February Ask Terry Posted

Ask Terry
Ask Terry
For 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!

Greetings Readers,

A little late, but here they are. I will try to get caught up all the way in the next 30 days. Really been churning out pages, got so many things in the works you wouldn’t believe it. If only Hollywood worked at the same pace I do. But that’s another story for another time. Onward!

Here is the newest batch of Ask Terry:

Anonymous writes: I have read the Landover series multiple time and have throughly enjoyed them but I have alway been interested in the past of Landover. Is there any chance of writing a prequel set before the old king passed away?

Terry Brooks replies: OMG, are you kidding? Who are you, to ask such a disturbing question? I am already burdened with the prehistory of Shannara, and now I have to think about the prehistory of Landover? Excuse me while I go call my therapist. Seriously, no. I am not planning to do any sort of prehistory of Landover apart from what crops up in the stories that follow. Could be that there will be something about the origins and such just because the plot calls for it. But no separate prehistory books are in the works.

Anonymous writes: I confess to enjoying the villains and monsters of your books much more than I do the heroes. For example, I found Antrax and the Morgawr really enjoyable to read about in comparison to the protagonists of the books. Therefore: Who would you say is your most villainous character in any book you’ve written?

Terry Brooks replies: I am going to beg off on this one. I will say the same thing about villains that I say about protagonists and books when asked which is my favorite. I cannot choose between my children. All of them have a place in my black heart for one reason or another. I have a great time imagining who or what they are, but no favorites to offer. Sorry about that. You write back and tell me which is your favorite – Antrax or Morgawr.

Russ Wilkerson writes: You may answered this already in a post or a blog, but I was wondering about the changes in the cover art of A Princess of Landover. The hardcover was more bluish, and Mistaya was standing by the gate. The paperback is more reddish and the young lady is missing. What gives?

Terry Brooks replies: Artistic license and marketing adjustments for reasons known only to them and to . . . Well, I don’t know who. Not to me, anyway. I always wonder about the change in covers in the British editions. In that case, I am told, the readers prefer their covers to all match. They prefer sets that are easily identifiable. Here, in the US? Beats me.

Steve S. writes: I’m curious about the reason for having the saffron, white and emerald Elfstones being returned to the Forbidding. Is it because you wanted them to be a deeper mystery than if they were recovered, but never elaborated on in future novels?

Terry Brooks replies: Haven’t decided about this, as yet. I just knew I didn’t want all that magic brought back at once. Too complicated to deal with. Also, I liked the idea that the old magic was mostly out of reach, desired but never quite attainable. I also like the idea of readers imagining just what it is that the other Elfstones do. Suggestions are welcome.

Chris Kurtz writes: I think you should offer replicas or jewelry even of some of the famous relics from your books. Such as The Sword of Shannara, the different Elfstones, the Sword of Leah, etc. Some of us may just like a physical piece of your legacy beyond owning the books. So I guess my question is if you have considered doing any of this at all? Thank you for you time.

Terry Brooks replies: I have considered it, even though I am not a fan of peripheral stuff attached to the books. The books are what matters to me. The rest really doesn’t. That said, an ongoing problem has been that none of that can be made available while the Shannara books are under option by Movie Studios or TV Networks. This has been true on and off much of the past 35 years. It is true again now. Once the TV series gets rolling, I think you will see a lot of marketing involved with everything imaginable, just as with other major fantasy.

See you next month! Or in a week! Ha!

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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14 responses to “February Ask Terry Posted”

  1. Regarding question # 2 – I see what you are saying, but I am currently re-reading Elfstones and it reminded me how much I love Wil & Amberle. My opinion is that Terry just has a gift and he creates wonderful characters (protags & antags). I am looking forward to High Druid’s Blade!

    • Good questions.

      Running with the Demon is getting the signed & limited treatment at Cemetery Dance soon. Details on that will be coming soon.

      As for leather-bound books, Terry and I plan on doing this in the near future. More information will be posted when I can share it!

      • Oh man, Running with the Demon via Cemetery Dance is something that is both dreamy and much awaited. I hope soon is soon rather than soon. My excitement regarding this news is palpable. You have rocked my literary world yet again, Mr. Speakman. Carry on the good work.

  2. Why would anyone sell a show to MTV after seeing what a great job HBO did with Game of Thrones? That being said I like John Favreau but it only mentions him doing the pilot. Still any chance of more of Garet Jax is worth the agony of having to tune into the garbage that is MTV…

    • Jarrett, HBO isn’t the only television station, cable or otherwise, that puts out good shows involving a fantasy element. Hollywood doesn’t work the way you would like it to. Terry nor his people just can’t go into the HBO offices and demand that his show be aired on their station because GoT is great and they should produce, film, and direct it!

      At the Austin, Texas premiere of Pulp Fiction (Tarantino introduced the movie and fielded questions afterwards) the crowd booed Bruce Willis when his name appeared in the opening credits. By the end of the movie they loved him. Give it a chance before you complain about it.

