Sunday, April 06, 2008

Disney Publishing Worldwide Signs Multi-Book Deal with Author Rick Riordan

Rick Riordan, the multi-award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of the internationally beloved Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, has signed a multi-book deal – which includes a new, original fantasy series - with Disney Publishing Worldwide (DPW).

As a response to the huge anticipation from retailers, DPW has announced a first printing of 1 million books for the fourth book in the Percy Jackson series, The Battle of the Labyrinth, which goes on sale in the U.S. on May 6th. As part of launch day celebrations, Rick Riordan will appear at BookPeople in Austin, TX and take part in chariot races, a Pit of Targarus, and interact with a centaur. BookPeople will also be hosting Camp Half-Blood, a camp for kids based on the Percy Jackson books, throughout the summer of 2008.

A brand new website,, will launch in the U.S. in April 2008. The site will feature never-before-seen images of characters from the books, exclusive content, interactive games, tour information, and Percy-related news.

The Percy Jackson and the Olympians series has been sold in more than 15 countries and has sold more than 1.6 million copies to date in the U.S. The first book, The Lightning Thief, debuted in the summer of 2005, was a New York Times Notable Book, a Today Show/Al Roker’s Book Club Selection, and has been optioned for a feature film to Twentieth Century Fox. The Sea of Monsters was a Publishers Weekly and BookSense national bestseller. The most recent title, The Titan's Curse, debuted at #1 on the New York Times children's series bestseller list; the series has remained on the list since the launch of the third book.

Riordan’s Percy Jackson series features a twelve-year-old dyslexic boy who discovers he is the modern-day son of a Greek god. The novels draw on Riordan’s experience with his older son who was diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia. After recounting the stories of gods and heroes, he ran out of myths and his son asked him to make up a new story. Over the course of a few nights the story of Percy Jackson came to life and at the suggestion of his son, he wrote what became The Lightning Thief.

For fifteen years, Rick taught English and history at public and private middle schools in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Texas. In 2002, Saint Mary’s Hall honored him with the school’s first Master Teacher Award.

His adult fiction has won the top three national awards in the mystery genre – the Edgar, the Anthony and the Shamus. He has presented workshops for such organizations as the International Reading Association, the California Association of Independent Schools, the National Council for Teachers of English, the Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute and the Texas Library Association. His short fiction has appeared in Mary Higgins Clark Mystery Magazine and Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. In 2003, he was inducted into the Texas Institute of Letters.

Rick lives in San Antonio, Texas with his wife and two sons.