August 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 August 2020 and Terry’s answers! Enjoy!

Note: This section may contain spoilers!


Dear Readers, Can’t get rid of me, can you?  I just keep insisting on answering your questions – sometimes successfully, even.  I will say I do appreciate your ongoing interest in my books and your efforts to keep me occupied during this endless boring sheltering in place time.  So onward!

Josh Rice writes: The Land of the Forbidding is a mirror of the Four Lands… but was conceived in the time of Faerie. Did the Forbidding change with the normal world… or did the world change to be more like the Forbidding during the time of the Children of the Hawk’s 500 year seclusion?

Terry Brooks replies: Well, we really don’t know the answer to that question, do we? It’s the old chicken or the egg conundrum. I am of the opinion that they operate separately from each other, and that while the geography in locations in general are the same, the specifics are very different in every way you might imagine – one being a world of free men and women, the other a prison for faerie creatures locked away eons ago.

David Salchow writes: Has COVID-19 given you any inspiration for having a pandemic incident occur in one of your worlds?

Terry Brooks replies: No. COVID has worked very hard at driving me crazy for the most part, but it has inspired my to throw off my shackles of previous years and write the best thing I have written since Word & Void. Look for Child of Light this coming October and see if you agree. Maybe one day I will look back on this pandemic and be inspired to write something that incorporates this experience, but it doesn’t feel right for now.

Dean Corbeett writes: I have thoroughly enjoyed your Shannara series as you wrote them. I have recently found that my hour walk to work has become more enjoyable as I listened to your books on audio. I started listening to them in order chronologically. My question is this: Do the teachings and lessons of Druids of Paranor come from the Word, making the Druids Knights of the Word? Or is their power from another source?

Terry Brooks replies: We don’t know that. All the Knights of the Word have died out with the conclusion to the events in Genesis of Shannara, and there is no further sign of them in Bearers of the Black Staff – save, maybe, for the black staff itself and it being used by an individual. We have to wait on this. More needs to be written, and at present the chronicler is on break. Maybe in a few years he will think to provide the answer. What do you think about the fates of the Knights of the Word?

Barbara Mueller writes: The other day while I was reading The Sword of Shannara for the 100th time I realized when reading, that I pronounce in my mind, the names of all the characters, city names, towns, mountain ranges etc. in my own way as well as many other readers probably do too. Is there any chance that you and/or your publisher would ever consider publishing an audio version of the correct pronunciations of your book character names, cities, towns etc… from all your books? I heard you say “SHANNARA” on a FB live video recently and I was upset to learn that for almost 40 years I have been pronouncing “SHANNARA” incorrectly. Then quickly surmised that I must be pronouncing all the names and characters I’m reading incorrectly.

Terry Brooks replies: No worries, Barbara. There is no wrong way to pronounce my names. I deliberately left it up to the individual reader to determine how he or she wanted to pronounce them. I have never liked anyone telling me how something should be said. In books, it seems pointless. The purpose of a writer is to make the reader feel as if the book belongs to the reader alone. I have often said that once I finish writing it, I send it out to make its own way in the world and send home money. Like children are supposed to do. So that requires you to feel that it is your book and yours alone and how you interpret the way you say names makes it all the more personal to you. You go, girl.

Alison Kretzer writes: You have written such a beautifully detailed and cohesive world throughout your Shannara series. You have mentioned Galaphile in your stories, but never written a story actually revolving around Galaphile and his time. As he was the first and possibly the most important of Druids, would you consider writing a novel, even a short one, centering around Galaphile?

Terry Brooks replies: I would. This story is still to come. I am saving it for my last final concluding Shannara book. I will write it when I turn 90. That book will tell of the formation of the First Druid Council by Galaphile and those he chooses to help him. We need that beginning, but it will come at the end.

Thanks, everyone, for your patience on my answering all your questions. I have been really down with writing and creating for the past 12 months and some things just slipped through the cracks. I will catch up soon and be back on track, so please keep your questions coming until I am allowed out of the house again.

And read something great this weekend,

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