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!
Off on another excusion into Ask Terry country, still hoping to explore new realms of intelligence – that would be from my end, of course – trying to come up with answers to your questions.
Let’s see how I do this time out. Got to get it right sooner or later!
John Herndon writes: Are you going to leave Grianne in the state that she finished in Witch Wraith? It seems you spent a lot of books righting her character to do this to her at the end. It feels like no good deed goes unpunished. She went through great struggles to arrive at the place she did at the end of the High Druid series. You basically spent 6 books getting her straightened out and then trashed her in only one half of a book.
Terry Brooks replies: Well, I never promised her a rose garden. Fact is, sometimes things don’t always work out for the best. Sometimes they work out the best way they can, and some people are left unhappy and even unfairly treated. I leave this for the readers to decide for themselves. I spent those nine books working it through, and in the end Grianne ended up reverting to what she once was. But is this the final resolution for her? Don’t bet on it. You know I like to string these endings out, particularly where the Druids are concerned. There may yet be another chapter in this saga . . .
Matthew Maccomber writes: It has been quite a while since a stand-alone Shannara novel. Should we expect the coming stand-alones to be of similar length and scale as First King of Shannara?
Terry Brooks replies: No. These next three books are like nothing I have written before. The stories are not epic so much as personal. The main characters reappear over and over again throughout the set, yet the stories in each book are resolved by the end to a great extent. There is the question of a long term resolution for some of them, but you can read them as standalones or in any order you want. But they are not huge books. Each will run around 320 pages in print. I am guessing. I am using these books to set the stage for the conclusion of the Shannara series, which begins when they are all written and published. Those books will be epic and on the order of First King.
Anonymous writes: Will there be more short stories? My top choices would be Walker Boh, Wren Elessedil, and another of Allanon. I have greatly enjoyed the short stories you have written so far.
Terry Brooks replies: There will be more short stories, but I am not sure when. I am sort of burned out on Shannara and want to write some other things for a bit. I will be adding short stories over the next few years when the urge strikes but I feel no great compulsion to write them all at once. Better to take time and make them good.
Aron Fietcher writes: When will the Shannara TV-series be produced/broadcast?
Terry Brooks replies: We are still in negotiations with several networks. A decision on who to go with will be made sometime around the end of the month, if all goes well. Once the contracts are signed, then we’ll get to work on the adaptation!
Anonymous writes: Can a first time writer lose his book to theft of ideas while shopping around for a publisher?
Terry Brooks replies: Very unlikely. Reputable publishers don’t steal ideas. But, of course, ideas are used over and over. There really are no new ideas, as Lester del Rey taught me years ago – just new ways of exploring them. Your author’s voice is what determines how well and differently your story ideas play out. If a publisher likes what you are doing, they will offer you a contract and immediately copyright the story in your name. If you put something up online, you run a different sort of risk. People steal stuff from the web all the time. But in shopping your work around to established publishers, you are pretty safe.
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.”