The sequel to House of the Scorpion has been finished and handed in to the editor and publisher.  The working title is God’s Ashtray.  The editor doesn’t like the title, but I do.  I sent the book in, via email, on Friday, May 18, and at 5:30 AM on Monday got a reply back from the publisher.

“Brilliant.  How else can I put it.  Simply brilliant.  I’m speechless.”

Now this kind of response is unheard of.  I’m very, very happy.  I worked eight hours a day every day for months.  The only breaks I took were to do fun things like laundry and cooking.  Usually, authors only manage a couple of hours of work without flaming out.  The brain doesn’t shut off at the end of a long writing day and if and when you do fall asleep, you DREAM about the characters.  Housework goes to hell in the last stages.  Family and friends get their feelings hurt.  Dust bunnies get as large as pit bulls.  The writer looks like she’s slept in the gutter for a week.  When the book is handed in it takes a few days to recover.  The work is actually physically exhausting.  For two days I didn’t even want to touch a computer.  Yesterday I was invited to a party and spent the time slumped in a corner fast asleep.

It is now up to the publisher as to when the book gets published.  Many little chores remain to be done.  I hope the process goes quickly and frankly I don’t see why not.

On another topic, look what we found in a neighbor's yard.  A friend was walking her two little dogs and this mountain lion swooped in, caught the smaller one, broke its neck and climbed into a tree to feed

(Photo Terrie Gates)
5/24/2012 10:05:22 am

That's wonderful news, I'm so glad to hear that you've finished. Congratulation, can't wait to read it.

9/29/2013 09:16:01 am


5/24/2012 01:06:17 pm

YAY!!!! YAY!!!!! YAY!!! I've been so anxious,I'm so happy you have finished, you've worked so hard in this book. All the hard work will pay off! Thank you so much for all the time and effort you put into the sequel! I'll read the book when it comes my way!!! Thanks again!!

5/24/2012 01:08:19 pm

By the way, I checked the site every day waiting for a post, you replied sooner than I hoped for (: thank you very very much!!!!! And ( if you can) please tell your neighbor I'm sorry about her dog, poor little thing

8/4/2013 05:50:23 am

Yes, that was very sad about the dog! I have two small ones, I would be devastated if that happened to me! :-(

5/27/2012 04:49:54 pm

Oh. My. Goodness. I have been waiting for a sequel, ever since I read The House of the Scorpion when I was in fourth grade. It's been quite a while since then, and yet still I adore the book and call it my number one favorite read. I cannot wait for the sequel, we fans have waited so long. I'm sure it will be fantastic.

Jazmine A.
5/28/2012 08:19:13 am

I got so excited when I read the title of this post that my gum accidentally flew out of my mouth. I'm glad that the publisher gave you such positive feedback, that means the book will probably blow away my previous expectations. =) The title you came up with sounds pretty darn epic, I really hope they let you keep it.
I think I just made up my mind that I want to be an author. If I become an author, then I have an excellent excuse for being crabby, staying up late, and putting off chores. ;)

Sukhneet M.
5/28/2012 10:46:59 am

I'm defiantly going to have to re-read The House of the Scorpion but I can't wait for the sequel. This is one of my favorite books ever, it's the only one that ever has made me shed a tear. And for whatever it's worth I like the title, it tells a story itself.

Heather Burt
5/29/2012 03:41:35 am

I am reading "House of the Scorpion" now and want to tell you that I am really enjoying it. I came across it at a local bookshop while looking for new things to read. I'm truly glad I picked it up. Thank you so much, Ms. Farmer for penning this truly unique and interesting story.

Matt Billson
10/21/2012 04:27:34 pm

Everyone in the book dies in the end except for Celia, mr. Ortega and daft Donald. And Matt Esperanza and Maria. In the next book, Maria does, my oldest brother is the co editor of the book... Luckily...

3/1/2013 03:53:29 pm

Look Matt,

If you are indeed telling the truth, you need to put a spoiler alert at the top of that. I dont even know what possessed you to write that.

You will burn for this.

6/3/2012 03:54:24 pm

I don't think you understand what this means to me. House of the Scorpion is one of my favourite books in the entire freaking world and I am so happy. I can't wait to see Matt and María's future. And. And.... I love you Nancy Farmer. And I love your beautiful wonderful characters.

6/3/2012 04:32:42 pm

This news has made my entire week! I've been very excited about the possibility of this sequel for years now, and to know that it's being published is great news. Congratulations on finishing! I know it will be just as wonderful as the original.

6/4/2012 01:17:03 pm

AHHHHH! I first read House of the Scorpion in the fifth grade (the librarian actually wouldn't let me take it out on my own card because I was "too young"). Yesterday while cleaning out my bedroom (after my first year of university), I found a book report I did on. Part of the report was a letter to the author, I guess I was too shy (or maybe lazy) to ever mail it to you? I'd like to quote two passages from it that still seem appropriate. The first is a question "When you were writing did you ever scare yourself? Because I was often scared reading it". The second a postscript (and a question) "P.S. What do you think happens to Matt? I think he might marry Marie". My second question is finally getting an answer and I couldn't be happier.

