• “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

Quick Correction!!

My apologies! Evidently I confused this afternoon’s live #Torchat on Twitter for THE MAD SCIENTIST’S GUIDE TO WORLD DOMINATION, with the live (fleshly) appearance at The Poisoned Pen for that book on February 25th!

The chat this afternoon will be from 4-5 PM EST, and will feature John Joseph Adams, editor of the anthology, Seanan McGuire, Austin Grossman, and me (all contributors of stories in the book). To follow and participate in the chat, when you go on Twitter, search on the hashtag #Torchat; that will show you all the messages with that hashtag. (As the chat progresses, you’ll need to refresh the search from time to time to show new messages, aside from ones that aren’t replies to you.)

On the _25th_, John Joseph Adams and I will be doing a joint talk/booksigning at the Poisoned Pen, at 7 PM. Hope to see you there! (Psst…the Pen tells me they’ve just got a bonus shipment of A TRAIL OF FIRE–a return from the UK publisher–and so now have a hundred or so copies unspoken for.)

Here’s the link for the Poisoned Pen appearance!

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30 Responses »

  1. Dear Diana,
    When writing a novel with historical characters, how careful must one be to maintain the integrity of the individual? I have written a book that has some historical references to the Duke of Cumberland, aka the “Butcher of Culloden”. I use entries in a diary as the main focus of my story. I have no idea if he ever kept a diary, and have no way of confirming or negating it. Is this allowed?

    • Dear Nancy–

      Well, you _can_ (legally) do anything you like with a person who’s dead–provided that by so doing, you don’t cause material damage to his/her descendants. I.e., if you did something scurrilous about John Wayne, say [g], his children/grandchildren, etc. might contend that you had damaged his image, and thus impaired the value of the material (film rights or whatever) that now belonged to them. I can’t recall any case of this actually happening, mind you, but that would be the only instance (I think) in which anyone might have a complaint. Otherwise…dead people have no rights, is what it comes down to.

      Now, _ethically_…that’s a judgement call. Every writer who deals fictionally with real people has to decide how they’re going to handle it, in terms of creating dialogue, placing them in situations that they may or may not have actually been in, etc. But supplying the Duke of Cumberland with a fictional diary doesn’t sound unethical, I must say. [g] (Now, depending what he _said_ in it…) Good luck!


    • Dear Diana, I just finished your short novel in World Domination and enjoyed it very much. Joan has more grit and fibre than I would have thought from previous writing and I am glad you decided to develop her further. We got a hint when she stood up and said her mother and the lover had to be married .. Yay Joan. I am not opposed to affairs but in that case Joan was right. Get married already.

      Also I have a small budget and a small house. It is a cute house and holds my many books including every Outlander book I can get my hands on. The first one is falling apart from numerous readings. It remains my favourite. Please please please tell your publishers to not neglect to publish all of your books in Mass Market Paperbacks. Your books are about the only ones I buy as they are so rereadable (if that’s not a word it is now lol, ) and mmpbk’s fit nicely on my shelves .. I have not yet seen the Scottish Prisoner in mmpbk and surely to goodness it should be about time for it to be out. The larger paperbacks are more expensive, take up too much room and are too heavy.. lol I am getting older by the minute.. I wanna live to read WIMOHB and also when do we get a sniff of that Prequel. I know, I know you are writing as fast as you can. You are aren’t you?? :)

      Yours waiting anxiously, Julie

  2. What is your story in this book? Maybe a sentence or two?

    • Gator,
      Diana’s story in this anthology is called “The Space Between,” and takes place just after the last full-size Jamie and Claire novel, AN ECHO IN THE BONE. It features Joan MacKimmie (Marsali’s sister/Jamie’s step-daughter), Michael Murray (Jamie’s nephew) and the “not-as-dead-as-we-thought, Comte St German. An odd looking apothecary Outlander fans recognize pops in (and out) of the story and “the space between,” making the tale even more interesting.

      Enjoy. :)


  3. Diana–you have done it again! I don’t want to post spoilers for anyone, but this was so very tantalizing that I can hardly wait to see where you are going to take this part of the saga–I have hoped for quite a while (well, ever since Michael went to work for Jared) that you would also carry the Murray tale along into the French Revolution and it certainly seems now as if it might be possible.

    For anyone who loves the Murrays, you will really enjoy this tale. The twists and turns of folks we have met before (and either loved or abhorred) will have your jaw dropping–and no one can leave tendrils of supposition about a character’s future the way you can, Diana.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

    • I have just finished reading “The Space Between” and am so sad to see it end. I do hope that in the future you will again take up the tale of Michael and Joan, just two more of the many wonderful characters in the Outlander books; I don’t think I will ever get enough of them.

