• “The smartest historical sci-fi adventure-romance story ever written by a science Ph.D. with a background in scripting 'Scrooge McDuck' comics.”—Salon.com
  • A time-hopping, continent-spanning salmagundi of genres.”
  • “These books have to be word-of-mouth books because they're too weird to describe to anybody.”
    —Jackie Cantor, Diana's first editor

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! (and other news for May)

“”This is a morning my father never saw,” Jamie said, still so softly that I heard it as much through the walls of his chest, as with my ears. “The world and each day in it is a gift, mo chridhe-no matter what tomorrow may be.”

I sighed deeply and turned my head, to rest my cheek against his chest. He reached over gently and wiped my nose with a fold of his shirt.

“And as for taking stock,” he added practically, “I’ve all my teeth, none of my parts are missing, and my cock still stands up by itself in the morning. It could be worse.”

–The Fiery Cross, Chapter 58: “Happy Birthday To You.” Copyright 2001 Diana Gabaldon.

HAPPY MAY DAY! And many, many thanks to all of you who have sent me messages wishing James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser a happy 290th birthday. {g}

My husband was just asking me if there was a reason why I chose May 1 for Jamie’s birthday. In fact, there is—or there are, rather. To begin with, I thought it might have something to do with Claire’s passage through the stones, which happened on Beltane (April 30). (As it was, it didn’t really seem to have much to do with that, but that’s sort of what I had in mind to begin with.)

Beyond that—I knew Jamie was a Taurus, so obviously born sometime in May (ask me how I know this; my husband and all three children are born in May (this is the fault of Arizona State University, where I used to be a professor, and which said (at the time), “You can have all the maternity leave you want, but we aren’t going to pay you for any of it.” To which I replied, “Fine. I’m on a 9-month academic-year contract, and you don’t pay me in the summers anyway. I’ll have babies in May.” (A Ph.D. in Biology has to be good for something, after all))). My husband’s birthday is May 3, but I didn’t think it was right to make him share his birthday with Jamie, so….there you are. May 1.

(I have had assorted people cast Jamie’s horoscope, and assure me that yes, indeed, he is a Taurus. I never doubted this.)

Anyway, moving right along here—in Other May News:

LEPRECON 37 – May 6-8

I will be appearing at LepreCon 37, an sf/f con held in Tempe, AZ next weekend. The con runs May 6-8, but I’ll be there only on the 7th and 8th. The location is the Tempe Mission Palms Hotel, and here is the con’s website.

I’ll be doing the following appearances:

(panel) LIT – HOW TO DO A READING  —   Sat 10a-11a, Joshua Tree

(panel) LIT – DIY SOCIAL MEDIA   –  Sat noon-1p, Xavier

READING   –  Sat 2p-230p, Boardroom

AUTOGRAPHING  —   Sat 230p-330p, Dealers Room

(panel) LIT – OUR FAVORITE MILITARY SF  –  Sun 10a-11a, Xavier

(panel) LIT/MED – BOOKS TO MOVIES  —   Sun 3p-4p, Xavier

Now, on my way home Saturday from LepreCon, I’ll be stopping at the COMIC ZONE bookstore for a quick one-hour signing, as part of their “Free Comics!” Day festivities:

Comic Zone
5909 N. Granite Reef, rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85250
480-483-2685 for more info

This appearance will naturally be focused mostly on THE EXILE, as it’s a graphic novel, but if y’all have other books you’d like signed, I’d be happy to do that.

KABAM! (Kingman Area Books Are Magic) –aka the Kingman (AZ) Book Festival – May 12-14

I couldn’t begin to remember what-all I’ll be doing for this festival, but it ranges from school visits and public autographings to panels, readings, and all sorts of stuff. I’ll be there for three days, and busy most of the time, let’s leave it at that. {g}


This is a nice event, held at the Scottsdale Public Library, wherein they invite a number of different authors, each of whom does a quick 7-10 minute talk and is then available to chat and sign books—and they provide food!

(There are several websites where you can find more detail and/or buy tickets: here’s one.)

