First, the NY Times is Wrong About BEES…
A recent New York Times article about the Starz Outlander TV show, titled “‘Outlander’ Finally Unveiled Jamie’s Big Secret; Here’s How the Writers Did It.” by Jennifer Vineyard, implied that my next book, GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE, might be finished soon. Vineyard stated that “Gabaldon is putting the finishing touches on Book 9.”
This is certainly not the case (see my hashtags, below). Ms. Vineyard should have checked with me first; I am not difficult to find. <g>
“A Bit of Trouble?” (Daily-Lines/Excerpt from BEES)
The following Daily Lines (or excerpt) are from GO TELL THE BEES THAT I HAVE GONE, book nine in my Outlander series of major novels. Note that Daily Lines (excerpts) may contain SPOILERS!
Social Media Hashtags: #DailyLines, #GoTELLTheBEESThatIAmGONE, #BookNine, #Noitsnotfinished, #nowherenear, #maybelate2018, #maybenot, #whoknows, #gowatchtheshow
I was startled from a solid sleep by Jamie exploding out of bed beside me. This wasn’t an uncommon occurrence, but as usual, it left me sitting bolt upright amid the quilts, dry-mouthed and completely dazed, heart hammering like a drill-press.
He was already down the stairs; I heard the thump of his bare feet on the last few treads—and above that sound, frenzied pounding on the front door. A ripple of unrest spread through the house: rustling bedclothes, sleepy voices, opening doors.
I shook my head violently and flung off the covers. Him or me? was the first coherent thought that formed out of the fog drifting through my brain. Night alarms like this might be news of violence or misadventure, and sometimes of a nature that required all hands, like a house fire or someone having unexpectedly met with a hunting panther at a spring. More often, though…
I heard Jamie’s voice, and the panic left me. It was low, questioning, with a cadence that meant he was soothing someone. Someone else was talking, in high-pitched agitation, but it wasn’t the sound of disaster.
Me, then. Childbirth or accident? My mind had suddenly resurfaced and was working clearly, even while my body fumbled to and fro, trying to recall what I had done with my grubby stockings. Probably birth, in the middle of the night… But the uneasy thought of fire still lurked on the edge of my thoughts.
I had a clear picture in my mind of my emergency kit, and was grateful that I’d thought to refurbish it just before supper. It was sitting ready on the corner of my surgery table. My mind was less clear about other things; I’d put my stays on backward. I yanked them off, flung them on the bed, and went to splash water on my face, thinking a lot of things I couldn’t say out loud, as I could hear children’s feet now pattering across the landing.
I reached the bottom of the stairs belatedly, to find Fanny and Germaine with Jamie, who was talking with a very young girl no more than Fanny’s age, standing barefoot, distraught, and wearing nothing more than a threadbare shift. I didn’t recognize her.
“Ach, here’s Herself now,” Jamie said, glancing over his shoulder. He had a hand on the girl’s shoulder, as though to keep her from flying away. She looked as if she might: thin as a broomstraw, with baby-fine brown hair tangled by the wind, and eyes looking anxiously in every direction for possible help.
“This is Annie Cloudtree, Claire,” he said, nodding toward the girl. “Fanny, will ye find a shawl or something to lend the lass, so she doesna freeze?”
“I don’t n-need—” the girl began, but her arms were wrapped around herself and she was shivering so hard that her words shook.
“Her mother’s with child,” Jamie interrupted her, looking at me. “And maybe having a bit of trouble with the birth.”
“We c-can’t p-pay—”
“Don’t worry about that,” I said, and nodding to Jamie, took her in my arms. She was small and bony and very cold, like a half-feathered nestling fallen from a tree.
“It will be all right,” I said softly to her, and smoothed down her hair. “We’ll go to your mother at once. Where do you live?”
She gulped and wouldn’t look up, but was so cold she clung to me for warmth.
“I don’t know. I m-mean—I don’t know how to say. Just—if you can come with me, I can take you back?” She wasn’t Scottish.
