Rick Riordan


Richard Russell Riordan Jr. (/ˈraɪərdən/; born June 5, 1964) is an American author. He is known for writing the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series, about a twelve-year-old Percy Jackson who discovers he is a son of Greek God Poseidon. His books have been translated into 42 languages and sold more than 30 million copies in the US. 20th Century Fox has adapted the first two books of his Percy Jackson series as part of a series of films. His books have spawned related media, such as graphic novels and short story collections.

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Riordan’s first full-length novel was Big Red Tequila, which became the first book in the Tres Navarre series. His big breakthrough was The Lightning Thief (2005), the first novel in the five-volume Percy Jackson series, which placed a group of adolescents in a Greco-Roman mythological setting. Since then, Riordan has written The Kane Chronicles trilogy and The Heroes of Olympus series. The Kane Chronicles (2010-2012) focused on Egyptian mythology; The Heroes of Olympus was the sequel to the Percy Jackson series. Riordan also helped Scholastic Press develop The 39 Clues series and its spinoffs, and penned its first book, The Maze of Bones (2008). His most recent publications are three books in the Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series, based on Norse mythology.[4][5] The first book of his The Trials of Apollo series based on Greek mythology, The Hidden Oracle, was released in May 2016.

Life and career

Riordan was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. He graduated from Alamo Heights High School, and first attended the music program at North Texas State, wanting to be a guitarist. He transferred to the University of Texas in Austin and studied English and History; he received his teaching certification in those subjects from the University of Texas in San Antonio. He taught English and Social Studies for eight years at Presidio Hill School in San Francisco.

Rick married Becky Riordan, originally from the East Coast, in 1985 on the couple’s shared birthday. They have two sons, Haley and Patrick. It was Haley Riordan who inspired the Percy Jackson series as a bedtime story. They moved from San Antonio to Boston in June 2013, in conjunction with older son Haley starting college in Boston.

Riordan has created several successful book series. Tres Navarre, an adult mystery series about a Texan private eye, won the Shamus, Anthony, and Edgar Awards.

He conceived the idea for the Percy Jackson series as bedtime stories about ancient Greek heroes for his son Haley. Haley had been diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia, inspiring Riordan to make the titular protagonist ADHD and dyslexic. Riordan published the first novel in the series, The Lightning Thief, in 2005. Four sequels followed, with the last, The Last Olympian in 2009. Prior to Percy Jackson, Riordan had written the Tres Navarres series, a series of mystery novels for adult readers.

His Percy Jackson and the Olympians series features the titular twelve-year-old who discovers he is the modern-day son of the ancient Greek god Poseidon. Twentieth Century Fox purchased the film rights and released a feature film in 2010. Following the success of Percy Jackson, Riordan created The Kane Chronicles, which features a modern-day Egyptian pantheon and two new sibling protagonists, Sadie and Carter Kane. Riordan also created a sequel series to Percy Jackson, The Heroes of Olympus. Riordan also helped create the children’s book series The 39 Clues; he authored several of its books, including The Maze of Bones, which topped The New York Times Best Seller list on September 28, 2008. He also wrote the introduction to the Puffin Classics edition of Roger Lancelyn Green’s Tales of the Greek Heroes, in which he states that the book influenced him to write his Greek mythology series.


  • 1998 Shamus Award for Best First PI Novel and Anthony Award for Best Paperback Original for Big Red Tequila
  • 1999 Edgar Award for Best Paperback Original for The Widower’s Two-Step
  • 2008 Mark Twain Award for The Lightning Thief
  • 2009 Mark Twain Award for The Sea of Monsters
  • 2009 Rebecca Caudill Award for The Lightning Thief
  • 2010 School Library Journal’s Best Book for The Red Pyramid
  • 2011 Children’s Choice Book Awards: Author of the Year
  • 2011 Children’s Choice Book Awards: Fifth Grade to Sixth Grade Book of the Year for The Red Pyramid
  • 2011 Wyoming Soaring Eagle Book Award for The Last Olympian
  • 2011 Milner Award for Percy Jackson and the Olympians series
  • 2012 Indian Paintbrush Award for The Red Pyramid
  • 2013 Best Fiction Book for Children in Bulgaria for The Mark of Athena
  • 2017 Stonewall Book Award for Children’s literature for The Hammer of Thor

Rick Riordan Presents

In September 2016, Disney-Hyperion announced a new Rick Riordan imprint. The imprint is called “Rick Riordan Presents” and was launched in March 2018. It is headed by Riordan’s editor, Stephanie Owens Lurie.

Lurie said that Riordan had been approached about an imprint several years ago but initially dismissed the idea because of his heavy workload. Later, he reported back that he had been “toying with the idea” and was “willing to go forward with a publishing line that was not a brand extension for his own work but a platform for Riordan to bring other great writers to the attention of his vast and loyal audience.” She also said that the imprint planned to launch with two then undetermined books. “The point of making this announcement now is to get the word out about what we’re looking for.”

The imprint will not publish books written by Riordan, “whose role will be closer to curator”. In an interview with the Iowa Gazette, Riordan said, “Instead of me writing all of the mythologies we are going to look for authors who already are writing about that stuff. If I feel like I can recommend them [to my readers] … we’re going to have them out here in the spotlight.” A focus will be placed on “diverse, mythology-based fiction by new, emerging, and under-represented authors”. Lurie expressed hopes that the imprint will help satisfy Riordan fans without asking the author to write more than his usual two books a year.

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