Right, see you at one of these events—and if not…I’ll post the schedule for June/July/August a little later. Meanwhile, in Other Interesting News:


I’ve explained (roughly ten million times) why THE FIERY CROSS and ABOSA were not available via Audible.com—owing to restriction in the contract with Bantam Audio, who do the (disgustingly eviscerated, bloody mangled shreds) abridged audio versions, we were not allowed to sell the unabridged versions through retail outlets while the original license (ten years from date of print publication) was in effect.

The licenses to earlier books have expired and been revoked, thus preventing those abridged excrescences from being sold any longer, and ECHO was fortunately not covered under the earlier contract (so there has never been and never will be an abridged audio version). Great. Well, THE FIERY CROSS license expires this November, and the instant it does, FIERY CROSS will also be available via Audible.com and anywhere else audiobooks are sold.

The license for ABOSA, though, doesn’t expire until 2014. We tried to get Bantam Audio to allow us to sell the unabridged version now (without revoking their abridged one), but they wouldn’t budge. So—in order to make the whole series available in unabridged form as soon as possible—we (me and my agent) did them a deal. They go on selling the abridged version until 2014 (at which point we cut them off at the knees), but meanwhile we release the unabridged version in retail markets—and share the income with them.

So that’s why ABOSA is now available and FIERY CROSS isn’t yet. It wasn’t worth doing a deal to get the unabridged version into retail outlets six months earlier than it will happen anyway. But come November, ALL the OUTLANDER and LORD JOHN books will be available in Unabridged versions through any retail outlet you care to use!

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64 Responses »

  1. Diana,

    Thank you so much for making ABOSA available on audible early! I do have to note, however, that it is about 2 weeks too late. I couldn’t wait any longer, checked the CDs out from the library, and downloaded every one of them onto my ipod before a long international flight. I think it may have taken me longer to download the CDs than it took me to fly to the middle east…. :) Well worth it, though.

    I don’t know if you have met or keep in touch with Davina Porter, but she is amazing. She has brought Claire to life in a way that is entirely different from the books. She injects just a hint of a smile, or reads a line ironically, and it twists around the whole meaning. You are quite the duo.

    Happy May Day!

    Karen H.

  2. Oh hooray!! Was just listening to “Drums of Autumn” on my ipod today for perhaps the dozenth time, shaking my head because I can recite most lines before they’re spoken, still enjoying it mind you, but wishing I had something else I hadn’t memorized. It’s my lucky day!

    • I realized I do the same thing. When Outlander starts I totally mimic Davina’s recitation in my head before she reads. I even lilt my voice. Perhaps I need a break from these books. ;)

  3. I always enjoy reading your blog . Thank you for the good news. I just checked and iTunes now has the UNABRIDGED !!! version of A Breath of Snow and Ashes narrated by Davina Porter. Great news indeed!!!

  4. I didn’t know the reason for the audiobooks, but suspected some such. So, I check faithfully every month when I get my new Audible gold credit. This month, I was delayed in checking–LUCKILY–because ABOSA was released just the day before and I was able to use my April credit on it.


    Thanks for sacrificing a portion of your revenue to give your fans a cheap way to legally own ABOSA (I had been sorely tempted to find a library copy and rip it, but I just don’t do that, not even for Diana).




  5. Hi Diana,
    will there be any excerpts from the next outlander book any time soon…? Just to make time seem to go a little faster before the next release… :-)
    And happy birthday Jamie!

  6. Hi Diana,

    Thank you for sharing with us the life of Jamie and Claire. It’s so inspiring and I could not put the book down. I read the Drums of Autumn first, fell in love with the story, the characters, the events, everything on it.

    I searched the library for more of your books and found out The Breath of Snow and Ashes, captivated by it and now I got a new copy of an Echo of the Bone.

    I wanted to know what is the title of your book after the Echo of the Bone?

    Once again, I thank you so much for sharing your heart and your thoughts with us. Keep on writing and inspire the whole world.


