February Ask Terry Posted

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 February 2017 and Terry’s answers! Enjoy!

Note: This section may contain spoilers!


Hello Readers!

Have you come up with something new, something difficult, something I can’t answer. If so, remember my advanced age and failing memory and go to the newest Shannara site – ASK SHAWN!

There all of your questions will be answered. No need to wait and see if I know the answer. Just go right now to ASK SHAWN.

Oh, never mind. Let’s get to it.

David Salchow writes: For Season Two of ‘The Shannara Chronicles,’ did you have the same level of involvement with scripts, plot, and characters as you did with Season One? In other words, did you have more, less or the same level of involvement with the program.

Terry Brooks replies: Well, this depends on your measuring stick. I had the same responsibilities, but the exercise of them was somewhat different. Our Showrunners, Al and Miles, were asked to make Season Two a direct sequel to Season One with focus on all of the surviving characters. So most of it is an original Shannara story, which ought to excite everyone. Bits and pieces of story from both Sword and Wishsong make an appearance, but remember that our main characters are Wil and Eretria and Allanon, so the uses of those plotlines are both new and different. I think you will love this story, and you might even be surprised to find a few old friends tucked away between bits of dialogue. So rather than having to vet the story so closely, I spent my time as a resource for all things Shannar and tried to aid our writers when they asked for it to keep our uses of magic and character close to the books. But our writers wanted to expand on what was in the books, and I helped them do that to the best of my ability. I think that nailed it.

Frank Dlouhy writes: Why end the Shannara series? I’ve been reading the series since it first began. A little sad to see it go. By far my favorite of all your works. Looking forward to the last four books. Not looking forward to the last page of Book 4!

Terry Brooks replies: Well, lets define our terms relative to what I am intending. Chronologically, this will mark the conclusion of any forward movement in the history of the Four Lands. I wanted to write my own ending, and it seemed to me at this point in my life it was a good idea to do so. But once that is done – four books in a single series, the first coming out this June and the others planned to release each succeeding June – I will be free to go back and do more with the prehistory and to fill in any gaps that I care to venture in with familiar characters. That should keep me busy until at least 2050, when I will call it all said and all done. Or someone will.

Sean Jones writes: In your books there are always several storyline following different groups. Do you write the entire storyline line for each group then cut it up and put it in the book or do you write it as it reads, a chapter or two of one group then to another, back and forth, etc.?

Terry Brooks replies: I am a linear storyteller and writer. I work from page one to page whatever, straight through. Sometimes, after all is said and done or maybe even right in the middle of things, I will move sections or whole chapters around. You have to be fluid in the creative process. Working with a single storyline at a time takes something away from the process for me. I like playing off against other things that are happening at the same time and leave myself open to the possibility of having paths cross. If I were to do one storyline at a time, I would risk losing both continuity and spontaneity. Besides, if I get a bit bored with one character’s struggles, I can move right over to someone else and make their life miserable. Sort of like what the government does these days.

John G. Rumple writes: What is the oldest sentient creature inhabiting the world of Shannara? Have we encountered it in a book?

Terry Brooks replies: Well, there are fairy creatures, and they would have come out of the Old World of Faerie before the age of Men, so they are probably the oldest. But we never learn enough history to know which Faerie creatures preceeded the others. In the new book, waiting for you to read it in June, there is a Forest Imp that is part of a very ancient species and is itself thousands of years old. So maybe that’s the oldest thing still living.

Tracy writes: When reading the original novels with Allanon and later Walker Boh, I thought that every druid had access to the Druid sleep. Now we find out that only the Ard Rhys undergoes the Druid sleep. Has it always been that way? And why aren’t more Druids allowed to undergo the Sleep?

Terry Brooks replies: I believe you have put your finger on a truth about the Druid Sleep that I have skimmed over. Let’s just assume for the sake of putting this to bed that all of the High Druids have use of the sleep and a handful of others have been taught the magic that allows for it. How this all happens and to whom remains one of those enduring mysteries until someone (?) writes about it in a definitive fashioin. Our majory Druid characters have all had use of it, always when they are the only or last of the existing Druids. But there may be exceptions brought about by circumstances that alter that rule.

That’s it for now. Back for March in a bit. Or back when I can get back.

All good magic,

Ask Terry

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