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!

Dear Readers,

With this submission of answers to Ask Terry, I will be all caught up again for perhaps ten nanoseconds. These things seem to breed overnight. But I do appreciate the time you put into submitting these brain teasers, and it is always interesting seeing how well I can respond. Sometimes, better than others, I expect.

So without further delay . . .

Anonymous writes: Even though I felt that Witch Wraith was one of the best books you have written in awhile, I was disappointed with the handling of the Elfstones is this series. I was so excited to read about the other Elfstones and all their new powers, and really the only new Stone that was revealed was the Crimson stones. Additionally, the power of those Stones seemed very similar to the blue elfstones (ie fire/light that destroys enemies). The Black Elfstone had a completely different power and really wasn’t used for defense such as the others. Do all of the triplet Elfstones have such a similar defensive power? And will we ever get to know about the other triplets? I doubt that this is the last we’ve heard of Grianne Ohmsford.

Terry Brooks replies: In reverse order. You have not heard the last of Grianne. You will get to learn more about the other three sets of Elfstones in the conclusion to the series. If you think back to Sword of Shannara and the other early books, you will remember that the Elfstones all share a common ability to act in defense of the holder against threats from other magic or creatures of magic origins. Yes, the Black Elfstone is different, created specifically to open and close the spacial gateway to Paranor, causing it to disappear or reappear accordingly to the dictates of the Druids. Bear with me. All things will be revealed eventually.

Christopher Allard writes: I have been reading your books for over 25 years since I was 10. I am currently enrolled in school to better my knowledge of writing and am an aspiring writer. How would you go about choosing a publisher when attempting to get your book published, a mass sending, or one at a time?

Terry Brooks replies: I am a little removed from the efforts required to find a publisher, so you better take what I say with a grain of salt. New avenues for getting published involve starting out your effort by publishing your work online, by publishing yourself, and various other forms of getting your work out there. If you go the traditional route, I don’t think you should ever send your book to more than a couple of publishers at a time. Ideally, you should go to a science fiction/fantasy convention and meet a few editors and agents and if you like talking to them and they seem interested, you can offer to send them your work. Always ask to send it; don’t lug it along and expect them to take it with them. That’s a lot to ask. Maybe a couple of chapters with an offer to send the rest; that’s not unreasonable. Or go to a writing conference or convention when you have a chance to meet with editors and agents face to face. It’s always better to have met first, and then be able to remind them of that meeting and tell them you are responding to their interest. Sometimes, there are market places where you can do a quick pitch and submission of some of your material. The point is, editors and agents are looking for new writers and material. The competition is fierce. Look for any edge you can find and exploit it without being obnoxious.

Anonymous writes: Does Grianne have Elven blood in her? If so, couldn’t she use the Elfstones and other talismans in her new home? Thanks!

Terry Brooks replies: Grianne is not Elven. Not entirely. She is mostly Human. She is possessed of the magic of the wishsong, and as a result of her various transformations, other forms of magic. But not magic that is Elven. She may have a trace of Elven blood due to inter-racial marriages in the history of her ancestors, all the way back to Par and before. But not enough to use the Elfstones which, as we all know, require a substantial portion of blood to be Elven.

Bill McMillian writes: I am a 69 year old fan who plans on living a good while longer. What can I expect in the next 10 years from Terry Brooks? Thank you for your remarkable books. I have read them all. Just finished Witch Wraith. A wonderful read.

Terry Brooks replies: You can expect three more Shannara books in 2014 & 2015. After that, you can expect a trilogy which will serve as the official conclusion to the Shannara saga, although it is my intention that in the following years I will write additional books in the Shannara pre-history, as I have promised repeatedly to do, some short stories and maybe another few novels. We’ll have to see. In addition, I will be writing some entirely new material which is unrelated to anything I have written before. I am in need of carving out some new territory and now is the time. It will still be fantasy of one sort or another. Just not continuations of what I have already done.

Gail Ragsdale writes: Will we learn Aphen’s fate after Witch Wraith?

Terry Brooks replies: You will learn Aphen’s fate next year in the books to publish in March and August of 2014.

All right! I’m back to finishing a book! See you next month!

All my best,

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)!