Paste Magazine spoke with Terry Brooks just after his week at San Diego Comic Con 2015 to talk all about the upcoming show, his Comic Con experience, and all the bumps along the way to The Shannara Chronicles, including flack he took for the lack of female characters in The Sword of Shannara.
Paste: Did the trailer screening affirm that they weren’t wrecking your stuff?
Brooks: No, I’ve been privy to the episodes all along. I think I was concerned about what it would feel like to an audience seeing it for the first time. Would they think it was strong enough? Wonderful and awesome enough? And they did.
Over the years, there had been a lot of talk about filming in one form or another, mostly movies—back in the day when that was the way to go. The fans have always had tremendous expectations and they have said to me, “Do not screw this up. If you’re going to do it, do it right.” And so I carry that set of orders into battle, and I’m well aware of the fact that they are judging this thing based on their own feelings in connections with the book that’s more than 30 years old.
Paste: Right, the series started in ‘77.
Brooks:Sword of Shannara was the first book, Elfstones was the second book. If you want to know why we choseElfstones, rather than the first book, it’s because I got some flack in the first one because there were no female characters. The demographic that the video world is looking for is a mix of male and female characters. And the second story has strong female characters, and it has a good, unorthodox love story involved. And those are all elements that they want. I always went in saying I want to pitchElfstones.
Paste: How do you feel about fantasy spreading across networks and shows?
Brooks: As a fantasy writer, I’m really happy about this. When I started out, fantasy was a low man on the totem pole. Nobody was doing it because nobody would publish it. It was felt that it wouldn’t sell. If you weren’t Tolkien, nothing was going to happen. Now, I keep saying that Harry Potter made the world safe for fantasy and The Lord of Rings movies brought it even further. So now we have the 800-pound gorilla in the entertainment room reading fantasy. There is a lot of room in there [for publishers]. And they’re picking up a lot of young adult works and turning them into movies, and they’re finding that audiences identify with that kind of storytelling.
Read the full interview at PasteMagazine.com.