Dear Readers,

It is time for an update on what lies ahead for yours truly as a writer. Much has been brewing on this subject for some time, and most of it came out while I was on book tour with The Measure of the Magic or immediately after. So for those of you who didn’t get the word or missed being at the events – likely most of you – here is a succinct update on what you can expect for 2012 and 2013.

Some time back, I got ahead on my writing schedule. This doesn’t happen often, which is why you get one book a year from me and that’s pretty much it. But I actually got through the book for 2012 last year. Knowing that next year marks the 35th anniversary of the publication of Sword of Shannara, I thought it might be nice to give something back to all those readers who have been asking me from day one – “Why can’t you do more than one book a year?”

Well, it now looks like I can. In fact, I can do 3 books in a year. This one time, anyway. I have a 3 book series coming up next in the future of Shannara, subtitled Legacy of Shannara, which takes place some 120 years after the conclusion of the events in High Druid, and Del Rey will be publishing this trilogy more or less as follows:

  • Book 1 in August 2012.
  • Book 2 in March 2013.
  • Book 3 in August 2013.

So for the first and likely the last time ever, you will be the recipients of a three book set, all published within a 12 to 13 month time period.

Wait, there’s more. Because this is a gift back to readers who have supported my work for so long, I asked Del Rey if they would consider doing a few things to honor that first book. They were more than willing. So they will be doing some interior artwork for the new series, including a 2 page color centerfold, line drawings of Paranor, a 2 page expanded map of the Four Lands, and probably more. Once we have it all in place, you will be the first to know.

In addition, Del Rey is publishing a new edition of Sword of Shannara, which I think collectors, in particular, will be anxious to get their hands on.

So all this is a big deal and a deviation from what I have been doing regularly for many years, all because we think you deserve it. We hope you will agree when you see the finished books. If you have any thoughts, ideas or comments you would care to share with us, please feel free to send them into the website.

By the way, the first two books for the series are written. Just in case you were worried I was blowing smoke. The first has been edited and the second will be headed that way shortly. I will write the third between now and next June, safely ahead of schedule.

After those are finished, I am planning to write something new, a book not in any way attached to anything I have written before. It is time to go a new way, to test the artistic waters, to push the envelop – call it what you will. Writers should take a chance every so often and not get mired in writing the same things over and over. That’s what I hope to do here. I think you are going to love this new book because basically its a Brooks Book, and you know what to expect from those. There are familiar elements to the storytelling, but some new twists, too. Like all my books, it will be directed to a broad audience.

This does not mean I am giving up writing in the Shannara world. I will be doing more books there, as well. I also have at least one book left in me for Magic Kingdom.

Finally, I have some sad news. My very capable and faithful editor, Betsy Mitchell, has decided to leave Del Rey. As you know, I have only had 3 editors in my professional life, and every time I lose one of them I want to jump off a cliff. But Betsy will see me through the completion of the forthcoming trilogy and thereafter will be doing freelance editing from her home for the lucky few who persuade her they are worth the effort. Get in line early, if you are in the market.

My new editor, starting in January, will be Anne Groell. If the name doesn’t ring a bell, I can tell you that she is experienced and delightful. On a side note, she edits a somewhat lesser light in the fantasy writing landscape named George something or other.

See you all again soon. Terry.

Written by Shawn Speakman
I am the long-time friend and webmaster for Terry Brooks as well as the author of The Dark Thorn, an urban/epic fantasy hybrid novel Terry calls "a fine tale by a talented writer." Join me on Facebook and Twitter (@shawnspeakman)!