Happy New Year, Everyone!
Since I am awake on the morning of January 1st, I better get working on a year end summary of what’s transpired in the Brooks book writing world and what’s to come in the New Year. Usually I do these things about four weeks or so into the new year. But Judine says, “You should write something now, not later on. You can’t just ignore your readers for four weeks year after year.” I reply that I write a book every year – two this past year – so that’s not ignoring my readers. If I weren’t writing a book or two a year, that would be ignoring my readers. She says, “Sure, that’s important, but that isn’t all you need to do. Direct communication about what you are doing and going to do right at the beginning of the year is necessary, too.”
We have this discussion every year. I doubt it will ever be settled. So, here I am, right at the beginning of 2019, writing my readers as she suggests I should. I am stubborn, but I am not entirely clueless.
Really, it was a hard year in many ways. We are still in mourning for Lisa, still struggling with our lives without her, still haunted (and sustained) by memories of all the good times we shared and all the help she provided over the years. Someone who had lost a close family member recently said to me, “You will never get over your loss; you will only learn to live with it.” I am inclined to agree.
2018 was also a year in which I published two books, The Skaar Invasion from the Fall of Shannara series and Street Freaks. Both enjoyed wide-spread support from my readers (thanks for that, by the way) but the experience of Street Freaks persuaded me this was not something I will be likely to do again anytime soon. Too much work, a whole bunch of it work I never have to do while using my regular publisher, Del Rey Books, and which eats up time I don’t have to spare. But never say never – so don’t hold me to my promise about this.
I finished The Stiehl Assassin, third book in the Fall of Shannara series, and it will publish in June 2019. I am hard at work on the final book in the series, having written 15 chapters and intending to complete it sometime this summer. Forty books later, I can scarcely remember half of what I have written or even how much I thought I might write at any given point. I think I just sort of did what I felt like at any one time and those books piled up on their own. You read them and loved them, but never said, “Stop, already!” I admit I’ve said it to myself now and again, choosing to move away from Shannara and do Magic Kingdom or Word & Void or some other writing project just to break things up. Street Freaks was the latest of those wild ideas that I just couldn’t seem to stop thinking about, so I had to write it to get my head straight.
Speaking of which, other projects lie ahead. I’ve mentioned the first of these several times earlier this year – a collection of short fiction in all three universes plus a couple of others – some of which are new, some old. There will be a dozen in all, if my count is correct, but I am not sure about the overall title of the collection or the release date. As you know, I only write short fiction now and again, often at the request of authors or editors with whom I am friends and who are seeking a story for a collection they are doing. I also have three Shannara shorts that were published in e-book format only. So the collection is varied in style, subject matter and history, which should make for an interesting reading experience for one and all.
One thing is for sure. Whether it publishes in 2019 or in 2020, I will once again have two books in that year.
Next fall, I was supposed to do a new Magic Kingdom book. I promised as much over and over, and now I am about to break that promise. (Now you know – my promises are worthless.) What I will be doing instead is writing the first book in a new epic fantasy series that will not connect to anything I have done before but will most closely approximate the size, scope and feel of the Shannara books. There will be a wide cast of characters, a new world with new forms of magic, and a bit of a fairytale feeling to some of it. That’s all I want to say about it for now. Talking about a project not yet written tends to leach away the magic. So I will save more on this for when it is done in 2020.
Oh, all right. I can say that my editor, Anne Groell, and the publisher is very excited about the storyline.
On the movie/television front, there is interest and movement anew on Magic Kingdom (though still in its infancy) and Street Freaks. By now, I know (as you should, too) it is better not to get carried away with possibilities or expectations. When I have something concrete – something that is exciting enough to share – I will be back in touch. For now, I am back to being a book writer and wearing a book writer’s hat.
The Shannara Chronicles? Two seasons are available on Netflix. Otherwise, there is nothing new.
I will be attending several conventions this coming year (check the website and Facebook pages for dates and times as the year begins. You will find me first at Emerald City Comic Con in March. Looking also at Denver CC, Salt Lake City CC and Chuckanut (say what?) Writers Conference held in Bellingham, WA. Of course, I will be in attendance and doing moderating work at Get Lit at the Beach in Cannon Beach this coming April 5-7. Finally, I will be touring about with The Stiehl Assassin in June for several weeks. More on all of this as the time to do something gets closer. Sufficient to say, I won’t be looking for things to do to stay busy.
Back to that troublesome Magic Kingdom book. I have chosen again to set it aside mostly because I am so excited about the new epic fantasy series and have a pressing need to write at least the first right away. When you are a writer, you learn to go with whatever trips your trigger at any given time, and I just feel strongly that the time for this new series is now.
So that’s enough of that. Got to go actually do something. Writers are supposed to write. So, here’s to a Happy New Year for one and all. Let’s try to find peace and joy and a sense of grace and well-being in the coming year. Let’s be kind to others; let’s try to set a good example. A better world begins there. A better life will follow.
Love to you from all the Brooks extended family (Yeah, even Shawn).
All good magic and much satisfying reading, Terry