• “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

Guest Post! (to entertain you as I wing my way North)

I’m sitting in an airport on my way to Vancouver, bound for the Last Week of formal book-touring (insert maniacal laugh). Blogging may be summat spotty–but for today, you have a special treat: a guest blog from a young time-traveler. [g] Welcome Darby–take it away!

Hello Intrepid Artemis Voyageurs!

My name is Darby Christopher, and I’m massively excited to be here. See — my latest book is out, and I’m on a mondo-blog tour to celebrate, but this is the FIRST time I get to visit someone who is an expert in time travel.

If you’re here, I’m guessing you might have read about some of the adventures of Jamie and Claire. Most particularly Claire’s interesting proclivity for stepping through time.

Well, I’m here to tell you that I have had a few experiences of my own along those lines. Since the adventures in my very first book, A WALK THROUGH A WINDOW, I learned I’ve got a bit of a talent. Not really like Claire’s ability with standing stones, though. I’m more inclined to surf up close to the time-space continuum on a skateboard, and I’ve come to learn that walking through windows is something to be approached with extreme caution…

Anyway, today, I’m here to celebrate the launch of my new book. It’s called FACING FIRE.

FACING FIRE picks up the story of what happened to me after the magical summer that you may have read about in A WALK THROUGH A WINDOW. And if you haven’t read it, you can find out more about both the books – at www.kcdyer.com

Or better still, would you like to win a copy as a prize? If you leave comment on this post, Diana will put your name into a draw to win a signed copy of FACING FIRE. And if you actually link to this post somewhere else [like in another blog, or facebook post or even a tweet] we’ll put your name in for the draw for BOTH of my books.

Why not?

By the way, if you’re into looking for prizes, [especially if you like making videos], check out my blog HERE at Darby Speaks. I have an AMAZING contest going with some totally fantastic prizes. And if you like twitter, you can follow all the latest on the contest and the blog tour and launches @DarbyWalking.

See you there.

Thanks for having me, Diana!


CRUDO y CREDO y Muchas Gracias!

I had an absolutely wonderful time with a lot of y’all at Comics-Con (nearly went _deaf_, but had a good time) in New York last week! (And if I could figure out what blogger has done with the image-adding facility, I’d put up a few pictures taken by kindly folk there, but as it is, I can’t find anywhere to add a picture to postings anymore.)

Then had a _delightful_ few days with my delightful husband [g]—amazing what sleeping for ten hours a night instead of five will do for you (well, that, plus great food, walking miles and miles, excellent wine, and the sort of thing that happens after a certain amount of excellent wine…[cough]…).

As part of this, a kindly friend with connections got us a reservation at ESCA, one of New York’s premier sea-food restaurants, and we had a memorable evening, starting with an exquisite flight of “crudo”—this being (I’m told) Italian for “raw seafood” (aka sashimi, in this case). We thought this hilarious (well, we’d already had _some_ wine), since in Spanish, “Yo tengo crudo,” means “I have a hangover.”

Now, I hope y’all know the basic rule of drinking—one glass of water to each one of wine, _two_ of water if you’re drinking Scotch or hard likker. In case you’re wondering why that works…the pituitary glan produces a hormone called ADH (Anti-Diuretic Hormone). Diuresis means peeing, basically (well, the filtering of blood by your kidneys and excretion of excess water, along with various waste products, but you get the idea), so the ADH keeps you from just draining water out through your kidneys nonstop, and thus maintains a proper fluid balance in your body.

OK. Alcohol _inhibits_ the production of ADH. (This is where it gets mildly confusing, because we’re inhibiting something that’s already inhibiting something else…so the first thing _isn’t_ inhibited anymore) That means your hypothalamus doesn’t produce as much ADH as usual—and you pee more. (Surely you’ve noticed this side-effect of drinking a lot.)

Right. Your body is trying to get rid of the alcohol, which is a toxin (and hard likker is more toxic than wine—just ask someone who’s been drinking gin or vodka all night) and that’s why this happens. BUT, if you don’t replace the extra water that’s being used to wash out the alcohol, you _do_ get dehydrated, your fluid balance is no longer balanced, your blood vessels constrict, and a lot of other physiological things happen as a result that make you feel, well….crudo.