6/4/2012 02:37:35 pm

This is amazing news!!! I can't wait to read this book i have been waiting for a sequel for years and now you have made my wish come true. Thank You once again for writing such great books.

6/19/2012 03:01:27 pm

AMAZING News!! I really cannot wait-- especially because of that response from the publisher.

And that's a little disturbing about the lion. I offer my condolences to the dog owner.

6/28/2012 09:33:22 am

wow i have been waiting for years i was in fifth grade when i read house of the scorpion an i loved it , now i'm in seventh grade an seeing this news i can probably die right now an with no regrets(except for not reading it of course

Eric P.
7/7/2012 02:40:49 pm

So happy to hear that the sequel will be published soon! I am an eighth-grade teacher in Missouri, and we have been teaching The House of the Scorpion for the last several years. My students all ask when the next book will be available, and I have been referring them to your blog. When I teach it again this coming year, I will at last be able to hold up a copy of the sequel and say, "If you want to find out what happens next..." Thanks for the good news!

7/8/2012 02:19:12 am

Gosh, I can't believe it! The house of the scorpion is one of my favorite books, and I never expected it would have a sequel! This is so exciting. Mrs. Farmer, I love your work. You're one of my favorite writers, and I admire you so much! I love to write, (not professionally, I'm still only fifteen) and you inspire me. I hope this is your best yet.
I like the title "god's ashtray," it's intriguing and makes me wonder about the book.

7/9/2012 06:44:36 am

So excited! I just finished reading House of the Scorpion, and it was the the most "can't put this book down" book I have ever read! I can't wait for God's Ashtray to come out, and I'm sure it will be even more amazing! I hope there's Matt and Maria get a lot closer :)

7/13/2012 08:29:27 pm

Every time I visit a bookstore I look for a new nancy farmer book! Can't wait to read this one. Wish I still had our old critique group from eureka but looks like you have your hands full with cougars and rattlers!

Charlie Bone
7/17/2012 04:56:47 pm

At last, after 10 years of waiting. Actually, 3 years since the first time I read the book was in 2009. Can't wait to read it.

7/22/2012 08:47:10 am

Thank you, so much, for all the good books! I also am fond of your writing tips, and I got a lot of ideas from your books, namely the Trolls Trilogy. I can't wait to read this when it's out, and I'll have to keep hoping for a new Trolls book if you ever decide to come out with one. I would be so happy to read a fourth one. Thanks again, Ben.

Lisa Choi
7/24/2012 01:48:10 am

I just finished your book few hours ago.
I love your story and the memorable characters.
How could you not love them.

It was one of the few books that made me
laugh and cry along with the characters
and I should say you are an AMAZING story teller.
Your book made me stay up through out the entire night.
I was up 26 hours non-stop reading from cover to cover.
When I finished, I was screaming in my head,
'I need MORE!'
Now, here I am searching your website for any sign of the sequel
and here it is!!

I hope the work gets published soon. It usually takes extra months for US books to reach South Korea. I can't wait!

7/24/2012 01:56:01 am

Thank you for your hard work and dedication. My girls, who are not big readers, loved H of S and I did too! I am thrilled we will soon have a sequel Can't wait to find out what happens to the Eejits, as well as all the others. I wish you the best.

8/24/2012 11:49:21 pm

I just finished your book for summer reading and it was amazing. I expected to not enjoy the book because it wasn't my favorite genre of books but after reading 30 pages I was hooked. I think th reason I love the book soo much is because I LOVE Matt. He speaks his mind and stands for what he believes and I have so much respect for him. I wish Matt the best of luck in rebuilding the empire, and you the best of luck in getting your book published. I love the name for the second book too. I can't wait to read it!

9/3/2012 08:52:21 pm

Wow! I am the blind reader who asked about the Braille/Audiobook version of your book when I was reading it a few years ago.

Firstly, I want to congratulate you on finishing the sequel to The House of the Scorpion. It has been a long time since I first read the book, but I have found myself returning to it throughout the years.

I sure hope that either a full cast production is in the works for the audiobook of the sequel or at least that I can scan and correct the printed edition quickly. My family and I just really want to find out what happens, and if that means that I need to scan each page individually, because the publisher won't send me or sell an electronic copy, then so be it. I'd publish the book in the Braille format if given the chance, usually just a letter from the copyright holder.

Again, I'm so glad to hear that this book is coming along well.

9/20/2012 03:51:16 pm

OH!!!! I can't wait. THANK YOU!!! I know that in Russia we will have this book only next year or maybe not, but.... I am sooo happy that You made this job! Russian SPASIBO to you!!!!

10/14/2012 07:43:43 am

is this a differnt episode-like book of the house of the scorpion cause i would love to know...... iv never read nancy farmer books this i smy first time reading the house of the scorpion and i liked it

11/8/2012 07:14:07 am

Hi huge fan, it is november and i want the book where is it

11/15/2012 01:44:30 am

House of the scorpion is my all time favorite book and I reread it all the time. Thank you for writing another one; I'm dying to read it!

