Why do I keep killing off important characters in my books? Characters people like and root for. Even sometimes minor characters that are charming and likeable and interesting. I kill them off. I like saying when asked about this aberration in my character that I am unpredictable that way. Don’t get too attached to anyone in a Brooks book, I add. Well, in a Shannara book anyway. This doesn’t really apply to the Magic Kingdom series, which is a different animal. I don’t kill off much of anyone there, and certainly not my main characters. Please.

But everyone in Shannara is fair game. Except for maybe the Ohmsfords. I thought about that the other morning while I was trying unsuccessfully to come up with a name for a character. Really, why am I so bloodthirsty? Would therapy help? Electro-shock? Pecan Sandies?

I don’t know. I think maybe it has something to do with my childhood reading experiences. Characters I came to love were always dying off for one reason or another. Bambi’s mom, Old Yeller, Boromir, Greyfriar’s Bobby, Arthur and his whole court, three of the four Musketeers, and so on. I think subconsciously I want you to suffer as I did. So killing off characters you love satisfies some sick inner need.

Anyway, that’s what Shawn says. My kids, too.

By the way, I am thinking about killing off an Ohmsford, too. Ha!

Written by Terry Brooks
I am the author of the Shannara, Landover, and Word/Void series, as well as Star Wars: The Phantom Menace and Street Freaks. I love to write, read, and travel. For more information about me, you can read my writing guide/memoir, Sometimes the Magic Works.