Tuesday October 4th was the launch party for Magnus Chase and the Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan!
Let’s back track to Sept 20th when the tickets were released and talk about how SLOW I getting a ticket for the main presentation room. Whelp it sold out in under a minute so I got on the wait list, which meant I would see get to meet Rick and get books signed so not a total loss. I went with Molly @ Cherry Blossoms and Maple Syrup, who mainly went as my support system since I was hers for Maggie Stiefvater’s event. We also met our friend Kim there.
For those of you who don’t know An Unlikely Story is owned by Jeff Kinney, author of the Wimpy Kid series, and his wife. We got there and it was nicely organized outside with lines for people who had tickets and people who were in the waiting line. We each got a wristband and a Hotel Valhalla t-shirt!
Jeff was kind enough to open up his work studio on the 3rd floor to accommodate people on the wait list and we would watch the presentation on a TV screen which was happening on the 2nd floor. It was full of Wimpy kid cut outs and displays!
We were very lucky to have private audience with Rick before the presentation because he knew we wouldn’t be able to ask him any questions due to being on separate floors. We did a mini Q&A session which worked out since the staff was working out technology difficulties.
When asked if he would tackle Mayan or Aztec mythologies, Rick gave the appropriate response. He did not feel he was adequate to write these stories because it wasn’t his background and he wasn’t knowledgeable enough. He then informed us about his imprint Riordan Presents, which was announced several weeks ago. The goal of the imprint is to find writers who are knowledgeable in other mythologies have them write the stories.
His favorite characters from the Kane Chronicles are Bes the god of dwarves and Sadie Kande. He admits his favorite Percy Jackson character changes daily, but at the time he said Leo Valdez was his favorite.
The presentation opened up with a hilarious duel between vikings, Rick Riordan’s publicist Seale Ballenger and editor Stephanie Lurie. They were all decked out from furry boots, horned helmet to Seale’s long grey beard.
Rick discussed while in Norway doing some research about Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir, they got lost in the country side. There were several announcements of what to expect in 2017.
- Camp Half-Blood Confidential (May 2017) – Another supplementary book taking a look inside the camp!
- Trials of Apollo: The Dark Prophecy (May 2 2017)
- A Percy Jackson Coloring Book (August 2017)
- Magnus Chase and the Ship of the Dead (October 3 2017)
Rick mentioned we will see Jason Grace and Camp Jupiter in Trials of Apollo! He would also love to write a series based on Jason’s POV if time allows in the future.
When asked “Which ‘ship do you ship the most?” he replied that he found that it was more of a reader thing than a writer thing. He finds that the relationships he creates just seem to fit together naturally and he doesn’t really think “oh they would look cute together”. He did however base Percy and Annabeth’s relationship on his own marriage.
His advice to aspiring writers is “Just find time to do it!” because there will never be a less busy time to get it done.
When it the Q&A session was over the very last thing Rick’s publicist, Seale, said was “Is Melissa Lee here?” Which of course I quietly replied “No because I’m upstairs”
Immediately texted Kim who was downstairs and told her to find Seale and let him know where I was. I was informed by Kim that Seale was supposed to come find me, which I assumed meant to say “Hello”. I will say for the record the reason he knows who I am is because we’ve chatted a few times through Twitter. This all started when I tweeted that I was too shy to say Hi at the Trials of Apollo event in Boston earlier this spring. Also for those of you who don’t know Seale is the publicity director of Disney and works with Alexandra Bracken, Melissa de la Cruz, and Mo Willems to name a few.
Meanwhile Jeff Kinney was talking about how he got started on his series. He had told us it would be a while for those on the 3rd floor to get to the signing because we had to wait for the 2nd floor to go through the signing line.
Seale came up and found me and beckoned me over. Again, I was thinking he just wanted to say Hi. We hugged and said hello and I found out he wanted to get me downstairs to the signing to meet Rick, which was extremely kind and generous of Seale to do. Completely unexpected for me, but also very exciting!! We actually walked over to the very front, which shocked me so much I had to refuse to cut some very nice kids.
Instead I just stood with Kim, which I know I still went in front of a lot of people, but I needed time to “calm down” and not freak out with Kim next to me. I texted Molly came up from the first floor to meet us and she was able to come stand next to me (I forgot to reserve her a spot) I WAS STILL FREAKING THE OUT!! I kept saying “OMG OMG” while I was being laughed at by two of my friends.
I had brought The Lightning Thief and House of Hades with me to the event and bought four copies of The Hammer of Thor for a few friends and I. I even asked Seale beforehand if it was okay for Rick to sign my library card tote bag because it was filled with most of my favorite authors. I talk really fast/can’t form sentences when I’m super nervous meeting authors, so that is what happened.
When it was my turn Seale of course told Rick I was the one he was looking for. I said something along the lines of “You are my favorite. Huge fan..I love all your books I’m so excited to meet you. Oh and also my mom says Hi she wishes she could be here, but she’s babysitting my niece.” Rick was very nice and asked if I could hear well upstairs and if all my questions were answered. I said I could and I asked what his most recent read was. I know it was a fantasy novel. But I couldn’t remember the title! I was about to ask if it was adult or YA and who the author was BUT I MISSED IT or half listened because Molly and Kim were giggling like school girls because Molly had K
After I said thank you to Rick and put away all my books I gave Seale huge hugs and repeatedly told him the whole time he was amazing and he was too kind and he was the best. He literally is the sweetest because Kim told me he wanted to make sure everyone got a photo with Rick. Of course I also had to get a photo with Seale and then we parted ways and left the store. Let’s just say there was more screaming and laughing from Me, Molly, and Kim as we walked to our cars and drove home.
I will end the post saying this was THE BEST AUTHOR MEET AND GREET EVER! Rick is my #1 favorite author (tied with Leigh Bardugo) and I never ever EVER thought I would get the chance to meet him because he had stopped in store signings many years ago. So I feel so blessed and fortunate to have the opportunity to meet him! And earlier than planned thanks to Seale who I am FOREVER grateful too. Life Is Good.