So mind what I say, and always order water along with your drink.

Anyway—next morning we went (_sans_ hangover) to church at St. Patrick’s on Fifth Avenue, and happened to hit High Mass, said by the Archbishop, attended by three visiting bishops, and generally sporting a good deal of the ceremonial appurtenances that the Catholic Church is Really Good at. The feature I most liked, though, was that the Credo (this is the Nicene Creed, which contains a recitation of the various things Catholics believe—btw, papal infallibility is not one of ‘em) was sung in Latin.

I haven’t sung the Credo in Latin in…oh, thirty years at least. Was very pleased to find it came right back to me, though—and very moving to hear it again.

Had a quick breakfast after Mass, and then watched a couple of hours (Lord only knows how long it actually went on) of the Hispanic Day Parade up Fifth Avenue, which was only a block from our hotel. I tell you what; I never realized there were that many Bolivians in the _world_, let alone in New York City. A few small groups from Galicia (with bagpipes. Galicia is, as y’all doubtless knew, one of the seven Celtic nations. Also—we think—where Los Gabaldones originally came from. As I tell people, I’m not Scottish—but I am an Iberian Celt! [g] (I have the stubby feet to prove it, too…)), Ecuador, Argentina, Chile, etc.—but rank upon rank, row upon row of Bolivians, in between _everything_, all the ladies wearing bowler hats and very short skirts (displaying either satin panties or buttocks, depending on size of latter relative to former, with each gyration; they wiggled their heinies all the way up Fifth Avenue, which must have taken amazing endurance), the gentlemen either wearing something resembling a super-hero costume with a lot of embroidery and boots studded with bells, or attired in a costume like a cross between the Main Street Electrical Parade and a particularly depraved bumblebee—possibly they were meant to be demons, judging from the expressions on the masks—and whirling noise-makers. All I can say is, they must have a lot of fun in Bolivia on public holidays.

Ended up with a much less adventurous but still delicious dinner (a really good lobster risotto is the only thing I remember with any clarity), and then packed for Boston, where we spent the next couple of days wallowing in clam chowder (and good wine), tootling around on trolleys, and enjoying the actual sensation of chilliness (it’s 91 in Phoenix today).

Returned after all this lovely R&R to the news that THE EXILE is once more #1 !! on the New York Times bestseller list—for the third week in a row! To which I can only say, MUCHAS GRACIAS to all of you for the kind reception of this book, and I hope you’re enjoying it !

So I’m off again tomorrow, to the West Virginia Book Festival:

I’ll be talking/reading/whatever at 2:00 PM, signing books afterward. I’m sorry—I’d intended to bring OUTLANDER: The Musical CDs with me, as well as taking some to Canada next week, but it’s a good news/bad news kind of thing: I don’t have any to bring, because we’ve sold all I had (and thank you all kindly for _that_, too!!). We do have a new batch coming in early next week, but not, alas, in time for me to ship them to Canada.

The good news is that you _can_ get CDs easily; they’re available here , through Amazon.com, or if you want one signed by Mike Gibb (the lyricist who wrote the songs) [g], you can order one directly from him in Scotland via Paypal. See the OUTLANDER: The Musical website for details.

And I think I’ve already put up the schedule for Canada. So see y’all there! Muchos besos! (or, as Hobbs—of Calvin and Hobbs—would put it, “Muchas Smoochas!”)

CHANGES! CANADIAN Book-Tour Appearances

Oookay. To the best of my present knowledge, THIS is the present lineup of appearances in Canada. See y’all there!

October 20, 2010

6:00pm EVENT: Chapters / Indigo, Victoria
1212 Douglas Street / (250) 380-9009
Contact: Mary Lynn Hanson / (604) 749-4797
This is a speaking event: 20 minutes followed by a short
Q & A, and book signing

October 21, 2010

6:30-9:00 Chapters/Indigo, Strawberry Hill, Surrey
12101 72nd Avenue, Suite 100
Surrey, British Columbia

This event isn’t just me; it’s a mult-author gala event
put on as part of the Surrey International Writers
Conference(where I’ll be working over the weekend).
You get five or six additional authors , all presenters
from the conference, talking or reading as well as signing

October 23, 2010

5:30-7:00 Mass Autographing – Surrey Intl. Writers Conference
Sheraton Guildford Hotel
Fraser Room

This is another SiWC event, open to the public. All the
published authors attending the conference will be signing
their books this evening. Yes, local book-sellers will be
present with books for sale (some authors will be selling
their own books, so you might want to bring cash, just in case).

