Most writers don't even come close to making a living with their writing.  Almost all of them have a day job or a husband or wife who supports them.  Many write for the joy of seeing their work in print.  Or they write because it feels wonderful to create something.  These people often don't mind giving away free books or to entertain an audience for free.  I envy them, but alas I am the other kind of novelist.  I depend entirely on selling books for my income.  When my family moved from Zimbabwe to the United States, we were only allowed to take $500 with us.  While we were very happy to be in the U.S., it meant several years of frightening poverty.  This ended when I began to sell books.

Yet we have never become rich.  We are like the people who run the mom-and-pop store on the corner.  Expenses are high and one bad year can ruin the business.  I am trying to explain why I don't give away free books.  Many people have written to me for them, expecting me to pay the postage as well.  I can't do this any more than a grocer can give away free hamburger.  So please don't think I am being heartless turning you down.  It's simply how the business works.

Julie Minnette
11/7/2008 10:29:49 am

First of all I want to say I LOVE THE SEA OF TROLLS! I teach 7th grade literature and we read the book as a class. You cannot imagine the response. Students who never liked reading are already reading THE LAND OF THE SILVER APPLES. I don't "talk books" with them right now, because I myself have not read the sequel, and want to find out what happens on my own! I have spent the last 30 minutes reading some of our Q&A's and comments. To answer, "why people want to meet authors"... because on paper you seem so interesting. My students are pumped to know you are still living...(most authors read in school today died a long time ago:) I will point them to your website, just so they can "meet" you here. Anyway, I just wanted you to know that 27 (myself included) people in East Tennessee think that you are an excellent writer. My class is working me up to read THE LAND OF THE SILVER APPLES next. I selfishly want to read it myself first! Your writing covers so many skills needed to be taught, that I think next year they could name my class TROLLS 101, and we will just read your Troll series and use if for everything... obviously I am a HUGE fan. You write with such detail that we all felt like we were with Jack on his adventures...right down to the nastiness in the bottom of the boat. Most of my students were disappointed when Jack left Thorgill...even my boys are romantics in hiding:) Thank you for the experience to get to read such a wonderful book with my students!

Aaron Staples
12/2/2008 09:26:54 am

Dear Ms. Nancy Farmer,

My name is Aaron and I'm in the sixth grade. I chose to read the Ear, the Eye and the Arm as part of my schools "12 Novel" school year. The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm was a great book. At first I felt it would just be a boring mystery. However, when I got to the second chapter it became more exciting to read. My mom had to snatch the book out of my hands so I would go to sleep. I really enjoyed reading this book. I do have a few questions about the book.
One question I really need to ask is why put the setting in Zimbabwe? I mean why not Japan or China? That is where most of our every day items come from. Another thing I was why make the father a general instead of a mayor or president.
Another really important question is how did you know so much about Zimbabwe and why put a glossary? I have never seen a book like that before. I thought it was really cool to mix things up a little bit. I also liked how the detective trio was not all from Zimbabwe. It like you did not want to leave anyone out.
I really enjoyed reading this book. I really hope you make a sequel. If you do, I would really like it if you include Arm’s daughter Sekia. Even though she did not have much of a part, she was my favorite character. I love your books! Please keep writing more books.

Aaron S.

Ashley Birdwell
12/21/2008 09:31:36 am

Hi Nancy I'm Ashley Birdwell and I'm a 6th grader. You really made me cry, because The Sea of Trolls is the BEST BOOK I ever read, and it was real disapointing to see the end of the book,and also knowing Olaf One-Brow had died, I even ended up cring on my best friend's shoulder, at least he's in that good old Valhalla. The book first cault my eye with the word TROLL. You see I play this online game called World of Warcraft and one of the characters you can chose from are the trolls. Well any ways at first I thought this was going to be an ordanory book so I just started reading it, and since I'm into history, legions, and folklore it just sucked the gamer girl right out of me. I'm glad there's a sequel to it and I can't wait to read i, I hope it's as long, or longer than The Sea of Trolls. By the way I too started writing my own book, I even started last year, but it's kind of going slow at least it was until I read your book and remembered to read up on legions and such.

