April Ask Terry Posted

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,

We’re cramming these two months, March and April, in together since we have fallen behind due to circumstances beyond our control. We should be back on track by the end of May and through the summer. Lots happening with both the Magic Kingdom movie and the Shannara TV show, so blame all that for my tardiness. Or whatever.

Let’s see what we find people want to know in April . . .

Gary Kelly writes: Why are you letting MTV do your TV series and not the SyFy channel?

Terry Brooks replies: $$$$$$.

Okay, just kidding. Sort of. First off, MTV made an aggressive offer and demonstrated real commitment to preserving the series as it appears in Elfstones of Shannara. SyFy Channel either passed on it or showed only modest interest. Second, I rely on the people who know there way around LaLa Land, and they felt very strongly about MTV. I had a reaction similar to yours in the beginning, but quickly changed my mind. In hindsight, with things progressing nicely, I am glad I did. More news on this soon.

Vince writes: Many moons ago, around the completion of the Heritage of Shannara series, you were asked here if the Four Lands were geographically similar to real life. Your answer at the time, if I recall correctly, was no but that certain landmarks/settings were inspired by actual places. My question is: given that you have since tied the Word/Void series to Shannara and created adventures over the Blue Divide/Pacific, have you reconsidered your map to be anything more than an exciting fantasy world? Perhaps a few landmarks of significance that might anchor Shannara into our world?

Terry Brooks replies: Well, I can offer a few examples that might help you orient yourself in the Four Lands world. The island of Morrowindl in Elfstones Elf Queen of Shannara is based on the Big Island of Hawaii. Parkasia in Voyage of the Jerle Shannara is based on Japan. All of Genesis of Shannara is set in the Pacific Northwest. Some places are actually named, like Seattle and Los Angeles. I destroyed the latter, by the way, in the second book of that series. Anyway, that will give you something to work with. I don’t think I want to be more specific than that because I fudged in a lot of places, to combine, separate and otherwise remake.

Gabi Balhiser writes: Once all the Shannara books are completed, are there any plans on selling a complete set of all the Shannara books, or in sub-sets based on the various trilogies? I’ve been reading these books since the mid-80s and my collection is a hodge-podge of different sizes, styles, etc. and I’d love one complete set that all looked consistent.

Terry Brooks replies: Well, there are no such plans at present for individual books being reissued, but you can buy the sets of most of the Shannara books right now. Check a current index of titles. You can find the first three – Sword, Elfstones and Wishsong in an omnibus edition of The Sword of Shannara Trilogy. All the others carry the name of the set, but they are all available. The price is pretty good for an entire set. Something like $35. In hardcover. So that might be your best bet for now.

Anonymous: Why did you decide to write The High Druid’s Blade from the point of view of a Leah rather than an Ohmsford?

Terry Brooks replies: Variety is the spice of life. Plus, I wanted to give the series a break from the Ohmsfords. Or give them a break, maybe. Besides, most of those books feature an ensemble cast, so nothing strictly speaking is from any one character’s point of view. After this new series, I will probably go back to using the Ohmsfords as the centerpiece of the stories.

Jim Bradley writes: Whatever happened with the prospect of a leather-bound set of the first three Shannara books? I seem to remember the idea being tossed around but nothing since?

Terry Brooks replies: We debated it, but in the end I decided to veto it. Too much trouble to put it together. Maybe I will change my mind later, but for now I think it should be left alone. I never got the impression that many people cared one way of the other. When the TV series debuts, I might reconsider the idea.

See you in June!

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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8 responses to “April Ask Terry Posted”

  1. All these teasers for more information get me all antsy in my pantsy! MTV has done a really good job with Teen Wolf so far and couple of there other original series. I’m excited to start seeing previews!

  2. I have no idea if Gabi, a person who had their question responded to by Terry up above, visits these forums, but if you do Gabi, you can get the sets of all of the books, with some searching of the interwebs, at modest prices. If you are going for a collector’s angle – signed, first edition/first copy, etc- then the cost will increase. However, if you just want copies of books in hardcover or paperback, in sets and not 1st/1st, there are plenty of places online that will assist you in that area. In visits to Ebay I seem to recall people selling books in sets at decent prices. Amazon of course being a solid choice as well.

