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 2020 and Terry’s answers! Enjoy!

Note: This section may contain spoilers!


Hi Again,

Here we go again!  A brand new round of Ask Terry – otherwise known as, “What does he know anyway?”

Joseph Kreklau writes: In The Black Elfstone, the black staff makes a brief appearance with Drisker in his cabin, and it appears it is going to play a larger role in the story, but then it simply isn’t mentioned again. What happened to the staff in this story? Was this just included so that it still exists as Shannara is wrapped up?

Terry Brooks replies: Well, good question.  On the one hand you might imagine I simply forgot about it.  On the other, it is possible that Drisker only uses it as a walking stick and not as a magical artifact and never needs it again.  You might also imagine it just got lost and all the chaos of the rest of the story.  Good catch.

Anonymous writes: Can you share one piece of writing advice that Lester del Rey gave you, one that helped you become a better writer? We don’t hear much about him anymore and I’m sure he was filled with great advice. Thanks.

Terry Brooks replies:  He was filled with something.  Okay, that was just snide. He gave me a whole wagon-full of good advice over the years. Maybe the best advice of all came early in the game when after publishing Sword I was thinking of quitting law to go to writing full time. He told me not to rush things. Write something else – better yet, write two something else – and put money in the bank. Then you will know you are protected enough to quit the day job. That was what I did with Elftstones and Wishsong and Magic Kingdom for Sale for good measure.  Read more about it in Sometimes the Magic Works: Lessons from a Writing Life and my blog history of writing Shannara, soon to appear in a form of social media near you.

Jack Sloan writes: I’ve always admired you and how you end books. The cliffhanger. Now that you have finished with The Last Druid, does it have a cliffhanger? Inquiring minds and all that!

Terry Brooks replies: So sorry, Jack, but there is no throat-gripping cliffhanger due to the fact that it is the end of the series. You wouldn’t much like it if I ended it all up in the air and then you had to wait around to see if I changed my mind, would you? Or maybe you think I would. Or maybe I will, but I don’t think so. i do like cliffhanger endings and have employed them freely in each set of books. You will see a few more in the books of fantasy yet to be written.

Stephenie Mora writes: I read once upon a time that Frank Herbert liked The Sword of Shannara. Do you have plans to see the new Dune movie when it hits theaters in December? Do you like that book?

Terry Brooks replies: He liked it well enough to give it a very even-handed review in the New York Times Book section, which I appreciated. Everyone else swung either for or against in the extreme. So that endeared him to my heart. But I read the Dune books long before I was published and Dune is a favorite. I will indeed see the new Dune movie, whenever it surfaces. I am hopeful it is better executed that some of the others.

Kyra Wright writes: With COVID19 out there and all the stay at home orders, I bet you are reading a lot. What have you been reading? Anything you can recommend?

Terry Brooks replies: Well, I wouldn’t recommend anything I didn’t like, so let’s start there. The Splendid and the Vile by Eric Larsen; Call Down the Haek by Maggie Stiefvater; The Great Library series by Rachel Caine; The Woman in the Woods by John Connolly; The Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman; several by Marie Lu; and currently All the Lost Saints by Daniel Jose Older (read his Bone Street Rumba series for a treat). These are all recent, but I read five or more books a month these days.

All right everyone.  Until next time, I shall be writing diligently.

Be safe,

Ask Terry

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