  3. I’m not sure which book(s) have the “saffron, white and emerald Elfstones” as I’m on my first way through the series, currently on Morgawr, but I do like the Sword of Shannara. Would like to see one of the Elfstone groups be somewhat like a “truth of the heart” viewer. Where what lies within the person is clearly seen by the user of the Elfstones. A Cyrano de Bergerac shortcut, or a Shannara version of Shallow Hal.

    Whomever would possess this set of Elfstones, simply from possession, would be able to instantly see people for what they are. Which can be done in countless ways. A level of good/evil from the heart/mind. Tied in with the elements and levels of fury, sort of like the difference between a gentle breeze and a land-altering tornado. Air, water, earth, fire. A controlled fire for light or heat or cooking vs a raging and uncontrollable fire.

    I don’t want to get too far into physical looks, as the appearance will be seen via an Elf’s eyes. Generally people have a preference, and it may be of like-kind. I don’t think I’ve read yet of a lady Rock Troll, but they must exist. Yes? So while not “pretty” in an Elven sense, she could have heart and determination and passion.

    Get past any psychological halo-effects with the right Elfstones!

  4. I have been a fan of Terry’s since I was in 8th grade and have read his books many times. I am somewhat frustrated by his answer to question 4 that it would be complicated to have all five sets of the Elfstones back at the same time. Shawn would keep track of that right?

    I think for so many years we have all wished for other Elfstones and wondered what they might do. This series was just a huge tease for so many of us who have been longtime fans and had already been thinking about that.

    I suggest somehow we at least find out what each of the sets does and what they can accomplish. They can stay in the Forbidding, but at least end the series letting us know what they do.

  5. Terry, here’s my suggestions for the elf stones…

    Saffron: Control technology from the old world.

    White: Bring back dead to life.

    Emerald: Time travel.

    • I’d like to see one of the groups of Elfstones be for the land. Probably the Emerald set.

      Earth cleanser or enrichment. Part of the giving back to the land, caring for the land.

      I still don’t know that much, as now I’m in the beginning of the High Druid group of books.

      But I’ve thought much of the post-apocalypse horror would have been radiation. So the Earth Elfstones could rehabilitate land. From which arises very healthy foods, which then helps all life grow.

      There’s always a catch with the Elfstones, so I suppose they could suck the life out of the person using them, giving it over to the land. Insta-aging, not necessarily instant death.

      And use another set to rejuvenate, or restore “youth”, like the white Elfstones.

      One magic helps many by making the earth rich and fertile. And then another magic to help make the others who have had to lose part of their life for the land back to what they were.

      Not exactly bringing the dead back to life, but made specifically for the people who had chosen to give up part of their lives for the land. Sort of the Ellcrys/Amberle thing.

      The danger would be realized soon enough, that keeping everyone alive for an extended period of time would make for a less sustainable population. People living long times, adding to the numbers, leading to overcrowding, etc.

      That is if the white Elfstones were used ON various people that had not previously used the green Elfstones.

      Druids being the exception to very long lives, if they are good ones and help/teach. It takes much more than a lifetime to find wisdom. Perhaps the origin of the Druid sleep could have been from the white Elfstones.

      Remember I haven’t read all the books yet, so maybe all of this is covered somewhere else. I’ll catch up eventually.

      I didn’t even know about Shannara until I was in my 50’s and picked up a nice thick paperback at the local Goodwill store. That book was The Sword of Shannara.

      I read it. I enjoyed it. I went on to read other authors. I came back to The Sword, read it again, and then decided I had to find out what other books there were available.

      Imagine my surprise and delight at finding 20+ books waiting to be read.

      • You’ve got some good thinking going on there, Andree. 🙂

        I got The Sword of a Shannara as a gift when I was a teen
        in the 90’s.

        • Mattias, you’re lucky! I wish I’d read it as a teen. I think we should all go out, buy a copy of Sword, and pass it on to a random teen!

          It’s chock full of life lessons and good examples. Get folks started as young as possible. Where nature matters, healthy foods are eaten, walking is a primary form of transit.

          I’m less tempted by junk food too. haha! I eat bread, cheese, fruit, nuts, veggies, very little meat. Reading about the diets of the characters book after book, it does make an impression.

          My ale is ginger ale (no cal). And coffee. Cold tea, fruit juice.

          The characters “eat to live” and don’t “live to eat”. That simple lesson is worth it’s weight in gold.

          • Yes, Andree! The first fantasy I read was the truly wonderful eight books about Aurian (Artefacts of Power by the author Maggie Furey. I borrowed the books from my dad’s girlfriend. Shannara was the second fantasy I read and it was a gift from my dad and his girlfriend. Pass it onto a random teen is a good idea. 🙂 I can feel that Terry is proud of you!

            Yes, I agree about life lessons and good examples.

            I eat junk food quite often, but I’m in pretty good shape and do sports like soccer for example.

            I mostly drink milk, but sometimes soda or juice. I don’t drink alcohol and I never have. I don’t smoke. I simply don’t use drugs.

            Is it okay if I post my very short Christmas poem (translated from Swedish) here to show something that I’ve written?

            What is Christmas if not loneliness covered
            in snow that we celebrate together to melt?

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