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Rick Riordan on popular ‘Percy Jackson’ series

Author of  “The Lightning Thief”  tells young readers how many books he plans to write for the  “Percy Jackson and the Olympians”series,  when he first fell in love with  Greek mythology and what its like to be a writer.
/ Source: TODAY

“The Lightning Thief” is the first book of three (so far) in Rick Riordan’s “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” series. The main character is a 12-year-old dyslexic boy who discovers that he is the modern-day son of a Greek god. If you read “The Lightning Thief” as part of Al’s Book Club, you may have had some questions about the book and the author. Some readers sent in questions for Rick. Some wondered how many books will be in the series. Others wanted to know how Rick knew so much about Greek mythology. Here are Rick's answers:
Where did you get all your information on the mythical creatures, and gods and goddesses? P.S. Your book beats “Harry Potter”!
— Chloe of Lancaster, Pa.
Thanks, Chloe! I've been reading Greek mythology since I was a kid. I also taught it when I was a sixth grade teacher, so I knew a lot of mythological monsters already. Sometimes I still use books and Web sites to research, though. Every time I research Greek mythology, I learn something new!

Did you have to spend hours doing research on Greek mythology when you wrote this book? By the way, I loved this book and I learned a lot about Greek mythology. I think I will study this subject more at school. I am 11 years old.
— Faith Wilkins of Sugar Loaf, N.Y.
Hi, Faith. No, it really doesn't take that long, plus it's fun! I hope you get a chance to study more mythology in school, but there are also a lot of great books you can read on your own. Try “Heroes, Gods and Monsters of the Greek Myths” by Bernard Evslin. That's a good one.

Being an author and writing books is hard work, some people will think books write themselves. Why did you decide to be an author? How did you know what to do? What inspired you? Did you ever feel doubt about your writing?
Sydney of San Antonio, Texas

Thanks for asking, Kevin. We are publishing the books once a year, so Percy number four will be out in the spring of 2008. When I know more, I'll post it on my Web site, I wish I could write them as fast as you read them!

How many will there be in all?
— Amanda of Sandy Hook, Conn.

Hi, Amanda. There will be five Percy Jackson books in all. There may be other books about Camp Half-Blood in the future, but Percy’s main story will be all wrapped up in book five.

Because my son is dyslexic. When I started telling him the Lightning Thief, I wanted Percy to be someone my son could relate to, so I made dyslexia one sign that you might be related to the Greek gods!

Who is your favorite Greek god?
— Anonymous

I like them all, but my two favorites are Poseidon and Athena. That's why I made Annabeth's mom Athena and Percy's dad Poseidon.