Friday, August 02, 2013

An Update for August

A busy summer for the Riordans! We are still settling into our new house in Boston, waiting for the last load of our stuff to arrive from Texas. On top of that, I’ve been writing furiously. So what have I been working on?

The House of Hades is ready to go. My portion of the work is done. Now it’s being typeset, proofed, printed, etc. -- still a long process to get it ready for the release date, but the book will be out on time as promised, October 8, and I can’t wait to share the story with you! The first chapter was made available with The Son of Sobek ebook, but we will be releasing another sneak peek, free, later in the summer, along with some character art reveals. Stay tuned for more on that!

I’ve just finished work on the rough draft manuscript for Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods. For many years, I’ve wanted to retell the Greek myths. As a teacher, I always had trouble finding a good anthology of myths to use in my classroom. As much as I love Hamilton, D’Aulaires, Evslin, Graves and Greene, all these collections are a bit dated. I decided to try recasting the original stories by telling them in Percy Jackson’s voice. Rather than relying on the earlier anthologies listed above, I set them aside and went straight back to the sources – Homer, Hesiod, Nonnus, Apollodorus, Ovid et al. I let Percy do the talking in his usual snarky way, with chapters covering the creation of the world, the war with the Titans, and all the major Olympian gods. The result is a full-length book that I hope is the most readable modern take on Greek mythology, and also the most complete version available for young readers. I’ve covered the ‘greatest hits’ but I’ve also provided deeper cuts from the myths, many of which are not typically included in mythology books. Even better, the book will be illustrated by John Rocco, the genius who does the American cover art for all my books. That’s going to be awesome! I don’t have an exact release date for Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods yet, but you can expect to see it in 2014.

I have begun work on the fifth and final book in The Heroes of Olympus. You will find out the title of book five when you reach the end of The House of Hades (the same way I’ve revealed all the other titles in this series). The book will be released in the fall of 2014. Will that be the last story set in Percy Jackson’s world? It’s really too early to say, but I’ve got a lot of other irons in the fire.

For instance: I’ve also been working on my long-anticipated Norse series. The first book in that series is not due to be published until 2015, but I have the outline done and I’m very excited to get started with it. As I’ve mentioned before, Norse mythology was my first fandom. I started reading those stories in middle school, along with The Lord of the Rings, and the tales of the Viking gods had a huge influence on me as a reader and a writer.

As you can imagine, the projects above have filled up my plate pretty completely, but I’ve also made time to read a lot of great books over the summer. I’ll give you a report on those in a separate post later on.

In the meantime, thank you all for being such great fans! Because of you, The Son of Sobek has spent the last six weeks on the New York Times middle grade bestseller list – the first time this has happened for a short story, or an electronic book, as far as I’m aware. I certainly wasn’t expecting that little story to do so well, but I’m so glad you guys enjoyed it! Hopefully I’ll be able to continue that story line, so you can find out what happens with Percy and Carter next, though as I said, a lot of other irons in the fire . . .

Keep reading, and I hope you all enjoy the rest of your summer!