Sometimes the Magic Works by Terry Brooks
Lessons from a Writing Life

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In 1977, the New York Times Trade Paperback Bestseller list—back then the exclusive province of self-help guides, cartoon collections, and any number of cat books—played host to its very first work of fiction: The Sword of Shannara, an epic quest through a mythical land, by first-time author Terry Brooks. Nineteen New York Times bestselling novels later, it would be easy enough to just say: “. . . and the rest is history.” But when it comes to quests, everyone knows that getting there is half the fun. Now, Terry Brooks tells the story of how he got there—from beginner to bestselling author—and shares his secrets for creating unusual, memorable fiction.

Writing is writing, whether one’s setting is a magical universe or a suburban backyard. Spanning topics from the importance of daydreaming to the necessity of writing an outline, from the fine art of showing instead of merely telling to creating believable characters who make readers care what happens to them, Brooks draws upon his own experiences, hard lessons learned, and delightful discoveries made in creating the beloved Shannara and Magic Kingdom of Landover series, The Word and The Void trilogy, and the bestselling Star Wars novel The Phantom Menace.

In addition to being a writing guide, Sometimes the Magic Works is Terry Brooks’s self-portrait of the artist. Here are sketches of his midwestern boyhood, when comic books, radio serials, and a vivid imagination launched a life long passion for weaving tales of wonder; recollections of the fateful collaboration with legendary editor Lester del Rey that changed not only the author’s life but the course of publishing history; and an eye-opening look at the ups and downs of dealing with Hollywood, as a writer of official novels based on major movies by both Steven Spielberg and George Lucas.

“If you don’t think there is magic in writing, you probably won’t write anything magical,” says Terry Brooks. This book offers a rare and wonderful opportunity to peer into the mind of (and learn a trick or two from) one of fantasy fiction’s preeminent magicians.

About Terry Brooks

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Terry Brooks is the New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books, including the Shannara’s Dark Legacy adventure The Wards of Faerie; the Legends of Shannara novels Bearers of the Black Staff and The Measure of the Magic; the Genesis of Shannara trilogy: Armageddon’s Children, The Elves of Cintra, and The Gypsy Morph; The Sword of Shannara; the Voyage of the Jerle Shannara trilogy: Ilse Witch, Antrax, and Morgawr; the High Druid of Shannara trilogy: Jarka Ruus, Tanequil, and Straken; the nonfiction book Sometimes the Magic Works: Lessons from a Writing Life; and the novel based upon the screenplay and story by George Lucas, Star Wars:® Episode I The Phantom Menace.™ His novels Running with the Demon and A Knight of the Word were selected by the Rocky Mountain News as two of the best science fiction/fantasy novels of the twentieth century. The author was a practicing attorney for many years but now writes full-time. He lives with his wife, Judine, in the Pacific Northwest.
Published March 4, 2003 by Del Rey. 208 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Education & Reference, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Sometimes the Magic Works

Book Reporter

SOMETIMES THE MAGIC WORKS is Terry Brooks's personal tribute to the writing life.

Jan 23 2011 | Read Full Review of Sometimes the Magic Works: Le...

SF Site

Go some place you've never been, then come back and tell us all about it.' The only writing life on which Brooks can comment with authority is his own, though as might be expected, it's a life filled with interesting examples from which to choose.

| Read Full Review of Sometimes the Magic Works: Le...

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