• “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
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    —ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY
  • “These books have to be word-of-mouth books because they're too weird to describe to anybody.”
    —Jackie Cantor, Diana's first editor

Happy Birthday, Claire!

In honor of Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser’s birthday–October 20, 1918– here’s Claire’s first scene from WRITTEN IN MY HEART’S OWN BLOOD. (NO, I don’t have pub date for this book. I’m not done _writing_ it, for heaven’s sake. When it’s done, I’ll tell you, OK? (I’m hoping to have it finished by the end of 2012. Meanwhile, THE SCOTTISH PRISONER and Jamie will perhaps help tide you over–that one comes out next month–November 29th))

WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART’S BLOOD

Copyright 2011 Diana Gabaldon

Mrs. Figg was smoothly spherical, gleamingly black, and inclined to glide silently up behind one like a menacing ball-bearing.

“What’s this?” she barked, manifesting herself suddenly behind Jenny.

“Holy Mother of God!” Jenny whirled, eyes round and hand pressed to her chest. “Who in God’s name are you?”

“This is Mrs. Figg,” I said, feeling a surreal urge to laugh, despite–or maybe because of–recent events. “Lord John Grey’s cook. And Mrs. Figg, this is Mrs. Murray. My, um…my…”

“Your good-sister,” Jenny said firmly. She raised one black eyebrow. “If ye’ll have me, still?” Her look was straight and open, and the urge to laugh changed abruptly into an equally strong urge to burst into tears. Of all the unlikely sources of succor I could have imagined… I took a deep breath and put out my hand.

“I’ll have you.”

Her small firm fingers wove through mine, and as simply as that, it was done. No need for apologies or spoken forgiveness. She’d never had to wear the mask that Jamie did. What she thought and felt was there in her eyes, those slanted blue cat-eyes she shared with her brother. She knew me, now, for what I was—and knew I loved—had always loved–her brother with all my heart and soul–despite the minor complications of being presently married to someone else. And that knowledge obliterated years of mistrust, suspicion, and injury.

She heaved a sigh, eyes closing for an instant, then opened them and smiled at me, mouth trembling only a little.

“Well, fine and dandy,” said Mrs. Figg, shortly. She narrowed her eyes and rotated smoothly on her axis, taking in the panorama of destruction. The railing at the top of the stair had been ripped off, and cracked banisters, dented walls, and bloody smudges marked the path of William’s descent. Shattered crystals from the chandelier littered the floor, glinting festively in the light that poured through the open front door, the door itself hanging drunkenly from one hinge.

“Merde on toast,” Mrs. Figg murmured. She turned abruptly to me, her small black-currant eyes still narrowed. “Where’s his lordship?”

“Ah,” I said. This was going to be rather sticky, I saw. While deeply disapproving of most people, Mrs. Figg was devoted to John. She wasn’t going to be at all pleased to hear that he’d been abducted by–

“For that matter, where’s my brother?” Jenny inquired, glancing round as though expecting Jamie to appear suddenly out from under the settee.

“Oh,” I said. “Hm. Well…” Possibly worse than sticky. Because…

“And where’s my Sweet William?” Mrs. Figg demanded, sniffing the air. “He’s been here; I smell that stinky cologne he puts on his linen.” She nudged a dislodged chunk of plaster disapprovingly with the toe of her shoe.

I took another long, deep breath, and a tight grip on what remained of my sanity.

Mrs. Figg,” I said, “perhaps you would be so kind as to make us all a cup of tea?”

[end section]

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355 Responses »

  1. Ann Kristin
    October 25, 2011 • 4:20 pm
    Dear Diana!! Love,love,love the Outlander series!!!! J&C becomes almost alive right in front of me when I read about them I’ve read the series 3 times,but,as so many of you reading people out there,I have unanswerd questions 1) How did black Jack Randall end up dead on top of Jamie at Culloden? Did they just happend to meet during the fight or did Randall search for J at the battlefield? And who killed Randall? Was it J that killed him in the end,wanting to do that for so long? 2) Will William ever get to know that Jamie is his biological father ? 3) Claire,Brianna and Roger can travel back and forth in time assumingly because they put all theire thougts on someone they love in the time they want to travel to.What about Mandy,who’s so little when they go back to the 19th century that she probably can’t focus on anything?
    love to hear from you

    Ann Kristin,Norway

  2. NOOOOOOOoooooo! Too SHORT!! That’s just plain mean!! I NEED more!! sigh…. I’ve got the Scottish Prisoner pre-ordered, but I’d rather have more of this one!! (Of course if it isn’t written yet, I’m just going to have to wait) But it’s HARD!!

