Terence Dean "Terry" Brooks (born January 8, 1944) is a fantasy fiction writer and the author of the Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace novelization. He writes mainly epic fantasy, and has also written one movie novelizations in addition to the The Phantom Menace. He has written 22 New York Times bestsellers during his writing career, and is considered to be the second-biggest selling living fantasy writer, behind J.K. Rowling.
Brooks was born in the rural midwestern town of Sterling, Illinois and spent a large part of his life living there. He is an alumnus of Hamilton College, obtaining his B.A. in English Literature in 1966. He later obtained a J.D. from Washington and Lee University. He was a practicing attorney before becoming a full-time author, and now resides in Seattle, Washington with his wife, Judine.
Brooks had been a writer since high school, writing mainly in the genres of science fiction, western, fiction, and non-fiction. One day, in his early college life, he was given a copy of The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, which inspired him to write in one genre. While Tolkien inspired the genre, Brooks stated at the Charlotte Literary Festival that he credits the inspiration of his style of writing to William Faulkner's works. With this inspiration, he then made his debut in 1977 with his first novel The Sword of Shannara.  This novel became the first fantasy book ever to appear on the New York Times bestseller list, where it stayed for five months.
After finishing two "sequels" to The Sword of Shannara, Brooks moved on to the series which would become known as the Landover series. Upon finishing these novels, Brooks began to write a four book series that became The Heritage of Shannara. For the next fourteen years, he wrote more Landover books, then went on to write The Word and Void trilogy. Continuing the Shannara series, Brooks wrote the prequel to The Sword of Shannara, titled First King of Shannara. He then wrote two series, The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara and High Druid of Shannara and recently finished a third, Genesis of Shannara. The second book of the series, The Elves of Cintra, came out August 28, 2007, with the final novel The Gypsy Morph in August 2008.