Alex Martinez
1/12/2013 08:30:26 am

Yay you have finally finished the book. House of scorpion is my all time favorite book. If I could only read one book for an entire month it would be house of so excited to read the sequel

1/28/2013 09:23:07 pm

Will you turn the mountain lion story into a book?

Julia Tiell+
1/30/2013 01:38:42 pm

Today a former student told me about your sequel. I retired after teaching 30+ years in the Ajo Unified School District, and what a treat House of the Scorpion was to read with my students. Being in the heart of the setting, and living daily with plot issues of illegal immigration and drug smuggling provoked many deep discussions and writings among my students. I was on campus subbing today when a senior boy told me this news. We often talked about how it needed to be turned into a movie. I want you to know that this particular student enjoyed the book so much he seemed to have it in his possession throughout the next year after we read it in his 8th grade class. What a delight it was to know that 4 years after reading this book with this student, he has followed up by tracking down the information of your upcoming sequel. As teachers we plant seeds and hope for a bountiful harvest. Thank you Nancy Farmer for providing such fertile soil to present to my students. I am anxious to read the sequel and remember so fondly the fun I had with my students as we read about Matteo, and El Patron, and the landmarks we live with from this story. It makes me wish I had those students back to share the upcoming sequel with each other.

2/9/2013 12:18:36 pm

Is this book out yet?

Mr. Collins
2/14/2013 10:18:47 pm

I teach this book in English 9. I gave it to my students on Tuesday and I had one of my students come in on Wednesday and tell me he had finished the entire book, he loved it and couldn't put it down!
That was so incredible I asked him several questions about the book and he knew all the answers! He asked me if there was a sequel and that he had to read it if there was. Now I can tell him there is a sequel! He will be so excited and so am I. Even reluctant readers love House of the Scorpion. At the end of the year they always say it was their favorite!

2/23/2013 03:58:13 am

This is great i can't wait to read it

3/1/2013 03:48:46 pm

Read this book in 6th grade (currently a junior in college). I think it was the first book that I'd ever read that was >200 pages, and I enjoyed every second of it. Pretty sure I've re-read it at least thrice, and that's a lot for me. Randomly thought of it and figured I'd google for a sequel; expecting absolutely nothing. And to my surprise, I come to find that it's soon to be in my hands. =D

3/17/2013 07:55:11 am

That mountain lion thing is so sad! But the pictures awesome!

Carole Soden
6/6/2013 05:07:12 am

Yea, Yea, Yea. I can't wait for The House of the Scorpion sequel.
I've loved your books since I first found The Ear, The Eye and The Arm in Africa. It's one of our required reading books in sixth grade and every year it helps me make readers out of students who hate to read. Then I introduce them to House of the Scorpion and
The Sea of Trolls series and they are good to go. Thanks for all of your books (my class voted you the person they'd most like to go to tea with - somehow I'm not sure a person who has pit bull sized dust balls would be doing tea but what the heck) and please, please, please keep writing.

7/4/2013 09:42:29 pm

I do like the title God’s Ashtray. There is nothing wrong with that title. The title of your work is actually up to you, right? Then you tell the editor to keep the same. When will be the release of the same? I have huge expectations!

7/12/2013 03:41:33 pm

Oh God, I can't wait for this. This is wonderful news. I knew there had to be a squeal since the book left off on a kind of cliffhanger. I read House of the Scorpion seven years ago.

8/18/2013 11:07:28 am

Oh WOW!!! I am so excited!!! I can't wait to read it!

That Guy
9/11/2013 10:23:22 am

Just finished reading house of the scorpion at school a couple days ago, the ending seemed a bit like a cliff hanger, thank god I checked to see if there was a sequel or else I would have continued life wondering what happened to matt and why it ended the way it did,

Juli Watson
9/20/2013 06:01:18 am

This makes me sooo happy. I use House of the Scorpion in a book club, and every time we are wishing a sequel would come!! WOOHOOOOO

10/4/2013 02:41:41 pm

Thanks for sharing this information.I just wanted to leave a comment as a token of appreciation.

10/22/2013 08:44:52 am

Woohoo! I love the way you right! Ever since I read House of the Scorpion in kindergarten, I've been waiting for the sequel! Thank you so much!

11/17/2013 01:32:12 am

Are you making a book after Lord of the Opium? If so, when do you think it will come out

6/9/2014 02:41:31 pm

The publisher didn't like God's Ashtray but they did like Lord of Opium? Can't say that I like either one and kids didn't read this much at school. I will reread House of the Scorpion and read 'the ashtray' and see if I can't drum up more business for this book. The house of the scorpion was BIG when it came out....

2/4/2015 03:19:35 pm

I love your book, The House of the Scorpion! I literally just finished it. It was amazing! I can't wait to read God's Ashtray. And the thing about your friend's dog, that's pretty sad.


Leave a Reply.