Happy Anniversary! And A Request!

us-elfstonesOn January 1, 2000, this website came into existence.

That means we just celebrated an anniversary. An important one. And like any anniversary in my life, I tend to look back and reflect on the time that has come before.

In the summer of 1996 and in a hobby effort to learn HTML and graphic design, I developed a fan site dedicated to the works of Terry Brooks. I have been a fan since I first read The Sword of Shannara in 1988, coming later to the books than some but earlier than most. Like many, I immediately enjoyed the magic, adventure, and immersive aspect of Terry’s characters. And those books went with me when I attended the University of Washington in Seattle—where Terry and I first met at one of his signing events.

More than fifteen years have passed since that meeting and a lot has happened during the time Terry and I have known one another. I graduated college; he saw his grandson graduate high school. I had cancer twice; he blew out a knee. I began my writing career with The Dark Thorn; he continued his writing career with more than fifteen new books.

And every day, month, year—you awesome fans have been there.

Judine has always said Terry has the best fans and she is right. This website would not be what is without you. I have had the honor and pleasure of meeting some of you but serving all of you as Terry’s official webmaster. And have never once regretted starting that 1996 dedication website on your behalf.

But that is only half the reason for writing this letter, to not just reminisce but to also challenge you. It is time to take an important next step.

Because 2015 is the year of the Shannara fan!

As many of you know by now, the Shannara books are being adapted into a television series, the first season of the show based on The Elfstones of Shannara. The show runners and executive producers have been hard at work. Production has been greenlit. Cast members are being announced. Filming begins in a few weeks. And the most important thing: Terry is unbelievably happy with everything that he has seen and been a part of thus far.

Like him, I am more than excited! Remember: I started this journey as a fan first. While I have maintained more Terry Brooks secrets over the last fifteen years than you can possibly imagine and must continue to do so, I am as eager as the rest of you to watch this show. And have it be a success.

And success means more people watching the next episode than the last one.

That’s where you come in!

Terry Brooks Fans, you have more power than you can possibly imagine. Social media has made you all the perfect publicity machine. Twitter Retweeting. Facebook Liking and especially Sharing. Etc. We live in a brave new world where information spreads quickly if people take a mere second to click a mouse. And people love finding a new television show to watch. Look at HBO’s Game of Thrones as an example. Almost every episode led to an increase in viewership the next week. That’s because George R. R. Martin’s fans helped drive new people to the show—by word of mouth but largely by social media.

As soon as new developments arise regarding the Shannara TV series, Terry and I will quickly share it with all of you. I challenge you to share that news via your social media! With your friends. With your family. And urge them to share the news as well.

And together, we can launch the Shannara TV show in the grandest of ways!

Happy Anniversary, Fans! Here’s to a great 2015. And another fifteen years of reading Terry Brooks!

Best Wishes,

Shawn Speakman

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)!