The post described Goodkind’s death as a “great” and “unimaginable” loss. It called Goodkind an “amazing” man, husband, writer, friend and human. The post said Goodkind is “already desperately missed.” Goodkind is survived by his wife, Jeri Goodkind. The couple divided their time between a home in Maine and a home in the western United States, according to an online profile.
The Facebook post concluded with a quote from Goodkind:
To exist in this vast universe for a speck of time is the great gift of life. It is our only life. The universe will go on, indifferent to our brief existence, but while we are here, we touch not just part of that vastness, but also the lives around us. Life is the gift each of us has been given. Each life is our own and no one else’s. It is precious beyond all counting. It is the greatest value we can have. Cherish it for what it truly is . . . Your life is yours alone. Rise up and live it.
Goodkind, a native of Omaha, Nebraska, was also known for writing the suspense novel The Law of Nines, published in 2009. Goodkind’s The Sword of Truth series was turned into a series on ABC titled Legend of the Seeker. The show ran for two seasons between 2008 and 2010.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Goodkind Once Said of His Fans, ‘Your Passion Is My Passion’
According to his official website, Goodkind sold more than 26 million books worldwide and his work has been translated in more than 20 languages. In the bio, Goodkind says of his fans, “Your passion is my passion.” Goodkind was dyslexic and not a good student in high school. It was not until he was in his 40s when he turned his hand to writing. Goodkind spoke about his struggles with dyslexia during a Reddit AMA in September 2019.
Goodkind was last active on his Facebook page on July 8. His Twitter account has been dormant since 2019. The bio section on Goodkind’s Facebook page refers to him as writing “character-driven stories that take a brutally honest inward look at ourselves.” The description goes on, “Terry Goodkind has an uncanny grasp for crafting compelling stories of people like you and me, trapped in terrifying situations.”
2. Goodkind Believed Ayn Rand Was ‘The Greatest Thinker Since Aristotle’
Goodkind was a known supporter of Ayn Rand’s philosophy of objectivism. In a 2007 interview with the blog Fantasy Book Critic, Goodkind said he felt Rand was “the greatest thinker since Aristotle.” Goodkind said, “She made advances in the world of philosophy that no one since Aristotle has made.” In the same interview, he was asked about his opinion of the War on Terror. He replied:
We’re allowing evil to grow. We’re too timid to attack evil, and make no mistake: the Islamic world wants to kill us, and sooner or later, an atomic bomb is going to go off in the United States because we don’t even have the courage to name the enemy.
Goodkind said Rand was his favorite author in an October 2013 interview with Impulse Gamer.
3. Goodkind Raced Cars in His Spare Time
Goodkind told Impulse Gamer in 2013 that he was born a writer. Goodkind said, “Stories have always been part of my life, my constant companions, my inner landscape. It’s part of who I am.” He said he took inspiration from his “internal journeys.” Goodkind said that his experiences included time spent living as a painter, woodcarver, metal worker and violin maker. Aside from writing, Goodkind said he was enthusiastic about race car driving in his English-made Radical SR8 SM 500. Goodkind added:
Racing is my comfort place. When I’m in the cockpit of a race car, the rest of the world fades away and I become 100% focused on just one thing: the challenge of getting around the track as quickly as possible.
4. Goodkind Made International News in 2012 When He Outed An a Man Who Allegedly Pirated His Book The First Confessor
In 2012, Goodkind attracted international media attention when he outed a man who he said pirated a copy of his book The First Confessor and distributed it online. Goodkind posted about the alleged pirate on Facebook, writing in part:
So Josh, how about it — no respect for a hard-working Author and fellow racing enthusiast? Not even for someone that is emphatically trying to reach out to people that might consider pirating our hard work? Can’t be bothered to read and consider our note on piracy in the front of the book?
Goodkind named the man as an Australian. The man’s social media links, which Goodkind posted publicly, are no longer active.
5. Goodkind Is Being Mourned as One of the Greats of Fantasy Literature
As news of Goodkind’s death spread, many of his fellow writers as well as his fans, took to Twitter to mourn a man who is being celebrated as one of the greats of fantasy literature. Here are some of the most poignant tributes:
In shock to learn of the death of Terry Goodkind, master epic fantasy author. He was also a very close friend, but he was an extremely private man so I didn't share photos and stories. Yes, he could be a curmudgeon and he knew it, but I loved him anyway. Miss him already.
— Kevin J Anderson (@TheKJA) September 17, 2020
RIP Terry Goodkind. Author of my favourite ever series of books. Wizards First Rule was a phenomenon and I was totally lost in the world he created.
Thoughts are with his family. pic.twitter.com/sas99CKPT7
— Matty⚽️ (@MattyPNFFC) September 17, 2020
My favorite author, Terry Goodkind, passed away this morning. I always loved how he was able to tell a Fantasy story and have it be real.
"Faith of the Fallen" is the biggest takedown of Marxism that I've ever read. It's incredible, and weaved into an incredible Epic Saga.
— CryptoNovice81 (@CryptoNovice81) September 17, 2020
#WritingCommunity we lost one of the great fantasy authors of our time @terrygoodkind died this morning. For those who know of him his Sword of Truth series was a work of art. And he is one of the authors that inspired me to start writing. #rip
— James Fuller (@AuthorJFuller) September 17, 2020
2020 continues to take a heavy toll, with the death of fantasy author Terry Goodkind, who wrote the Sword of Truth series. They were favotites of myself and several friends of mine growing up… I had hoped to meet him one day. #RIPTerryGoodkind pic.twitter.com/Y42oHXZb0e
— Sean CW Korsgaard (@SCWKorsgaard) September 17, 2020
When I thought 2020 couldn’t get any worse, the world loses such an amazing author with so much talent for world building and storytelling. His books will carry on his unique legacy of fantasy and adventure. 💔😔 #terrygoodkind #swordoftruth pic.twitter.com/qff0erVKci
— Dario (@harleyqueenuno) September 18, 2020
I’m forever gratefull for the inspiring world you created and shared with us. Thank you for all these amazing stories. Have lots of fun with Zedd at the other side of the veil! You will be missed at this side @terrygoodkind ! ‘Bags, and double Bags!!’ pic.twitter.com/OnlRmlm4fS
— Piet Maes (@MaesPiet) September 17, 2020
Today we lost Terry Goodkind. A truly great writer of Fantasy. Rest in Peace, Terry.
I have taken up your standard and will pass on the love of reading and writing you inspired in me unto future generations through my own novels.
— Robert M Leonard (@RobertMLeonard3) September 17, 2020
RIP to my favorite author of all time #TerryGoodkind 😢😢😢 I’m DEVASTATED. His #SwordOfTruth series was in my life for the past decade, over 20 books, my most read author. I literally feel like I’m free falling. I’m so distraught!
— N/A (@irican1120) September 18, 2020
I clicked on Terry Goodkind's name, assuming he had said something horrible, but no, Terry Goodkind died. He started writing at forty-five, so I guess I still have some time. I loved his first two books when I was in high school. #RIPTerryGoodkind
— Wesley McCraw (@WesleyMcCraw) September 18, 2020