was a middle school teacher telling his stories...

    Heartfelt bravos to Rick!

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  16. I'm thrilled the Lightning Thief is making the big screen-I hope all of them do. Rick Riordan has a gift for combining the old stories with new settings to make them exciting and new to kids and I adore him. The Percy Jackson series is the first one that my son read first and then insisted I read. I've been glad I did all the way through.

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  17. How wonderful to see a writer having such success. He is indeed an inspiration.

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  18. Sometimes all it takes is hearing a tale of success for me to realize it's not impossible. Thanks, Helen.

    Elspeth

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  19. Sometimes if you only know of a writer after s/he's a hit, then you can't imagine you could be that successful. But if you hear of or know someone who started out the same way you are, then it seems more attainable.

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  20. I'm with you. Congrats to Rick, very inspiring.

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  21. I don't know Rick, but wish him well. It must be marvelous to have so many dreams come true. I'm sure all that wasn't done without hard work.

    Morgan Mandel
    http://morganmandel.blogspot.com

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  22. I guess everyone started out with nothing published. It's always encouraging to read about those who make it, so congratulations Rick.

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  23. Helen,

    I'm so happy for Rick. I first met him when he was a college student and musician. His wife worked for me in my interior landscape company. I didn't even know Rick had any thoughts of writing until after they moved to California for him to attend grad school. He started writing his first mystery novel set in San Antonio because he was homesick for his hometown. And look how far he's come since then!

    Mark and you are right. He is an extremely nice person as well as very talented.

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  24. Congratulations to Rick. His success has inspired me as my own trilogy (to be queried soon) is based in Greek Myth. All the best to him and his new series!

    Jen

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  25. Jen, best of luck to you in your querying!

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  26. Thanks Lillie. I'm glad you remembered to mention his mysteries. He started with those.

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