• “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

“More Important Than Food” (Book Nine)

From Book Nine of my OUTLANDER series. Note that this excerpt may contain spoilers:

Facebook hashtags: #DailyLines, #BookNINE, #ImWorkingOnIt, #AllInGoodTime, #JamieAndClaire, #SomeThingsNeverChange

"…the night we made Faith."

I lifted my head in surprise.

"You know when she was conceived? I don’t know that."

He ran his hand slowly down my back, fingers pausing to rub circles in the small of it. If I’d been a cat, I would have waved my tail gently under his nose.

"Aye, well, I suppose I could be wrong, but I’ve always thought it was the night I came to your bed at the Abbey."

For a moment, I groped among my memories. That time at the Abbey of Ste. Anne, when he’d come so close to self-chosen death, was one I seldom revisited. It was a terrifying time of fear and confusion, despair and desperation. And yet when I did look back, I found a handful of vivid images, standing out like the illuminated letters on a page of ancient Latin.

Father Anselm’s face, pale in candlelight, his eyes warm with compassion and then the growing glow of wonder as he heard my confession. The abbot’s hands, touching Jamie’s forehead, eyes, lips and palms, delicate as a hummingbird’s touch, anointing his dying nephew with the holy chrism of Extreme Unction. The quiet of the darkened chapel where I had prayed for his life, and heard my prayer answered.

And among these moments was the night when I woke from sleep to find him standing, a pale wraith by my bed, naked and freezing, so weak he could barely walk, but filled once more with life and a stubborn determination that would never again leave him.

"You remember her, then?" My hand rested lightly on my stomach, recalling. He’d never seen her, or felt her as more than random kicks and pushes from inside me.

He kissed my forehead briefly, then looked at me.

"Ye ken I do. Don’t you?"

"Yes. I just wanted you to tell me more."

"Oh, I mean to." He settled himself on one elbow and gathered me in so I could share his plaid.

"Do you remember that, too?" I asked, pulling down the fold of cloth he’d draped over me. "Sharing your plaid with me, the night we met?"

"To keep ye from freezing? Aye." He kissed the back of my neck. "It was me freezing, at the Abbey. I’d worn myself out tryin’ to walk, and ye wouldna let me eat anything, so I was starving to death, and—"

"Oh, you know that’s not true! You—"

"Would I lie to ye, Sassenach?"

"Yes, you bloody would," I said, "You do it all the time. But never mind that now. You were freezing and starving, and suddenly decided that instead of asking Brother Roger for a blanket or a bowl of something hot, you should stagger naked down a dark stone corridor and get in bed with me."

"Some things are more important than food, Sassenach." His hand settled firmly on my arse. "And finding out whether I could ever bed ye again was more important than anything else just then. I reckoned if I couldn’t, I’d just walk on out into the snow and not come back."

"Naturally, it didn’t occur to you to wait for a few more weeks and recover your strength."

"Well, I was fairly sure I could walk that far leaning on the walls, and I’d be doin’ the rest lying down, so why wait?"

Links to more excerpts (aka "Daily Lines") from Book Nine are on my Book Nine webpage.

This excerpt was first posted on my official Facebook page on June 9, 2016.

Tagged as: ,

39 Responses »

  1. I love the way you write these characters. I have all of the books and I have been through the entire collection 3 times. They feel like old friends that I need to go back and visit from time to time. Thanks.

  2. You are my inspiration! I love your books and your characters – all of them. Impatiently awaiting the next one.

  3. Oh, how I wish to just continue reading on and on…you entrance me with such a little taste!

  4. Love pillow talk between the two.

  5. Absolutely love the books, and these characters. Their personalities, so well developed that you feel you’ve known them allways. Just don’t want this story to end, as I know it must.

    Thank you, Diana for writing such a beautiful story.

  6. I love your books! Have read them all several times. I truly believe that every woman deserves to have a love like Clair and Jamie. As women we shouldn’t settle for anything less. A love that withstand time and distance. A commitment so many today are afraid to give. Thank you for your books love the stars series as well. Looking forward to the next book in the series . When do you think that will come out.
    Sincerely, Cassie whiting

    Note from Diana’s webmistress: Cassie, for news about the new book Diana is working on now, plus excerpts (“Daily Lines”) from it, visit the Book Nine webpage regularly at:


  7. Really looking forward to reading the whole book! Diana, you rank very high on my top ten favorite authors list, so please, never stop writing…your fans will go crazy if you ever do! Loved season one of Outlander, but I don’t have cable so haven’t been able to watch season two yet! Makes me nuts, but my daughter has it recorded on her DVR deal, thank God! I only had one small “problem” with the actress portraying Claire…they didn’t put all the colors of her hair as described in the books! Otherwise, I think she is exactly right for the part!

  8. I love going through life with Jamie and Claire!!!
    Bless you, Diana. XO

  9. So touching to have this long married couple reminisce of their earlier time together…good and bad. As always, thank you for sharing these tidbits with us!

  10. Will your new book ” More Important Than Food” be available soon. I can’t wait. I love your books.

    • Hi, Patricia,

      “More Important Than Food” is not a book… it is an excerpt (small sample) from Book 9 in the Outlander series of major novels, which doesn’t have a title yet.

      You can keep up to date with Diana’s progress on Book 9 (and follow links to more excerpts as Diana releases them) at:


      Above is Diana’s official webpage for Book 9.

      Diana’s Webmistress

      P.S. Excerpts might have small spoilers!