  3. No no no, you are not allowed to combine two months unless you answer twice as many questions as usual!
    Since I am certain that you agree with the above I’m looking forward to seeing an expanded set (of a total of 10 questions answered) in your next Ask Terry installment!
    😉

  4. I’m really glad that you chose not to go with SyFy. Over the past few years, SyFy has cancelled a number of good science fiction television and replaced it with shoddy stuff and Wrestling. SyFy, in my books, has done nothing to earn a quality franchise like Shannara.

  5. It feels like the Shannara God Terry will never answer
    at least one of my (in my opinion good) questions. 🙁

    1
    You have a good sense of
    humor. Have you considered
    writing a pure comical book
    or do you think that would
    be a terryble (<– pun) idea?

    2
    Will you ever release a
    written guide or a video
    telling us how to pronounce
    all the names of people and
    places in your books?

    3
    Have you ever named a
    character after yourself?
    If yes, name the character.

    4
    Have you considered implementing
    time travel in Shannara? Maybe
    someone from the old world
    escaped with a time machine
    and land in the time of
    the next Shannara book?
    Or perhaps they'll find
    someone frozen in a cryo
    tube and awaken her/him?

    5
    Who was the oldest druid
    at the time of their death?
    Allanon?

    6
    Who was the most powerful
    druid? Grianne? Allanon? Galaphile?

    7
    Comparing Garet Jax, Cymrian
    and Stoon, who's the best
    fighter? Please rank them
    1, 2 and 3.

    8
    Where was the Sword of
    Shannara during the latest
    trilogy? Couldn't it have
    been used against the
    restored Ilse Witch?
    I honestly thought it was
    stupid that she was sucked
    into the Forbidding! She's
    been through enough!

    9
    What can the other elf
    stones do?! I think it's
    stupid that they got lost
    again!

    10
    Would you rather live in
    a world with magic or
    science? I would choose
    a magic world even if I
    weren't able to use magic.

    11
    Did you know that they have
    unfortunately stopped releasing
    your books in my native language
    Swedish? I don't know why.
    I buy and read them in English
    now.

    12
    Do you think there will come
    a day when a fantasy author
    is awarded the Nobel prize
    in literature? I think that
    they should've given it to
    Tolkien! I'm Swedish by the
    way.

    13
    What is Allanon's surname?
    Will we ever get to meet
    relatives to him in modern
    day Shannara? I would like
    that!

    14
    Why haven't you been arrested
    for brutally killing all those
    great characters?! It's not like
    there's a lack of evidence…
    Do you regret someone's death?

    15
    Did you name the character
    Tesla Dart with the brilliant
    scientist Nikola Tesla in mind?
    If yes, then I guess it's a
    subtle way to point out the
    legacy of the old world.

    16
    Have you considered a storyline
    where there's a plague spreading
    in The Four Lands and the heroes
    have to try and cure it? Perhaps
    it was created by an evil entity
    that they have to defeat and perhaps
    the plague can be known as SAID?

    17
    Has there ever been a
    troll druid? I think you've
    written that trolls can't
    use magic, but I'm not sure.

    18
    Couldn't The Tanequil take
    The Ellcrys place and
    keep The Forbidding
    intact? The Tanequil
    seems to be powerful
    and I wonder how it
    was created…

    Are there more magical
    trees out there? Perhaps
    a magical tree in The
    Forbidding…

    19
    For how long must one study
    to become a druid? I've been
    thinking of joining the druid
    order if I can get a student
    loan.

    20
    Have you ever considered
    becoming the narrator of
    the Shannara audiobooks?
    Maybe you don't have time
    for it?

    I haven't heard the narrator
    because I prefer to read so
    I don't know if he's good or
    not. I just think that you
    have a pleasant reading voice
    and it's always nicer if the
    author is the narrator as well
    (assuming the author is able
    to pull it off).

    Thank you for everything!
    Best regards, Mattias

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