October 24, 2010

4:00pm EVENT: Black Bond Books
#344 – 32555 London Ave., Mission

October 25, 2010 – Edmonton

7:00pm EVENT: Greenwoods Bookshoppe
Old Timer’s Cabin, 9430 – 99 St.
Tickets will cost $5
This is a speaking event: 20 minutes followed by a short
Q & A, and book signing

After which, I go HOME (o, frabjous day) to WORK (calloo, callay)! Not that I don’t like y’all Up North, but flesh, blood, and time all have their limits. See you in the west this time–Toronto next summer (Fergus Games, and who knows? Maybe Halifax, etc. in the fall. We’ll see!

THE EXILE abroad and Other Tales

The Beauties of Multi-national Publication, or “Why Can’t I Get That in Germany?!?”

With the recent publication of THE EXILE, the debut of OUTLANDER: The Musical, and the giveaways of OUTLANDER paperbacks and ebooks, I’m getting a number of queries/complaints from people who live in other countries—all to the effect of, “I tried to get this, but it’s not available in the UK/Australia/NewZealand/Germany, etc.!”

Well, see, the way that publishing works is that a publishing company buys certain specific _rights_ to a book. If you have a decent agent, you _don’t_ sell “worldwide rights” to your manuscript; the agent makes separate deals with individual publishers in different countries. Each publishing contract defines exactly which rights you’re selling—and the “exclusive territory” in which the book can be sold.

Which means that not all publishers buy all books at the same time—and not all publishers choose to promote the books they have in the same way, either.

Right. Now, with respect to THE EXILE, only three countries have so far bought that book: the US (Random House), Canada (Random House Canada), and the Netherlands (De Boekerij) (their translation is not yet released).

You aren’t getting it in the UK, Australia, and New Zealand because Orion—my UK publisher (whose “exclusive territory” _includes_ Australia and New Zealand) is not yet convinced that there’s any market for graphic novels. Ditto Blanvalet Verlag, the German publisher. They doubt many people in their countries would buy it—so they haven’t made an offer for it—and you don’t get it, unless you order it from the US, via Amazon.com, The Poisoned Pen, or some other way.

As for the giveaway of free OUTLANDER paperbacks and ebooks—that’s something that Random House (US) has chosen to do, so those offers are only available _in_ the US. If any of our other publishers choose to do likewise, we’d be very pleased—but I can’t –make- them do it.

Now, the OUTLANDER: The Musical CD’s are a little different, because those are not being distributed by a publishing company, but rather by the producers themselves—that being Mike Gibb and Kevin Walsh, in Scotland. I’ve got them an Amazon.com account, to facilitate the CD’s being more easily available in the US, and _should_ have an iTunes account going pretty soon here. Next step [g] is to see about getting an Amazon.de account, for those German fans who’ve been having to order CDs from Scotland. But that, we _can_ do without it having to be done through a publishing company; it’s just a matter of me or Mike having time to establish all the different avenues of distribution—and I’m on a book-tour, and Mike’s up to his eyeballs in writing the libretto for the stage production of OUTLANDER: The Musical. So it may take us a little while, but we’ll get there. [g]

Meanwhile, if you’d like to let the UK/Australian/NZ/Germany publishers know that there _is_ a market for this particular graphic novel, at least…

I hesitate to put down any publisher’s personal email address here, but here’s some general contact information:

Orion (UK, Australia, and New Zealand – you might want to tell them which one you’re from):


or possibly


Blanvalet Verlag (Germany):

http://www.randomhouse.de/blanvalet/index.jsp (there’s a link for “Kontact/Service” on the left

FREE Outlanders!