  4. WHEN WHEN WHEN Will book eight be on the shelves ….. desperate to have it …. hooked, addicted big time … lol but seriously I mean it …..

  5. Hola
    Estoy muy intersada en saber cuando saldra el octavo libro de la saga forastera
    quedo atenta

    Gracias, Monica

  6. Dear Diana
    I have just finished the echo in ther bone from the local library and i am looking extremely to the eigth book, I have read the other 7 Outlander versions and I throughly enjoyed every one of them. I have read the first 2 Lord John books as well. I live in South Africa and your books are very popular here too. Please keep up the excellent work. Thank you for the wonderful stories that you have written throughout the years.
    Best wishes
    from Caroline

  7. Wow – finished the “The Space Between” and I can honestly say that this is the first “bulge” that I have ever actually enjoyed. I was sorry to see each short story end, just as I am sorry when I finish each full book for the first, second or third reading. Looking forward to the fall release of book 8…and when is the Outlandish Companion II coming?


  8. Diana:

    Hello from another in your legion of Outlander fans! I’m going thru severe Jamie/Claire withdrawal after reading the first 7 stories, two Lord John novels, and the first Outlandish: non-stop! You are incredibly creative and I can’t wait for MOBY! Please o please divulge its publication date! :-)

    Anyway, I am a food historian and am thrilled with your descriptions of 18th C. foods, across so many cultures, and particularly the wedding party foods and drinks at Jocasta’s celebration–and so glad that you shared so many sources! I wonder if there are others, esp. even earlier in time, that you may have come across in your researches? Would love to know!


    p.s. like for so many others, you have kindled in me a deep desire to visit the Highlands! My daughter was thrilled with Edinburgh!

    • Dear Lori–

      I’m not keeping the publication date a _secret_, for heaven’s sake–there isn’t one. There won’t be one until I’m a lot closer to finished writing the book than I am now. I’ll finish the book this year, I can tell you that much, but that’s about all.


  9. Dear Diana,

    It seems that everyone is in such a hurry for you to finish writing MOBY. Please know that this fan who dearly loves your writing skills feels that you should just take your time and do not let us stress you out. All good things are woth waiting for!

    Kathy S.

  10. Dear Diana,

    After reading (and re-reading,re-reading,etc.) Trail of Fire , I must say— You’ve done it again!!

    I really enjoyed A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows, and was surprised when Roger and William appeared to take Jeremiah back to the stones. Thank you for letting Roger have the chance to tell his father he loved him.

    And NOW—I hope you know all of your many fans are going to want the full story of Michael and Joanie. I liked the intrigue between the Comte and Raymond. Though I do have a question. How did Raymond know Claire was one of his descendants?

    And I will be estatic when MOBY comes this fall… Does the Poisoned Pen plan to let fans preorder MOBY by midsummer or so?

    • Dear Virginia–

      Raymond told Claire in DRAGONFLY IN AMBER that he called her “Madonna,” because he could see a blue light around her–like the Virgin’s cloak.

      I doubt you can pre-order MOBY until a pub date has been set, but why does it matter? I assure you, there will be plenty of books. [g]


  11. I wish Virgins could have found its way into A Trail of Fire” ! its killing me to know that there is a completed story out their about Jaime and Ian which is finished and yet we can’t read it!! :( sniff sniff
    I guess Exile and lord john stories will have to tide me over until MOBY comes out this fall. Happy Writing Diana!!! LOVE YOU!

