We learn by asking questions.
Learning has become easier with the internet(s)!
For many years the only chance a fan had of speaking to bestselling author Terry Brooks was to meet him at tour events or conventions. Now, via Unbound Worlds and his 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!
And now, for June. Don’t ever let me get behind like this again!
Danny Cane writes: When will you continue linking the Word and Void and Shannara together?
Terry Brooks replies: Don’t know at this point. I am working in the Shannara future, so the pre-history is on hold. I really have to take a close look at this and make a decision – which I am putting off at present. There are good arguments for doing either, but only one of me. So hang in there. I will get back to the pre-history at some point.
Alexis Campbell writes: I am a rising third year law student and I am terrified of actually entering the legal field. I want to become a published author instead. However, I am currently bound down by harrowing student debt. Do you have any suggestions to help me out of this situation? I fear I may regret this for the rest of my life but I always thought my law degree would help me become an author. I would love any advice on this matter.
Terry Brooks replies: A law degree will help you with anything you choose to do. It was for me excellent training on organization and thinking through arguments and ideas for stories. It taught me discipline and concentration. It taught me the value of a schedule and outlining. So I don’t think your education is wasted, even if you never practice law. I should quickly add that I went to law school so I would not starve while trying to become a published author. No one knows how the cards will fall for someone trying to break in, but we do know that starvation won’t help. So I practiced law and wrote for 9 years before Sword was published. After that, I practiced for another 8 years while writing the next 3 books. There is balance to be maintained in doing both, but now is your best time to attempt it. Debt is a problem, but you can’t let your worry over it dominate your life. If you are not writing now, get on it. Keep on it so you are progressing towards your goal. Then decide how you will support yourself while doing so once law school is done.
Sanyika Sooalo writes: My question is regarding the character Panther in Armageddon’s Children. Out of all the characters in the book, why is the dark skinned, (made a point of saying he was fatherless), hard eyed Panther, the only one who speaks in broken English? I enjoyed your books up to that point and I have to be honest and say I found it a bit offensive and I’ve stopped reading them. When will authors stop being so stereotypical?
Terry Brooks replies: Panther is a black street kid. He speaks like black street kids do. Or used to, at least. His voice helps set him apart from the others, which is important. Panther sees himself as different from everyone else for various reasons and wants to keep it that way. Using street slang helps him do this. It makes him comfortable with his vision of himself as the one who knows best what needs doing. This may seem stereotypical to you, but to me it defines his attitude and his worldview. These kids all speak and act the way they do to help them get through in a world where everything around them has fallen apart. If you are offended, I am sorry. But not enough to think for even a moment that I should have done it differently.
Steve Hummel writes: I have been reading about The Elfstones of Shannara possibly being made into a TV series. My question is, will the series follow the books or will it be loosely based on the books like Terry Goodkind’s Legend of the Seeker? While I enjoyed the show, I thought it could have followed the books and been a better series.
Terry Brooks replies: My arrangement with Sonar Entertainment, which is spearheading the adaptation of the Shannara books to television, is a full partnership. Mostly, I have creative control over the material and the way it is presented. This allows me to keep everyone’s feet to the fire when it comes to following the story in the book. So far, there are no indications anyone wants to do otherwise. So I have every reason to believe that subject to whatever restrictions we encounter with adapting the book to video, the TV series will stay basically true to the book. I think viewers and readers alike will be very pleased.
Anonymous writes: If you decided to work on something else, entirely new, what would you like to work on?
Terry Brooks replies: As a matter of fact, I have several new projects in the works. But I never talk about what I am going to write before it is written. There is a magic to the creativeness and if you talk about it some of that magic goes away. I will say that in so far as Shannara is concerned, I intend to write the conclusion of the series sometime during this decade.
See you again soon with the next installment of Ask Terry. Two down, one to go.
To ask your own questions of Terry Brooks, visit his website at www.terrybrooks.net!
Shawn Speakman is the author of The Dark Thorn, an urban/epic fantasy hybrid novel bestselling author Terry Brooks calls, “a fine tale by a talented writer.”