Well, this is nice. Random House, as part of a promotion to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of OUTLANDER’s publication next year, is doing _two_ giveaways!

First, a program to give away promotional copies of OUTLANDER paperbacks–see here for the details!

And secondly….for a limited time, Random House is giving away the Kindle edition of the OUTLANDER e-book FREE! See here to download it!

You know, ever since that book was published, I’ve had The Worst Time trying to describe it to people; never been able to do it in twenty-five words or less. [g] After some trial and error, I finally took to telling people, “Look–open it anywhere, and read three pages. If you can put it down again, I’ll pay you a dollar.” Never lost any money on that bet [g]–though do note I’m not making it here (too many difficulties of administration).

Still, the point stands. It’s One Odd Book (well, heck, they _all_ are), and as my first beloved editor used to say, “These _have_ to be word of mouth books, because they’re too weird to describe to anybody.”

That being true, the only really good way to explain them is to let people look for themselves–so kudos to Random House for giving us fresh opportunities to spread the word!

Appearance CORRECTION!

My original tour/appearance schedule for Sept./October has me appearing at the “Waterfront” Borders in Scottsdale on Oct. 3. I’m afraid I _won’t_ be doing that one–the Borders corporate office wasn’t able to get things together to approve doing it in time, so it will be rescheduled for (probably) sometime in November.

So please don’t show up there on Sunday!

However…I _will_ be appearing at Changing Hands bookstore (in Tempe) at 7 PM on October 6th, if any local folk still need their books signed!

Film Rumors

Well, evidently there was an article in yesterday’s New York Times, regarding (among other things) the possibility of Katherine Heigl playing Claire in a film version of OUTLANDER. It’s not like there haven’t been all kinds of rumors about everything you could imagine, over the last ten years or so–but this seems to have stirred up a lot of folk, many of whom asked me to post something on the matter.

Had a quick glance at several assorted articles on the subject (to which folk have been sending me links). All of said articles contain the usual amount of careless inaccuracy that you usually see. You really shouldn’t get excited about any details mentioned in that sort of piece–like “Scottish heroine,” for instance.

That said, I haven’t ever seen Ms. Heigl act, but would certainly extend her the courtesy of waiting to see.


Guys, you did it!

I’m thrilled beyond measure to report that THE EXILE debuts at


on the New York Times Graphic Books Bestseller List for Oct. 10!

THANKS SO MUCH, from me and Hoang!


Here’s where (and when) I’ll be this week! Hope to see y’all there!

Tuesday, Sept. 28th, 7 PM

Book Passage
51 Tamal Vista
Corte Madera, CA 94925
Contact: Karen West, 415-927-0960 x238/ kwest@bookpassage.com alison@bookpassage.com
*This will be a talk & signing with illustrator Hoang Nguyen.

Wednesday, Sept. 29th, 7 PM

San Diego Independent Booksellers Coalition Event
Location: Gillispie School
7380 Girard Avenue
La Jolla, CA 92037
Contact: Susan McBeth (Warwick’s), (858) 454-0347/ warwicksevents@yahoo.com
*This will be a talk & signing hosted by Warwick’s, Mysterious Galaxy, and The Book Works.

Thursday, Sept. 30th, 7 PM

695 E. Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91101
Contact: Jennifer Ramos, 626-449-5320 x250/ jramos@vromansbookstore.com
*This will be a talk & signing.

Saturday, Oct. 2, 2 PM

Barnes & Noble
5130 E. Broadway
Tucson, AZ 85711
Contact: Valerie Burnside, 520-512-1166
*This will be a talk & signing.

Yes, I WILL have CD’s on the West Coast!

In answer to a number of folk who’ve asked–yes, indeedy, I _will_ have OUTLANDER:The Musical CDs available at the signings this week in San Francisco (well, I think it’s actually Corte Madera, but close), Los Angeles (Pasadena), and San Diego.

I have permission from Mike and Kevin to sell them at a special “event” price of $15, which is a good bit less than either the PayPal or Amazon price (also, no waiting [g]). Depending on the bookstores’ preferences, I’ll likely be selling these just myself–as the CD’s aren’t part of the store’s regular stock–so it’ll be for cash or check.

See you there!