May Ask Terry Posted
or many years the only chance a fan had of speaking to Terry was to meet him at tour events or conventions. Now with the establishment of this website, Terry will accept two questions from each fan per month. On the last day of the month, five questions will be randomly drawn. Terry will answer these five questions and they will be posted monthly for your enjoyment.
Below are the questions selected last month and Terry’s answers! Enjoy!
Note: This section may contain spoilers!
Here we are, once again, back at the drawing board, trying to come up with believable answers for the latest batch of Ask Terry questions. Gets harder all the time, making this stuff up. Wait, Shawn is trying to tell me something. Oh, hey, I didn’t realize that, Shawn. He says I’m not supposed to be making anything up. I’m supposed to be giving real answers.
I don’t know what he expects from a fantasy writer, but I think we need to have a serious talk.
Anyway, here are my responses:
Terry Brooks replies: Could be, Simon Robert. That suggestion gets offered up a lot. I might go there, given enough time and space. At the moment, I would guess we are a few years away from tackling any project along those lines. But because you and several hundred otehrs have asked and asked repeatedly, I promise to give this some serious thought.
Anonymous writes: Dear Terry, I recently read a review of Bearers of the Black Staff and the reviewer accused you of using the Children of the Hawk as a way of attacking real world religions, particularly Christianity. What do you have to say about this accusation?
Terry Brooks replies: Hey, if the shoe fits . . . Here’s how I view the matter. I had no intention of attacking any particular religion in that book or in Measure of the Magic. By the way, it gets much worse in Measure. What I did intend was to call attention to the fact that time and again sects of all sorts – not any one specifically – suggest possibilities inherent in their teachings that turn out to be false. I don’t like it when people or organizations take advantage of people searching for answers and hungry for a sense of place and understanding. Most of what any religion has to offer is a tapestry of possibilities of how life should be lived and what rewards are to be found by living it in the right way. But now and again we hear things that make us sit up and ask if these people are rational or not. I would never point my finger at any specific religion. Why? Because it is up to each of us to decide what’s real or not. Faith is personal and varies widely. But we all can name teachings and writings and beliefs of one faith or another that we ourselves do not think is real. I’ve written a story in which blind faith leads to disaster. Has it not ever been so?
Tom Surdi writes: Will we ever see another Druid council again. One that isn’t corrupt, that is?
Terry Brooks replies: Well, Tom, the Druid Council of the Fourth Druid Order, which forms the backbone of the story I am presently writing, the first of the trilogy that follows on the heels of the High Druid series, is not corrupt. It is flawed, however, and it does make mistakes of a very unfortunate sort, but that’s just the way most governing bodies are, isn’t it? Individuals try to do the right thing, but sometimes they err. Same with councils and what-not. You can decide for yourself when you read the first of the three books in August of 2012.
Sarah Bell writes: Dear Terry, I have just finished reading Sometimes the Magic Works, and I’d just like to say thankyou for creating such a wonderful insight into your career, and a starting point for all of us budding writers! Having been on the brink of writing a novel for most of my life, your book spurred me onto doing somthing about it. Moments after finishing the last page, I sat, pen poised, ready to spew forth my ideas… then I froze! The reason is that I’m scared that my ideas contain too much of me, and if I start putting them into the real world, will that distroy them? And what if other people read them and don’t like what’s there (because surely that is a part of me). Just wondering if you ever felt like this before beginning to write?
Terry Brooks replies: Here’s the deal, Sarah. Of course, your book is going to contain a whole lot of you. At the very least, you are going to explore your thinking about various ideas and types of people. You have to be prepared to put yourself out there in a major way just by suggesting that you have something worthwhile to say. Worse still, you know going in that there are going to be people who don’t like your writing and perhaps don’t even like you because of your writing. So you have to armor up going in and not be of the faint-hearted. Maybe this will help. I always start out by telling myself that the only person I have to satisfy about what I am going to write is me. This is because I am my own toughest critic. I am going to be very hard on myself and I am not going to cut any corners. In the end, if it works for me maybe it will work for my readers. I don’t know any other way to approach it. And it doesn’t change with 30 odd books. The questioning, the worries, the fears – they’re always there, lurking at the corners of your thinking. You just have to be prepared to face them down.
Jeffrey Herwig writes: I was just wondering (maybe I missed it while reading the Straken series) why the Faerie creatures would create the Tanequil and the Ellcrys, because in Elfstones Allanon eludes to the evil Faerie creatures being so dangerous they needed to be in a prison they could never escape.
Terry Brooks replies: First of all, the Elves created the Ellcrys, but not the Tanequil. The Tanequil is a product of the Word. But here’s the important thing about both of them. There are no absolutes. There are no perfect solutions. Creating the Ellcrys, for example, was not a guarantee that the demons would never break free again. Because it required the sacrifice of a life in order to make the magic strong enough to sustain the wall of the Forbidding, it necessarily required renewal. The prison was strong for a time, but sooner or later it had to fail. No magic can change something so thoroughly that it can never be changed back or in someway fail. The Elves who created the Ellcrys knew this; what they didn’t know was how long it would take before the tree began to fail and the magic to weaken. Think of the phrase: “The war to end all wars.” No such thing. Change is inevitable.
Okay, I am worn out now and have to go off to sleep. Take this latest effort to answer your questions and make of it what you will. Hope your summer arrives soon, if it hasn’t already. We are seeing flashes of that summer in short one day previews out here in the northwest, but I think we might be looking at the usual time of arrival – the 5th of July. Cooler and wetter than usual the whole first half of the year, but not so bad otherwise. Hope you are reading lots of good books and staying on top of your life. See you next month, perhaps with some big news.
Your hardworking fantasy author,
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