I looked at Jamie for information—I’d not heard of the Cloudtrees; they must be recent settlers—but he shook his head, one brow raised. He didn’t know them, either.
“Did ye come afoot, lassie?” he asked, and when she nodded, asked, “Was the sun still up when ye left your home?”
She shook her head. “No, sir. ‘Twas well dark, we’d all gone to bed. Then my mother’s pains came on sudden, and…” She gulped again, tears welling in her eyes.
“And the moon?” Jamie asked, as though nothing were amiss. “Was it up when ye set out?”
His matter-of-fact tone eased her a little, and she took an audible breath, swallowed, and nodded.
“Well up, sir. Two hands-breadths above the edge of the earth.”
“What a very poetic turn of phrase,” I said, smiling at her. Fanny had come with my old gardening shawl—it was ratty and had holes, but had been made of thick new wool to start with. I took it from Fanny with a nod of thanks and wrapped it round the girl’s shoulders.
Jamie had stepped out on the porch, presumably to see where the moon now was. He stepped back in, and nodded to me.
“The brave wee lass has been abroad in the night alone for about three hours, Sassenach. Miss Annie—is there a decent trail that leads to your father’s place?”
Her soft brow scrunched in concern—she wasn’t sure what “decent” might mean in this context—but she nodded uncertainly.
“There’s a trail,” she said, looking from Jamie to me in hopes that this might be enough.
“We’ll ride, then,” he said to me, over her head. “The moon’s bright enough.” And I think we’d best hurry, his expression added. I rather thought he was right.
More information and excerpts (Daily Lines) are available on my official webpage for GO TELL THE BEES THAT I HAVE GONE.
Selected Social Media Questions and Comments:
Did you take the image of the bee in your garden?
Yes, a late-blooming weed of some kind. Bees all over it! (The full-sized version of the image above is at right. Click to view a larger version.)
I know it irritates you when people ask you for the last book. It is a loonngg time people wait between books. I find that waiting 6 months is a bit much in several of my favorite authors series. Your long term readers should be applauded as should the quality of writing that allows your fans to wait somewhat patiently. Just realize there are some of your readers that have chronic illnesses that truly fear they will miss the last of this incredible love story. So do not get angry at the impatient readers. It is an honor to your writing that there are some of us where time is not a given.
I’m never angry at them—just wonder why they think pestering me will make me write faster… I mean, I’m only capable of writing at a certain pace, if I’m going to make it a good book—and I do mean to. <smile>
Note from Diana’s Webmistress: BEES (Book Nine) is not the “last book” in Diana’s Outlander series of major novels. Diana has said there will be a Book Ten after BEES. And likely a prequel after that about Jamie’s parents.
Since you now have people and faces to your book characters [in the Outlander TV show,] have they made an impact on what your book characters are doing -or anything like that????
No. The show really doesn’t affect anything I do writing-wise.
What makes up Clare’s emergency kit?
It’s a leather satchel with a cross-body strap, so she can carry it easily through woods or across battle-fields.
Dangling a carrot in front of us, are ye? Not nice!
Well, you can always choose not to read the excerpts… <she says sweetly>
This excerpt was released on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017, about 2 a.m. on my official Facebook page.
Can’t wait. Love them all novellas, big books, or excerpts. You never disappoint me. Only the waiting is hardest part. Keep them coming to all us fans.
Dear Diana, Thank you so much for writing books that are amazing. I have read all your books several times and each time I do so I feel that I am closer to the family that you have created. I can’t wait for book 9 to be released, but as a author of children’s books I know that you can’t force the ideas that you have, and there are days when it is difficult to put anything down, but the end results are worth waiting for. Thank you again.
Dear Diana; Thank you so much for writing books that are amazing. As a author of children’s books I know you can’t force the ideas that you have.
A big thank you for your delicious series.
Please- don’t leave Lord John and Jamie broken forever, I really love their friendship( its as hard to handle as the disasters that befell Roger).
