• “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

ABERDEEN = Sex Capitol of Scotland (who knew?)

Which is to say that our hotel was apparently _the_ hotel in Aberdeen for wedding nights, anniversaries, and less-licit occasions. The wallpaper in the halls is hot pink, with black-lace flocked appliques–it looks like naughty underwear–and the rooms are done in a tasteful mixture of dark tartan and black velour, with a suggestive tray holding two goblets and a bottle of wine (with a label reading “L13.95″ round the neck. (In case this is insufficient stimulus, Reception sends a fresh bottle of champagne upstairs to the rooms every ten minutes or so.) The bar downstairs runs “Superman” on a continuous loop, and people loll in the couches in couples, thumb-wrestling and fondling each other’s thighs (whilst the strait-laced Americans sit primly sipping white wine and watching the debauchery in fascination).

Beyond the entertainment of our accommodations, we had a great time in Aberdeen. Got to have dinner with Mike Gibb (lyricist and playwright for OUTLANDER: The Musical) and his lovely wife, Norma, and take part in Aberdeen’s Tartan Day. I got to walk in the parade with a lot of people dressed up in suits of armor and/or costumed as the Archbishop, carrying a scroll purporting to be the Declaration of Arbroath, whose most famous line I’m sure you’ve all seen:

“For as long as but a hundred of us remain alive, never will we on any conditions be brought under English rule. It is not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom — for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself.”

Also did a book-signing, courtesy of Waterstone’s, who are always hugely gracious and kind to me—so nice to meet so many readers, not only from Scotland, but from Poland, the Netherlands, and even Brazil!

In the interstices of all this frolicking, I also got to watch Mike’s new short play—commissioned for the occasion—“Red Harlaw,” commemorating the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Harlaw, fought in July of 1411.

It was a great piece—very powerful and moving; kudos to Mike, and to the cast: Mark Kydd, Michelle Bruce, and Allan Scott-Douglas (you’ll recognize Michelle and Allan as singers on the OUTLANDER: The Musical CD). That’s them above, in St. Nicholas’s Church, where the show was performed.

In re Mr. Scott-Douglas, I’d promised him that if he could get a new photograph of us together next time we met, I’d replace the infamous one of him as Big Bird in an earlier blog post {g}—and am happy to report that he seized the opportunity (nothing like motivation) at the reception held by the Lord Provost at Aberdeen’s amazing historical Townhouse (aka City Hall, but much posher, with paintings of previous Lord Provosts, red and gold wallpaper, and crystal chandeliers). Many thanks to the Lord Provost, who was entirely charming!

We bade Aberdeen—and the hot-pink wallpaper—adieu day before yesterday, though, and via planes, trains, and automobiles, made our arduous way to London, where we are at present. Spent the day at the City of London Museum, St. Paul’s cathedral, and out having a wonderful dinner with my delightful UK editor and his wife. More about London (and more bits of Scotland) anon—but now it’s the middle of the night, and I need to sleep.

Good night!

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67 Responses »

  1. Hi Linda–
    I believe that the lable on the bottle reading “L13.95″ is meant to be the cost/price tag (£13.95 ) which is roughly $23. At least, that’s what I got from it.
    Ahh, Aberdeen…

  2. Vividly picturing what those pink and black walls must look like while consuming never ending champagne…

  3. Doesn’t Allan Scott-Douglas have lovely kind eyes. What a perfect Jamie he would be.

    It is such a fabulous photograph of both Allan and Diana.

    Have any of you noticed how beautiful Diana always looks and how she simply does not age? I expect that she has a circle of standing stones that she flits through from time to time to remain ageless.

  4. Much much better than yellow!

  5. That picture of Allan Scott Douglas is unbeleivable. He is a little thinner and his hair is longer than last picutes, or maybe it is just the shot, but he is now “my Jamie”. I vote for him in a HBO or Starz type mini series! The hotel sounds wonderful!

  6. So, **that** is your Jamie? Oh my, he’s gorgeous. I’m with Diane, from now on, that will be the face I see. If only he was single…

  7. Is that a Fraser Plaid that your wearing?

    • Dear Cat–

      It _might_ be Fraser of Lovat. Then again… Actually, I don’t know for sure; some kind person gave it to me, but there are at least eighteen different Fraser tartans. I think this is one of ‘em, though.


