Shawn Speakman To Write Shannara Novel

Judine BrooksAn important bit of news about Terry Brooks, his webmaster Shawn Speakman, and the Shannara series.

Del Rey Books in association with Terry Brooks have decided to give the reins of the New York Times bestselling Shannara fantasy series to Shawn Speakman, longtime webmaster and friend of Brooks and a bestselling writer in his own right. The book deal is for a reported eight figures, one of the largest advances in the history of publishing, and involves Brooks retiring completely from the series that made him a prominent force in the fantasy genre.

“I am aging and I’m not happy about that,” Brooks said from his private jet zipping to London for an event at Forbidden Planet on April 3. “I have always said I plan on living forever. But the reality is, I need to be ready in case the inevitable happens. Shawn is my faithful Web Druid and knows my world better than anyone. Shannara will pass to him.”

Speakman is now under contract to write three Shannara novels and was given complete control of the series.

“I will bring epic back to epic fantasy.” — Shawn Speakman

This is not unforeseen. In 2003, Terry Brooks and his wife Judine had dinner with Speakman in Seattle, WA. During that dinner, Judine made a quip about Speakman needing to become a writer to “keep the Brooks children in the lifestyle they have grown accustomed to.” The joke was laughed at but not by Speakman. He immediately understood if he could harness the power of his own craft of writing, he could one day take up the mantle of Shannara and write the Four Lands as he sees fit.

Speakman immediately began work on his own novel, The Dark Thorn, a test a run of sorts to see if he could write a Word/Void/Shannara/Landover type of novel. It has been unbelievable successful with a five-star rating on Amazon and glowing reviews.

Brooks loved The Dark Thorn and knew his time as a writer was coming to an end.

When asked if he had any plans to change the work that Brooks has done over the years, Speakman was not silent on the subject:

“I plan on changing everything,” he said. “I will bring epic back to epic fantasy and Shannara specifically. The Four Lands have always had more potential than even Terry imagined. With this new Shannara novel, the first thing I plan on doing is changing the Druid Order at Paranor into a coven of witch-vampires who glitter in the sunlight. I also want to melt the Sword of Shannara down to scrap metal and use that metal to build a space ship. Truth in space? The ultimate hero’s journey quest to the stars? I like the sound of that! Sounds like awesome-sauce to me!”

When asked if that would anger fans, Speakman shook his head with fiery conviction in his eyes.

“Not a chance,” he said. “I know the fans. They trust me. I have even talked to Terry on a number of my changes and he’s all for them. I am taking the sets of Elfstones from Witch Wraith and placing them into a crown and giving it to the Dwarves. Oh, the Dwarves will be able to use the Elfstones now when only Elves could before. Guess I should change the Stones’ names to Dwarfstones now too, while I am at it. Yeah, that sounds better than a hunk of bread slathered in butter and an ale!”

The first Shannara novel Speakman will write is one he says the fans have been clamoring for the last few years.

“I want to start with Fifty Shades of Shannara,” Speakman opined, smoking a pipe and running fingers through his thick full head of hair. “EL James was on to something there and we have never seen sex in the Four Lands. I think it is time to make that happen and give the fans exactly what they have been asking for—George R. R. Martin-style!”

More on this as the news breaks!

Shawn Speakman is the author of The Dark Thorn, an urban/epic fantasy hybrid novel featuring Richard McAllister, a homeless knight who finds himself embroiled in a long-running war between the Church and the fey Tuatha de Dannan. When Shawn isn’t writing, he maintains the websites for authors Terry Brooks, Naomi Novik, and David Anthony Durham, as well as runs The Signed Page. Learn more at! And yes, this article is in fact an April Fool’s Joke that undoubtedly will fool and anger more than a few! Get a sense of humor, people. Ha!

43 responses to “Shawn Speakman To Write Shannara Novel”

  1. Fortunately, shannara will not disappear with Terry (i hope he will live as long as the Ellcrys), but Speakman will have to prove he can make great things with the universe. He should not hide behind humor and the conviction he is a good fan to reassure the fans but make training to introduce characters as good as Terry, and make credible and interesting characters. And when he will take back the serie (if he does), Speakman don’t make a copy/paste of Terry books but something very close and after very away.
    Love you both, Speakman you have a great power and a lot of responsability to make the best thing ever. Maybe you should write a book together, Terry and you.

  2. I love it. Terry’s series was beginning to get dull and I am loving the changes you are envisioning here Shawn. Let me into that world and maybe we can somehow meld the Star Wars universe and Star Trek universe into this thing. Klingons weilding elfstones against lightsabre carrying mewlrats!
    Oh the glorious Shannara to be…. and I’ll only ask for 10% of that 8 figure advance. 😉

  3. Shawn start with the first druid order and your main character is Galiphile, if you succeed in making that awesome then shannara is yours!) deal?!

