• “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

A Literary Three-Way

By popular demand….

Ummm….OK. This one really _was_ Chris Humphreys’s fault. A couple of weeks ago, a number of game (and fairly uninhibited) people kindly took part in the Late-Night Sex-Scene readings at the Historical Novel Society conference in San Diego. Owing to circumstances I claim not to remember {cough}, I’ve been Mistress of Ceremonies for this now-traditional feature of the conference _twice_.

This time around, I had a lively lineup of volunteers, including Laurel Corona’s sweetly naïve French teenagers reading pornography, Deni Dietz’s drunken-sex-on-horseback, and Maggie Anton’s hot Talmudic sex scenes (as I remarked afterward, I had no idea what I was missing, being born Catholic…).

Anyway. At some point in the proceedings, Chris writes me to say that he and Gillian Bagwell would like to team-read a scene from her book, THE DARLING STRUMPET, which he describes as “the best blow-job in literature.” This being a scene in which the Earl of Rochester instructs Nell Gwyn in the, er, art of…um, well. Yes.

“Great,” I said. “You can be the—you should excuse the expression—climax of the evening.”

So we’re all set with our stellar lineup of readers—when I’m informed that Gillian and Chris have decided that the scene would work best with an outside narrator to carry the description, while _they_ do the dialogue, and would I kindly oblige? Gillian had kindly written up the script already, so I blinked and said, “OK. Why not?”

So that’s where this came from. I don’t vouch for the quality, either of the video or the performance (though Chris and Gillian both seemed to be doing very well, from my unusual vantage point)—but fwiw, here it is!

C.C. Humphrey, Diana Gabaldon, and Gillian Bagwell read from THE DARLING STRUMPET, by Gillian Bagwell.

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39 Responses »

  1. I *love* this. I was laughing so hard, the dogs were worried. ; )

  2. Since I don’t have headphones for my computer, I guess I’ll have to wait until the kids go to bed. ;-) Looking forward to it!

  3. You definitely want the kids in bed before listening to this. ;)

  4. How on earth did you guys keep a straight face while doing this? Rochester was quite articulate, considering the… proceedings.

    Mr. Humphreys has a lovely voice – does he do audiobooks?

    • The Earl is the quintessential british rake- suave, arrogant, macho…worship at the phallic shrine indeed. Ha! Such a controlled performance is worthy of a porn star. The king’s english was enunciated ever so clearly. Of course the little head didn’t have a speaking part and the lady’s lips were otherwise occupied.

  5. So – I too am work AND cannot wait to get home (with headphones of course) to watch/listen to this!

  6. I hate that I am at work right now ;-)

  7. That was sooo funny…I couldn’t stop giggling… still am… i had to play back Gillian’s parts her voice sounds really soft on the recording and a little hard to hear but it was a great reading.

  8. **fans self***

    Phew! Hot!

  9. Diana, did you read an excerpt from one of your books? Could we dare hope that it was the reunion of Jamie and Claire in book eight and you might consider posting it here? (Does shameless begging for spoilers work?)

  10. What on Earth made you guys tape the whole thing? Exhibitionists! :o)

  11. Hey, it was my AGENT that taped it! Sorry the sound isn’t better – not her fault – not a great camera and I wasn’t speaking up enough. I’ve just posted several less obscene videos on You Tube – Nell Gwynn’s London – sites of various scenes from “The Darling Strumpet”!

    • I just loved the way the camera shook with the operator’s laughter during the more ribald bits.

    • Very wise agent, very interesting scene, lol. Great reading, too.
      I checked out some reviews and it looks like a good story. I love historical novels and plan to read it.

      • I read Gillian’s “The Darling Strumpet” after reading recommendations on Diana’s list. I really enjoyed it. It made me want to hit my history books again to expand my knowledge.

  12. Interesting “three some”, but only you were in your night attire! *G* Chris brings the haughty Rochester to life so well, but tell me…does your motto “Why Not?” get you into many interesting scenes? Thanks for sharing the climax of the conference with us! *G*

  13. Geeez… Roger was flummoxed to think Brianna could read…all about IT…in a Magazine…imagine how Jamie would react YOU Tube entries…NGGGG! I’m sure he would be VERRA disturbed…and yet would appreciate, any kind attention he might receive as a result of IT!

  14. its tax time here in Australia and I am trying hard to resist viewing the video.. I am already sure by the comments above that I will distracted enough to not finish getting all my records together… !

    Can imagine the response from the goveremtn on why I made a mistake LOL LOL

    Bring on the end of this paperowrk so I can check it out !

    Cheers Jo….

  15. Dang! I’ve been so curious about this since RWA Nationals and you making Steve Berry blush, but when I click on the links, I don’t see the player pop up, nor have any sound. This is true even of Gillian Bagwell’s links. Any ideas about what I’m doing wrong?

  16. Diana, I know you are on a Whirlwind busy week, with your event schedule, but just wanted to wish you HAPPY 20TH

  17. Anniversary on Outlander! Can’t wait for my copy to arrive! (Opps wrong button) anyway congrats on an amazing story that continues to entertain all of us!

  18. The mailman just handed me my 20th Anniversary Edition copy!!! Woo Hoo!!! Lunch in 25 minutes and I think I’ll skip eating and dive right in :) Happy Anniversary Diana, Jamie and Claire.

  19. i have read ALL of your books and am a huge fan of your writing! when i, out of curiosity, listened to the reading, it was to actually get a live picture of you and to hear what you sounded like! so i listened…then i made my husband listen…whew! while the rest of our night didn’t EXACTLY follow the script, i have persuaded him to read your books!

  20. Wow! I loved the british accent on Rochester. It made the scene come to life even more. I think he truly does believe his phallus is a god. ‘This is your shrine and this is your God!’ He totally believed it when he said it. You guys did a great job. True professionals at work……Have you thought about taking up stage acting Diana? You three would make a great team.
    Waiting patiently for Jaime to make his return,
    …meanwhile re-reading Voyager.
    Happy Travels and writing,

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