SF & Fantasy

Ask Terry Brook: July Post


For many years the only chance a fan had of speaking to Terry was to meet him at tour events or conventions. Now with the establishment of this website, Terry will accept two questions from each fan per month. On the last day of the month, five questions will be randomly drawn. Terry will answer these five questions and they will be posted monthly for your enjoyment.

Below are the questions selected last month and Terry’s answers! Enjoy!

Note: This section may contain spoilers!

Happy Days, Readers!

Ready for another round of Ask Terry? Well, you don’t get a choice. Unlike pronunciations of names in my books, this is not a democracy. Here is June’s batch, each one carefully considered and duly answered to the best of my limited ability.

Oh, before I forget. I promised a sneak peak at the title for Shannara 2014. I have been threatening this for a long time, saving it up for when no other Shannara title was left. So here it is. THE TELEPHONE BOOK OF SHANNARA!

You probably think I am kidding, but I am not. This is what I have been driven to after constant battles with the publisher over former book titles. This one can’t miss. A young Ohmsford boy finds a mysterious phone book listing the names of every wizard, witch and warlock in the Four Lands. This is a dangerous bit of knowledge to possess because these people are all trying to kill each other and it provides the holder with all their addresses. So the evil doers begin a massive hunt for the young man and his precious phone book, forcing him to flee into the Northland where giant bears and Olympic skaters compete for ice time. There he meets a beautiful she-wolf, a girl turned into an animal by . . .

Well, you have to wait for the rest. I can’t be giving everything away.

Meantime, let’s get to this month’s questions:

Jennifer Colpitt writes: I have read both the Shannara and Landover series. There is a great correlation to the faerie creatures in both; they are both ephemeral and seemingly omnipotent. Is that just how faeries are to you, or is there an actual tie-in between Shannara and Landover?

Terry Brooks replies: There is no intentional tie-in between Shannara and Landover, Jennifer. They are separate worlds. In fact, they are different kinds of books. Shannara is epic fantasy, heroic and dangerous from start of finish. Magic Kingdom is lighter fare with humorous sections throughout. I suppose since I am the same writer for both, there might be things that seem alike in the particular. I might argue that the while the fairy creatures of Landover seem much larger than life and almost omnipotent, such creatures do not feel quite so alien to the Ohmsfords and their friends in Shannara. Ben Holiday brings a different perspective and sensibility to Landover, having come from a different world. Although a lot of that is wearing off the more time he spends there.

David Salchow writes: HBO recently completed broadcasting season two of Game of Thrones. Season one stayed relatively true to Book One of George RR Martin’s Song of Fire and Ice, but there were some significant departures between season two and Book Two. Does this give you pause when considering the licensing of your work to HBO or one of the major movie studios?

Terry Brooks replies: Everything about an adaptation gives me pause. My experiences to date with movies and the like have left me suspicious of all things Hollywood. However, I have learned how to insert myself into the process far enough that I can at least make my thoughts known and perhaps avoid a total catastrophe. Perhaps. But movies almost always change the story as it appears in the book. This has to do with space and time, and with the nature of the audience. There are different demands on the two art forms, so you have to be ready to adapt. Game of Thrones has been enormously successful. If I were George, I would be counting my money on the way to the bank. That sort of success provides freedom to work in peace and at your own rate on the books – which at the end of the day are what matter.

Brian M. Wagner, Ph.D writes: I wanted to thank you for the Word and the Void series. I doubt that I will ever become more attached to any set of characters as John Ross and Nest Freemark. In Nest, you created a female lead character that showed remarkable strength despite unfathomable trials. Of any character I have ever met, there is no other who I have a greater desire to meet again. Do you have any plans to write another book — or possibly a short story? To be honest, I’ve always wondered how Josie reacted to the birth of John Ross Freemark!

Terry Brooks replies: I have studiously avoided writing anything more in Word & Void, Brian, even though I have been asked to repeatedly. Mostly, I think it is pretty perfect as it is. But I have had my time pretty well taken up with other projects, as well. I will tell you what. I will give it some thought. It might be fun to revisit that world and time, but I need a story that fits with what’s been written and that doesn’t detract from or require reading in that trilogy. Let me study on it.

Paul Enslin writes: Terry, If you could go back and preserve a character who died in one of your books, who would it be and why?

Terry Brooks replies: Well, the obvious answer is Garet Jax. Assuming he really did die in Wishsong. No seems quite sure, myself included. No character gets asked about more than the Weapons Master. So from a purely mercenary point of view, I would bring him back in another book. But truth is, I always give a lot of thought to the fates of my characters, and I don’t harbor regrets about what I’ve done with any of them. They served their time and performed well. At the end of their story, I am ready to let them go. I am always looking ahead.

Kimberley Brennan writes: Throughout the Shannara novels, we see Jair’s wishsong legacy. His ancestors and himself seem to have had almost every evolution of the magic possible (so far). But as it was the Elfstones that created this legacy in the first place (and the offensive power of the Elfstones manifested in Par), why have we never seen the seeking element of the magic manifest? Or is it something we could see in the future?

Terry Brooks replies: Good question, Kimberley. Seems like the ’seeking element’ ought to have shown up somewhere down the genetic line, right? But my answer is this. I’ve said from the first that magic is unpredictable, even when its properties are known. It doesn’t always do what we expect. It doesn’t always produce the intended result. So in this case it reacted with Wil Ohmsford to have unintended consequences which first appear in his children, Brin and Jair, and later in other members of the Ohmsford line. There hasn’t been a reaction to a further magic thus far that would change the nature of the Wishsong. No Ohmsford has used an Elven magic since Wil that would further change the genetic makeup of the line. But stay tuned for The Dark Legacy of Shannara, beginning with Wards of Faerie this August. Everything about this may change.

Okay, gang, that’s it for now. I have just finished the last chapter in the last book of Dark Legacy of Shannara, so I am mopping up the editing and spellchecking, etc. Getting ready to move on to the next project. Take care you yourselves over the summer. I will be on tour late August and early September, mostly through the Midwest, but a few other cities, as well. Hope to see some of you on the road.

See you soon,

To ask your own questions of Terry Brooks, visit his website at www.terrybrooks.net!


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