Wow!  I woke up this morning to the story about the meteor that exploded over Russia.  I didn't think such things were possible, but it probably happened before in 1908, also in Russia.  Something exploded over the Tunguska forest in Siberia and knocked down about a billion trees.  The current explosion happened in a part of the country that was already cursed.  Not long ago the Soviets made nuclear weapons there and flushed all the excess radiation into  the local rivers.  People back then didn't know how dangerous radiation was.  I remember bomb drills in high school where we were told to hide under our desks, as if that was going to save us.  When I was nine I used to climb to the top of my parents' hotel to watch A-bomb tests in Nevada.  I hope the wind was blowing the other way.

I got Advanced Reader Copies of the Lord of Opium, but the book won't come out until Sept. 3.  But I have another little announcement to make.  I am going to publish an adult book on Kindle.  Harold is putting my earlier books on Kindle because the publishers don't have electronic rights to them.  They asked for the rights and offered me 10% royalties, but Amazon pays 70%.  Well, duh.  So far we have put out The Ear, the Eye and the Arm, to be followed by The Warm Place and Tapiwa's Uncle (the African version of Do You Know Me).  My adult book is called A New Year's Tale.  It is an OA (OLD Adult) novel and suitable for ages 65 and up, although 40-year-olds can read it with the permission of their parents.

It really isn't for young people.  That's not because it's loaded with sex and curse words, but because you look at things differently when you have had years of experience. It takes place in the near future.  The U. S. government has discovered that it doesn't have enough money to cover Social Security and Medicare, so plans are made to make the survival of anyone over 65 difficult.  This has alarmed the spirit world, from which our ancestors watch over us.  They can do nothing, being spirit, but they recruit five seniors to correct the situation.  These five have to elude capture and figure out a way to take over the government before the next election.  New Omega Laws are planned to cleanse the country of the elderly and to seize their bank accounts.

In spite of the serious subject, the story is up-beat and funny.  One of the new laws is the Diminished Culpability Act.  If you murder someone aged 21, you go to prison for life.  If you kill a 65-year-old you only get two years, and an 80-year-old gets you two weeks of community service.

If the book sells well, I'll put it out for print-on-demand.  I'm so excited about the new shape of publishing.  ebooks have opened the door for all kinds of authors who are good, but appeal to a small audience or are too unusual.

Now, to answer a couple of your letters:  To Paula Sabato, the best thing is to send the letters to the publisher, as you suggested.  I don't know your email address, so I can't send you my home address.  I'm delighted that your kids liked the book, and especially that they are in Arizona.  They would have a good understanding of the issues.  One thing I should mention is this:  The House of the Scorpion and The Lord of Opium are actually one long novel.  Only a few hours separate the end of one and the beginning of the next.  The story changes as Matt grows up.  It starts from the viewpoint of a six-year-old, which is very different from that of the fourteen-year-old at the end of Scorpion.  The Lord of Opium takes Matt to age 15.  15 is an age of great changes where boys become adults.  Matt has been handed ultimate power and wealth as well as danger, and he has to mature quickly.  That is why the Lord of Opium is listed as a YA, not a children's book.

To Mr. Collins, my heart warmed when you said the book was enjoyed by reluctant readers.  It was designed for them.  My son was a reluctant reader (and dyslexic, as am I).  If I tried to read him a book he didn't like, he threw it out the window.  Once, he even tore one in two.  (Only once.  I don't take kindly to destroying books.)  I learned very quickly what interested him.  It seemed to me that most of the novels he got at school were not aimed at boys, especially the kind who need frequent breaks to let off steam.  I wanted to reach that audience.

A New Year's Tale will go on Kindle as soon as I get permission to use the lyrics of a song.  Now I will go back to the internet and read about that meteor over Russia.

2/21/2013 01:07:53 pm

:) I love you Nancy! September can't come soon enough. I'm too young for the new book and even my parents would need permission to read it, but it sounds interesting!!!

I had one question, about Fani from House of the Scorpion--did she survive? How is Nigeria going to react to what happened over there, especially if Fani died? I always get really interested in the back stories of minor characters, I have all my own little fantasies about the details of Benito and Fani's lives and other little things-- I am really, REALLY obsessed with your book. If you don't want to answer due to spoilers, I can wait for the book :) I'm sooo excited!!!

If you want to email me it is ryah337@
:) As always I wish you the best, the wonderful creator of my favourite fantasy world--dystopian as it is, I lose myself in that story and the characters every time I want to escape reality.

2/22/2013 12:03:33 pm

This sounds really interesting, both "The Lord of Opium" and "A New Year's Tale", though it sounds like I'm just way too young to read it. I will definitely be staying up for days on end when the release of the book comes near-- I usually do a re-read when a release day is near and stay up all night just thinking of what'll come next.
The character of Matt has always intrigued me. Now that I think about it, he wouldn't handle things nearly the same because he lived a very different life than the average person. I'm exited to see more about his character in the upcoming portion of the novel.
I presume Maria will be there for a good amount of it-- she was in Opium for a long time. Will the lost boys (I'm so sorry if I called the guys from the other side of the border something wrong-- I lent out my book today and don't have it on me) play a role?
Thanks for the post, I enjoy reading your updates.

3/30/2013 04:46:19 am

I loved your book, The House of the Scorpion! And I completely agree with Rya in that September 3rd cannot come soon enough. Many books intrigue and inspire me, but yours completely blew my mind and in some ways changed my life. Not so much in a moral sense, but it made me extremely happy, and that happiness pervades feelings even today, years after reading it. I am very much looking forward to this sequel.
Sadly it seems I'm not old enough to read A New Year Tale, maybe I'll ask my grandparents to read it and explain it to me :P
All the best, live happily and keep writing, please!

Jesus Arellano
5/16/2013 04:47:49 pm

11 years.

Jesus Arellano
5/16/2013 04:50:19 pm

I first read the book 4 years ago, and I immediately wanted to read the sequel after I finished the book.

Donis Rasmussen
6/1/2013 01:11:09 pm

YEA! I just found "A New Years Tale" in paper book at Amazon. I read it on my Kindle some time back. I still LOVE it! I just bought copies for myself and my sister. I'm 64 and proud of it! I enjoyed the story so much but it the characters that I just fell so in love with that I want in my hand and on my book shelf. Can't wait to get it. Still think it would make a great movie. My granddaughter gave me her copy of The House of the Scorpion to read. I liked it so much that I checked out the Nancy Farmer, that's how I found A New Year's Tale. Lucky Me. Nancy, I'll read all of your books.

5/22/2015 07:46:52 am

I would love to read this book, but it doesn't seem to be available for the ipad. Any chance it will be soon? If not, I'll get the paperback. Thanks!

5/23/2015 01:58:28 am

Dear Jessy,
You can get a free app from Kindle that will allow you to put A New Year's Tale on an iPad. Look at the Kindle edition of my book (only 99 cents!) and somewhere on that page is the information. Enjoy.
Nancy Farmer

5/24/2015 11:25:47 am

Thank you! I'll do that immediately!

Leave a Reply.