    • I’m so delighted to finally get the time to thank you for your books and series. I’ve absolutely fallen in love with Outlander. I’m a newbie author and was thrilled to discover a kindred soul who would understand that some of the stuff writers do just comes like a piece of the “collective consciousness”. Sometimes it feels like the characters are telling you who they are. Having just read your web and blog tonight, just wanted to take the time to express gratitude. I’m not linear, either. I’m an avid reader first and foremost. Also addicted to good film!! And when I’m watching on Starz, the emotions that the hero and heroine display bring me tears and joy and understanding. Be sure that I will continue to follow your sites because of sincere admiration solely!

  11. Your writing brings me so many chuckles over what the characters say, and sometimes do. For instance, the above phrase, “Well, I was fairly sure I could walk that far leaning on the walls, and I’d be doin’ the rest lying down, so why wait?” Thank you for so much enjoyment!

  12. I truly enjoy your excerpts, look forward to them. I’m worried about Ian. Never hear of him or Rachel except for the time Jamie & Jennie did their beads.
    I’ve read (and enjoyed) your books several times but not sure about the TV programs. I do realize it must be difficult to put your books into a movie form so watch anyway as I do like the actors. Like most fans, I wait impatiently for Book 9.
    I have been reading ‘Celtic Lightning, How the Scots and the Irish Created a Canadian Nation’ by Ken McGoogan. Reminds me how much literature and exploration the Scots & Irish did on this side of the Atlantic.
    I note you are to be in my part of the country this summer. Have you visited Cape Breton?

  13. Season 1 was wonderful. Season 2, what’s amiss? I found the S2 Starz rendition to be rather dull which prompted me to read the books. Having just finished #7 it’s evident that TV Claire will soon end up with a very deep furrow between her brows before she ever settles down on The Ridge. Sure, subterfuge and war is serious business but our dynamic duo gets through it with verbal foreplay as well as the physical variety. Without the playful dialogue and certainly the LOL humor from the books, they can easily fall victim to falling ratings and the Starz band-aid is to crank up the sex scenes thereby sealing their fate ala “Torchwood”.

    I understand that TV rarely does justice to the book but might they retain the spirit in which it was written? If you perchance watch the latest rendition of “Poldark” from BBC (circa late 18th century Cornwall) you’ll know what I mean. Characters grow and blossom but hey, season 2 is still filming.

    I’ll say one thing for the Brits…they do period drama really well (Downton Abbey, anyone?) to the point of *almost* garnering forgiveness to The Crown for having committed the greedy sin of taxation on the Scots and the 13 colonies.

    Best of luck to you and I hope the show calls forth the Jamie we know and love as witnessed through his correspondence. A reply is not anticipated especially since I am now aware of No. 9 in the works that needs to be bound for the bookstore shelf forthwith!

    Your servant,
    Emmel Pound

  14. Diana, I have been a reader of your books from the beginning, my Mom started my husband and I on them a long time ago, and it brought a smile to my face and a little twinge in my chest remembering this time along with Claire and Jamie. ♥

  15. Is there anything better!!!

  16. Can’t wait for the next book to be published. As much as the story, I admire your writing abilities. The characters become so very, very human. Thanks for bringing magic into many lives.

  17. I started reading the Outlander novels last summer and they have quickly become my most favorite and cherished books. My husband of 23 years literally walked out and I know it sounds silly, but I have found so much comfort and solace reading about Claire and Jamie and their true love for each other. When I found out that a ninth book was underway, I was thrilled. How much fun to see where adventure and challenge take the Frasers. I can hardly wait!
    Thank you for giving me a new lease on my life and hoping that I will find happiness again. In the meantime,I can read about how people who truely love each other face adversity together.
    Barb Jarvis

  18. I am so happy that there is another book coming out. I love this series. Best I have ever read. Please tell it is soon. I have almost completed book 8 and was in great sadness for it to end. I am a great fan of your work

  19. Have enjoyed reading The a Outlander Series several times over. They are so filled with details & bring this great period story & characters to life for me. They let me escape from the reality of my crazy modern life.
    Happy to read you are dreaming up book #9 , can hardly wait. What a gift you have! The consummate story teller. Just completed “The Space Between”. Love fed it. Think you should develop this storyline further, great characters. Enjoyed the Lord John” seri s, but not as interesting characters as Outlander.
    Avidly watching TV versions & feel you have done an incredible job revealing the characters from the book. Jamie & Claire & all the other characters are perfectly cast & totally believable. Slight variations from booka are plausibility & help move the show along. Only quibble is probably too much time spent on battles scenes. The texture, costumes, scenery, sets, are rendered perfectly.
    Not as competent with social media, indeed somewhat put off by the preponderance of useless utterances that proliferate most of the social media & the sociopathic individuals that populate the s sites. Not sure they contribute much of anything except allows very dis functional individuals to vent & rage & become “famous” for doing nothing but display.. While aware of the huge impact these vehicles have on society,, I’ m not convinced they have contributed much to making this a better world.
    Please accept my thanks for these enjoyable excursions into history with beautifully written stories. Now that I found your interesting website & recommendations for further readings, I will look forward to reading even more from your mistakes Niue point of view.
    In Gratitude. Gaetane Gom s Brummett

    • Ron Moore and his crew are the ones who created the Outlander TV series on Starz. I am a co-producer and do contribute, and wrote one episode, but the casting, costumes, and all are done by them. And done very well!

Leave a Response

Please note: comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.