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.
Thank you for the wonderful and unforgettable adventures of Jamie and Claire. I so look forward to news about you and the peaks at the next book. Peace and joy to you.
Please don’t write fast. I can wait for your next books however long it takes you to write. You do whatever you please. I love your stories. Write well and good!
Thank you Diana for telling the story of Jamie & Claire. I was hooked years ago by your writing, Your words and use of language really touched me like no other book(s) I had ever read. Now with Sam & Cait in the TV series, the visual storytelling is unbelievable. Thank you also for the privilege of reading the snippets from “Bees”. You have changed my life by viewing things differently & understanding human emotions more deeply.
Thank you, Diana, for this lovely excerpt! I keep one of your books on my night table at all times for easy bedtime reading. It’s been so long since I’ve read new words from you, I am glad for this little tease!
I just began watching the Outlander series. My wife and I love it! We have spent many hours talking about Jamie and Clair and what will happen next. I plan to purchase all of the completed books and (I am sure) will eagerly await book # nine.
I really just wanted you to know how much we appreciate your work!
I have been a fan since the first Outlander book was published. I have read them all over the years, and love the mix of history, drama, complex characters and a bit of paranormal. I am so excited you are writing a book 9. I was not sure if you were done. I do not really care for novellas. Your stories are good, but I read very fast, and it seems I barely start and it is over. I love long books, preferably series. It is so nice to buy a book knowing the quality of writing you are going to have a chance to read. I have chronic illness, and at 56 am stuck at home, 20 miles from the nearest town. My kids are grown, and now I have time to read all I want. It has been a joy to watch Outlander made into a series. I love seeing who they cast to play parts, and how they differ from what I had imagined. The show is at its best when it does not stray from the book. I reread all the books again to remember what happens in what order. Thank you so much for putting so much into your work. They have been a wonderful addition to my life, and I cannot wait to see what happens to Claire and Jamie, as well as their children. Thank you again, Lisa Renfro.
Greetings Mrs. G!!… Took my time seeing the show on STARZ after I did I was hooked. Purchased all the books in 2016 read them in six months and I studied them.I pick up new words while I read and use them as textbooks. I find Bible references that you have in them !!all types of goodies. I’m 69 years young, and so glad that I’m reading your work!!! God bless you Abi
Hi Diana. I have been reading your books since I suddenly was introduced to them in 2013. And I have read read all of them multiple time and have read them every time all of them in row since the outlander Starz series began and I have loved reading these books and am waiting for the next installment of the big because I have also read the read Lord John series and others that complements the outlander books I hope that director Moore also makes a few episode or a movies out of the companion books too because the side stories also shed light on some of the characters from outlander series. I believe your books are wonderful work and I really appreciate you and your books, thank you and keep up the good work.
Your books are a part of my life since 1998 – funny thing – I won a package of books at a competition. I have no idea, which other books were included – but Outlander is a constant till today.
I never read books twice with one exception. I reread the books before I started watching the tv series.
I don´t buy hardcovers. Except for outlander-books – because I cannot wait for the paperback.
And I need to own the books. Immediatly. It is impossible to read them from the library.
And of course I need the new translated books in german too. And the english version.
Seems like some kind of addiction…. a good one.
So – don´t hurry – we prefer a good book
Thank you for the excerpts. I was introduced to the story by the tv series. Midway through season 3 I just had to know more. I’ve now read all 8 books-twice-over the last 2 months. (To my husband’s chagrin!) The second time through was such a pleasure. Such a joy to be able to fully appreciate all of the little details. Especially those that don’t play out until several books later. I have fallen deeply in love with the story and characters.
Ive gotten audiobooks of several as well. Davina’s narration is fabulous. I wonder if you’ve listened to them all yourself.
Thank you again and best wishes.
I for one, will wait patiently for more because this world that you’ve created is beautiful and well written rather than rushed! I live for the excerpts, they are just enough to keep me wanting more.
I finally reached the end of my MOBY reread – I have to tell you that though I know who the four on the path are already, I start tearing up and my breath catches at the “Hello the house” moment every time and I am sobbing by the second utterance of the words with joy! I can (and can’t) wait for BEES – if only to see them together again!
I have been reading the Outlander series since the ’90′s. They are wonderful and I look forward to #9. I do go back and reread them the closer to your release date of any new ones. I love Claire and Jamie’s story, but Roger and Bree have really caught my attention. Love the Starz TV show, but have to wait for that to be on DVD’s, this way I can watch them over and over again. Thank you for the excerpts, I love reading these.
Diana I am sure it takes a very long time ,my mother kept journals about her life and I’ve been writing on an off for about 50 years I love it I’m not writing a novel just like my mother I have memories ideas and dreams that have actually come true. My husband has ask me not to dream about him because they have been accurate. I just love doing it Please excuse my brief history but it’s my way of saying I’m not positive a writer can ever really finish and be totally happy about it. You are the absolute best your thoughts come across beautiful and descriptive things such as how to make blood sausage and Claire’s herbs Jamie’s constant curiosity just love the details I’m rather descriptive myself but I wish to thank you for your hard work Best stories I have ever read and I’m a prolific reader I will be patient and wait for 9 it’s going to be fantastic. Congrats on new grandson may you have a wonderful Thanksgiving your Fan Sharon Fain.
Thank-you for bring Brianna and Roger back to Claire and Jamie.
Thank you so much Diana for all your excerpts on Book 9 which I have read many times. I will wait patiently for you to finish Book 9. I have bought all 8 Outlander Series books, enjoyed reading them very much. I am now rereading them a third time! Enjoyed the series on television with Sam & Cait very much too! Also bought 4 other books.
Thank you for your fantastic story telling! I am hooked!
What can one say. Like all above, I have reread all 9 books many times plus the Lord John books, esp. enjoyed the John & Jamie one, The Scottish Prisoner. I enjoy the TV series but even though I understand they can’t put everything in the books on TV they do miss some of my favourite parts.
Wait with patience(?) the next book.
It took stephen king forever to finish the dark tower but it was worth it. I an sure this will be too.
Dear Diana, I thank you for this wonderful love story of Outlander. It makes me wish I had a love story like that-I can’t help but think you really do have one with your husband! How grand is that? Look forward to your new book in the series.
I love reading the excerpt, it like getting a look at Christmas presents before Christmas. Hehe! Thank you, Diana!
After reading The Space Between, I wait to see does Bees reaveal a) anything on Micheal Murray and Joan McKimee b) does Clare find out St Germain is a time traveller and did not die and he is one of Master Raymond’s c) if Fergus is St Germain’s son if so can he hear the stones and could he be a traveller, Or have I just got outlander feverOutlander fever and totally misunderstood this lovely filler.