The Trials of Apollo and Percy Jackson and the Olympians writer says human beings have the capability to be nice heroes, however can even change into the dangerous guys fairly simply
Spotty teenager Lester Papadopoulos, in any other case generally known as the solar god Apollo, appears all set to regain his godhood within the fifth and ultimate guide of The Trials of Apollo collection. The recently-released The Tower of Nero (Penguin Random Home) by Rick Riordan sees Lester Apollo and his boss, the 12-year-old Meg McCaffrey, daughter of Demeter, tackle Nero and Python. The guide, just like the others within the collection, has bizarre creatures together with the headgear-obsessed troglodytes and an arrow talking in Shakespearean English. The haikus for every chapter are enjoyable as all the time.
The 56-year-old writer talks of Apollo’s popular culture references, the analysis course of, Meg’s recommendation to avoid wasting the planet, epidemics, the Percy Jackson net collection by Disney (yay!) and extra on this electronic mail interview. Excerpts
Why did you select to base the collection on Apollo fairly than some other god within the pantheon?
Apollo really gave me the thought, since within the authentic myths he was twice despatched right down to Earth as a mortal by his father Zeus. I made a decision that if it may occur twice, there was a precedent. Why not ship him right down to earth yet another time? (Apollo nonetheless has not forgiven me for that).
May you speak of the analysis course of?
I do know the myths fairly effectively, in fact, however I’m all the time discovering new tales, or new twists that I’ve by no means heard earlier than. As soon as I discover an thought I like, impressed from the precise myths just like the Apollo one, I’ll learn as many variations as I can. I’ll take into consideration how I need to current the story in a contemporary setting, what places I would need to discover, which demigod characters I need to embrace, what monsters and villains our heroes will combat. It’s fairly like making a stew. I throw in all of the components, stir and let it simmer, and see what comes out.
What are the professionals and cons of writing a collection?
Writing a collection is clearly extra sophisticated due to the scale of the story, nevertheless it additionally offers a a lot bigger canvas to color on. I’ve to be very certain I need to spend three to 5 years on one theme after I write a collection. It’s fairly a time dedication.
May you touch upon all of the pop cultural references Apollo makes?
Since Apollo is the god of poetry and music, it simply made sense that he would sustain with present tendencies in popular culture. He’s all the time interested in the preferred musicians (and he tends to take credit score for all their songs).
Aside from securing the oracles, Lester has to defeat the triumvirate of evil Roman emperors-turned-gods. What’s your message based mostly on the triumvirate?
I suppose that the worst villains are sometimes not monsters, however people. Now we have to be conscious that people have the capability to be nice heroes, however we will additionally change into the “dangerous guys” fairly simply, and the villains all the time imagine they’re the heroes! As Apollo says at one level, energy makes good folks uncomfortable, not boastful and gleeful, which is why good folks so not often rise to energy. This positively applies to the Roman emperors within the Trials of Apollo.
What would Meg, as a daughter of Demeter, say we may do to assist shield the surroundings?
Meg is sort of no-nonsense. She would in all probability say, “We’ve solely bought one planet, dummy. Don’t mess it up!” Alas, people are usually very short-sighted and reactive fairly than proactive. However we’re additionally resilient and able to change, so allow us to hope we will be taught to not be dummies!
Who, in accordance with viewers response, had been among the hottest characters within the collection?
I suppose Percy is apparent. Except for him, I might say I bought essentially the most enthusiastic response about Nico di Angelo and Alex Fierro (from the Magnus Chase collection). Completely different followers have completely different favourites, although. All of the characters have very passionate fan bases!
Whose or which story arc was essentially the most difficult so that you can work on within the collection?
Most likely the Kane Chronicles, based mostly on Egyptian mythology, as a result of we merely don’t have as many sources which have survived from Historic Egypt. The myths are fragmentary, so I used to be left with tantalising clues I needed to piece collectively. It was a problem, however I’m so glad I did it.
Do you might have one other mythology you want to work on after this?
I might like to discover Irish and different Celtic myths. That’s my very own ancestral heritage, and the tales are marvellous, although much less identified than Greek/Roman. So many world mythologies are great, however for many of them, I’m not an skilled and wouldn’t have the cultural background to do a superb job. That’s the reason we began the imprint, Rick Riordan Presents within the US, to supply a platform for “personal voices” authors to put in writing their very own takes on fantasy and fantasy. Roshani Chokshi, as an example, does a unbelievable rendition of the traditional Hindu tales, specifically the Mahabharata.
What does Greek mythology say about epidemics?
Most religions have/had gods of drugs and sickness. Some have particular gods of plagues. Apollo was one in every of these. He would rain down arrows of illness on cities or armies that had displeased him. I believe this tells us that people have all the time been involved by plagues, and have all the time tried to determine why they occur. These sicknesses appear so random, so malevolent, that it’s comprehensible that historical folks would see them because the wrath of a deity. Most of the methods we react to plague haven’t modified a lot because the historical instances. Keep away from crowds, go away the cities, cowl your face, maintain your distance from the contaminated and isolate them — these are all measures practised by the Historic Greeks and different civilisations.
What’s the standing of the Percy Jackson net collection?
It’s a gradual course of, however it’s coming alongside. My spouse Becky and I are full producers, which suggests we can be very concerned in each side of the present. It is going to be dwell motion. The primary season will cowl the primary Percy Jackson guide, The Lightning Thief. We’re within the midst of writing the script for the pilot episode. When the collection would possibly come out, and all different particulars, we simply don’t know but. COVID-19 has slowed all the pieces down: it is going to be at the least a few years.