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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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)!