February Ask Terry Posted

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 February 2018 and Terry’s answers! Enjoy!

Note: This section may contain spoilers!


Back again, Readers. Thanks for all you patience and you questions and your interest in my work. It sustains me in so many ways, and I will never forget it. So let’s carry on!

Christy writes: Why is there not a third season of The Shannara Chronicles?

Terry Brooks replies: Well, Christy, there are several explanations, none of them very satisfactory. We were at MTV for Season One, but right after filming Season Two, they decided they didn’t want to do any further scripted television. They would lean more towards reality TV and a few other forms I won’t mention here. So the parent corporation, ViaCom, dumped us on Spike TV, who really didn’t want us in the first place. But the show was already shot, so they ran it, but with little fanfare. Also, they were disappointed in the ratings – and I might argue much of that was their own fault and also an apparent inability to understand how people under thirty tend to watch TV these days. Which is to say, not on the night it airs or even on TV, but using other devices after they find time in their busy lives. So Spike decided to cancel, using ratings as an excuse. Didn’t seem to matter that the show was well reviewed or that we did better than a whole raft of their other shows. So now we’re out there hanging in the wind, looking for a new home. But this will be difficult to find.

Matthew Sullivan writes: Hello! I’ve been a fan since The Sword of Shannara was first published, I’ve read the books as published and read them chronologically. I wonder how much input you had in the TV series? I really liked the first season, but wonder why they made so many changes in the second? I’m looking forward to your last two Shannara books, but I’m nervous about what they have in plan for season three….if they make one.

Terry Brooks replies: See above. Looks like no third season at this point. The producers are looking around, but so far no luck. So this may be the end their run. We will keep trying. As you know, the writers went off in their own direction for season two, so I doubt anyone will try to turn that around with a season three. I had my chances to comment on the first two seasons, and mostly I was listened to. But not always. TV is made by committee, just like movies, and so others get to put in their two cents. So sometimes I come out on the short end of the stick. Which isn’t always bad. It’s a complicated process, which is why I prefer to keep things simple and write books.

Josue writes: How do you keep your timelines straight when writing? I see how you’ve been back and forth in your own timelines … from very early beginnings to deep into the “future” of your timeline. How do you keep things straight and still somewhat connected?

Terry Brooks replies: In order to preserve my rather good relationship with my editor, I better tell you that she is my last line of defense. She is always the one who makes me redo my timelines when she feels I have gone off the rails, which is often because I don’t pay close enough attention. So she brings things back around so they balance out the way I intended them to. But I also use outlines on these things and make notes. Just doesn’t always works, as she is fond of pointing out.

Joe Tipton writes: Are there no more Knights of the Word? Did the Druids take their place?

Terry Brooks replies: Joe, we don’t know the answer to that question at this point. The time of the Knights of the Word pretty much ended with Genesis of Shannara, and so now we have a gap in time with no Knights and no Druids during Bearers and Measure. More to come on this later, so I have to leave you hanging for now.

Sean Shepard writes: What made you want to write Street Freaks, a book that is more science fiction than your normal fantasy story?

Terry Brooks replies: Well, hey, Sean Shepard! Periodically, writers need to stretch themselves. In the past, when I got Shannara overload, I branched out – Magic Kingdom, Word & Void, Star Wars & Hook, Sometimes the Magic and pre-history Shannara – all to give me a break from the usual. But in the last eight years, I haven’t done anything new. So a few years back, I started Street Freaks, not sure where it was going or what it wanted to be. It ended up a futuristic thriller that was a combination of Blade Runner, Oliver Twist and Fast & Furious, to use Hollywood speak. But no fantasy because it was time to write something else. Still, a Brooks Book is always recognizable as a Brooks Book. So I don’t think anyone is going to be too disappointed by what they find in Street Freaks. We’ll find out together in October, when the book comes out all over the US and hopefully a few neighboring countries.

Whew! That’s enough for me. I’ve got to go off now and write a blog or two. Decided to devote a little more time to an online presence so no one will think I died. See you on the road this June, I hope. Check the Website for venues and states I will be visiting when they get posted. I plan to go quite a few places over a two month span.

Magic Always,

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