Camp Half-Blood Austin and other news

I’ve been in full writing mode the last few weeks, working on the final tweaks for The Red Pyramid, first of the Kane Chronicles out May 4, and also the first draft of the Camp Half-Blood series, book one, which will come out next fall. One thing I had to blog about, however, was the incredible response to BookPeople’s Camp Half-Blood.

Every year, Topher Bradfield and his crew put on an amazing camp in Austin, Texas. This coming summer, 2010, they will be holding four week-long sessions, and registration started on Saturday. Becky reminded me that morning that I should blog to remind people, because the camps tend to fill up quickly. But before I could even blog about it, Topher wrote to say that all four sessions had sold out in an hour and a half! The store opened at 9 AM. By 10:30, all spots were gone. Apparently some people had started lining up at 5 AM. Now that is dedication. No doubt there will be some disappointed half-bloods out there who missed the registration, but it goes to show you what an incredible program BookPeople has created. Amazing what a great community bookstore can do, isn’t it? The camps there have created an experience those kids will always remember. And just a reminder, I can’t take credit for any of this! I’m not directly involved with the camps, so if you have questions about the program, I’m not the guy to ask. All the credit, all the hard work, all the cool amazing memories — that’s all brought to you by BookPeople.
In other news, all is well at the Riordan household. In a few weeks, I’ll be chaperoning a school trip to NASA in Houston with Patrick’s fifth grade class. I got to do this same trip with Haley when he was in fifth grade, and I’m looking forward to it. Patrick is finishing up Syren, the latest Angie Sage book, and then plans to read the last volume of Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles. Haley is working on writing two different novels — the kid is so prolific he makes me feel guilty! He says one is up to 60,000 words and another is at 80,000. Hmm… think it may be time to subcontract some work to him? Becky is reading one of my all-time favorites, the Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud. I just finished Wolf Hall, Hillary Mantel’s novel about Thomas Cromwell and Henry VIII’s court. Brilliant stuff, plus I’m a sucker for good historical fiction. Now I’m reading The Summer Knight in Jim Butcher’s series about wizard Harry Dresden. I read several more recent books in the series first, then decided it would make sense to start at the beginning, so I’m working my way through. Poor Harry Dresden! This guy gets beat up so much it’s a wonder he lives through each chapter, much less each book. Great sense of humor in the series, and Dresden is a narrator you can’t help but like, and feel sorry for!
Percy Jackson news: Just last week I saw the first pages for the Lightning Thief graphic novel. They were black and white, but they already looked awesome. Once they are rendered in full color they will look stunning. The hardcover boxed set has been released and is sitting proudly on my bookshelf. It’s so cool to see all five volumes together. The Lightning Thief deluxe edition with new illustrations by John Rocco will be out next month. And finally, Disney-Hyperion will be releasing Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Ultimate Guide, in February. I just got my first copy, hot off the presses, and it looks so cool! The cover has this fun holographic band of pictures that change as you move the book. Inside, there is a guide to the gods, camp, monsters, the labyrinth, and much more, all illustrated in full color. Beautiful stuff. My favorite pictures are probably the Manticore and Daedalus’s Workshop.
Well, that’s it for now. Back to work on the books!

Rick Riordan