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 August 2017 and Terry’s answers! Enjoy!

Note: This section may contain spoilers!

AUGUST ASK TERRY Q&A

Salutations, One and All! Here we go with August, and now I am officially caught up according to your faithful Web Druid. Course, you can’t trust him completely these days. He has a severe case of baby brain, brought on by excessive contact with Soren, the Magnificent. What a great kid! Takes after his mother fortunately, so I don’t expect him to suffer too many brain burnouts like his father goes through on a regular basis. I am grooming him to take over once Shawn finally goes ‘round the bend and stays there. Just need him to learn to type, but his motor muscles are still developing. Another two years, perhaps . . .


Teri Johnson writes: I have recently discovered the Magic Kingdom of Landover books and have read books 1-6. Thoroughly enjoyed them! While I was reading the books I couldn’t help but think that this needs to be a movie or at least a mini series. The story line is incredible and the characters are so fascinating. Is either one an option?

Terry Brooks replies: Sadly, it has already been under option for more than 10 years. Steve Carell is set to star, we have a beavy of producers and a pretty darn good script. We had a studio until recently, but they bailed on us. So we are back to searching out a new venue to make the film. Maybe I will try passing it off as Marvel Comic effort #5025. It might slip through the cracks. Or perhaps if I told them it was a sequel to The Princess Bride? They believe anything in Hollywood. But I grow weary and time grows short . . .


Seth Kaniuka writes: After “Hawk’s Mist” lifted and the valley was open, to what part of North America did the survivors settle?

Terry Brooks replies: Sadly, Keith, this is the sort of question I always answer the same way. “What do you think?” My philosophy about good books is that they expect the reader to contribute about 50% of the effort. So this is a case where I want you to decide. I was deliberately vague, as I frequently am bout geography, because I want each read to decide the answer for themselves. More fun that way. So will only say it is somewhere east of Seattle, and you will have to decide how far Hawk and his companions got. There are a few clues, but it remains a mystery.


Charlotte Brammer writes: I have been reading, and rereading your books since I was a child and they have shaped and molded my love of fantasy and story. I have been working on my own trilogy for the last 8 years and I finally want to take the steps to pursue publishing. I actually own and have read through your Lessons from a Writing life, and it was very helpful. I am reaching out to ask a final question that I hope will enable me to build an amazing team of people to help my vision come true. How did you find and select your agent / editor?

Terry Brooks replies: Hey, Charlotte. I get this question a lot. Let me start out by saying I am not a good example. First, I was published 40 years ago, and things have changed. second, I did not find an agent until after I had been published for 20 of those forty years and things had gotten too complicated for me to not have help. These days, your approach to publishing is a many headed hydra. There are a lot of ways to go. Many people now set up a website, build a fan base by putting out sections or chapters of a piece of work and then taking what they have put together to potential publishers as a package deal. Publishers expect you to promote yourself and want you to building a fan base that follows you online once your are published. So there’s that approach. You can still submit cold copy over the transom, but the competition is pretty still. Thousands of new manuscripts are submitted to Del Rey each year. Same with other companies. I favor going to writing conferences or conventions and meeting with editors and agents one on one. That way you get a better feel for your chances and your bond with anyone will be on a personal basis. Introduce yourself, tell whoever shows interest you have a fantasy work, give a few details but not too many, and ask if they would be interested in taking a look. Usually they will ask for some part of what you have written and give you a card so you can send it along. But never make the mistake of approaching an editor or agent before you actually have something ready. Don’t be putting the cart before the horse.


Becky L. Murrieta writes: I read your latest book within a week of receiving it, and I find myself wanting the follow-up much sooner than a year. Isn’t there someway that you can publish twice a year? Please let your publishers know that your fans want more than once a year. I’m now 65 and practically have to re-read the prior book before the new one because my memory doesn’t last a year!

Terry Brooks replies: I have two choices. Clone myself or divorce my family and friends and stop traveling and just write. Neither sounds possible, so I guess you are stuck with me and my current writing schedule. Or maybe what’s happening here is a rather nefarious author plan to make you read all my books more than once! In any case, the publisher would be happy if I wrote faster, too. But to do that, I would have to downgrade the quality of the book and no one would like that. Sorry, Becky. Please be patient with me.

There you go, my best shot at a touch question. Much good luck to you. It can be done.


Matthew Heiser writes: Use of magic always comes at a price to the user in one way or another. Besides the obvious, what adverse results come from using the Druid Sleep? Since few seem to do so, it must be a carefully guarded secret or it has a higher price to pay that we have yet to see fleshed out.

Terry Brooks replies: Good question. Let me see. The Druid sleep is a learned skill and comes with experience and age. So only a few Druids mastered it and most were Ard Rhys entitled. That makes it a carefully guarded secret and a difficult to master skill. As for a price, it might be that it has to do with all those you knew before you went into the sleep aging so much they would be barely recognizable or dead when you came out of it. It would be like losing an entire section of your life. That would make friendships and relationships more than a little uncertain and difficult to establish. Must be why the Druids are so lonely – every one of them.


Well, that was exciting. Thanks one and all for some great questions, Looking forward to seeing what you come up with next. Meanwhile, back to editing and writing for me. The Skaar Invasion, Book 2 of The Fall of Shannara, is pretty much all done and put to bed, so time to move on.

Magic Always,

Ask Terry

Please completely fill in the form below and send the two questions you want to ask Terry this month.

Share:
Written by Shawn Speakman
I am the long-time friend and webmaster for Terry Brooks as well as the author of The Dark Thorn, an urban/epic fantasy hybrid novel Terry calls "a fine tale by a talented writer." Join me on Facebook and Twitter (@shawnspeakman)!