BrooksBlog: Staying Sane On Tour

Terry Brooks
Terry Brooks

Dear Readers,

The book tour for The Sorcerer’s Daughter continues, but I am taking time out for a few days to attend my 50th year college class rennin at Hamilton College. A bit surreal. Most of my classmates I have not seen for 50 years. Some I recognize, some not. The nature of things, I guess. None of us look the same, of course. Still, lots of fun remembering and seeing the campus again after all this time. Very different. Makes me wish I was going here now instead of back when.

So a few words about how you stay sane on the road. One very necessary way is that you read. Or, in our case since we are driving most places, you listen to books on tape. For this part of our journey we chose to listen to The Golden Compass, Philip Pullman’s marvelous fantasy about Lyra and her strange family and friends and the armored bears and Dust and all the rest. Loved it back then, still love it. The discs are a full cast rendering of the characters with Philip serving as the narrator. You forget how wonderful his language is and how clever and amazing his characters and creatures. Things we had forgotten were brought back again with the reading, and listening does so much to help pass the time on bad roads and worse traffic. We are a little more than halfway through. Would be further along if not for intrusive road noise which forces us to take prolonged breaks.

When we are not in the car, we are reading in our hotel rooms or lobbies or wherever we are forced to hang out. Judine, as usual, has already read half-a-dozen books in less than two weeks while I have read two and not finished the second yet. Wish I were faster, but that’s how it is. Am currently reading Daniel Jose Older’s Midnight Taxi Tango, the follow-up to Half-Ressurection Blues, which follows the adventures of Carlos Delacruz, who is dead but not entirely, and his very odd friends and acquaintances. Brought back to life – or a sort of half-life – he acts as a conduit between the the living and the dead. Kind of like the Odd Thomas books, but much harder-edged and more exotic. Reminds me of Ben Aaronovich and his series featuring Detective Chief Inspector Nightengale and his young protege Constable Peter who are both wizards and the chief members of a special branch of Scotland Yard which investigates paranormal activity in London. But Older’s work is more distinctive and muscular, and his ability to convey a culture and a people seldom written about in Science Fiction is what makes it all so compelling.

Up next? Justin Cronin’s City of Mirrors, Joe Hill’s The Fireman, Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven King, and couple of graphic novels. Lots to keep me occupied on the road and after.

Oh, yeah. I’m writing, too. Book Two, Chapter 11, of the final Shannara set. Go me!

Back soon, Terry