November 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 November 2019 and Terry’s answers! Enjoy!

Note: This section may contain spoilers!


Hello All,

Here we are, the Ask Terry faithful, back again amid the fears of the coronavirus, trying to figure out answers to the often unanswerable.  We are in virtual lockdown here in the state of Washington, lots of concerns, a few fears, and an uneasy feeling about being limited like we are about what we can do, where we can go, and who we can see.  I know it is necessary and for the best, but it feels so odd when we had such complete freedom before.  In my case, it is probably a good idea.  I am forced to finish my new book, the first in a new series.  And a concern because I may not be able to come see you with the last Shannara book tour if things don’t improve.

At least I am finally catching up on Ask Terry.  Not sure all this is going to improve my answers, but only one way to find out!

David Jones writes: With the final book in the Shannara series (chronologically) coming in 2020 is there a chance we will see the sword of Shannara one last time before the end?

Terry Brooks replies: The Sword of Shannara is not a featured talisman in this final book.  Wish it could be, but it didn’t work out with the ending I wanted.  On the other hand, there are some other talismans, both good and bad, that are featured.  I don’t think you will be disappointed.

David Salchow writes: Today is Halloween and I was wondering if you’ve ever had the desire to write in the horror genre? What treats did Terry and Judine hand out this year?

Terry Brooks replies:  As to the last David, we were gone for Halloween and gave out no treats at all – though we did encounter and visit with a few trick-or-treaters.  Writing in the horror genre has never been compelling enough by itself to persuade me to dabble.  But the entire Word & Void trilogy has all sorts of horror elements, so I suppose I should admit that when Dark Fantasy is coupled with Horror there is a definite interest on my part.  I do read some horror and horror related tales.  Began back in the day with Lovecraft and lately a bit of Stephen King and Peter Straub.  But there is a big difference between wanting to read something and wanting to write it.  I shy away from downer fiction in favor of positive and uplifting endings, as you know.

Wil Stallmann writes: Hello Mr Terry Brooks! After reading The Elfstones of Shannara, the ending was quite saddening even though I had a small assumption that it would turn out so. I was wondering if this is based on a loss you may have experienced? It was a very powerful moment in the book. Thank you for writing such amazing books.

Terry Brooks replies: Wow.  Thanks, but no, the ending is not based on anything in my life.  I have suffered some personal losses (a daughter died a few years ago) but what I write about tends to be more of a universal look at life than personal.  For instance, I never write about people I know or experiences I’ve had.  You are probably relieved to hear that, right?  I do tend to try to write about what I know to be true about our world and its people and the lives they lead and decisions they are forced to make.

Davis Wodek writes: Did the Elves move Arborlon out of the valley after they were reintroduced back into the Four Lands after Measure of the Magic?

Terry Brooks replies: We are still waiting to find that out, Davis.  I have not written the books between Measure of the Magic and First King.  So I guess maybe the last Shannara book is still somewhere down the road.  All we know about things in the old world and how they changed ends presently in Measure and not much about what happened after that.  We do know the world was in flux and so things were still changing – including the geography – as Measure ended.  Stay tuned.

Deb Wilkes writes: Is the rune covered staff from the Tanequil tree the same as the rune covered staffs in the Word and Void as well as other books? In other words, is the tree the source for all the staffs?

Terry Brooks replies: Again, to echo what I said to David above, we don’t know.  Staffs make regular appearances, most with runes carved into their surfaces and all with designated purposes.  But there is reason to believe the Dark Wand of the tanequil is not the same as John Ross’s staff in Running with the Demon.  Talismans usually have different sources, if pretty much always the same materials. Something to speculate about.  What do you think?

And so, the end of another session of interesting and intriguing questions from readers.  Always a treat to see how your minds work.  And mine, for that matter.  See you next month. Stay well!

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