Terry Goodkind was a contemporary American fiction writer, and author of the best-selling epic fantasy series, The Sword of Truth. He is the creator of the television show The Legend of the Seeker, and the writer of the self-published epic, The First Confessor: The Legend of Magda Searus (a prequel and origin story of the first Mother Confessor).
According to his site, Goodkind has written more than 30 major, bestselling novels, has been published in more than 20 languages worldwide, and has sold more than 26 million books.
Terry Goodkind was originally from Omaha, Nebraska. He began his first years of working life by studying art and working as a carpenter. It was not until he was 45 that he appeared before readers with his debut book, The Wizard's First Rule. The novel was about the adventures of Richard Cypher, who found that he is a long-sought wizard destined to save the world.
"I wasn't ready to start writing until I was 45. When I started thinking about Wizard's First Rule, I eventually felt the time had come to write it down on paper. Until then, I never wrote stories down. I have dyslexia, so written words have always been something that has given me difficulty, so I never bothered with them", says the author.
It was the first book in the epic fantasy series The Sword of Truth, and the debut was a huge success.
"I'm sort of the exception that proves the rule," Goodkin says. "I wanted to be represented by the best agent in the country and I wrote him a letter. He asked to see the book and he liked it. He showed it to several publishers. Three of them had an auction. Ten weeks after I'd written 'The End it sold for a record price ($275,000)," the most money ever paid for a fantasy novel by a first-time author.
In addition to the fact that Terry Goodkind successfully sold the book, he also received good reviews from literary critics. For example, American artist Terri Windling identified Wizard's First Rule as one of the best fantasy debuts of 1994, saying that although the novel was "derivative," it "does have a certain charm and earnestness about it."
Later the novel was adapted to television in the 2008 television series Legend of the Seeker.
He subsequently published 16 other novels and one novella. Almost all of his books have appeared on the New York Times Best Seller list. Goodkind's 12 books in the Sword of Truth series have sold 25 million copies and been translated into more than 20 languages.
Goodkind sees his novels as more than just traditional fantasy, as they deal with philosophical and human themes. Critics believe Goodkind was a proponent of Ayn Rand's philosophical approach of Objectivism and made references to Rand's ideas and novels in his works.
Having succeeded as an author Goodkind made his residence on the coast of Lake Las Vegas in Nevada. He competed in various forms of amateur and semi-professional auto racing.
Goodkind died on September 17, 2020. The cause of death was not released.
Photo credit: terrygoodkind.com.