A Letter to Rick Riordan

Dear Rick Riordan,

I would like to publicly thank you for making me into the writer that I am today. If it weren’t for your undeniably clever, creative take on Greek mythology, I don’t know if I would have had the guts to embrace my admittedly strange writing style.

In 6th grade (2010), I found The Lightning Thief in Barnes and Noble on a shelf towards the back. I have always been in love with reading (I distinctly remember getting in trouble in the  2nd grade for reading a book under my desk in class) but for some reason that was the first time I ventured past the easy reader section, with the exception of Harry Potter and a few other classic childhood memories. I liked the lettering on the side of the book. That beautiful lettering has been worn off now from years of opening and closing and being shoved into a book-bag one too many times. The spine of my first copy has had the top layer all but torn off, so much so that it’s almost unrecognizable.

It was also in 6th grade that I found my love for writing when, during a history unit, we had to create our own Greek myth based around our favorite childhood memory. I wrote about a girl who loved Apollo so much that when she died he turned her into a lightning bug so that she could light up the sky just like he did. My teacher told me that I needed to enter the piece into a contest. I don’t know why, seeing as it was cheesy and terrible when I look back on it, but the thrill of being told that by someone who I looked up to so much was all I needed to start writing for fun, in a little journal that’s still tucked away underneath my bed.

In 8th grade my English teacher made us compete in Nanowrimo, teaching us how to come up with our own plot, characters, tone, among other typical English class definitions. This was the first full story I had ever finished. If I remember correctly it was around 30,000 words. By the time November was over that year, I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. If it weren’t for Percy, Annabeth, Grover and all of your other characters I don’t know if I would have understood the level of my love for writing- it was the Greek mythology aspect of that assignment back in 6th grade that came so easily (because I knew exactly how to frame a myth in the way my teacher wanted) that gave me the initial satisfaction-based energy to go on.

I have read all of your series with the exception of the Kane Chronicles (which are sitting on my shelf anyway) and have loved every ounce of sass, tragedy, happy reunions, and friendship that they showcase.

So thank you for showing me my destiny, just as you did for Percy, Annabeth, and all the other people in the world your works have touched. I hope you’re still doing well and writing with the same heart the world has come to know and love (I don’t doubt it seeing the graphic novel adaptations and the Magnus Chase series fly off the shelves the way they do).

Sincerely,

Sophie

A sophomore double major in Visual and Sound Media and Creative Writing and 6 year Nanowrimo participant.