Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Monday, September 18, 2006

Sometimes the Magic Works

I had the opportunity to attend the League of Utah Writers fall roundup Saturday. The theme this year was fantasy, and the keynote speaker was Terry Brooks. His address was really fun. Who knew he was a pyromaniac as a kid and nearly hung his friend’s little brother?

He also talked about a boy who began corresponding with him when the boy was young. At first Terry didn’t really feel that he had the time to regularly write to the boy who had few friends and lived alone with his mother. Over the years, though, they continued to write back and forth, until the boy went off to college. Years later, at a signing, the boy came up to Terry’s wife and told her he was a social worker, helping underprivileged kids. He didn’t think he would have ended up where he did if it wasn’t for Terry.

Terry is now 62, and every year he thinks that maybe he is too old to go back on the road again. Then his wife reminds him of the boy and asks, “What if there is another person out there whose life you need to affect?” So he goes back out.

I can vouch for two things. One—Terry Brooks is a great guy, and a person I would like to emulate if I ever have the chance. Although he had another appointment to go to, he sat and chatted with every person who waited to meet him. He didn’t complain when people brought many of their books to have him sign. His wife was also wonderful. As I was waiting for him to sign my books, a reader came up and asked me to sign House of Secrets. When I reached Terry’s table, he asked about my books and then had his wife get my name so he could look up my books when he got home.

In my copy of, Sometimes the Magic Works, Terry’s wonderful book on writing, he signed, Make the magic work for you. I plan on keeping it above my computer while I write to inspire me. So the second thing I can vouch for is that Terry has affected another life. I’m glad he came out one more time.

Me and Terry


At 9/19/2006 3:05 AM, Blogger Dave said...

Nice writeup, Jeff. I guess there probably is a little magic in every good book.

At 9/19/2006 1:47 PM, Blogger KB said...

I was at the LUW too. And I also noticed how kind and sincere Terry Brooks was. Great guy.

At 9/20/2006 6:56 PM, Blogger Kerry Blair said...

What a wonderful story, Jeff! You've restored my faith in humanity.

We have a celebrity author living here whose works I idolized as a young adult. I had a chance to meet at a literacy event. He was cool (to everyone) to the point of being surly. I'd like to think it was a bad day, but I think it was more a bad attitude. Sometimes I wish I were famous just so I could be NICE to people at those events and have it matter. :-)


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