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 March 2018 and Terry’s answers! Enjoy!

Note: This section may contain spoilers!

MARCH ASK TERRY Q&A

So, gang of avid readers, here we are once again, ready to tackle a new bunch of Ask Terry. I like your enthusiasm, but question your faith in me. Still, I will do my best to justify it by by having a look at your current crop of questions.


Anonymous writes: Will The Shannara Chronicles return for a season three? I really love the show and would be quite sad to see it go.

Terry Brooks replies: Dear Anonymous, I do not know the answer to this question as of now. Efforts are in progress to give the show a reprieve so that it can have a Season Three. But I will have to ask you to be patient a bit longer. Trust me when I tell you that a lot of hard work is going into making this happen. I am glad you loved the first two seasons, as did a lot of others, so there is still hope a new network will take it on. Stay in touch.


Nathan Liu writes: Hello. I am currently writing a research paper on how nuclear technology affected American Science Fiction. I chose to use your Shannara series to show a post-nuclear society in fiction. But the one question that I haven’t been able to find an answer to was: What? What made you write the Shannara series, and why did you chose a post-nuclear setting?

Terry Brooks replies: Well, I will treat this question in two parts. I wrote the Shannara series because I wrote The Sword of Shannara and it did very well, so I wrote Elfstones, and it did better and so on and so forth until suddenly I had a series. But when you start out writing a book, mostly you are hoping you can just get one book published before you wed yourself to the possibility of having three unpublished books. End of answer to part one. As to part two, I did not start out with a particular idea in mind regarding the Great Wars and the pre-history of Shannara. Most of that crept in along the way, and to tell you the truth for a long time I thought this book would be set in an imaginary world and not our world. The decision was not made until I started work on Genesis of Shannara and finally had to make the decision. So I settled on a post-nuclear setting in our own world, back before everyone and his/her mother wasn’t doing the same thing. The TV show liked the post-apocolyptic idea so much they latched onto it from the beginning and ramped up the setting as an integral part of the story.


Allan Farrell writes: I’ve followed your adventure from the beginning and you always manage to keep things fresh, exciting and new in all of your worlds. My question is how do you deal with the sometimes unrealistic expectations of fans for you to always be on tour, signing books, writing books and generally be “always on”? I think I can speak for your readers when I say we all agree that the high quality of literary creativity you deliver means much more than high quantity.

Terry Brooks replies: Couple of things. I only do as much publicity as I think I can handle without letting it affect my home life and my writing. That mark has shrunk considerably with advanced age. My energy level definitely isn’t what it once was. So I make sure when I do something I can do it the right way. Being ‘on’ is a part of what is needed. People buy my books and come out to see me because they are strongly connected to what I do. I have to honor that effort. They deserve to be well treated and spoken to in a caring way and not simply marched through a signing line. Part of what I believe you do for your readers is go give back a little of the joy and attention they have given you. So Judine travels with me, and between us and the people putting on the event we are pretty much able to cover all the bases. And you are right – quality is more important than quantity. Though I always wish I could do more.


Matthew Heiser writes: Do you plan on doing any more annotated versions? I am really enjoying The Annotated Sword of Shannara!

Terry Brooks replies: I dont’ think so. Sword was a special case. That book has a very defined history to its writing and publication. After the first, nothing is ever the same again. There might be an annotated The Elfstones of Shannara that I could do one day. But it is not on the schedule as yet. Maybe Shawn will run a poll to see if there were enough people interested in an annotated Elfstones to consider doing it. The book will celebrate it’s fortieth anniversary in 2022. Might be able to release it then.


Anonymous writes: Three sets of Elfstones headed back to the Forbidding at the end of the Dark Legacy trilogy. They couldn’t be used by the demons before. But someone with Elven blood was also sent to the Forbidding. Could she employ the use of the Elfstones in some way to escape?

Terry Brooks replies: Very creative Matthew. But I am way ahead of you on this one. Stay tuned as The Fall of Shannara continues for an answer to your question.


Okay, got to get back to work editing the third book in The new series, and then begin writing the last one. A big effort, but exciting.

Hope to see some of you on the road this June,

Ask Terry

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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)!