Back to School

This has been the first week back to school for the Riordan household. The boys are both in good spirits so far, although it’s hard to leave summer behind. The last three months, we’ve enjoyed a lot of time swimming, reading, and watching campy sci fi TV programs together. (Just got through the Stargate series and are waiting impatiently for the fourth season of Doctor Who to be released). We traveled absolutely nowhere, which was bliss for this over-traveled writer.

I still get nervous this time of year, because I feel like I should be in my classroom putting up posters, making lesson plans, and running off handouts. This will mark my fourth year as a fulltime writer, but old habits die hard. Just this summer, Becky and I finally cleared out all my old teaching supplies from the garage as I am coming to accept that my days as a classroom teacher probably are over for good. This ‘writer gig’ might work out after all! Even if I do return to education some day, it would probably be in some other capacity and all my old materials would be seriously outdated!

Over the summer I finished up Percy 5 and sent it off to my editor, which I hesitated to mention because people always ask, “If it’s finished, publish it now!” The answer is that ‘finished’ doesn’t really mean finished. The manuscript will still need to be edited for many months. Meanwhile, I’m still finishing up an adult Tres Navarre novel and have started researching for my next project, which is a lot of fun but top secret for the moment. In fact I’ve done a lot of reading this summer, but I can’t tell you the titles because it would give away the subject matter for my next couple of books! At any rate, I have two more weeks of writing time before the fall travel season kicks in.

It’s hard to believe Battle of the Labyrinth came out over two months ago! It seems like yesterday, and I’m still recovering from all the events. You know you’ve done too many book signings when your wife puts the grocery list in front of you and you try to autograph it! Nevertheless, I’m looking forward to the school visits I’ve lined up, and the other public events that will allow me to visit areas I haven’t been to in quite some time. Among these – my first event in Denver in four years, my first-ever public event in Florida, an appearance at the Bath Festival in the UK, two events in Portland, and my first school visits in the Washington, DC and Pasadena, CA areas. And that’s just September and October! As always, you can find the details on my web calendar if you’re curious.

Happy new school year to all the other families out there!

Rick Riordan