The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks celebrates its 40th anniversary next month!
A lot of time has passed since Brooks began work on his debut novel in the late ’60s but it is important to recognize the book’s influence even now. The Sword of Shannara published in April 1977 and went on to be a bestseller. At a time when epic fantasy was relegated to only Tolkien’s work, Sword proved that readers wanted more stories in the same type of genre, changing the landscape of the publishing world forever. Soon publishers were looking for epic fantasy writers to capitalize on what readers craved. Over 40 years, that’s a lot of writers.
While Sword is a foundation book in the fantasy world, Brooks started from humble beginnings, a boy raised in the corn fields west of Chicago. “I knew nothing about being a writer really. I knew nothing about the publishing industry. I had no idea what the New York Times bestselling list was, I’d never heard of that.”
Brooks knows what that list is now though, having been on it over two dozen times with books ranging from the novelization of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace to his Landover series, Word/Void series, and back to Shannara. He has sold millions of copies worldwide.
To highlight those 40 years of writing, editor Anne Groell interviewed Brooks at the 2017 Emerald City Comicon. I was there and captured video of Terry talking about the beginning of his career, working with Lester del Rey, how publishing has changed, and what is in store for his future projects.
40 years of Shannara!
The Black Elfstone, the first book in the chronological-ending Shannara series, publishes June 13, 2017.
Hope you enjoy the video!