BrooksBlog: The Importance of Touring

Terry Brooks
Terry Brooks
Greetings from the Road!

Been a while since I blogged about anything, so I thought this would be a good time to correct that. Took me a week because there has been precious little time for anything. Here is my daily routine. Wake up, shower, eat something. Get in the car and drive to the next city. Fight traffic and road repairs all the way because the entire highway system of America is under repair and needs more. Arrive frazzled and somewhat grumpy, find our hotel (Judine is with me to keep me from going totally insane), eat something and do an event, usually from 7-10 or 11 at night. Then off to bed, sleep, wake and start over once more.

All of this would be unbearable if not for the events and the readers who attend them. Judine says I have the best readers in the world, and she means by that the most devoted, kindest, well-read readers in all creation. She might be a bit overboard on this assessment, but I don’t think by much. Chained to my computer and locked away for 8 to 10 months while writing, you tend to forget what it is you are writing for. You tend to forget how wonderful it feels to hear that your books mean so much to the readers. You forget that it gives you energy and inspiration for your work. But the book events remind you of all this, and they give you an unmistakable desire to go back and do more and to never, ever disappoint your readers by doing something that is less than your best work.

Love the families that come out. Sometimes four or five, all reading the books at once. Love the stories of how people came to read the books in the first place – frequently through another member of the family recommending them. Love the way the stories and characters have impacted people at times in their lives when things seemed a bit bleak. I am reminded of how we all escape into books to flee our own lives now and then, and when we do we inevitably return better able to get on with things. Love all the strange, wild tales of where people were and what they were doing when they read a particular book.

This time, too, it was good to see such a positive response to The Shannara Chronicles. I took a survey a couple nights ago. How many people saw the TV show? Virtually every hand in the room went up. How many of you liked it? Same number of hands. Maybe they were shining me on, but I would like to think they meant it. I keep telling people how much I liked it – the production values, the actors, the acting, the setting, all of it. I keep telling them I view it as a companion piece to the books, another way to enjoy the Four Lands and its characters, a fresh experience. It doesn’t satisfy all because some want an exact recreation of the books, but I celebrate it as something new and not entirely the same as the books. Showrunners Al Gough and Miles Millar have captured lightning in a bottle with their adaptation, and MTV and Sonar have given it a home.

So what’s a few weeks of slogging about the country when the end result is hearing how much people like your writing? Nothing at all. Thanks to one and all for being so gracious in sharing your time and interest. Hope to do this for the next 100 years.

Back soon with more, Terry

PS: The Sorcerer’s Daughter is in fine bookstores now!