In 1977, the NEW YORK TIMES Trade Paperback Bestseller list - back then the almost exclusive province of self-help guides - 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. In the quarter of a century since, nineteen NEW YORK TIMES bestselling novels have followed. 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. More than just a writing guide, SOMETIMES THE MAGIC WORKS is Terry Brooks' self-portrait of the artist. Here are sketches of his midwestern boyhood, when comic books, radio serials, and a vivid imagination launched a lifelong passion for weaving tales of wonder; recollections of the fateful collaboration with legendary editor Lester Del Rey - an event 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, gleaned while Brooks was writing official novels based on major movies by both Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. This book offers a rare and wonderful opportunity to peer into the mind of (and learn from) one of fantasy fiction's pre-eminent magicians.