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 2020 and Terry’s answers! Enjoy!

Note: This section may contain spoilers!


Hi Again,

One more time, dear friends, into the breach!

Paul Enslin writes: Why were Philip and Sot not in the last Landover book? Quite curious as to that!

Terry Brooks replies: The explanation is very simple.  They got greedy.  They were demanding higher appearance fees, more page time, and special privileges on script approval.  I had to crack down on them and make sure they knew who was running the asylum.  It seems to have worked; they have settled down considerably.  Look for a return appearance in the short stories about Landover that will appear in Small Magic March 2, 2021.

Dayna Austin writes: Will you be coming to Canada at all in 2020? My Mom and I are huge fans, she has all your books and started me on them. We would love to meet you and get The Last Druid signed personally by you.

Terry Brooks replies:  At present, I am scheduled to appear in Toronto at the Judith Merrill Archive. Now that we have to move the publishing date of the book due to COVID-19, will they have me later this year? We hope so. Keep an eye on the terrybrooks.net website to see how that works out.

Bill Irvine writes: Hi Mr. Brooks, hope you’re doing well. Will we ever see another Terry Brooks book make it to TV or movie?

Terry Brooks replies: I have hopes, Bill.  Something is always under option, so there is always a very real possibility that a new project in film will be launched.  But this is pretty much out of my hands.  Someone has to want to do it, someone has to pay to do it, and someone has to write, direct and star in it.  Making TV or movies is not a walk in the park, believe me.  If something happens, we will be pretty quick to announce it.

Richard writes: Probably just like you, I have lots of stories in my head. Stories that have build up over the years, but I can’t seem to write down. I have tried different methods: Trying from start to end, trying to just write down a section at a time. I even started stories and then found myself going to a complete different set of stories.  My question: what is your most common process? Start from chapter 1 and write in sequence, or do you find yourself wandering between chapters?

Terry Brooks replies: I write in sequence, to answer your question. That works for me. But here are some hard facts about writing.  You need to do a lot of it just to get your feet wet and know what works for you.  You need to write every day, if you possibly can.  You will need to give up a bunch of other stuff to find the time and then you will need to do it whether you want to or not.  Writing is a job, if you want to be published.  But it is also an ongoing education.  You never stop learning because the writing process changes all the time.  How I worked when I began has changed completely.  I now work from 5 am until noon,  I set myself a goal and try to reach it, but I don’t always succeed.  All sorts of things influence where I will start and how the story will develop.  I do have a few firm rules.  I know where the story will start and where it will end.  I know who my characters are, but that likely will change during the writing. I know the thematic structure of the story – that is, what am I trying to say about the world we live in that will power the story.  I always have a quest in one form or another, but a good story requires some sort of commentary on how we might think about looking at the world.  I am prepared to fail, but I never think I will.  I will start a story anywhere and the spark can come from anywhere.  Be open to it and be invested from start to finish.  I want each story to be better than the last.  I love the process more than anything in the world, hard as it might be.  Hope this helps.

Silvan Frank writes:  I have enjoyed reading and rereading your Shannara series for many years. I was wondering if you are ever going to write a book or series of books for the span of time between The Measure of the Magic and First King of Shannara?

Terry Brooks replies: It has always been my intention to write those books.  I just haven’t gotten around to it.  Too many other projects got in the way, but the desire to fill in the gaps is still there.  At some point, I will get back to it and finish the tale up with the time of Galaphile and the First Council of Druids.  But for now, I am putting Shannara aside and taking a break.  Too many other things I want to write first.  Last year or so, it was Street Freaks.  Now I am working on something else.  That’s what writers need to do now and them – stretch themselves.  I hope readers will allow me that freedom and follow me to new adventures.

Caught up again!  Life is a constant struggle, isn’t it?  Hope you are all well and keeping well read.  Back again in early April.

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