Interview with Terry Brooks

This Interview has been provided by Orbit, and is printed with their permission.

Since the publication of his first novel, THE SWORD OF SHANNARA, in 1977, Terry Brooks has become a legend in the fantasy field, with fifteen fantastic novels, the most recent of which being his novelisation of STAR WARS EPISODE 1: THE PHANTOM MENACE.

In 1997 he began a new fantasy series set in the real world with RUNNING WITH THE DEMON, which was followed by A KNIGHT OF THE WORD. In October, Orbit are delighted to be publishing the third and final volume, ANGEL FIRE EAST.

1. What inspired you to set the new series in the real world?
I had wanted to do a dark fantasy set in the present in our own world for some time, but I didn’t have what I felt was the right vehicle. It took me almost ten years to come up with the concept for ‘The Word and The Void’ series. The real impetus came from my wish to do a story on the transition from being a child to being an adult, where our belief in what’s real and our perceptions of the world undergo a momentous change. We hang onto something of the magic of children, but we cross over into realities that deny the truths of that magic as well. Once I determined that my fourteen-year-old protagonist would be at the epicentre of a confrontation between two paladins of light and dark and that the outcome would determine the fate of the world, I had my story.

2. How would you describe ANGEL FIRE EAST in less than 10 words?
How much would you sacrifice for your best friend?

3. Did you know how the series would end before you started writing it?
No. Only in a general sort of way. I knew that there would be gaps between each of the three books, and that there would be a beginning, middle and end. The series was to chronicle the relationship of Nest Freemark and John Ross in its entirety. But each book would stand alone as well.

4. Which of the 3 books did you enjoy writing most and why?
RUNNING WITH THE DEMON was my favourite to write, mostly because it was the first and the most important in setting the stage for the entire series. It was a leap of faith to leave Shannara and Magic Kingdom to write something so very different. I didn’t know if I could pull it off. I wanted the magic and the characters to be believable within the context of what we know and accept about the world around us. I didn’t want readers to have to make allowances for what they couldn’t see, but to be able to say to themselves that the fabric of the magic detailed was perfectly believable.

5. Do you think that there is magic in the real world?
Don’t you?

6. If one of your novels were to be made into a movie, which one would you like it to be?
Are you asking me which one of my children would I be willing to sacrifice for the right price? The truth is out there somewhere.

7. What was it like to write the tie-in to THE PHANTOM MENCACE?
Writing THE PHANTOM MENCACE was a joy. I had real support and co-operation from George Lucas and all the people at Lucasfilms with whom I worked. Right from the beginning, I was assured that whatever I needed, I would get. I was asked to develop new material about Anakin and to focus the book from his point of view. I was allowed to rewrite the script in whatever way I felt would best convey the story. George understands the difference between making movies and writing books. I can’t speak too highly of the experience.

Look out for ANGEL FIRE EAST in bookshops everywhere!

Copyright© 2002 Orbit. All rights reserved. No part of this may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. The interview has been provided by Orbit and is printed with their permission.

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