Get to Know Rick Riordan
Photo from rickriordan.com
Author Rick Riordan introduces the latest installment in The Heroes of Olympus series.
Finished the book? Tell us what you think… submit your book review today.
Q & A with Rick Riordan
Where did you get your idea for this book?
Long before I started, I pretty much knew what The Mark of Athena would be about: Greek and Roman demigods finally meet one another. The seven demigods of the Great Prophecy get together and head to Rome to fight the giants. All of that was set up in the first two books of The Heroes of Olympus. But in some ways, this was the hardest book I’ve ever written. I’ve never juggled a cast of seven before, eight if you count their belligerent satyr. It was challenging, but a lot of fun! It’s also the first time I’ve taken my demigods out of North America.
What was your favorite book when you were growing up?
When I was very young, I liked Dr. Seuss. Later, my mom read me Charlotte’s Web and the other novels of E.B. White. When I started reading on my own, my favorite series was The Lord of the Rings. Prior to that, I was a reluctant reader, but Tolkien really ignited my passion for reading.
How old were you when you started writing?
My eighth grade English teacher read one of my stories and encouraged me to submit it to a magazine. I was thirteen. The story wasn’t published, but I kept trying. A mere seventeen years later, I got my first book published! It was an adult mystery. Eight years after that, Percy Jackson was born.
What is your favorite word?
My favorite changes all the time. Recently my sons and I discovered that dastard is a word -- as in dastardly, but just the noun. It means scoundrel, and is just such a great insult we were laughing about it for hours. You dastard!
What is your favorite book about Chicago?
My favorite is actually an adult nonfiction book, The Devil in the White City by Erik Larsen. It tells the story of the 1892 World’s Fair in Chicago. I had no idea how many ‘firsts’ came out of that fair – the first Ferris wheel, the first midway, even that ‘snake charmer’ tune that’s often sung with the lyrics, “There’s a place in France . . .” The book made me want to time travel back to 1892! Even better, Larsen interwove the true story of a serial killer who was operating in Chicago at the same time, a guy even creepier than Jack the Ripper. Good read, especially since it’s all true.
More to Explore
Books on Greek and Roman Mythology
- d'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths by Ingri and Edgar d'Aulaire
- Mythology: The Gods, Heroes, and Monsters of Ancient Greece by Hestia Evans
- Roman Myths retold by Geraldine McCaughrean, illustrated by Emma Chichester Clark
- Tales of the Greek Heroes by Roger Lancelyn Green, introduced by Rick Riordan, illustrated by Alan Langford
- Treasury of Greek Mythology by Donna Jo Napoli, illustrated by Christina Balit
People and Places
- Having a hard time keeping all the gods and goddesses straight? Here is a quick "cheat-sheet" of who's who among the Greek and Roman deities.
- The Heroes of Olympus series focuses on Greek and Roman Mythology, but what is the difference between the Greek Myths and the Roman Myths?
- Find out about more "historic" battles between Greek Heroes and Monsters.
- Who is Gaia and why is she so important to both Greek and Roman Mythology?
- Annabeth is following the "Mark of Athena" who is also her mother, but who is Athena?
- The demigods travel on the ship Argo II, named after the ship that Jason and the Argonauts sailed.
- Explore an interactive map of Camp Jupiter and New Rome.
Projects and Trivia
- Looking for ideas for an in-depth project on Greek Mythology? Try one of the projects suggested by Mensa.
- Writing and art project suggestions based on the Percy Jackson series.
- Test your knowledge of the heroes of Olympus with the fun trivia contest
Loved The Mark of Athena? Try These Books Next
By Tony Abbott
Books of Beginning series
By John Stephens
Children of the Lamp series
By Philip Kerr
Children of the Red King series
By Jenny Nimmo
By Brandon Mull
By Diana Wynne Jones
Gregor the Overlander series
By Suzanne Collins
By Cornelia Funke
It's All Greek To Me
By Jon Scieszka
The Lightning Thief: The Graphic Novel
By Robert Venditti
Odd and the Frost Giants
By Neil Gaiman
Pegasus: The Flame of Olympus
By Kate O'Hearn
Also by Rick Riordan
Percy Jackson and the Olympians
The Kane Chronicles
The Heroes of Olympus
39 Clues Series
Websites About the AuthorHeroes of Olympus: Disney »
Rick Riordan.com »
Rick Riordan @ Scholastic »