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,

Off and running with another submission of Ask Terry. The report from the home front is good. Finished Books 1 & 2 for the new trilogy and hard at work on 3. The story is big, sprawling and complex, but I think you will like the end result the time and effort requires.

Also, work progresses on an annotated edition, special features and all, of The Sword of Shannara. Thirty-five years later, that book is still going strong. You will like what you see in this latest high-end rendering. More on this as we get closer to the pub date.

Got sick over Thanksgiving and missed all the good stuff. Sad to watch others eat while you lie around waiting to die. Hoping for better at Christmas.

And so:

Chris Little writes: My question is about the demon Tael Riverine. Is he the unopposed ruler of the Forbidding as the Dagda Mor was in Elfstones or does he only rule a certain area of the Forbidding? In Tanequil he mentions areas of land he rules which suggest he doesn’t rule it all.

Terry Brooks replies: We don’t really know that, do we? But in my own mind Tael Riverine is the logical successor to the Dagda Mor. His rule is pervasive, but not absolute. No one creature can rule all the others in a world as diverse as the Forbidding. The dragons alone would drive you crazy. They don’t answer to anyone. We may learn more about this in future books. Stay tuned.

Will Lugo writes: Wanted to know if you had seen the TV series adaptation of George Martin’s Game of Thrones and your thoughts on it? Would you like to see some of your series developed this way instead of trimming it down into a 2 hour movie?

Terry Brooks replies: I have not seen Game of Thrones. I basically don’t watch TV. What I do is wait for a series to complete and then rent it through one of the services or buy it. In this case, I haven’t done either as yet. My plans and those of movie studios and development companies alike for the entire time the Shannara series has been out there, all the way back to Sword, was to do full length movies. One of those is in the works now. But this doesn’t mean I would be against a series like Game of Thrones if the right opportunity came along.

Ian Wilson writes: Dear Terry, I have loved your books ever since reading The Word and the Void omnibus, some years ago, I must admit the ending in Angel Fire East brought tears to my eyes. I just wanted to ask, of all the books you’ve written, is there a particular part of one that stands out emotionally for you?

Terry Brooks replies: I was pretty emotional about Running with the Demon when I was writing it. That book was based on my home town and my childhood memories, and the characters felt very real and alive to me beyond the pages. You never know when or how you might connect with a book or a particular piece of writing, but it happens more than you might think. In this case, the entire book resonated strongly, and I felt I left everyone out there on the pages with Nest Freemark and John Ross.

Brian Weekes writes: Have you ever been writing a book and just as things were coming together, suddenly you buy a book from the store and find that it is by coincidence very similar to your own. What can a writer do in this situation. Do you just rewrite the book or shelve it?

Terry Brooks replies: Honestly? I have never had that happen. I almost never even read a book that I find myself afterwards wishing I had been the one to write it. I can admire what other writers do, but I don’t feel much kinship with their work. Maybe this is because we are all so individualistic that other writers’ styles of storytelling and choice of material feels alien to our own. I almost always feel, after reading someone else’s book and loving it, that if I were to write it, I would do it differently. That said, I don’t think you shelve a book you’ve written because another book is similar to your own. Mostly, it should be the thematic structure or maybe one character or maybe a general storyline. But your voice should always set your book apart from another. If it doesn’t, then something is wrong.

Jeromy Bow writes: I have just started reading Running with the Demon again, and John Ross’ origin story got me wondering. Why did his staff bind to him in such a way that it crippled him, and force him to rely on it for even walking around? As far as I remember, none of the other Knights/Bearers were bound to their staves in such a way.

Terry Brooks replies: The story of how John Ross became a Knight of the Word is different from that of the other Bearers. You may remember that he had a crisis of confidence and tried to back out of his commitment to the Word. As a result of his almost betrayal of his oath, Two Bears bound him to the staff and its usage by crippling him so that he could never walk away from it. No matter what happened, Ross would never be allowed to forget who and what he was. There is a whole chapter on that happening. Ross was linked every after by his disability as well as his verbal promise to become a Knight of the Word.

Okay, that’s all the time I have right now. I wish you a joyous Christmas holiday and much happiness in the New Year. Try to be kind to others, especially those closest to you that you might be inclined to take for granted. Do something nice for someone who isn’t expecting it. Give a little to those who are in need. Remember what the season is all about. You are all the best, and don’t you forget it.

Oh, look! It’s raining again!

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

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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)!