Since the end of the U.S. school year, my schedule has slowed down, which has been nice! I did a fantastic event yesterday at the Gardner Betts Juvenile Justice Center in Austin. I spoke with about 18 boys in the Leadership program. These are kids who have already been before a judge and are in long-term detention. I could not have asked for a better audience. They asked perceptive questions and were polite and enthusiastic. Many of the kids had turned into big readers since they were put into detention, partly because of the fantastic program put into place by the Austin Public Library. Thanks to Devo Carpenter for inviting me. I'd encourage other authors to visit the facility. It's a rewarding experience. Many of the young men told me they wanted to write their memoirs some day. Many were poets. There was a lot of talent in that group! After Gardner Betts, I attended a library event in Austin. I'd been told to expect about 4-5 kids total. We ended up with about 30-40! We had a great time, and much blue candy was distributed during the Greek mythology quiz game. I also heard from a camper who had attended the BookPeople Camp Half-Blood last week. She said it was awesome.
An update on my writing: This week I turned in two manuscripts. The next Tres Navarre novel, Rebel Island, is on my editor's desk at Bantam Books. With luck, it should be out in early 2007. The third Percy Jackson book is finished and being read by my editor at Hyperion. Maybe I'm biased, but I like the third book the best of the three. My son agrees. Hopefully, the readers will, too. In terms of length, it is a bit longer than Sea of Monsters, about 320 pages. The title is still being discussed. I should have definite news about that within a couple of weeks. Hyperion has asked me to reserve May 2007 for an author tour, so I'm guessing the book will be published around May 1. If that changes, I'll let you know.