July 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,

With the approach of the release of The Shannara Chronicles, I am getting pretty nervous. Of course, I think it is pretty special. I spent some time this morning reviewing all the publicity materials and book plans, and they are impressive.

But now I have to get back to reality and one more edition of Ask Terry:



Anonymous writes: I’ve been a big fan for 25 years. Is there any chance that set pieces/props from the Shannara Chronicles will be for sale? What about merchandise based on the TV show?

Terry Brooks replies: There is always a chance, but probably not anytime soon. We are hopeful the show will last a few seasons before we have to think about selling off the set. Right now, everything is in storage or set up for Season Two. What there will be are items for sale to the general public of the sort STAR WARS and other franchises have made available. But it is too soon to talk about that.



Anonymous writes: I like the different approach that you have taken in the Defenders of Shannara series, but I was wondering if we will learn any more background information on Arcannen. He is such a focal point of these novels, but we really don’t know much about him.

Terry Brooks replies: More of Arcannen is revealed in each succeeding book. Maybe one day I will write something more about him in another venue, but for now all there is will be revealed in these three books. Glad you like the change of pace and approach. I was in need of a vacation from the normal Shannara story.



Cameron Freeman writes: A while back, Dragon Magazine had game rules for the D20 system using Shannara themes. Is there any chance that this will be done again, either for current RPGs (D&D, Parhfinder) or even a new Shannara-themed RPG?

Terry Brooks replies: Not sure about this. A lot of what happens in the gaming field with Shannara will be decided by the success of the TV show and any interest MTV has in merchandising that particular area. There has been continued interest, but I am not a gamer outside of occasionally playing bingo for money so I really haven’t followed up on it. Stay turned.



Jonathan Kochensparger writes: By accident, I read Elfstones first, then found Sword and read it. Since that time you have been my all time favorite author. If the first TV season is a ratings success, are there plans to adapt any of the other books?

Terry Brooks replies: There are definite plans to adapt other books for each season. The particulars of this are still under discussion. As you might guess, there are multiple points of view about how to proceed. I think you can look for a decision on this sometime after the first of the year.



Nelson writes: How important is point of view in a story, from chapter to chapter, how do you determine POV and is it possible to write a good story where the POV switches back and forth within the same chapter?

Terry Brooks replies: Yes, POV is important. You need someone to witness and react to what is happening. We use this not only to tell story but to reveal character. Determining which POV to use or how many to employ during the course of a tale is up to the author telling the story. I usually use at least three characters for this and sometimes more. But you have to give careful thought to pacing and continuity when you switch back and forth. I don’t like switching within a chapter where there is not a clear change of time or place. Even so, I think I might have done it once or twice when it was an action scene.


Okay, gang. Back to work for your beleaguered author!

See you next month,


Please completely fill in the form below and send the two questions you want to ask Terry this month.

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9 responses to “July ASK TERRY Posted”

  1. Elfstones… is the right change of pace and approach! A return to true fantasy literature in a classical way! Sword, Elfstones, and Wishsong are by far the best books in the series… next to only First King, Heritage, Dark Legacy, and High Druid!


  2. I’ve been reading some reactions around the web, concerning what has been revealed of the show so far. I’m pleased to see these are mostly positive, or at least hopeful. I also see many people, like myself, wondering at the choice of Allanon’s look and height. In many cases the response has been “there are no actors who look like Allanon and are 7 feet tall”. Considering there were no actors who were 3’2″ when casting Frodo, I find that a feeble excuse. A decision was made, in the case of Frodo, to use forced perspective and other tricks to make him look smaller. Wondering why this was not employed with Allanon in the reverse sense? Too difficult? Expensive? Just a plain bad idea? I understand the pictures of Allanon in the books are not accurate, but he is clearly described as being tall by Terry himself. In my opinion the height would have set him apart even more than the California haircut did from Gandalf, Dumbledorf, or other wizards. Don’t worry, I will watch this show with a smile… this is not a criticism, just an honest question.

    • I think the “Shannara Chronicles” (MTV mini-series) SUCKS! This was not the way to portray these Shannara saga books to the silver screen. It was so bad I would go as far as comparing it with President Baalzebub Obama on TV…can only stomach a few minutes of such crap before turning the channel!

  3. I like the Hildebrandt art work of Allanon is the Sword of Shannara! In Elfstones he had already aged to a long white beard! And in Wishsong he was very old indeed!

    • In Elfstones, Allanon is described as looking exactly like he did in Sword. By both Eventine and Wil/Flick. It’s only at the end of Elfstones that Allanon has gray in his beard after expending a great deal of power.

  4. Do you think someone could put a bug in Terry’s ear, telling him to do a series telling the story of Brona. Starting at some period just prior to the Building of Paranor and continuing through his fall from grace and into the Warlock Lord. I think it could be a true epic novel. As Paranor has been a focal point of many series, it would be interesting to get more insight to the magic and the men responsible. The most difficult aspect I would think is avoiding it coming off as a Darth Vader derivative.

  5. Are we going to get anymore of these Ask Terry’s? I always look forward to them, but it seems like there hasn’t been one for quite sometime.