April 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 April 2018 and Terry’s answers! Enjoy!

Note: This section may contain spoilers!


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.

Ric Patras writes: When you write, is there a favorite time for you to write? Is it just getting into a groove and writing in large unstoppable segments? Or is it more broken up with no writing time for a day or two after writing for X number of days? Habits are interesting reading.

Terry Brooks replies: Once upon a time, I wrote night and weekends. That was when I was a lawyer with a day job and children to help raise. But now all that is in the past, and I have all day to chose a time to write. Lucky for me, time and advancing age have made the decision for me. I can’t stay away to write nights, and the kids won’t come over to jump start me. So I write from around 5 am to noon, because that is when I am still sharp and not yet brain dead. But really, I write whenever I want, and so sometimes I write at odd hours. The trick is to write often enough that you can finish a book before the time allotted you by contract expires. So far, so good.

Matthew Heiser writes: Did your experience writing The Phantom Menace have an influence on the writing of Street Freaks?

Terry Brooks replies: No, Matthew, the two are entirely unrelated. Phantom Menace was work for hire. Street Freaks was a labor of love. Nothing that happened during the writing of Phantom Menace carried over to the decision to write and the actual writing of Street Freaks. There are not in any way the same book, either. Street Freaks revolves around a hunt for Ash Collins, the seventeen year old main character and his unexpected love affair with a synthetic girl. Its about genetic manipulation and synthetic creation of humans. So, from my perspective, I can’t think of anything that ties the two together, including the publishing experience. A similarity in sales would be nice, though.

Gary Pedersen writes: OK – so in Tanequil, Aphasia Wye is in possession of the Stiehl, and then falls into and gets destroyed by the vines in the pit of the tanequil, presumably still in possession of the weapon. Yet years later, the Stiehl is found to be at Paranor. How did it get there?

Terry Brooks replies: Well, Gary, now that you bring it up, I suppose I am going to have to do something about it. It just slipped my mind that I was supposed to do a short story for the new collection on how the Stiehl was returned to Paranor. So I can’t tell you anything just now. But a couple years down the road, the story will be out there. Once again, please be patient.

David Salchow writes: What was your inspiration for Street Freaks? Were you needing a change or are you telling a story that has been with you for awhile?

Terry Brooks replies: I was thinking about writing something new for quite a while before tackling Street Freaks. For one thing, I wanted to write a non-fantasy kind of story. I like doing something out of the ordinary every so often (hence the Magic K and Word & Void series, even though they are fantasy, because they are of a different sort) but what I really wanted to write about was how we are so prejudiced against people who are not like us – be it color, sexual preference, religion, region of the country or world, you name it. I know that the next level of prejudice will come with the increasing development of genetic manipulation and robotic development. We already see it with our attitudes towards machines, so it’s not a big jump. From that came the idea of having a human fall in love with a synthetic. You can take it from there.

Jordan writes: I would love to read more about the Knights of the Word, maybe an origin story of the first knight? Any chance we’ll be seeing something of either of those once you are done with The Fall of Shannara?

Terry Brooks replies: Good news for you, Jordan. And others who have been after this for years now. I am doing a novella in the Word & Void world which will publish as an ebook only later this year and later as a part of a book of old and new short fiction that I have been writing over the years. All of my ebook stories in Shannara and stories published in other collections will be included. I am almost finished with the Word & Void story and will write a Shannara or two next.

So there you go. Hope your summer is grand, or at least entertaining, and I will be looking for you on the road and the internet and through further Ask Terry sessions in the months ahead. Keep an eye out of the web and Facebook/Twitter pages because I will be doing some online appearances, as well.

Best to all of you,

Ask Terry

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