terry-brooksFor many years the only chance a fan had of speaking to Terry was to meet him at tour events or conventions.

With the establishment of this website in 2000, Terry began accepting two questions from each fan per month. On the last day of the month, five questions are randomly drawn. Terry answers these five questions and they are posted monthly for your enjoyment.

Below are the questions selected last month and Terry’s answers! Enjoy!

Note: This section may contain spoilers!

Good Morning, Everyone!

Another beautiful day on the Oregon Coast, where the sun always shines and the rain seldom falls. Or is it the other way around? I forget. We’ve had two weeks prior to yesterday of much sun and unseasonable warmth, but yours truly persevered and kept right on working through it all.

But now we have time for a break to answer last month’s Ask Terry:

Eric Stratford writes: What about the Hadeshorn? In Legends of Shannara, we see what might be it, but it’s underground. If that’s it, what causes the ground above it to explode?

Terry Brooks replies: You readers are so hard on me, Eric! How the heck do I know? I wasn’t there when the ground exploded or whatever? Oh, wait. It’s my world, isn’t it? I am responsible for all explanations. Just wish I had a few more to offer. Still. The Hadeshorn does not appear in Legends of Shannara. That is something else altogether. We have not as yet encountered the Hadeshorn in the prehistory. I haven’t decided yet if we will when I wrap that portion of the history up, but you remind me that maybe I ought to think about doing so. Thanks.

Seann Xenja writes: I’m reading Wards of Faerie, bought through iBooks, and the maps are too small to read. Are they available anywhere as a PDF download or JPG image?

Terry Brooks replies: I don’t think so. Russ Charpentier, who does the maps and owns the rights, sells large wall prints. You can see those maps HERE. So downloading of the maps is not allowed except in connection with the purchase of a book. I know what you mean about the problem with images from ebooks though. This is a problem that hasn’t been adequately addressed by any of the ereaders. At some point, images will be sharper and the screens will read better, but right now your best best is still the hardback book.

Tammy Hubacher writes: Is there anyone or anywhere we, the fans, can go to support The Elfstones of Shannara to be made for TV?

Terry Brooks replies: For now, just the website. But soon you will have your chance to do more. Sonar Entertainment is about to sign up writers and a director for the planned TV series, which begins with Elfstones. This should happen within the next 30 days, and there will be an announcement in the trades as well as on the website. Your support is appreciated, and the more evidence we have of it on the website that we can point to, the better our chances are of landing with a major network. Things look incredibly positive at the moment. More on this by next month. You will see what I mean then.

Astrid Yrigollen writes: Dear Mr.Brooks, first thank you for inspiring me as a youngster with your attention to detail, vivid imagination, and dedication to your craft. My question is what inspired you to pen most of your female characters with such a strong voice and solid personalities when other popular fantasy writers were putting females in “damsel in distress” roles?

Terry Brooks replies: I tell everyone the same thing, Astrid. I live in a matriarchy, and none of the women I know fit the roll of “damsel in distress.” They are pretty strong personalities. I think I’m the one mostly in distress. Also, I don’t think of women in those terms. Not in this day and age. I don’t believe they see themselves that way either. Characters should not be typecast, men or women. Stereotypes don’t feel honest to me. So we have weak and strong characters in both sexes, with most of them flawed in some important way and strong in another.

Pamela Glazier writes: Hi Terry, I was lucky enough to see you speak at the opening of the Fantasy Exhibit at the Seattle EMP museum where you mentioned the 25 page letter you received from Lester Del Rey that served, in your words, as the essential primer for how to write. I remember when I was eleven and I found abused copy of your Elfstones. I’d never heard of you at that point, but not long after I had read the entirety of the Shannara AND Landover series. The way you craft your work is amazing and I would love to follow in your footsteps. I was wondering if you would share the Del Rey letter with us (your audience).

Terry Brooks replies: Modesty forbids. Actually, embarrassment does. That letter was pretty rough on me. But mostly because it wouldn’t help anyone all that much. The comments and suggestions all relate to Sword, not fantasy in general. Or even writing beyond the specific. The letter has archival value, but as a guide, not so much. What really helped me, though, was not that letter, but the rejection of the book that followed in which Lester placed pieces of yellow paper with notes all through the book telling me why it wasn’t working. But that’s an entire manuscript’s work, so not really easily made available. I think it should wait until I am dead and gone to be released. A better suggestion would be to ask you to consider reading Sometimes The Magic Works, my book of the writing life and craft. Most of what will help you is contained in there.

See you next month with even more devious answers!

There you have it,

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)!