December 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!
Welcome to 2013!
Hope all of you out there in Readerland are happily settled with the beginning of another year. I know some of you are freezing your tushes off on the east coast, and it hasn’t been any too warm until today out here in the Pacific NW. Talked to members of the ALA yesterday (1/25) and the ones from South Carolina were quick to tell me it was colder there than in Seattle. So you never know, do you?
Anyway, what I do know is that it is time for Ask Terry. So here you are:
Terry Brooks replies: I think it was inevitable. That franchise is still going strong on several fronts, but I don’t think George Lucas wanted to do anymore Star Wars movies himself. So when the franchise was sold to Disney, you knew they were going to start right off with new movies. Do I like the idea? Not all that much. But many do, so for them it will be a good thing.
Wesley Bell writes: Shawn Speakman has been a very influential part on this website and has been great with helping us fans out. He’s helped me out with questions regarding how to get published and a lot of times has answered my Shannara questions. How did you and Shawn meet?
Terry Brooks replies: I found Shawn in a bar, actually. He was on the floor, moaning about rewrites and character descriptions. I pulled him up off the floor and saw at once that behind those alcohol-dimmed eyes a true Web Druid lurked. The rest is history.
Or, you could go with this. Shawn, living in Seattle, applied to Del Rey to be my official website. He already had his version up and running and been manning it for several years. I didn’t have an official website, so I took a look at his and liked it well enough to offer him the job. Things mushroomed from there, and now we are Shawn’s “Other Parents.” It has been a joy watching him grow as a writer and as a friend.
Scott Schneider writes: Why do you suppose that Wil Ohmsford didn’t attempt to “talk” with Amberle/the Ellcrys at the conclusion of The Elfstones of Shannara? Certainly he was devastated by the results of her choice but I think, after all they had been through, he would have needed to at least attempt to gain some kind of closure. If Wil had talked with the “new” Ellcrys, how do you think that conversation would have gone? Could you write that scene for me now? Thanks!
Terry Brooks replies: Hey, Scott, I get paid to write these things, and no one is paying me to do this. Besides, I am up to my eyeballs in other projects just now. So maybe you should write it. I would think you could imagine it as well as I could. My own version of what happened is that Wil went back to her at some later point to try to let her know how he was, but the response was uncertain. Should I make this a short story online, another of those ebook efforts? Anyone out there care to comment about this?
Graham writes: Is there a particular type of scene that you find especially challenging to write? Can you recall a particular scene that you had a difficult time with that your fans would recognize?
Terry Brooks replies: I have trouble with love scenes of any kind. Probably because I lack personal knowledge of what they are like. I have to work at conversation in general. But my view about tough scenes is that if you feel you can’t write it and it needs to be written, you don’t have a choice – you have to write it. That’s written somewhere in the Writers Guide to Proper Etiquette. But I should also point out I like that sort of challenge. That’s what feeds my love of writing. The more impossible it seems, the more satisfaction you get when you do it.
Douglas Woodin II writes: The first question I have relates to the Ilse Witch, a character who I felt was amongst the most verbose and powerful characters you’ve ever written about. My absolute favorite Shannara books were The Voyage of Jerle Shannara, Antrax and Morgawr. The question I have is simple: Can you please create a powerful female character like the Ilse Witch? The reason I ask is because as far as any sort of villian in any book I’ve ever read, she has got to be the most complicated and astounding character I’ve seen. Furthermore, the way that she evolves from the Ilse Witch to Griane Ohmsford is astoundingly well done, and I’d like to assert that the Voyage of Jerle Shannara was the absolute best series you’ve written.
Terry Brooks replies: I will do my best to comply. Let me just say that by the time you get to the end of Dark Legacy, you may have found something you like just as well as Voyage. Check it out. Bloodfire Quest in March, Witch Wraith in July. I don’t think I have done much of anything better than those two and Wards of Faerie. But I plan to keep trying.
Sorry, but I’ve got to get back to work. I am halfway through the proofs and two chapters from the finish of the new book. Take that. And run with it!
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