    • Dear Rachelle–

      Book Eight hasn’t got a title yet; I’m still working on it (and will be, for some little time). Hope you’ll enjoy it when the time comes!


  7. Dearest Diana,

    I first read “Cross Stitch” (UK version of Outlander) thanks to a suggestion by an American penpal. I was so impressed that I looked for and bought most of the series (first four) and read “Cross Stitch”, “Dragonfly in Amber”, “Voyager”, “Drums of Autumn”, “The Fiery Cross” and “A Breath of Snow and Ashes”. Coming to the end of ABOSA, I was dreading the end of the wonderful story of Claire and Jamie. You cannot believe how happy I was to read that there is “An Echo In The Bone”. I found “An Echo In The Bone” recently and have added it to my collection (I’m still looking for – although I’ve read them – “The Fiery Cross” and “A Breath of Snow and Ashes”).

    I am currently re-reading the series. I’m justing starting to re-read “Dragonfly in Amber”. I live about 55 miles away from Inverness. Everytime I walk about my village of Aberlour I think of Claire and Jamie on their various journeys through the heather. Heather is all around us here right now. I wonder if any of the villages they encountered would have been anywhere near Aberlour.

    What really impressed me though Diana, was the accurate detailing of Scotland considering you hadn’t even been to Scotland when you wrote “Cross Stitch”.

    Thank you so much for your commitment to Claire and Jamie. Most authors tend to write a book and move away from the characters and write new books with new storylines. You are sticking with Claire and Jamie through 8 books (all near to or over 1,000 pages). All your fans will join me in saying that when you finally finish the series, none of us will have a dry eye.

    We are with you in this wonderful journey, Diana.

    Keep up the wonderful writing and we will all wait patiently for book 8. Do the best that we know you can do.

    Take care

    • Dear Julie–

      Moran Taing! {g} Actually, I’ll be in Inverness this summer–also Aberdeen, where I’ll be taking part in Tartan Day. Looking forward to seeing the Highlands again!


      • Hello Diana,

        I’m honoured that you replied to my response. Do you have more details on when you are coming over to Inverness and Aberdeen?

        Thank you for making my day


      • Sorry I have just checked your calendar and you dont know yet apart from late July or August. So no need to reply. Let me know when you do though, please.

        Moran Taing

  8. HappyBirthday to your DH, Diana!! And Happy Birthday to Jamie too!! In my family, or I should say my DH’s, we have a clan of Libra’s, February was a very busy month for my in-laws.

  9. If a movie is ever made, would you please, please suggest Aaron Eckhart to play Jamie. With red hair he would be perfect to play the part!!!!

  10. Too funny! Well I am late wishing Jamie many felicitations but I did him proud on Facebook.

    So here it is again James, Happy (belated) Birthday to you. 290 years young. :-D

  11. A great big Happy Birthday to Doug! Hope he has a fabulous day.

  12. Diana,

    It sounds like May is a big month for you and your family. So Happy Birthday wishes to your offspring and husband. I love your books. A friend gave me Outlander, Voyager, and ABOSAA. She hadn’t read them and had no idea what she was giving me. So, as I’m always game for new authors(for me), I started on Outlander and couldn’t put it down. After realizing I needed books II,IV, & V, I rushed out and bought them. That was in February. I’m on my second read. Echo is coming. I love the analysis made on the readers forum by all the readers, and I have tried to respond myself. I’m not much of a writer, but do love to read other POV. Please keep up the good work.

  13. I love that scene, a perfect way to start the post. And I must say Jamie is in much better shape than me, I don’t have all my teeth. (Mostly because I have a small mouth and when I got my braces they figured it was easier to get rid of some than try to line them all up neatly.) I do have all the limbs/members I was born with, though no one that stands up by itself in the morning, or any other time of day. :)

