Happy Holidays from Zeus House

I won’t be posting much since I’m in the midst of writing the next manuscript, but I wanted to take time to wish you all happy holidays! Within my family, I have Hanukkah celebrators, Christmas folk, and those who just enjoy a good winter solstice, so I’m keeping the greetings ecumenical!

The weather in South Texas has turned gorgeous, as it often does this time of year. Most of the allergy pollens have blown away. The heat and humidity are gone. It’s crisp and cool with sunny skies — great weather for writing. It’s still early on The Son of Neptune, but I’m having great fun with it. No hints, sorry! Way too soon for that. The next big news to come your way will be the title and cover for Kane Chronicles 2. That will be announced in January, and the book comes out May 3. I’ve seen John Rocco’s cover, and I can assure you he’s crafted another masterpiece. More on that after the New Year.
The Riordan family is staying home this holiday, which is very nice after I did so much traveling on my book tour. As you can imagine, the last thing I want to see right now is another suitcase. We’ll have our family celebrations, open presents, and eat too much as usual. Haley is finishing up his driver’s ed course and doing great with it. He’s also revising his manuscript, which I assured him is light years better than anything I wrote when I was sixteen. Patrick is gearing up for final exams, hanging with his buddies after school and doing a lot of reading. It’s kind of strange having Patrick in sixth form at the same school where I taught sixth form while I wrote Percy Jackson. I feel like I’m watching from the other side of the looking glass, seeing his experience as a parent rather than a teacher this time around. He’s loving his year so far.
Both boys just finished Scott Westerfeld’s Behemoth and loved it. We had to get an extra copy as neither wanted to wait. Now they are clamoring for the next in the series. Haley started to complain about why it takes writers so long to finish a book, then he remembered who he was talking to. Yeah, I hear that a lot! Sadly, writing always takes a lot longer than reading.
As for me, I’ve been reading a lot of nonfiction — research and otherwise. I just finished Stacy Schiff’s new biography of Cleopatra, which was excellent. It’s amazing what a rich portrait Schiff created when we have so few sources to draw from about Cleopatra’s life. Now I’m reading a biography of Augustus Caesar by Anthony Everitt. I’ve been fascinated by the early Roman Empire ever since reading Robert Graves’s I, Claudius (and seeing the TV version), so it’s fun to revisit that time period. I also got a sneak peek at Brandon Mull’s new fantasy Beyonders, which comes out in the spring. I really enjoyed Fablehaven, and I can safely say his readers will not be disappointed with his new series. It’s great!
And speaking of readers, I want to send a shout out to demigod of the week Tavares. Becky came across an article in the New Haven Independent about this super reader. What a great picture of him with the Lost Hero! Keep reading, Tavares!
That’s it for now. Back to writing. I hope everyone’s holidays are happy and safe and full of good books.

Rick Riordan