First, some background. I discovered The Lightning Thief on a shelf in my library in Macomb, Illinois. The cover was Awful…
|(Even Rick thought it was awful.)|
but I gave it a chance, and fell in love. I passed it to M, who adored it, as well. Over the next eight years, I would have another daughter, bringing the total up to 4, and we continued to buy (and love) Rick’s books. All of us. (Yes, we even got Hubby on the bandwagon.) And Rick became more and more popular.
Then, we finally got old enough to start thinking about going to author events. And #1 on the list of authors we would ALL love to see was J. K. Rowling. But we knew we’d never see her, so the real #1 was Rick. We know we should have seen him 7 years ago before he got HUGE, but that wasn’t in the cards. So we waited for him to come relatively close. We did think about going down to see him in Austin last year, but the timing wasn’t right, so we didn’t make it.
But THIS year, he came to St. Louis (only 7 hours instead of 9) and it happened to be on a weekend night, on a week when the girls had a small fall break. THIS WAS IT. And I bought the tickets, made the arrangements, and we were off.
(Hubby didn’t come; he went to Texas for a conference instead.)
The day of the event, we spent a good 5 hours at the St. Louis Zoo in the morning and then went swimming at the hotel in the afternoon. This is important because A, who is the BIGGEST fan of them all, ended up with a huge headache from dehydration, but still insisted on going to the event. (When I asked her the next day if it was worth it, even with the headache, she said, “HECK YEAH.”)
|A remembered her Annabeth hat, but forgot her Camp Half Blood shirt,
so we made a quick trip to Target and found a purple shirt to make Camp Jupiter.
It was at the St. Louis County Library, and we got there a half hour before the doors opened. The line was already halfway around the building. So we waited.
|Wrong fandom, but we thought it was awesome anyway.|
Once we got in, there was more waiting, but we had two copies of the books. They were snagged by A and C.
|Look! A signed book!|
|We weren’t the only ones reading.|
Eventually, the waiting ended, and the program began! Rick Riordan was a TON of fun. His teaching background comes out in presentations; he knows his fans and exactly what to say. From references to Twitter and Tumblr, shipping and “Everyone’s favorite character…. Octavian! Oh, wait. LEO!” He basically told his path to becoming Rick Riordan Successful Author, and even though I knew most of it already, it was still highly entertaining.
|The best picture I took.|
|Rick took this one. We’re about a third of the way back,
all the way on the left. No, you can’t see us.
Then, at the very end, he did a really brief Q&A. I was smart enough to know that this part was truly unique, and turned on the camera to record. I missed the first question which was, “Rick, why are you so sassy?”
And then it was over. Too soon, I might add. I think we all thought we could have stayed there all night, but the hour was fabulous.
K won a Camp Jupiter shirt, which I didn’t take a picture of, and we made it back to our hotel, exhausted, but thoroughly happy. There are very few people (I’m not related to, anyway) I’ll travel any distance to, but I’m definitely glad I managed to get the girls to this one.