Rick Riordan and Percy Jackson

Percy Jackson is the hero of Rick Riordan’s Olympians books.  Riordan is the subject of a short but very sweet interview on the Bri Meets Books blog that targets some great subjects for the Hero Workshop.  My favourite parts follow…

What qualities do you feel embody a hero?

In real life, I don’t think most heroes would think of themselves as heroes. They are simply people who rise to a challenge out of necessity. In literature, a hero is someone who does something noble or seemingly insurmountable — something we wish we could do. Heroes are projections of what we wish we could be. They give us hope and make us feel better about the human character.

How important was the Hero’s Journey and/or Joseph Campbell’s “Hero with a Thousand Faces” in the creation of the Percy Jackson series?

I’ve never read Joseph Campbell. I’m familiar with the concepts, but I’ve never had a desire to read it. The thing is, archetypes are supposed to be subconscious. A lot of what I write, I don’t analyze. I never sit down and say, “Okay, this chapter needs a metaphor about man as hero. This chapter needs more Jungian symbolism.” Bleh. I just try to write a good story. Am I aware of the hero’s quest? Sure, because I’ve read it in so many forms as a student of literature, but as a writer, I don’t think that way and I don’t consciously try to follow any sort of paradigm.


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