    I guess there’s not a big chance of you coming to Norway, is there? It’ll be cool if you did, but I sadly don’t think you got a big enough fan base here to make it worth the trip. I’m trying to make my friends read the series, but.. blah. Just got one of them to read Harry Potter, and that was enough of a fight. And the Norwegian translations are nothing to shout hurray about, first of all they’ve split the first book in two, secondly they’ve already butchered it at the titles, which are roughly “The Journey Begins”, “Under the Hunter’s Moon”, “On Foreign Ground”, “The Knight’s Heart”, “Trapped in Time”, “Blue Nights”, “Remote Beaches” and “The Song of the Drums” (which is either A Breath of Snow and Ashes or The Fiery Cross, not Drums of Autumn, as far as I can figure out… O.o).
    I’m not impressed. Not does it seem the Norwegian translations are up for sale any more either, and good riddance! I’ll stick to the English, as that’s what I prefer no matter what book I’m reading. And by the way, I’m almost done with the series for most likely the third time in less than two years. Yes, a bit obsessed, but you write Claire and Jamie so perfectly imperfect (that is, they are very easy to relate to (although I’d be crying with 1% of the responsibility Jamie takes on and puking for more than half the things Claire sees as a doctor) and not some glossed up image of the perfect married couple or lovers) that I can’t get enough of them. (You’re not the only one fond of parentheses.)

    Well, I’ve probably rambled enough now and you’ve probably heard half of this a thousand times before, but I just wanted you to know that with the English you use, it should be a hanging offense to translate it to such a narrow language as Norwegian. At least worth a flogging.

  14. Diana,
    I see how wonderfully busy you are traveling around the world to meet your fans. To far off places that are hard to get to…

    But, did you clone yourself and leave the other one back at home in AZ writing “Book 8″ for us rabid fans!!??


    I’m praying for Sept/Oct 2012 release date for “Book 8″. My friend in Columbia MD and I will start rereading the series in January 2012 to be prepared for the BIG release date later that year…… I hope!!

    I will be rereading them on my Kindle….yes I own all 8 books in paperback or hardcover already, but wanted to enjoy them on my Kindle this time around, so you got my money twice for all 7 books! :-)

    Toodles for now -
    McKinney TX

  15. Thanks for the smile, loved the birthday explanation.

  16. What WONDERFUL news and just in time to celebrate Jamie’s birthday! ABOSAA, narrated by Davina the Devine is downloading from iTunes as we speak. It will be so great to have every one of the UN-abridged novels.

    Other than Edward Petherbridge narrating Dorothy L. Sayers “Gaudy Night”, which I borrowed from the library (on cassetes!), I had never listened to an audiobook.

    After I downloaded Outlander, just to try, I quickly bought the rest of the series. I never realized what a visceral experience listening to a book that I loved and had read many times would be. The pronunciation of the Unknown languages, the amazing experience of one woman, able to switch from Scottish man to Engish woman on the next breath….wondrous.

    I even tried to listen to the, you know, not unabridged version once of ABOSAA and didn’t even last 10 minutes. I felt vaguely unscrupulous, like I was cheating on the book and deleted it.

    Thank you so much for bringing this to life. Listening to the audio books has given me a deeper understanding of the life and times of Jamie and Claire and their world(s).

    Peggy S. Mitchell.

  17. Happy Mother’s Day Diana, hope your day was filled with much love & happiness!
    Your Number One Fan,

  18. “Holy Ovulation Batman”!
    I had to laugh at your story of timing your children’s births!!! As one trying to get pregnant inside a certain time frame, I have to say you must be the hormonal version of a nuclear clock!!!!! :)

  19. I have been waiting for the unabgidged audio books for Fiery Cross and ABOSAA for months and read some of your explanations why they are not yet out. I was referred to this blog by the Outlander group of Goodreads, because I was again asking for Fiery Cross (it is 2011, isn’t it?) It is great to have ABOSAA, though. Just checked with Audible UK to get my download – and they still just got the abridged version of it. Did your deal only affect the US branch? Please do not tell me the European addicts were forgotten! This audio book would bring me to November nicely,

  20. Hah! Loved your story about the 9 month contract and “arranging” to have babies in May. Here, professors are on a year round contract with most of our teaching between Sept to April. Both of my babies were born in March. Too tired to do any “arranging” until after the marking was done…


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