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!
We’re cramming these two months, March and April, in together since we have fallen behind due to circumstances beyond our control. We should be back on track by the end of May and through the summer. Lots happening with both the Magic Kingdom movie and the Shannara TV show, so blame all that for my tardiness. Or whatever.
Let’s see what we find people want to know in April . . .
Gary Kelly writes: Why are you letting MTV do your TV series and not the SyFy channel?
Terry Brooks replies: $$$$$$.
Okay, just kidding. Sort of. First off, MTV made an aggressive offer and demonstrated real commitment to preserving the series as it appears in Elfstones of Shannara. SyFy Channel either passed on it or showed only modest interest. Second, I rely on the people who know there way around LaLa Land, and they felt very strongly about MTV. I had a reaction similar to yours in the beginning, but quickly changed my mind. In hindsight, with things progressing nicely, I am glad I did. More news on this soon.
Vince writes: Many moons ago, around the completion of the Heritage of Shannara series, you were asked here if the Four Lands were geographically similar to real life. Your answer at the time, if I recall correctly, was no but that certain landmarks/settings were inspired by actual places. My question is: given that you have since tied the Word/Void series to Shannara and created adventures over the Blue Divide/Pacific, have you reconsidered your map to be anything more than an exciting fantasy world? Perhaps a few landmarks of significance that might anchor Shannara into our world?
Terry Brooks replies: Well, I can offer a few examples that might help you orient yourself in the Four Lands world. The island of Morrowindl in
Elfstones Elf Queen of Shannara is based on the Big Island of Hawaii. Parkasia in Voyage of the Jerle Shannara is based on Japan. All of Genesis of Shannara is set in the Pacific Northwest. Some places are actually named, like Seattle and Los Angeles. I destroyed the latter, by the way, in the second book of that series. Anyway, that will give you something to work with. I don’t think I want to be more specific than that because I fudged in a lot of places, to combine, separate and otherwise remake.
Gabi Balhiser writes: Once all the Shannara books are completed, are there any plans on selling a complete set of all the Shannara books, or in sub-sets based on the various trilogies? I’ve been reading these books since the mid-80s and my collection is a hodge-podge of different sizes, styles, etc. and I’d love one complete set that all looked consistent.
Terry Brooks replies: Well, there are no such plans at present for individual books being reissued, but you can buy the sets of most of the Shannara books right now. Check a current index of titles. You can find the first three – Sword, Elfstones and Wishsong in an omnibus edition of The Sword of Shannara Trilogy. All the others carry the name of the set, but they are all available. The price is pretty good for an entire set. Something like $35. In hardcover. So that might be your best bet for now.
Anonymous: Why did you decide to write The High Druid’s Blade from the point of view of a Leah rather than an Ohmsford?
Terry Brooks replies: Variety is the spice of life. Plus, I wanted to give the series a break from the Ohmsfords. Or give them a break, maybe. Besides, most of those books feature an ensemble cast, so nothing strictly speaking is from any one character’s point of view. After this new series, I will probably go back to using the Ohmsfords as the centerpiece of the stories.
Jim Bradley writes: Whatever happened with the prospect of a leather-bound set of the first three Shannara books? I seem to remember the idea being tossed around but nothing since?
Terry Brooks replies: We debated it, but in the end I decided to veto it. Too much trouble to put it together. Maybe I will change my mind later, but for now I think it should be left alone. I never got the impression that many people cared one way of the other. When the TV series debuts, I might reconsider the idea.
See you in June!
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.”