May 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 from May 2016 and Terry’s answers! Enjoy!

Note: This section may contain spoilers!


Dear Readers,

Time for another session of Ask Terry. Still battling a chest cold and cough that are driving me crazy, but I think I can handle five questions from May. Let’s hope.

Tyler Cohen writes: The most frequent criticism of your books is that they’re Lord of The Rings clones. Which of your books would you consider most original?

Terry Brooks replies: Well, I don’t hear the Tolkien comparisons so much any more. Really, they don’t apply after Sword, anyway. So I would argue that while I am a part of the Tolkien culture, the differences between us as writers are so extreme that anything from Elfstones on is pretty original. Writers are always being compared to some other author, but the truth is we wouldn’t last long if there wasn’t something pretty unique about our individual work. Surely, Word & Void and Magic Kingdom are nothing like Tolkien. But I would argue that the bulk of the Shannara books, while a part of epic fantasy culture, are different from anything else out there.

Jeb Holt writes: How much of what was previously the United States/North America does the Four Lands cover? Is it possible that there are other survivors of the Great Wars further north/east/south of the current borders of the map?

Terry Brooks replies: I have never made it clear how much of the Four Lands is what remains of the Old World. I like it when the readers make those determinations on their own. It’s more involving and fun if each reader forms a unique opinion. As to part two of your question, we don’t really know the answer. Now and again, people from other continents appear in the stories. This will be true of the new books I am writing. This particular people will come from the East, so at least part of your wish is granted.

Danny Owens writes: Regardless of the deviations from the book that the TV show took, I really liked the series and am looking forward to season two. My question is since there are typically large gaps of time between the first three books and subsequent series, has there been any thought to exploring completely new stories between books in order to keep the same cast? Just because there isn’t a book between Elfstones and Wishsong doesn’t necessarily mean that Wil and Eretria had no excitement in their lives.

Terry Brooks replies: It has already been determined to keep the original cast. While adding new characters, the stories will fall between the close of Elfstones and the beginning of Wishsong. How we handle this is still under discussion, but in principle that is how the TV series will proceed. A lot of viewers and readers alike have voiced the same wish about the direction of the show, and we want to expand further those characters and their story. This will require a lot of fresh writing, but our show runners can handle it. It will be interesting to be exposed to stories and characters not found in the book, and will make watching the show a fresh experience. As I keep saying, the TV show is an adaptation, so a strict paint by the numbers was never in the cards. After Season One, we begin to experiment. I am excited about this. I like the idea of new stories and characters, adding some plotlines and characters found in the first three books. We’ll see how much you can suss out after the first few episodes.

Anonymous writes: How do the characters from Genesis and Legends of Shannara tie into the Ohmsfords? Is there a genealogical connection?

Terry Brooks replies: I can’t answer that because I am still intending to write more books after Legends. I haven’t worked up characters or plot, so everything will just have to wait and see on this one. I think you know from a little about this already from Bearers of the Black Staff and Measure of the Magic. But more will be written as the series shifts from the end of the series to the end of the pre-history.

Matthew Heiser writes: While all of your stories are well diversified regarding their protagonists and antagonists they have mostly revolved around the Elves. Will you please write us a story centered on a Dwarf or a Troll? Their culture, their struggles, and their heritage is incomplete in the Shannara world (in my opinion). These are the descendants of Panther and Cat, these are the mountain dwellers and mord lurkers etc.

Terry Brooks replies: Regarding Panther and Cat, see queston 4 above. I don’t know about the first part. It might happen I will center a story around a Dwarf or a Troll, but mostly they serve better as supporting characters. I think I might change this with a short story or two, but I am not thinking about that just now. So much to write about, so little time.

Okay, gang, that’s it for now. Got to get back to work on writing. I was sick for three weeks and got nothing done, so I am scrambling to catch up. Meanwhile, keep those questions coming!

Until next month,

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