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!

Greetings and Salutations One & All,

Back in harness once more with Ask Terry. By now most of you have seen the SD Comic-Con trailer on the website or online and know how amazing the TV show is going to be and what a good job MTV has done with it. All that’s left to determine is the actual release date, but that should be out before long.

Meanwhile, back to business here . . .

Jim Kuehn writes: Have you ever thought about doing a side story about Cogline. We all know he is a former Druid, but what happened. He is a big part of several of the early stories.

Terry Brooks replies: I have indeed given it some thought and might well do what you ask before much longer. But for the moment, I am deeply involved in the next Shannara book, the first of three that will wrap up the series. That is taking a lot of time because I want to be sure and do it right and not disappoint anyone. Lots of characters and plotlines, lots of sprawl and sweeping battles, lots of twists and turns. Takes time, it turns out. I should have remembered . . .

Brennon Behrmann writes: What is the process to start publishing your first work?

Terry Brooks replies: First, be sure you have something you consider good to submit. Not half-good or sort-of-good, but real good. The competition is brutal if you are going the traditional route of submitting to a publisher or agent, and they are looking for writing and storytelling that stands out. Even if you are going online with your work in some fashion, there’s a lot of that out there, too. So you have to have something good and then you have to decide which route you are going to go.

I recommend you go to a writing conference where authors and agents are present and maybe where you can get a few pages read and critiqued. Listen to what these people have to say. Learn as much as you can about what needs to happen. After that, you can at least make an informed decision.

I would tell you more, but I haven’t submitted anything to anyone but my own agent and publisher in over thirty years. The landscape is all different now. Talking to other authors who are published more recently will probably be more helpful than what I could tell you.

Wesley Bell writes: I took a Science Fiction and Fantasy literature class this Spring term and we focused on The Lord of the Rings by Tolkien. Our class projects focused on his inspirations and works and mythologies he used to help influence the world of Middle-Earth. There was a debate in the class whether or not this was plagiarism even though there were no legal issues. My first question is, are there any works and/or mythologies that influenced you to help mold both the worlds of Landover and Shannara and also the characters and stories you used in them?

Terry Brooks replies: Hard question to answer since we are going back almost 40 years and my memory isn’t what it once was. But I can tell you that Lord of the Rings was certainly an influence when it came to the format and the setting. Many of the European adventure story writers shaped my thinking, too. But William Faulkner was probably the biggest influence, although you might not recognize it at first glance. I loved the idea of a single county become a singular world in which various members of the same famiies encountered each other down through the years at various points in the timeline of their world. I liked the idea of the have-nots doing whatever it took to get it away from those that had. I like the idea of secrets within families destroying them when the truth was not something they could face. All that and a good deal more I took away from my study of Faulkner in English Literature throughout my education.

Anonymous writes: I am not sure if you ever addressed this, but what happened to Wraith from the Word/Void trilogy? There is no real concrete mention of him after Angel Fire East and I am wondering where he went.

Terry Brooks replies: One does wonder, doesn’t one . . .

Jason Beresford writes: You tend to write most of your books as trilogies is that a conscious decision or just that it fits well with the material? Given that most are trilogies and it certainly seems there is more to explore in the Legend of Shannara series, are there any plans for a third book in this series?

Terry Brooks replies: Ah, now we get to the meat of it! You want to know if there will be any more of the Legend of Shannara series. Well, the answer is NO. NO, NO, NO!!! Well, not entirely no. That series is where I stopped in the pre-history of the Shannara world, and where I intend to pick up again down the road a bit. It is just that when I do return it will be further ahead in time and with some new characters. At least, that is what I think today. Or what I plan at this point. But, really, you never know.

Okay, gang, that’s it for the moment. Up to my ears in Shannara Chronicles publicity, so I will hope to see you at one of the events I will be attending during the remainder of the year. After that, I might be placed in extensive therapy, but we will see.

Hope your summer is going well,

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)!