‘Percy Jackson’ author coming to Kissimmee

Former teacher and New York Times bestselling author Rick Riordan will be speaking at Osceola High School Sept. 25.

He has written more than 20 novels for young readers such as the Percy Jackson series and Trials of Apollo. There will be a presentation and question and answer session at 7 p.m. Tickets are $21 and attendees will receive a pre-signed copy of his newest book.

In his latest novel, “The Trials of Apollo: Book 4 The Tyrants Tomb,” Apollo has turned into a human and is banned from Olympus. On his path to resorting five ancient Oracles and reclaiming his godly powers, Apollo has faced triumphs and tragedies. Now he ends up in Camp Jupiter in San Francisco where Roman demigods are getting ready for a last stand against the evil Roman emperors.

Riordan, a former teacher, started writing as a young adult. He struck out on getting published, but became more serious about writing when teaching in San Francisco. He originally wrote adult novels, but after sharing a bedtime story with his son, he began his journey into writing children’s books. His son, Haley, was interested in Greek mythology and Riordan came up with his own characters – prompting him to write a book.

His first character, Percy Jackson, ended up being a five-book series.

“I just really enjoyed writing it,” said Riordan. “The story was such fun and so different from my adult fiction that I found myself spending a lot of time on it.”

Around the same time, Haley was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and dyslexia.

“Making Percy ADHD and dyslexic was my way of honoring the potential of all the kids I’ve known who have those conditions,” said Riordan. “It’s not a bad thing to be different. Sometimes, it’s the mark of being very, very talented. That’s what Percy discovers about himself in The Lightning Thief.”

Although he left teaching to write full time, he continues to conduct author appearances in classrooms around the country and Europe.

“I love teaching,” said Riordan. “I love working with kids . . . maybe some day I’ll go back to the classroom. I’m not ready to say it’ll never happen. But for now, the books are keeping me very busy.”

Tickets for the event Sept. 25, are available at  bit.ly/RickRiordanBAM. Riordan will be on stage for the presentation, but there will not be a formal book signing or meet and greet. Parents can reserve a seat if accompanying a child. Once spots fill up, guests can only attend the event with a paid book voucher.

For more information, please contact Books-A-Million at 407-552-0077.

To learn more about Rick Riordan, visit his Web site at www.rickriordan.com.