January 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, off on another adventure as we slog forward into 2012. Been beautiful here in the Pacific NW, many warm, dry days with sunshine and blue water. Of course there was that week in January were it snowed, iced, melted and then froze again in temperatures below freezing. Couldn’t get out of my driveway then. As you know, Seattle has only one snow plow.

But we have a new movie deal for Magic Kingdom – I’m sure you’ve read the blog – with another potentially on the way for Shannara. We have some new book releases – more blogging on this coming shortly – along with plans for a big 12 months of a new Shannara trilogy beginning late August of this year.

Wears me out just thinking about it. So while resting up, here are some answers to this months Ask Terry:

Kimberly Feher writes: I have always found O’olish Amaneh to be one of your most fascinating supportive characters. He is most definitely the hero of another story and I’ve always wondered if some day we’ll get to find out what that story is?

Terry Brooks replies: Hmmm, Kimberly. Never thought of that before now. I just sort of assumed we had done all we could with Two Bears. But there might be a story there. I’ll have to think about it. I’ve left the Word & Void characters pretty much alone after completing that series. Always seemed that this was their series and that was enough. Anyway, I’ll study on it.

Benjamin writes: Have you ever considered writing one of your Shannara books starting in the Highlands with a Leah as the first character instead of an Ohmsford or a Druid?

Terry Brooks replies: Hmmm, Benjamin. Never thought of that before, either. Oh, wait. I did write a failed second book after Sword that featured a son of Menion Leah as the main character and there were no Ohmsfords in the story. That one got tossed (you can read the sad tale of my learning experience on that project in some interviews and book forwards) and I never went back that model. But I can foresee putting a Leah at the center of things. Might be an interesting change of pace. We’ve had a lot of Ohmsfords in the lead role(s). Might be time for something new. Thanks for the suggestion.

Anonymous writes: Authors always brag about how much they’ve read: thousands of books, nearly everything ever written, hundreds each year, etc. Well, I doubt it, unless they all have the IQ of Albert Einstein. Approximately how many books do you read per year, and how many do you think that a prospective author should read in a genre, to provide themselves with solid enough background have a shot at producing a decent first novel?

Terry Brooks replies: I doubt that there is a number that makes a difference to an author’s skills. Elizabeth George is fond of saying that if reading isn’t the number one use of your pleasure time, you can’t expect to be a successful writer. I don’t watch TV (although I do watch series on Netflix and the like) so that helps with finding time for everything. I would guess I read around 50 books a year, give or take. Judine reads somewhere around 130. Everyone has a different rate of absorption of reading material, which goes a long way towards determine what you can read and retain. I would read more, but the demands of writing take a lot out of my eyes. Also, the family likes seeing me in the flesh now and then.

Thomas Corbett writes: So, I was only a little disappointed when Cogline didn’t show up in the pre-Shannara duology. I had this idea of him being truly ancient and using magics like the Druid sleep to their limits. I can’t wait to read the next Allanon story. But is there any chance of hearing more from Cogline?

Terry Brooks replies: Well, we are only halfway through the pre-Shannara history that culminates in the First Council of Druids at Paranor. So we are way early for Cogline. At least in my planning. But he will surface sometime soon in the storyline. You might notice there haven’t been any Dwarves yet. Guess someone is still making them out of Orcs and Goblins. But those will crop up, too. Still lots to do. I promise Cogline will surface somewhere along the way.

Delbert Sisco writes: I named my daughter Brinna Shae. Shea not exactly the same. But have you heard of others passing your character names on?

Terry Brooks replies: Happens all the time. There are Shannaras, Amberles, Brins and many others out there. I’ve met a whole raft of them, and so far no one is annoyed that they were named after a character in one of my books. Shea is such a common name that I don’t think of that as necessarily relating to Sword. But the others can all be identified. So far, no Bronas.

Okay, that’s all she wrote for this month. I’ll be back next month with new questions and maybe more than one recommendation for your reading pleasure. Hope reading is a pleasure for you these days and that you are finding great stories to take you away for a few hours from the norm. Let’s all hope for an early Spring.

Best to all,

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

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26 responses to “January Ask Terry Posted”

  1. Terry –

    I have just finished your Genesis of Shannara series, and I found Cat and Panther to be my favorites. After reading the ending, I must say I’m curious about their story! I want to know what happens, and if there is a happy ending for them. Is there any chance we’ll ever find out, or did their story end with the end of the series (I’m trying to be vague as to not give anything away)?