Thanks for the influence,
and good book :)

Ashley Birdwell:)

1/12/2009 05:41:12 am

Dear Mrs. Farmer,
I am a 7th grader at J. M. Robinson Middle School in NC. I hope to be a writer one day and I'm wondering if there is anything important I should know about writing books or getting them published. Also, my language arts class is reading The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm and I'm really excited about it because this is one of the first good books we've actually read. THANK YOU FOR WRITING THIS BOOK AND INSPIRING ME!

Cassandra C.
1/25/2009 09:44:58 pm

Hey, i have a question. Me and my friends @ Northwest Middle School are debating on whiether Tam Lin is dead or alive after El Patrons funeral. I say he is dead but my friend Ricky thinks he is alive. We are debating on it in class if you can answer me i would greatly apprieate it. thanks,

1/25/2009 09:50:36 pm

why did you make tam lin die my frend cassandra says that he died but i dont care cause he still lives on in my heart

Hope Madden
1/28/2009 03:26:32 am

Dear Ms. Farmer,

I'm a development editor with Pearson Publishing, working with Dr. Donna Norton on the revision of her college textbook Through the Eyes of a Child: An Introduction to Children's Literature. We would like to interview you for inclusion in a text feature for the coming edition. Is that possible?

Please feel free to contact me directly at my email address. I'm afraid I had a hard time finding other contact information for you.

Thank you,
Hope Madden
Senior Development Editor
Pearson Professional & Career
445 Hutchinson Ave.
Columbus, OH 43235

2/23/2009 05:46:54 am

i wonder if you could in the future do the next part of the house of the scorpions

Peter Wilson
3/9/2009 12:51:03 pm

Ms. Farmer:

I am an independent film producer and I am inquiring as to whether the film rights to the African novels are still available. I'd understood that a writer had already been assigned to House of Scorpion and I'd also like to discuss that with you.

I would prefer that any response come to my email address.

Thank you,
Peter Wilson
445 Otis Ave.
St.Paul, MN 55104

3/19/2009 05:57:11 am

Dear Mrs Farmer im reading your book House of the scorpion you did a great job. How did You ever come up with all these great ideas. I like writing but it just seems like it takes for ever. One day i would love to have made a whole series that would be great. i have a Question at what age did you start writting.

3/19/2009 05:59:35 am

Are you going to write a sequel to

4/9/2009 02:30:22 am

Can you tell me why you wrote the book the warm place?

drew thompson
4/23/2009 12:36:57 pm

I read your book house of the scorpion i LOVED it the beast book i ever read.It defiantly earned it's 3 awards.also I am glad you did not take the contract ware they get all the characters and what-ever.I also think that the book is something that the makers of the muffets should not get any rights to.however I can not what for gods ash tray.also I am a 11 year old and I found that book quite easy.I think you should make the next book actually not a less than one week read.besides that the book and am hopping that all of your other books will be as excellent of a read.thank you for writing this book.

4/28/2009 03:02:58 am

Me and my grade 8 class have just finished reading The House of the Scorpion and we absolutley fell in love with your characters!We are so excited for the movie to come out and for the sequel to come out also.Do you have any plans to continue on your series after you are finished the sequel.I have just ordered a Girl Named Disaster from my school and i am getting myself prepared for another heartwarming story!

Alana Kilcoyne
5/6/2009 10:29:23 am

In my 6th grade humanities group, we have just started reading The Ear, The Eye, and the Arm. I find the book very easy, almost to easy, and I was wondering if you thought that the book was appropriate for my class to be reading. Also, what age group do you write for, if any?

Sarah Hawley
7/10/2009 02:22:43 pm

Dear Mrs. Farmer,

I am a sixth grade teacher in Richmond, Indiana. Your books have their own section in my classroom library. It is within my "teacher recommended books" section.

I stumbled across The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm some years ago. I read it aloud to my students (at the time I was teaching a mixed class of 6th-8th graders) and they LOVED it! From there I read on...So far I have read all of your books except your picture books, and your two oldest novels. They are on my "to read" and "to buy" lists.

I just wanted to thank you for being the type of person who writes such wonderful fiction. I prefer to read YA novels over adult because I find adult novels to be near universally depressing. I also lack the finishing power to write the way authors do. I have plenty of good ideas...just no follow-through. So thank you.

I look forward to reading the third Sea of Trolls book. (In my spare time I used to play at being a Viking...yes, as an adult.)

