|Terry Brooks describes himself as "an adventure writer with fantasy trappings." His first novel, THE SWORD OF SHANNARA, became the first work of fiction to top the New York Times Trade Paperback bestseller list. Brooks began writing in high school, influenced primarily by Alexander Dumas and J. R. R. Tolkein, both of whom would remain important to his subsequent writing. He received an undergraduate degree in English in 1966 from Hamilton College and studied law at Washington and Lee University. After graduating, Brooks joined a family law practice and married Barbara O'Banion in 1972. The couple eventually had two children. In 1977, Brooks published THE SWORD OF SHANNARA, a fantasy epic modeled on Tolkein's THE LORD OF THE RINGS. The book became a best seller, remaining at the top of the charts for five months. It was followed by two sequels, THE ELFSTONES OF SHANNARA (1980) and THE WISHSONG OF SHANNARA (1985), which were also very successful. The next year, Brooks published MAGIC KINGDOM FOR SALE--SOLD!, a humorous fantasy novel about a depressed lawyer who purchases a used magic kingdom through a catalog. While on a promotional tour for that book, he met Judine Alba, a bookstore manager. He divorced O'Banion, and married Alba six months later. 1986 was also the year that he stopped practicing law to become a full-time writer. Though MAGIC KINGDOM FOR SALE--SOLD! was not quite as well-received as the Shannara trilogy, Brooks wrote several sequels to it before returning, in 1990, to his original series. THE SCIONS OF SHANNARA, the first of the Heritage of Shannara series, exploring the prehistory of the first trilogy. Four sequels later, Brooks wrote two more books in the Magic Kingdom series, before moving on to other realms. RUNNING WITH THE DEMON (1997) was a break from the straightforward fantasy of his previous books--it was set in the contemporary word--and, though the change cost him some longtime fans, it widened his readership considerably. His next books, STRANGE DELIVERANCE (also 1997) and KNIGHT OF THE WORD (1998), continued this move away from fantasy settings, while keeping the magical and supernatural elements from his earlier work. A consistently best-selling author, his writing is moving onto ground occupied by Dean Koontz and Stephen King, and with his already-huge fan base, Brooks has become a major contender to their thrones--and in 1999, Brooks's novelization of the eagerly awaited STAR WARS EPISODE ONE: THE PHANTOM MENACE, guarantees that his name will appear on the bookshelves of even more people.
|Orson Scott Card was born and raised in a Mormon family and has continually pointed out that Mormonism is the primary force in his life. He attended Brigham Young University and the University of Utah, and spent time in Brazil as a Mormon missionary. His earliest writings were radio and stage plays (Card has estimated the number at over 100) telling the history of Mormonism. His first published fiction was the science fiction short story called "Ender's Game" in 1977, which was nominated for a Hugo Award and a Reader's Award from Locus magazine. The Locus Award is based on votes compiled from the magazine's readers and is important in demonstrating just how popular Card is with readers. Since that story, Card has been nominated for or won the award more than 30 times, which is extraordinary considering the relatively short time that he has been writing fiction. In 1985, Card published an expanded version of "Ender's Game" as a novel, and won both the Hugo and Nebula awards. It was followed by a sequel in 1986, SPEAKER FOR THE DEAD, which also won the Hugo and Nebula, marking the first time in the history of the awards that one author won both in successive years. Card's next series of books, the Alvin Maker series, started in 1987 with SEVENTH SON. This series is set in an alternate past of America, and is closely modeled on the reported life of Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormon Church. The Homecoming series--THE MEMORY OF EARTH, THE CALL OF EARTH, THE SHIPS OF EARTH, EARTHBORN, and EARTHFALL--repeats this theme, but in a space opera setting. Card has also written nonfiction--his first book, LISTEN, MOM AND DAD..., was actually about child-rearing. He has also tried his hand at horror, mainstream, and children's fiction, and he is also a respected editor and reviewer.