Saturday, May 05, 2007

Book Signing: Rick Riordan

My entling and I attended Rick Riordan's book signing at Blue Willow Bookstore on Thursday. I don't know how signings are booked, but I greatly appreciate authors who hold their signings at independent bookstores.

On the way over, we heard there was a tornado warning for a county north of us but our ride in was uneventful. We were number 94 for the book signing line. I remembered when Riordan was at the same store two years ago. I think there were 20 people there. Folks were coming in after me so I don't know how many ultimately showed up. I do know they ran out of copies of Titan's Curse.

Blue Willow is a lovely store, small and quaint, that has an area behind the store where large crowds can proceed in orderly fashion to get their books signed. That is, unless it RAINS! That storm that was looming north of us blew through in a fury. It was an authentic Texas gully-washer complete with horizontal rain, booming thunder and stabs of lightning.

In the middle of Riordan's presentation a huge crack of lightning lit up the sky. "I'm sorry Zeus!" he cried. It was all eerily appropriate for a story that begins with the theft of Zeus's lightning bolt.

Everyone seemed to be in good humor about the rain and the crowd. As the bookstore employees moved people into line and tried to keep everyone inside and dry, I ended up next to a very wet mother and her very dry son. (Go Moms!) She told me she was just so happy that her son had FINALLY found some books he WANTED to read, it was worth anything to be there. She just wished she knew of some other books he might enjoy.

Now, I do try not to be a "push-myelf-into-other-people's-business" but wouldn't you have said, "Would you really like some ideas?" He was in 5th grade, 6th grade next year, my prime time reading zone!

Two teachers had brought their middle school class all the way from Spring, Texas. All the kids had on orange t-shirts they had stenciled themselves with "Son (or) Daughter of:" and then the name of a God or Goddess. I hope they got a group picture. What awesome teachers!

I also saw a lady waving at me who I recognized from a day I substituted at a local school library last fall. She was volunteering in the library that day and we got to talking about books her grandson might like. She had not been aware of Percy Jackson then...

I've said it before I know, but I will say it again. Riordan really is a rockstar because he has written a series that is fast paced, action packed, and so entertaining it begs even the most reluctant readers to dive in. Percy Jackson is convincing lots of kids to give the reading thing another shot and they (and we) will reap the rewards.


Erin said...

My (18-yr-old) brother is loving this series right now!

Little Willow said...

Sounds like a great event. Wow to the lightning timing.