May at least one of your novels be picked up for a movie deal (especially with all of the books being turned in to movies lately!) and may you have great influence over the script!

Sarah Hawley

Megan Holden
10/5/2009 05:33:26 am

Hi Nancy,

I would like to interview you for a feature in Reed magazine (and the editor would like it to). You have a fantastic website that I could use for much of the article, however, I would like your permission and a chance to hear your voice. (I tried the S&S publicity department, but didn't get very far.) I hope your eye surgery went well. Please get in touch if you have time. I am a huge fan.

Yours, Megan

noel knight
10/20/2009 09:21:54 am

hey! i seriously want to become an author. can you help me. please... i already have ideas for books. if you can help me please e-mail me at please. because i know this is my calling. thank you

11/13/2009 10:50:18 pm

Hello Nancy Farmer, I love your Trolls trilogy so much but I was a little disappointed about the ending of the third book. It would be a good one if you were to write a 4th book. So if you could, tons of people would love it. If you were to write a 4th book then I would love to hear more about Jack and Thorgil at the school of bards. And also is the Bard telling the truth about St. Columba or is he himself St. Columba? Sorry about your eye. Thanks, Benjamin Gallegos PS My Mom and sister are your biggest fans. My Mom can read the Old English, so she was the only one... but she says you do the best job of people who use it.

11/20/2009 05:27:21 am

Wow, Nancy Farmer. You make the *best* books ever. I'm in the 7th grade, and I am hooked to the book The House of the Scorpion. I hate to say it, but that's actually a good plan to live forever: get a clone and replace your organs with his/hers every, say, 100 years. I feel bad for Matt; he thought El Patrón loved him but he only wanted Matt's organs. I want a clone!
I'm not even done with the book, but I really want your sequel. Thanks for the awesome book, and I am your biggest fan!

12/2/2009 12:38:06 am

Dear Nancy!
I'm an artist from St. Petersburg (Russia).I have old interest to the Scandinavian heathen ways and traditions, to trolls and other fairy creatures.

A circle of things that somehow influenced and enriched my vision was defined — books, music, works of different artists close to the fantazy or sometimes not... Perhaps there was also some part of my own impressions from walking in the forests, getting closer to nature and studying geology.

I'm sure that's not just a coincidence that your book "The Sea of Trolls" fell into my hands this summer. It was for sale at a little mobile store. After I've read it I've bought all the remaining copys there and presented them to my friends who have children.
Your book is fabulous and wonderful, it brings harmony and proper, right attitude to the world, and what's even more important it teaches to see and recognize the beauty of the World!
I would really like to illustrate this book and I can and want to dedicate my efforts and skills to it.
Please have a look at my works on my website. They can show you my admiration and love to the world of trolls and magic that you described in your fantastic book!

Dream of drawing for you,

My website with my artworks

12/8/2009 05:54:54 am

Sorry, I cut letter, my website with my artworks

12/14/2009 12:57:22 am

i luv 2 write.plz,tellme how u do it! im

Lorose Williams
1/7/2010 01:35:15 am

I would like to start by saying that I hope all has gone well with your surgery.
My name is Lorose Williams and I love all of your books. I am one of those fans who cannot wait for you to finish another book so I can devour it. I hope to be an author someday too and have already written my first book. I have done my research and I realize that I may never see it succeed. Yet, when I face that reality, I realize that I need to write like I need to breath. Whether or not I ever get published, I am doing what I love to do. Was it that way for you? Your writing is inspiring. Thank you for that.
I wish you well on a speedy recovery.
Lorose Williams

Lucas and Julian
1/15/2010 09:49:23 pm

Hi Nancy,
I and my friend we Read your Books:
"drachenmeer and elfenfluch"( we are German Boys we cant speak english very good)
is sometime à 3th Book coming?, because we will love it very much...
Is a Film adaption Coming? For example with Jack thorgil yffi Olaf Brutus and some other characters.

Please Write back soon, thank you!!!

Lucas and Julian :)

Adam Edwards
5/11/2010 07:20:42 am

Hello Nancy I just wanted to say that im your biggest fan EVER!! I'm just wondering , if you don't mind, that you can tell me what inspired you to write your book *The House Of The Scripion* because it's my favorite book. Please write back your BIGGEST FAN, Adam Edwards


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