  12. I’m lying here, past midnight in the middle of the week, too wound up to sleep. I’ve just finished reading “Outlander” for the umpteenth time; tomorrow I’ll discuss it with my book club at work. I already know it has been well-received. Several members have been stopping me in the halls, anxious to discuss characters or plot twists – or to see if they can pry spoilers out of me. I’ve already loaned two of my copies of “A Dragonfly in Amber” to members who finished the assigned book early.
    I’m not anxious about tomorrow’s discussion because I’m afraid my suggested (favorite) book will not be loved!
    I’m worried that I won’t be able to express my admiration for you, Diana, adequately.
    I’ve read serious, thought-provoking tomes and spent hours reflecting on life’s truths and the certainty of God. I’ve read clever historical novels that have provided vantage points of historical events I’d never before considered. I’ve never felt much when reading romance novels, though (like any good reader/addict) I’ll read anything once. Including cereal boxes, if nothing else is available.
    Your books give me more than all of this! You have encouraged me to think about the Great Truths of life. What it means to love a man. To stand in awe of his strength, his will, his love of you, while wanting to protect him and at the same time. How it feels to carry a child within you. To ‘know’ it before ‘it’ becomes the son or daughter you did/didn’t expect. What it is to face the unknown with someone(s) you love when there are seemingly insurmountable obstacles in your paths.
    Your books have allowed me to visit times and sometimes places in a way so real to me that it seems as if you’ve extended my (anticipated) lifespan of 70-80 odd years to span several lifetimes in another century. What a gift to ‘know’ the lives of visitors to the court of Louis and of victims of the slave trade and of the early settlers and founders of my country!
    And you’ve kept me up an hour past the dictates of the real world and good sense, because I need to try to tell you what joy you’ve brought me. While single-finger-tapping it out on a cell phone!!
    If you never write another word, my reading life has been forever altered and enriched by the characters and stories you’ve created.
    Bless you, Diana. Thank you.

    • Dear Tudy–

      Why, thank you! [smile] What a nice message! Please give my regards to your book club, and I hope they all enjoyed OUTLANDER as much as you did. [g]


  13. Wow, Tudy put into words what I have always felt, and as I am not a writer, have never been able to gracefully say exactly how I feel about your writing, Diana.

    Bravo Tudy(!!!!!!!), and as always, THANK YOU, DIANA, for enriching my life with your beautiful words!


  14. No surprise! The book club adored Outlander! One member has yet to finish, but she is listening to the audio version. Two have started Dragonfly while another has begun Voyager. All intend to finish the series AND two new members came just because they knew we were discussing Outlander. How great is that?! We all expect the ‘review’ in the agency newsletter to increase our membership.
    Best of all: I have Gabaldon Groupies to share the anticipation of MOBY’s release.

  15. I have been rereading all the books (again) and I still get rather righteously outraged at the travails you visit upon Roger, poor guy. Be that as it may. mmphm,
    I have also wondered what happened to Fraser’s Ridge? I can’t believe the MacKenzies would come back and not want to go and see at any point what had become of what they had been helping to build up in the mountains of North Carolina, but they seem to have no curiousity about it whatsoever. It’s just a niggling question, is all. If it was me, I would want to know.
    Looking forward to more! And thank you for giving these people to me.

  16. Diana: I have loved everyone of your Outlander books. I find myself thinking in “Scottish” while in the midst of re-reading one of them. I’ve just finished An Echo In the Bone again in anticipation of the next one and now find myself anxious about Jemmy in the tunnel, Roger through the stones, and Claire and Jamie and the “new” husband! Please write quickly, I’m a nervous wreck!

  17. Hello Diana,
    Although you probably don’t remember me, our families were well acquainted as we grew up in Flagstaff. My father followed your father as principal of Sechrist School.
    Last summer I had the privilege of spending time in the Scotland Highlands where my fellow clansmen lived. (I’m sure you guessed Clan MacGregor.) Since then I had the opportunity to read Outlander. I really enjoyed the book! In fact I have read several of the comments of other readers about the book. Though most are positive , I was surprised at the negative comments regarding the violence of the book. Quite possibly those were from squeamish people, however, in my own research I have learned about what a violent place the Highlands were during that time period! The violence in your story is really quite in alignment with the reality of that time. I know the Outlander characters are fictional, but I almost wonder if some of your research might have included the MacGregor Clan. Some of the chief’s names were Colum (Lord Mail Coluim MacGregor), William and Dougal (William Dougeal MacGregor, 9th Lord) , or (King Dougallus MacGregor),and Ian (Sir Eoin mac Gregor).
    I didn’t realize my personal connection with you until I had read part of Outlander. Then the book was even more exciting for me. I have just begun Dragonfly, and I will be gifting Outlander to my sisters next weekend at our sister weekend.
    Denise Greer Koenig

    • Hi, Denise!

      Of course I remember you–nice to meet you again! Glad you’ve been enjoying OUTLANDER! (As for people put off by violence…well, not all books are for all readers. And I do think that some people come to that book under the (rather mistaken) impression that it’s a romance novel, and are Taken Aback to discover that it’s not. [g])

      Happy Easter, and Hope you enjoy the rest!


  18. Help! Did I miss something? Who is the nameless French girl that Jamie references as he is returning to Claire with his sister in Echo in the Bone…page 1082? Any answers out there possibly in something I haven’t read?

  19. Thank you! My students told me I was a nerd when I said I was contacting an author, but we’re impressed when I actually got a response!

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