April ASK TERRY Posted

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 April 2016 and Terry’s answers! Enjoy!

Note: This section may contain spoilers!


Welcome back, Readers Young & Old!

Another session of Ask Terry. On to it then!

Laura Stephey writes: I bought The Sword of Shannara in 1978 and read it on my honeymoon. Love it and bought a few more. Now I’m trying to get all of them on audiobooks. I have found quite a few missing from this format, most notably the Heritage of Shannara books. Why? I belong to Audible, and have all the unabridged books of yours that they have. Are the rest going to be added in audio format?

Terry Brooks replies: Heritage of Shannara will appear in audio this summer, now being recorded in studio. I think most of the others are out there, but we keep trying to catch up on those that are not. Feel free to advise my Web Druid if you know of others you cannot find. They were all done as abridged when I started out and we have been trying to update them ever since. This is not helped by the fact that I have moved the audios about from company to company over the years.

Georgia Latimer writes: How does it feel to have the TV show renewed for a second season?

Terry Brooks replies: It feels gratifying. Everyone thought it would be renewed, given the critical response and the viewer numbers, but in this business you never know. But this renewal for a second season suggests that we are in it for the long haul, which means as long as viewer numbers are up and there is a profit to be made for MTV. I don’t care so much about that part, but I do love the production values and the actors.

Matt Lynn writes: I am a long-time fan of Shannara and I really enjoyed the 1st season of the Shannara Chronicles and am looking forward to next season. The writers on the tv show really brought the post-apocalyptic storyline to the forefront, much more than in the Elfstones novel, and that element was actually probably my favorite part of the tv show. My question is: Now that we know the post-apocalyptic origin of the Four Lands from Running with the Demon, Armaggedon’s Children, and Legends, if you could re-write Elfstones (or Sword for that matter), would you have put more elements into the original Shannara stories to tie-in the post-apocalyptic storyline? (My opinion is that if the Shannara book series was started originally with Running with the Demon, then the Elfstones might have been something closer to the tv show – at least regarding the post-apocalyptic part.) What are your thoughts about this?

Terry Brooks replies: Well, I would never rewrite anything I have already done. I think that is always a mistake. But had I made the decision about where the story was based earlier in my writing life, I would almost certainly have included more specific references to it being our post-apocalyptic world. But that decision did not come about until I wrote Armageddon’s Children in the early 2000s, so I have to live with it now. That the TV show makes so much of this is something I approved of right from the beginning. Better not to keep people in the dark on setting and time when we are talking about filming a series.

George Haney writes: I have been a fan since the 80’s, having read and re-read every Shannara book. In the 90’s you said you would not let the movies be made until the capabilities of the movie industry would do it justice. The Shannara Chronicles is the epitome of “loosely” based on movie making. I really expected something at LEAST close to the books. They skipped TONS of important topics, schizophrenicly bounced through the themes, and mixed Running with the Demon into the story. Why did you let this happen?

Terry Brooks replies: I keep having to answer this question. I was just one voice in determining how things would be done. The showrunners, the producers, the network and the financier all have a vested interest and a voice in the choices made. I could not in all good conscience face them all down all the time. Besides, I told the writers early on that straying from the book was permissible. I asked them to honor the central plotline and characters, and they did this. I kind of liked the idea of the TV show being a complement to the books without duplicating them. I don’t want people to love the TV show so much they don’t feel they need to read the books. This has happened to some extend with Lord of the Rings. I am a book guy, and I protect my book turf rather aggressively.

Mistaya Wynd writes: Hello Terry! As you have probably guessed, my mother (and as a result, me) likes your books! I’m just wondering where you got the name Mistaya, as I can find no history behind it?

Terry Brooks replies: Mistaya is a made-up name and is not one of my thefts. So there is no history to it and nowhere I can send you to find out more save in the books of Magic Kingdom. I love the name, and I hope you do, too. By the by, I have not met anyone else with that name. Lots of Shannaras and Amberles, Brins and Jairs. No Mistayas, that I know of. You are an original. 🙂

That’s it for now. It’s back to the keyboard for me. We will keep you advised on several projects that we haven’t spoken of here that are in the works as we go along. I will remind you that the DVD of Season One of the Shannara Chronicles releases June 7.

See you next month,

Ask Terry

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