MOUNT VERNON, Wash. -

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates doesn't have much time to enjoy his home in Skagit County.

He's still promoting his book, "Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War," and in May he starts a two-year job as president of the Boy Scouts of America.

During a break in his schedule, Gates told Skagit Valley Herald he's also planning his next book, a guide on how to manage change in large public institutions.

The former head of the Defense Department and CIA says he doesn't feel detached living in Skagit County. He says he loves not getting the 3 a.m. phone calls.

His wife Becky grew up on the Olympic Peninsula and the couple married in Seattle.