July Ask Terry Posted

For 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!

Dear Readers,

Here we are, back in the familiar Ask Terry forum, all of us hoping the same thing – that I will actually know some real answers this time out. Well, don’t hold your breath. Just remember that I make my living writing fantasy, and it doesn’t stop with the books. But there’s always that time or two when I slip up or actually tip to the real thing, and you get the answer you always knew was hiding out there somewhere.

So let’s end the suspense and see what magic we can conjure up:

Tom Maguire writes: Dear Terry, I noticed that your upcoming Shannara trilogy is called Legacy of Shannara. Usually, when a book is named legacy, it means that will be the last story in the entire series. I know you are still writing the second half of Shannara‘s pre-history, but after Legacy are you done with the ‘future’ Shannara era?

Terry Brooks replies: Whoa! I had no idea that the word ‘legacy’ suggested an end to things. I do think of ‘legacy’ as a reference to what someone has left behind in the wake of their passing. But in my case that would be the entire Shannara series when I am dead and gone, and I don’t plan on going the Robert Jordan route for awhile yet. So, no, this doesn’t meant the series of books chronicling the future of Shannara is ending. It only refers to the legacy given to those characters in this book who are descendants of those in prior books imbued with magic and talismans that have impacted their own lives and now likely the lives of those who will come after. It also refers obliquely to the continuing conflict between magic and science. Hope that’s all right.

Anonymous writes: Do you think you’d ever consider writing short stories that link the passage of time between series?

Terry Brooks replies: Probably not. I am not fond of writing or even passably good at writing short stories. Mostly, when I take one on, it drives me to distraction. As I have written before, it is all I can do to keep a short story short and it is really not worth the effort. I much prefer writing long fiction. I like reading short fiction, but I am not good at conjuring it up. That said, I can’t speak for what will happen as time goes on. If I get too weary to stick it out with long fiction, I may fall back on writing short. Or maybe age will make my long fiction magically turn into short fiction.

Chad L. writes: Terry, other than the enjoyment of writing itself and the free time that it allows, what has been the most joyful part of being in the writing business?

Terry Brooks replies: Now, there’s a question I haven’t heard before. Hard to say, really. I love books and being around books and writers and readers of books. It forms the basis of who and what I am. I am immersed in it to such a degree I can’t imagine life without it. All of it is joyful and endlessly fascinating and compelling. But that doesn’t address your question, does it? I guess maybe what I really like is the satisfaction I get when I have finished a book – or any piece of writing, really – so that I can hold it up and say, “That’s mine! I wrote that! I really like what it is and how it works.” Then, a day or two later, I set it aside and go on to the next piece of work.

Joe Fitzgerald writes: The demons in the Word/Void series were obviously not locked away in the Forbidding via the Ellcrys. Demon’s still walked the earth doing the bidding of the Void. In a future Shannara series (post-High Druid), will we ever again see these demons who are exempt from imprisonment and who continue to walk the Earth?

Terry Brooks replies: Well, you will be seeing one of them later this month in Measure of the Magic. As to the post High Druid series, I’m not sure what I intend to do about new demons. I have some plans for three new books, but I can’t talk about anything here because I don’t want to give anything away until the first book comes out in 2012. I can say I expect that since demons are newly formed all the time – humans who drift too far the wrong way are susceptible to becoming demons – I think you can expect to see more down the road. Remember that the demons locked away in the Forbidding with the other creatures of Faerie were all Faerie who had fallen away. What we have before and after the Great Wars are demons changed from Humans. Hope that’s complicated enough for you.

Cole Chapman writes: I have enjoyed collecting your novels for many years now. I was wondering what your personal collection of books (you have written) is like. Do you own one of everything you have ever published? Have any favorites, or something that you still lack?

Terry Brooks replies: I own multiple copies of almost every book in every language that I have written. My contract entitles me to this perk. Unfortunately, I get more copies now than I did in the early days, so I have fewer of the first three Shannara books than all the others. I also have no idea how many I have of various languages, particularly German and Italian, where copies are reissued frequently with new covers and in new sizes. It gets pretty confusing. But I keep a complete set on hand at my work station for reference purposes.

So there you have it for this month. Next month, I will be on the road with Measure of the Magic, doing DragonCon in Atlanta and bookstores and libraries in North Carolina and New England. Hope to see some of you there, one place or the other. Summer seems to have finally arrive out here in the Pacific NW. Maybe you wish you had a little less summer in some places. But you can talk the weather to death and still not do anything about it.

See you next month, same time, same place,

Please completely fill in the form below and send the two questions you want to ask Terry this month.

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8 responses to “July Ask Terry Posted”

  1. Thanks for posting question # 1 above. Although it was not my question, Terry essentially answered a question I had on whether Walker Boh’s legacy/struggles would be fufilled. I don’t think his legacy has been yet through Grianne, but it sounds as if this new set of Ohmsford’s/Shannara’s will do so (building on what Grianne has done). I’m looking forward to those installments. Great website!

  2. Terry,

    Thank you for answering my question about demons! That makes perfect sense.
    Demons in the forbidding = Faerie creatures turned demon
    Demons in word/void series (and possibly beyond) = Humans turned demons after the time of faerie.

    Got it! =)

    • Jessica, Terry only answers five questions a month. We receive hundreds of questions. So if your question wasn’t selected, it won’t be answered and sent to your email.

      That said, you asked two question this morning that I could answer so I did and sent you an email with the answers.

  3. I first read Sword of Shannara when I was in high school and then took a long time off from reading. Started back up and read all of the books from Sword to Straken. Left the series but recently discovered more Shannara books with the bridging of the Word and Void series to the Shannara series. My timing is hopefully “right” in that I flew thru the reading of the Genesis of Shannara series in about 3-4 weeks and I am finishing up Bearers of the Black Staff in the Legends series with Measure of the Magic due out very soon. Will the Legends series be only a 2 book series? Would you consider First King of Shannara to be part of the Legends series?

    • First King of Shannara is not part of the Legends series. It’s not part of the pre-Shannara series either, since there is a Shannara character in the book. The Legends series will only be 2 books. One day Terry will return to the pre-Shannara novels and write another series that undoubtedly will have its own series title too. 🙂

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