September Ask Terry Q&A

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 September 2018 and Terry’s answers! Enjoy!

Note: This section may contain spoilers!


Hi All,

Back again with catching up on Ask Terry.  It is exhausting to be asked so many questions all at once – especially when I have so few answers – but I soldier on.  Mostly, I blame Shawn for sitting on these for months than for no better reason than to test my stamina.  I shall see that his monthly supply of Mega-Stuff Oreos is halved until the end of the year.  That will teach him.

Also, many congrats to Shawn – however belated as a public expression of happiness for the Speakmans – on the birth of Kael Marshall Speakman!!!

James Williams writes: Could you see any other Shannara novels extending past “The Fall” series, but written by a different author some day?

Terry Brooks replies: No.  Not that it won’t happen.  But I wanted to end Shannara on my terms with the ending I had devised many years ago.  There are so many places where a spinoff would work that I have to hope when I am gone anyone the publisher brings in to write Shannara will give this some consideration.  How about Allanon’s early years, as a questioner suggested in the last batch of questions.  Seems a natural.

Jim T writes:  In the The Black Elfstone, I am curious where Backing Fell is located? I can’t find it on any of the maps accompanying the book or in The Skaar Invasion.

Terry Brooks replies: The maps were constructed and printed before Backing Fell, so adding something at that point became a problem.  Best to just let you imagine where you think it would be and write it in yourself!

Anthony G. Cirilla writes: I always wondered whether the psychedelic drugs (including DMT, LSZ, mescaline, and magic mushrooms)  that Penny offers Bennett in Angel Fire East actually effected Penny too, or if the effect is all one sided. I guess it matters from a literary POV to think about how evil Penny is – if she’s under the influence or just pretending to be, as a demon. Thank you for the decades of high caliber fantasy, can’t wait for your first scifi work!!

Terry Brooks replies: Hi there, Anthony!  Penny is just plain bad news.  As a demon, she is of the half crazed variety to start with, so she doesn’t need any drugs.  I never think of my demons as being fueled by anything other than their wrapped nature and hate-fueled world view.  Penny is a prime example.

William Beatty writes: JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis, two other fine epic fantasy writers, are devout Christians. They wrote their beliefs into their stories. Do you yourself have any such beliefs as they? 

Terry Brooks replies: Tricky question.  You are certainly right about both writers, but it works a little differently with me.  I deliberately try to keep specific forms of religion out of my work and concentrate instead on moral code dilemmas that all religions and members of the those religions face on a regular basis.  There are so many overlaps to the teachings of different religions that this isn’t so hard to do.  If religion or any specific form was an integral part of what I write, I would put it in with a deliberate reference.  So far, it hasn’t mattered.  Whatever your religion – or even if you have none – I want you as readers to be able to relate to the struggles we all go through on proper behavior in your lives.  We are all challenged in our lives on how we should live them.  I want us all to think about how we are and whether we can improve.

James Williams writes: Where is the sword of Shannara currently located?

Terry Brooks replies: Beats me.  I would have to go back and look up the last reference I made to it.  I think it resides still in Paranor.  Shawn, do you have any insight on this?

Thanks everyone.  Love your questions and enthusiasm.  I will always treasure the time we’ve spent together bonding over the books.

With magic,

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