Rick Riordan Hosts New York City Toga Party

By Maryann Yin Comment

Tomorrow children’s writer Rick Riordan will release the latest title in the Heroes of Olympus series, The Son of Neptune. Hyperion has ordered an initial printing of three million copies. In anticipation of the book, Riordan (pictured) and Disney Publishing hosted a pre-publication party.

Despite the rainy weather, New York City fans dressed up for the party in Greeley Square. The event included giveaway toga costume gear, posters, book marks and trading cards. The event featured a Q&A with Riordan , a signing session, a reading by actors playing Olympian Gods, trivia questions and a costume contest.

After the event, the novelist shared some writing advice and his views on standardized testing. Read the interview below…

Q: What do you think is the best way to self-edit during the writing process?
A: One of my best recommendations is to read your work aloud. If it sounds good to you when you’re reading it aloud, that’s a much higher standard than if you’re simply reading it silently to yourself. I find I catch a lot of things that have to do with flow and logic and consistency when I read it aloud. That’s probably my top tip.

Q: You’ve written about Greek/Roman mythology and Egyptian mythology. What other mythologies would you be looking to write about in the future?
A: There’s so many mythologies that I would love to explore. It’s a question of how much time I have to write them. Ideas are not the problem; I have more ideas than I will ever be able to write in a lifetime. It’s all about picking which ones. So I don’t know, we’ll just have to wait and see.

Q: You’ve stayed firmly in the middle grade audience. Would you ever venture to young adult titles or picture books?
A: I don’t think so. The reason being is I’m a middle school teacher. That’s where my heart is. That’s where my focus is. That’s where my experience is.

Q: As a teacher, are you upset with the emphasis on standardized tests in education?
A: I think standardized testing is a pretty unnecessary evil. It’s very detrimental to students. I am not in favor of it. I think it really does a huge disservice to the kids. I talk to college teachers and professors and ask them about this. What they tell me is that students come to them now with no concept on how to write because their entire education is about taking standardized tests. But they don’t know how to think.

During the Q&A, Riordan revealed that several characters were inspired by his former students and a possible future project could include a book starring demigod Luke Castellan. Kidsmomo posted up more photos of the event.