'Imaginary Friends' by Terry BrooksFrom Brooks’ website:

Dear Readers,

Most of you know that Shawn, our faithful Web Druid, has been battling a re-occurrence of cancer that surfaced some months back. Thankfully, he is well on the way to a full recovery thanks to chemotherapy treatments and doctor care. Less happily, the result of all this is a huge medical bill he has no hope of being able to pay back in the time frame the hospital has set.

Because we all love Shawn and value his friendship – no one more than me – we all want to do what we can to see him through this. So I am announcing effective today that I am giving Shawn the use of my short story IMAGINARY FRIENDS for an exclusive download for a period of 90 days. During this time, readers who have never read the story or would like to read it again and obtain an ebook copy in the process can do so. IMAGINARY FRIENDS was a story I wrote 20 years ago for Lester del Rey for inclusion in a coffee table book of stories by Del Rey authors called ONCE UPON A TIME. That book has been out of print for years, and the story has not been used since. The story is about a boy named Jack who discovers that he is dying of cancer. I won’t reveal any more except to tell you that this was the story which served as the jumping off point half-a-dozen years later for RUNNING WITH THE DEMON.

So I am putting it up for sale for 90 days at $2.99 to help Shawn pay off his medical bills. All of the proceeds of sales of the story will go to him for that purpose. Here is a chance for all of us to show Shawn we support him. Goodness knows, he has supported me over the years. I know many of you have become friends with him, and maybe you’ve thought now and then about how you might let him know what that friendship has meant.

Here is a really good opportunity. Order the download, read and enjoy your copy of the story, and know you are helping someone who really needs it. Then drop a note to the website, if you are so moved. I can promise you that by helping Shawn you will be doing me a real favor.

Always your friend, Terry

For years, I’ve been on the hunt for a copy of Once Upon a Time, the short story anthology that originally contained ‘Imaginary Friends.’ Unfortunately, it’s been out of print for years and is hard to find. To now be able to read the story and support a good friend of mine, Shawn Speakman, is a wonderful opportunity.

The short story is available on Kindle and Nook for $2.99 (USD).

  • Kathleen November 4, 2011 at 10:14 am

    I had a hardback of ONCE UPON A TIME years and years ago. I wonder what happened to it.

  • Bets Davies November 4, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    You are kind and wise, Terry. And our health care system sucks.

  • James Monaghan November 4, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    I have never read it but have just purchased a copy, this is such a good cause. Didn’t Shawn also release his fantasy epic on the Kindle as a way of improving his health care?

  • Shawn Speakman November 6, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    I did, James, to receive a medical grant from Stephen King’s Haven Foundation. I got the grant, which is great, but it only covers 1/7 of what my bill is right now. So I have some things planned I think you all are going to love to help pay it off. More soon. :)

    And yes Bets, our health care system is a frickin’ travesty. I make just enough money to not get help from the government but not enough to cover it. Not by a long shot.

  • […] an unabashed Shannara fanboy (and the pre-Morgawr books, in particular) this is great news. I recently read Brooks’ only other short story, Imaginary Friends, and was reminded of what a fine […]