I so enjoy the little bits of complexity you pop in, bit of science here ( I’m a woman of science ) the moments of Grace there ( everyone has a soul) – the way Claire dances with her 1960’s med knowledge and works with the tools she finds in the 1700’s. I always find something new when I reread the books. Some people feel passionately but can’t find the words to describe life and ideas …. thank goodness you did!
I am so in love with all the outlander series books! I just finished book 8 and I want to read he novelette called Virgins about Jamie and Ian M. As young soldiers in France. I love the outlander show. I just can’t say enough about the love story between Jamie and Claire and how the actors on the show capture their journey together so perfectly! Captivated by your talented writing skills. Continue at your own pace and thankyou for this adventure I can slip away to after work…….
Thank you for Outlander. My husband and I have re read all the books so often and consider them to be the best we’ve ever read. And they bring some more romance to our long and happy marriage. When I can’t sleep at night, in my mind I remember my favourite bits from your books: eg when Clair comes back to Fairfax Close to find Jamie and we’ve even hunted around Edinbrough’s lanes looking for a likely place! Thank you for bringing us so much pleasure.
Only recently did I happen upon the Outlander series and hooked I have become. I quickly binge read all eight books and then tuned to the series on Netflix. What imagination you have! I especially love the history, it awakens an urge to review my grade seven history classes, the Scottish brogue awakens a desire to visit Scotland and may I add, the love scenes aren’t too shabby either! I look forward to Bees, but meanwhile I will bide my time by reading the Lord John books. Congratulations Diana, you are a perfectly wonderful author. I am sorry to have missed you when you took part in the Frye Festival a couple of years ago in Moncton, New Brunswick. All the best and happy writing!
Your work has been such a wonderful part of my life, from the first chapter of Outlander way back when you first published it, to the last word in your 8th book. This incredible love story just stays in the heart. The wait between books has not bothered me much. The anticipation of reading the next book carried me through, each time, including now. I just want to say, very well done, dear lady. Brava!!
While Jamie and Claire’s love story is the
most supremely satisfying element
of your books, I have to say the most amusing
element is your treatment of animals.
Clarence, Donas, Adso—and of course the
great white sow—each critter comes to life
on the page. Thank you!
Although I have read and love all of the books and have watched the DVD’s more than much in all honesty I would have referred shorter sex scenes to allow the inclusion of more of the banter of Jamie and Claire which were really my favorite parts of the books. The one where they are talking after she has been to a parisian “spa” is my all time favorie between Jamie and Claire. I noticed that many of these scenes were cut from the TV version for time. I just wish they could have left them in place on the DVD’s for which there are no real time constraints. Just a thought.
I hope I live long enough to finish the Outlander series. My favorite books!!
Glad you enjoy my Outlander series!
Who knows what life (and the space-time continuum) has in store for all of us? I hope that I live long enough to finish writing book nine and ten of the Outlander series! (I’m currently 66 years old…)
And I love to hear from y’all, but I’d be so happy to never, ever hear “I hope I live long enough…” again from readers referring to my next book. Worrying out loud (for the umpteenth time) that one might die before I finish my next work doesn’t make me write any faster. <g>
Each of my major novels take years to create, both because of the extensive historical research required and the work required in writing them. That has not changed since my first book, OUTLANDER, was published in 1991; I will not publish a book until I have done my best. I will probably finish writing BEES in the fall of 2019. After that, a publication date will be determined and announced. So hang on! It will be okay.
A beautiful story, well told. Just love the books and the show : so detailed and captivating!!
I worked in a library in the late nineties : filed special books away in a closed access (non public) area. One of these special books was “Cross Stitch” (Outlander). I used to whizz around the shelves filing the books away as fast as I could ….then spend a couple of minutes secretly reading my favourite chapters of Cross Stitch / Outlander. Bliss!!
thanks so much
I just finished reading the Outlander series again and will keep reading them again as I find things I might have missed or forgotten and enjoy them as much as the first time. Thank you so much.