  8. Hi Diana,
    It was great to meet you in person in Aberdeen, that’s one dream fulfilled. The members of your French forum were delighted with your message and we are now all awaiting your visit to France. Take care!

  9. Diana – love to hear of your travels in Scotland. Went to Culloden last year and it was even more moving to know you had been there, too. As I went through the exhibit, I was amazed at how much history I already knew from reading your books. Was thrilled to find signed copies of almost all of your books in the gift shop. My luggage was so overweight!!

    Taking a chick trip with two other Outlander fans to see you in Fergus next week. Can’t wait to meet you!!

  10. Good Morning… (well where i am)

    I had a dream about your 8th book last night… it had a pale blue cover, and the word SEAL in the title, and it was being released on the 20th June 2012.
    Just thought i would let you know that there are crazy people (me lol) that are actually starting to dream about your next book :-)

    Wierd huh!

    your crazy fan Amy from Australia :P

  11. I am wondering with all your interesting travels when you have time to write! :)

  12. Hi Diana,
    I am happy that I could meet you, it was a wonderful experience for me – I could talk to my favorite writer:))

    All the best for you:)

  13. Diana – sorry about the post earlier. I just wanted to let you know that I was not a big reader and read maybe 3 or 4 books a year. I discovered your Outlander series 6 weeks ago and read one after the other on my smart phone – with headaches and strained eyes I read non-stop day & night. I even purchased the graphic novel and almost had a heart attack with the way the 7th book ended. I am now re-reading the books and marking my favorite spots. You are an amazing writer and I absolutely appreciate your talent. You have woken up my desire to read and now find myself reading one book after another i even purchased a Kindle for myself. I’ll soon start reading the Lord John books – by the way I love him!

    Thank you so much!!

    Don’t take too long on the 8th book. :)

  14. In response to Diana’s heading, can I say that I most certainly didn’t know! And I have lived here for a very, very long time.
    Really appreciative of Diana’s support on Tartan Day. It was a delight to have Diana and Doug in Aberdeen and for Norma and I to be able to spend time with them both.
    And as Diana says, we did have “Red Harlaw” professionally filmed and hope to have the DVD/ CD package out by the end of the month.

  15. Hi Diana,
    I follow your blog now as I anxiously wait for book 8. I only discovered the Outlander series this year and am into my second reading of all the books. I can’t adequately express how much I love them. Everyone is in love with Jaime. I can see Allan in a kilt……….. perhaps in another picture some day?
    Happy writing !

  16. Hi Diana

    It was lovely to say hi in person last week in Aberdeen and you even got the sunshine. Really enjoyed Red Harlaw. Much amused by the hotel description!

  17. Hi Diana

    I started reading the series about 2 months ago and I’m already half way through the 7th book. I’m hooked!
    Can’t wait to see what’s next.. :)

  18. Love hearing your stories and can’t wait for you to come to Canada soon. My daughter and I will be going to see you in Fegus, Ontario. We live in London, Ontario. The Fegus festival should be a blast. Looking forward to meeting you. Safe Trip Marg

  19. Just bought a copy of the new edition of “Outlander”. The dust jacket on my current copy has gotten somewhat ragged. Have all the books in hardcopy, as well as the Lord John books. Did manage to get a signed copy of book 7. I was living in Phoenix at the time and called The Poisoned Pen and ordered it. I got impatient about a week after it was released so drove to Scottsdale and picked it up. They had it on a shelf with my name on it but hadn’t mailed it yet. I have been buying the books just as soon as they were released. Am almost through reading a biography of John Hunter, “The Knife Man” by Wendy Moore. It was published in 2005. Did you read it before writing “The Custom of the Army” and “An Echo in the Bone”? I have loved all of your books and reread them several times. Can’t wait for “the Scottish Prisoner”

  20. Man…I clearly didn’t do my research when I stayed in Aberdeen, or perhaps I would have enjoyed that leg of my trip more!

    Oh and as far as available pretty blondes for the single Mr Scott-Douglas…….

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