  2. So…. few questions about the intended plot in the future series.

    1. Their is a Darkwand in the inside of the Forbidding now isn’t there? Wouldn’t that be a very bad thing?

    2. Are all Mwellrets just evil? Every single one met are really dislikeable characters. The Demons at least have someone like Weka Dart who can be helpful at times and has some sense of loyalty to good people. Speaking of which, is it really that bad to have demons out of the Forbidding? Some seem to have actual personalities, there’s bound to be one who isn’t so bad, right? Or at least better than Weka?

    • 1. Only Pen can use the darkwand. It was fashioned of his flesh and only he can use it.

      2. True. Some demons could be “better” than others. But overall, their “race” is evil. Is this something that Terry is trying to say about our own world?

  3. Terry-
    I want to start by saying that I really love all of your books and I think that you have a fantastic imagination! It’s a strange question but I wanted to ask about your past profession as a lawyer. I’ve been thinking about pursuing a career in law but I love writing fiction, and I wouldn’t want to have to give it up because of lack of free time. How easy was it for you to balance your writing with your job as an attorney?

  4. Dear Terry,

    I read Sword when it was first published and LOVED it! I read the next two, then quit reading fiction for many years. I just got hooked again in the High Druid series and decided to read from the beginning of the Word & Void. I want to know if you intend on having a bridging trilogy from Black Staff to First King? There seems to be such a gap. It would be nice to have it fill in. Thanks! Vicki

  5. Dear Terry,

    I hijacked a book written by you from my now Ex fiance. There is no ill intent at all behind this. He is moving across country and though I’ll miss him terribly I would like to at least find out if there is one last good thing I can do for him so he’ll remember me fondly. You are his favorite author and I was wondering if there was any way I could get you to personally sign this book for him. I have five months before he notices its gone missing and I doubt there will be any book signings around where I live that you would show up to. If there is any way I could get this to you to sign it please let me know. Thank you for at least hearing me out

    • Unfortunately, we cannot help you. If we let you send a book, then we have to let everyone else send a book, and Terry and I learned really quick about ten years ago that that spells disaster. Boxes of books coming in like a flood and Terry not getting any writing done.

      That said, you can contact one of the bookstores Terry will be signing at this August/September. Usually if you buy a book from them, they will let you send a book to be signed as well. I know that’s outside of your timeframe but it’s the best I can do! Good luck!

  6. Dear Terry,
    First of all I absoluetly love your books, I have been reading them for years and I cant wait for August for the next trilogy to start. I live in Ireland, I was just wondering if you do book signings in other countries, and if so, will you be coming to Ireland anytime in the future?

  7. Hello, I just finished reading A Princess of Landover and the ending seems to be cliffhangerish. So I was wondering, is there going to be another Landover novel? And if there is, will Elizabeth come back?

    • Terry plans on writing one more Landover novel. He has no plans to write it in the next four or five years but if a Landover movie goes into production, he will speed up his timeline and write it earlier. So keep your fingers crossed for the movie to happen. 🙂

  8. Whatever happened to the staff of the Word between Measure of Magic and First King of Shannara?
    Will there ever be a little ‘snip’ to cover the years between those two books?

      • Is there a ‘non-committed’ time that the books will come out? It will be nice to have a bridge between the difference of the worlds between Measure of Magic and First King. It really really did a major jump for the geography, magic and talismans, the divisions, and it would be nice to have a reference to the war between races that is mentioned so often.
        Thanks so much.

  9. As an author how to you tie all the great ideas into on package without one piece seemingly droning on and on until the next great idea? Plus your worlds are vast and distinctive does it retain pieces of America prior to the great war or has the magic fundamentally change the landscape as well? Finally where do your creatures stem from? Does anything inspire them or does the thing with knotted, disjointed muscle, frayed with ashen hair and fiery orbs manifests itself from your imagination? I’ve been reading your books since high school 1990 and have always been impressed. Other authors I enjoy are Walter Mosely, Donald Goines, and of course Stephen King. Pretty varied in styles but powerful writers.

  10. Dear Mr Brooks,

    This is not a question regarding any part of your novels, the setting or characters nor plots, it is a simple thank you.

    I remember picking up your first novel and reading as an eleven year old boy after I had finished reading the Hobbit. That was back in 1986, where I went to read more of your novels.
    I would like to say thank you for opening my imagination to the world of fantasy, because if it were not for you, I would never had begun writing my first fantasy novel.

    Thank you

    K M Vagner (Australia)

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