  4. Man! you had me going! I was was banging my fist on the desk and then I realized it was April 1st, nice!

  5. Alright! I was afraid that this would happen. I knew that Terry would have to retire some day, however, I did not think that his Shannara world would transferred into a sex world after he did. Granted, I love the idea of “dwarf stones” but do you have to get ideas from that Martin guy? I am really concerned and disappointed that people (avid Shannara fans) want to change to a “Sex-annara” world. Something tells me that I will not be getting any more stories from this site after Terry leaves. Have a good retirement Terry. I will really miss your inspiration and imagination. God Bless and so long!

  6. Shawn,
    I will be happy to have you write one book a month please:)
    –Thanks so much!!
    Great write up!! Almost had me!!

  7. Now we are going to pester you constantly until you write the five or however many books it takes to get from the end of “The Measure of the Magic” through Galaphile and the First Council of Druids. No excuses.

    • Agreed Mark. As much as I am excited to see the new stand a lone novels for Shannara I would really like to have the gap closed. I know it would take work and time to do it, but I think many of Terry’s fans would like to see that.

  8. Another great edition to the Shannara world would be a wizard with a lightning shaped scar on his forehead.

  9. Grianne in leather with a whip…sign me up! The Tanequil must be one seriously sexy mistress to train all her thralls. Pen must have gotten more than he bargained for after the rescue. 🙂

    • Todd I like the way you think my man. Can you imagine what Grianne would be like if Terry had went completely bonkers?

  10. I was completely taken in until Shawn started talking about changing everything – I know that he loves the series too much to be so cavalier with the setting of the Four Lands. Although I would be 1. Super sad to see Terry Brooks stop writing any time when he is capable of doing so and 2. Super jealous of Shawn (because what fan of Brooks wouldn’t love to write Shannara novels and publish them legally? I know I would), I can’t really think of anyone better than Shawn.

    I think, down the line, if this becomes a serious venture, then Speakman and Brooks should collaborate on a Shannara book first, to segue into Speakman writing them on his own before Brooks retires. I think that would prepare him for taking over the series just fine.

    That said, no offense to you, Shawn, but I hope this remains an April Fool’s joke for a long time to come – squeeze as much Shannara material out of Brooks as we can before the spaceship comes to take him home! Much love to both of you.

  11. I am so glad this was an April fools. I started to tear up. Shawn you are a good writer too. but the things you said would have change in Shannara were frightening. It was hard to believe what I was reading because , I couldn’t believe you of all people would have change Shannara. With those type of changes, Shannara would have not have been Shannara anymore. Sooo glad this was not real. I believe my heart just started to pump again. Very good April fools Shawn.

    • I checked the date as soon as I read “given complete control”. But really, any statement that someone wants to make something more like Twilight or add sparkly vampires is inherently a joke.

  12. You had me for about 8 paragraphs. The light finally began to shine with “changing the Druid Order at Paranor into a coven”.

    However…. Having Shawn co-author a Shannar novel doesn’t sound like a bad idea to me.

  13. Wait! Was this a joke? Come-on! Will someone pleeeease!, tell us what is going on? Terry. Are you leaving us or what? I like Shawn, but I just want to know what is going on.

  14. I am confused. How could anyone read that and NOT realize that was an unbelievable April Fool’s joke?

  15. Oh my goodness, I loved this April Fool’s Joke! Though I wasn’t convinced from the beginning onwards, I really liked the changes and the allusions! 😀

  16. Love the glittering vampire coven idea. If you can somehow work in a disco scene, you can have a vampire disguised as the disco ball. No one would see it coming.

  17. I speak sarcasm, and found this hilarious except that Terry is retiring. As that’s sad news its always the natural progression in books or film. A very wise man once said “Strong am I in the Force, but not that strong.” 😉 To Terry, you’ll obviously be missed and never forgotten. Passing on your work is not only a gift to readers (movie goers someday I’ve no doubt) but shows so much class, and character on your part that is so very rare today. You must be proud, and wish you a blessed and very happy ending. You created a world that will live in the minds and hearts forever, and will utterly destroy Rings and boring Hobbit Tales.

    To Shawn, looking forward to what you can do, and about to pickup your book now. Oh, and keep an eye out for “Spider Gnome” like creatures with long knives

  18. Starts off very believable until
    then the line with melting the Sword into a spaceship
    lets you know you were fooled – haha.

  19. Man! That was good! For a second there I thought you and Terry were dipping to far into the Romulin Ale Pot! Ha! Ha! Happy April Fools DAY! (Not saying Shawn couldn’t do that!) Someone has to pick up the torch when Terry retires!

  20. You had me for a minute, thought you were just being sarcastic and cryptic about any changes. Terry told me years ago that when he dies, he wanted all Shannara work that was unfinished to be burned, and die with him. As I recall, he said it was his, and no one was ever going to take it away from him, even after he was gone. So, the start of the article freaked me out.

  21. LOL! I stared at the whole article for about 15 mins before I actually noticed the very little bit at the bottom! Dang this was cool! Just please… Something less dramatic next time? xD

  22. I know this was just a joke.

    But whenever the time comes that Terry Brooks is no longer writing the Shannara novels, I will no longer be reading the Shannara novels.

    If it’s not from the man himself, then I’m gonna have to say no thanks.

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