SF & Fantasy

Ask Terry Brooks: June 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!

Greetings All,

Hope your summer is going well even if your weather isn’t. Looks like some form of misery is present almost everywhere in the country when I look at the weather map. And this doesn’t even begin to address the misery induced from countless political speeches on countless topics saying the same things over and over.

But I digress. Instead of griping, why don’t I just answer your questions and do so with a smile?

Jack Reynolds writes: I was just wondering if you had any plans for some of the artifacts that seem to be forgotten? Such as a back story for the Stiehl or bringing in the Black Staffs into the Four Lands (beyond the Legends of Shannara timeline)? Thank you!

Terry Brooks replies: Well, Jack, I just finished a trilogy centered around the possible recovery of the missing Elfstones of Faerie, so I might be about done with artifacts for awhile. But you never know. Read these three books and see if you like that story before you encourage me to write any more of the same sort. Maybe you will hate it. As of right now, I don’t have another artifacts story in mind. Well, not exactly . . . Stay tuned for 2014.

Seth H. writes: Do you believe your fantasy series would have been as successful if it had launched in the (1970’s?) with some of the more non-traditional, “science fiction” bits that you included with Voyage or High Druid? (Centuries-old, sentient supercomputers and mechanical flying wonders powered by a mysterious crystal energy source?)

Terry Brooks replies: Hard to say, even with the benefit of hindsight, Seth. At the time, science fiction books were more prevalent than fantasy. I was all wrapped up in the Tolkien model, and I wanted my work to be dominated by magic that had replaced science, so I never gave a thought to doing anything with science until maybe 10 or 12 years later when I began to consider what might happen if magic lost favor and science was rehabbed. That’s still where I am thematically, with every intention of coming to a conclusion on the matter at some point in the near future.

Charles C. Cochran writes: I am writing, struggling, to write a fantasy based novel or short story, but am having difficulty in creating a world not copied from all other fantasy. How did you create the world of Shannara?

Terry Brooks replies: We’re talking ancient history here, Charles, but I will try to dredge up what I remember. First off, all fantasy shares some similarities. It is pretty impossible to come up with a completely original story that does not in any way resemble anything that went before. My first editor, Lester del Rey, used to say it was impossible. He also told me at one point not to worry about it. Just tell the story in your own voice and it will be original enough. So you might try not worrying about the elements but concentrating on the storytelling so that your own voice comes through. Also, give some thought to what it is you are interested in saying. Who is your protagonist? What is he like? How should people feel about him? What can you make him do to stand out from other characters? Take time to work through where your story starts, where it goes and where it ends before you start writing. It’s hard work, but it usually helps solve some of those tricky questions about what it is you want to see happen.

Casey Cosker writes: You’ve written an Allanon short story for e-publishing only. Are there plans for more short stories—maybe enough to make a print edition?

Terry Brooks replies: I am writing 3 ebook short stories over the next year, Casey. The first is about Allanon, the second about Garet Jax, and the third remains a mystery at present. They will be published in ebook form only to start with. I do intend to include them in a hard copy format with other stories sometime in the years ahead but not for awhile. This effort is being made to help grow my ebook readership, simple as that. But I will continue to write other shorts, running around 10,000 words apiece, and will add them all into a collection at some point. This from the guy that hates writing short stories. So I guess I have to eat my words or argue that these aren’t short stories, but long stories.

Emilio Avil├ęs writes: Terry, you are by far my favorite author. I’ve read and re-read the entire Shannara, Word & Void, and Magic Kingdom books. I was wondering if you ever plan on writing about Pancea Rolt Gotrin? You mentioned you her in two different series and she’s displayed as very powerful, even in death. Any plans?

Terry Brooks replies: Nothing at present, Emilio. But you never know. If I come up with a story that needs her, I am certain she will be happy with the casting. My characters are like that.

That’s it for the month of May. The good news — or bad, as it may be — is that your faithful Web Druid has already supplied me with the questions for June. I will return shortly with those answers along with a sneak preview of the title of the Shannara book slated for publication in 2014. Always looking ahead, you know. Have a good rest-of-the-summer.

All the Best,

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


One Response to “Ask Terry Brooks: June Post”

  1. Reeth Kavanagh says:

    Hello Terry, My question revolves around the character of the Grimpond. Personally I love the characters with a bit of mystery in their past, such as Garet Jax etc. But with the more recent stories you have been writing about the Great Wars and the time of Faerie, I can’t help but wonder if their would be opportunity to see who – or what – the Grimpond originally was, and how it came to its fate as a bitter, angry shade. Do you see potential in such a plot?

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