SOMETIMES THE MAGIC WORKS: Lessons from a Writing Life by Terry Brooks

Sometimes the Magic Works by Terry BrooksTake a sneak peek into the imagination of an amazing writer...and a good guy to boot. Sometimes The Magic Works is a book for everyone who either loves to write, loves to read, or loves to dream.

Rating: 5 out of 5

A few months after my first book was published, I met Terry Brooks at a signing in Sterling, VA. I was terrified on many levels:

  • I was acting very much like a "fan boy" as I was at the bookstore HOURS before the event and one of the first people to have a number for the signing
  • I had met many authors by this point...and they were either the coolest people or absolute JERKS
  • I had a copy of MOREVI, and the thought of giving him a copy of my book was a little...well, it just was...

So the bookstore reps are making general announcements, and a rather unassuming gentlemen with a kindly face and an mischevious twinkle in his eye walks up next to me. He looks at me and smiles warmly. And there I am, saying "Hi." to Terry Brooks, the first Fantasy author I ever read.

The evening was not only entertaining, but particularly unforgettable as I gave him a copy of MOREVI with the inscription "If it wasn't for you, this book wouldn't exist." to which he signed in his 25th Anniversary Edition of The Shannara Trilogy "Wishing You Writing Magic.". That night, I met a boyhood hero...

...but after reading Terry Brooks' memoirs Sometimes The Magic Works, I feel like I introduced myself to a kindred spirit if not a coach telling me -- the new kid on the team -- that I had to stay in the game until the horn sounded and the score was final.

Sometimes The Magic Works is an honest, sincere look at a writer's beginnings, the novel that changed the face of a genre in 1977, and his continuing journey through realms of his imagination, all peppered with amusing pitfalls in the business of books and wide-eyed life-lessons alongside his grandson Hunter. Terry Brooks manages to demystify the world of the published author and still continues to convey an innocent joy and fascination with writing in the wonderous genre of elves, wizards, and mythical creatures. If you ever have the pleasure of hearing Terry Brooks speak, his voice (as well as his comic timing and heartfelt nostalgia) ring through the words on the page and I couldn't help but laugh out loud at some of his misadventures. The chapter "It's Not About You" pulls no punches and tells the reader exactly what the life of a writer really is! And you really can't help but smile at the two chapters entitled "The World According to Hunter".

Terry Brooks is an author that readers (and writers) either love or hate, but Sometimes The Magic Works is a book for everyone who either loves to write, loves to read, or loves to dream. In his signing, he wished me writing magic. With Sometimes The Magic Works, he provides a spell book for that magic for me to keep close and learn from. If I am truly blessed, maybe some of that sorcery Terry weaves throughout his works will also charm my own.

I sincerely hope our paths cross again. I owe him a handshakes and a sincere "Thank you..." for this trip into his vivid imagination!


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