Ben RehderRick Riordan (pronounced Ri '-er-dan) is a multi-award-winning mystery novelist.
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 California Association of Independent Schools, the Texas 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.
In college at UT Austin, Riordan was lead singer in a folk rock band. After college, he became a teacher, and for the past fifteen years, Riordan has 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. While teaching, he read a lot of mystery books in his spare time, and when he and his wife moved to San Francisco, he started missing Texas. He decided, on a lark, that h would try writing a standard hard-boiled private eye novel set in his hometown of San Antonio. Ten months later, BIG RED TEQUILA was finished.
"The strange thing is, I had a feeling that BIG RED TEQUILA was going to get published. It just felt different than anything else I'd ever written, because the novel had practically forced me to write it. The idea took me by the throat and wouldn't let me go until the manuscript was done. I tell aspiring writers that you have to find what you MUST write. When you find it, you will know, because the subject matter won't let you go. It's not enough to write simply because you think it would be neat to be published. You have to be compelled to write. If you're not, nothing else that you do matters."
That first novel, BIG RED TEQUILA, won the Anthony Award for Best Original Paperback Novel and the Shamus Award for Best First Private Eye Novel. His second book, THE WIDOWER'S TWO-STEP, won the Edgar Allen Poe Award for Best Original Paperback Novel of 1999. THE DEVIL WENT DOWN TO AUSTIN was nominated for both the Anthony and the Shamus Awards for Best Mystery Novel of 2001. His fifth novel, the standalone thriller COLD SPRINGS, was named one of the top ten suspense novels of 2003 by the American Library Association. His latest book is SOUTHTOWN (April 2004).
In June 2005, his first children's book, Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, will be published by Miramax/Hyperion Books. The plot started out as a bedtime story for Riordan's son Haley.
This 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 teaching Greek mythology and his interaction with students who have learning differences. "The story was such fun, and so different from my adult fiction, that I found myself spending a lot of time on it. Now, I'm sure glad I did!" The novel has been optioned for feature film to Twentieth Century Fox.
Rick Riordan now writes full-time. He lives in San Antonio with his wife and two sons.
To learn more about Rick Riodan: http://www.rickriordan.com
To register for Riordan's workshop, go to the
League's listing of upcoming classes.
(Riordan's workshop SOLD OUT but we hope to have him back in the future.)