Terry Brooks

Terry Brooks

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 for August 2015 and Terry’s answers! As you can see, we are a bit behind due to the show. Catching up now. Enjoy!

Note: This section may contain spoilers!

AUGUST ASK TERRY QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

Hi Everyone,

Been out there shopping The Shannara Chronicles to my disbelieving readers, who I hope are coming around to accepting it as a pretty good take on The Elfstones of Shannara. I have explained until I am half mad with it what an adaptation is and why no adaptation is ever exactly like the original. Let me add to this that I DON’T WANT IT TO BE. The book is the book and the TV Show is the TV Show, and it is all right if both are well done.

So, way behind in Ask Terry but will try to catch up over the next few weeks. Life goes on . . .


Tracy Spilker writes: I loved the introduction of the wing riders and the roles they played in The Elfstones of Shannara and The Elf Queen of Shannara. Will a wing rider ever take a prominent role again?

Terry Brooks replies: I am expecting to do just that in the latest series I am currently writing for Del Rey, the one that will be the last chronologically in the entire canon. Haven’t worked out where we will see this wing rider(s), but I will have some reference to one at some point. Probably in the second book, given the plans for the first.


Jeff Idyle writes: Just finished The Darkling Child – fantastic! But why must all your endings leave me feeling punched in the stomach?

Terry Brooks replies: What? You don’t like being punched in the stomach? Okay, I was hoping for a less visceral reaction because you will probably end up hospitalized by the end of The Sorcerer’s Daughter this coming Summer. But, damn, Jeff! This is the reaction I want from you. I want to make you feel something emotionally. That has been at the top of my marching orders as a writer since Sword. Can’t teach me to do much of anything else by now. So you can look for me to try to catch off guard and leave you drained and thinking about what you have just read every single time out. Some books are worse than others, I admit. The Darkling Child is one of them.


Wendy Bartle writes: One often sees advice for aspiring writers on how to deal with rejection, but what I’d really like to know is how do you deal with success? Does the pressure of living up to previous achievements and accolades ever leave you feeling intimidated?

Terry Brooks replies: Every single time. Success breeds expectation, and expectation breeds insecurity. Can I do it again? What story do I tell to top the one just told, the one I thought was my best work yet. Every single time. It does help keep you sharp and aware. Readers don’t pay good money to end up disappointed with you at the end of the book. So I have to be aware of this and find ways to keep from giving in to pressure, boredom, weariness and general frustration over multiple behavioral issues. All I can tell you is if I like it, Judine likes it, Shawn likes it, and my editor and agent like it, I have to trust we are all right.


Kody Moreno writes: Grianne has to be my all time favorite character you’ve created. I know there were a few fans that were not happy with what happened to her at the end of Witch Wraith. I was one of them, but I hold out hope that you will give her a proper ending. Because of what happened at the end of Witch Wraith, I was wondering if there is something, either in the Elven or Druid Histories, that lists the creatures that were banished and why. Since Grianne was something rather new, but still a demon in some form, I was wondering what exactly about demons locks them into the Forbidding? Is it just an evil presence that the Ellcrys senses and then banishes or is it more complex than that?

Terry Brooks replies: Much of the history of the Forbidding and the creatures locked within it was told in the books of Shannara’s Dark Legacy trilogy. The war between good and evil magic and the faerie creatures that wielded both turns out to be less than what future generations believed. The choices made as to which was which was imperfect and not all who got locked away in the Forbidding were truly evil. There was a lot of gray areas in this endeavor, and the designations were such that things that came later were affected. The Ellcrys only pens up the creatures it initially was created to hold and those born within it. Grianne was scooped up because she took the side of the demons that had been released. So she got a bad deal in this mess, but I do think her story is not entirely told and there will be a final resolution down the road.


Blaine Hebert writes: Why did you choose to start the TV show with Elfstones instead of Sword?

Terry Brooks replies: Elfstones is a more TV friendly story. It has strong female characters. It has an off-beat, but compelling love story. It has what I think is my best and most unexpected ending to a book. Open for debate, that one, I guess. Sword lacks all of these. So the feeling was that the majority of my readers love Elfstones a little more than Sword and that was the direction we chose to go. Hope you are not disappointed.


So that’s it for August. Back with September ASAP. Will trust that your patience with me will hold for another few weeks to complete 2015 and get into the new year.

Hope you are watching the show on Tuesdays,

Ask Terry

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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)!