  3. Oh I am so happy to hear a new book is coming out and soon!! I enjoyed the picture that Barbara posted. Funny how in my mind I couldnt picture him. I knew he was hot though, I was mostly attracted to his personality, size and how others viewed him. Ahh Jamie!! If some of you are looking for a series I would like to suggest “into the wilderness” by Sara Donati., of course when youre not reading Dianas wonderful books!!! I met Diana in Victoria, British Columbia a few years ago when Echo came out, she is very nice, signed a few of my books and is photogenic unlike myself! I tried to act so cool and calm but inside I was thinking wow.. she created these awesome books. I sent her a card and letter about a year before and for some stupid reason I thought she would remember it, as soon as the words left my mouth I kinda giggled and said well you must get a ton of letters i dont know why I didnt think of it before!!! Thank You Diana You are truly blessed!!! And so are we because of it!!

  4. Je viens de relire pour la Nième fois toute la série et j’attends la suite (comme d’ailleurs chacun des autres livres) avec impatience. Cela devient une véritable addiction . Dans chacun des livres, nous avons l’impression de vivre l’Histoire en direct et de vivre l’histoire à la place de Claire: le retour à la réalité est souvent difficile et la reconnection avec le monde réel tout autant. J’aimerais , en fait , connaitre la suite tout en espérant qu’il n’y ai jamais de fin.Un grand merci à Mme Gabaldon pour l’immense plaisir qu’elle nous offre à chaque livre

  5. I have been meaning to write you about the wonderful work you have done with The Outlander series.

    Having been recommended your book by a work colleague many many moons ago now I’ve read the whole series every year since then and run through a fair few copies. Yours were the first books I bought when I moved to London as I couldn’t cart them all with me from New Zealand and thus I have 2 sets on opposite sides of the globe, both very much cherished. I’ve just picked up ‘An Echo in the Bone’ once more and can’t wait to relive it all over again. To say that when I first starting reading them they fast became an obsession and I would read till the wee hours or literally walk down the street with my nose in one of them. Actually I still do that from time to time. Your books have been top of my own recommendation list for years now and at times my friends and I find ourselves in excited chats when we see that one of us has picked it up again.

    Fair to say that for this avid reader the way you tell this story is eloquent, beautiful, shocking, addictive and no matter how many times I read it I always find myself laughing with them, my heart breaks with them and I’m forever surprised at the joy it gives me to curl up with a cup of tea and let their adventures envelope me. You’ve truly brought this story to life and I’m sincerely hopeful that it will never end.

    Your loyal and eternal fan.

    M

    • Dear Melodie–

      THANK you! {beam}

      –Diana

    • Melodie, You expressed it so well, and your comments are exactly the same way as I feel about the Outlander series, and DG’s writing. Her dialogue is captivating, her descriptions ‘take you there’, and as another avid reader, that is not always the case – with even very good writers. Sometimes descriptions can bog down. DG’s never do. They move the story along, and I never get bored. Even after countless re-readings, and I’ve been reading these ever since the first one came out! Thanks for saying what you did, much better than I could have.

  6. Love all of your books and I can hardley wait for the next one(Claire and Jamie) you are a fantastic writer and you should be required reading for anybody who loves those time periods.
    Your personal dirk maker ,Ron Gates

  7. I agree 100% with Melanie!!! I was introduced to your books several years ago and still recommend them to everyone I know who loves to read! I told a friend about your books and he polsihed off all 7 books in about 2 months!! Very impressive! I even recommend them to my students (high school).

    I have found so much joy in reading these books. They have taught me about history, which is something I have come to love as an adult. I have become a better reader and find that other kinds of books just don’t measure up. And so, I along with everyone else I anxiosly await the next books. Thank you Diana for giving me a wonderful adeventure to lose myself in! :)

  8. I can wait. I can be patient. Each book brings us closer to the end, and I don’t know if I can bear that. I just want this story to go on and on.

    Yes, I too have many unanswered questions. Who was the young girl mentioned in chapter 94 of An Echo in the Bone who died in France “as a result of his lust”? Was she the woman who Jamie saw raped when he was soldiering in France and told Clair about on their wedding night? Was she another “reason” that he married Clair?

    And why does Jamie not remember those last moments on Culloden field, and how Jack Randall came to be lying dead on top of him? Why does Claire tell us in chapter 40 of Outlander that Randall died under the “hooves of my revenge”? Did she somehow circle back from the stones at the last moment, mount a horse and strike him down, or was it simply her prognostication of his date of death that was her curse of revenge on him?

    I want answers … but then again, I don’t. Keep it coming Diana!

    • The girl in France features in ‘The Exile’ graphic novel – a young woman Jamie thiught himself in love with in the innocence of his youth, and for whose death he blamed himself. i think this is also mentioned in the ‘Outlandish companion’ which I am reading at the moment. I wonder if there is a second ‘Companion’ to come out relating to kater books…

  9. OMG’sh! Oct. 20 is MY BIRTHDAY TOO!!! I’m honored to share a birthday with Claire! Can’t wait for this book to be finished…waiting with bated breath.

  10. The story just keeps getting better with age, like fine whiskey I suppose! :)

  11. Arg-g-g…I feel like I’ve just been given the finest piece of chocolate ever made and now told I have to wait a year to have another!

  12. Dear Diana!! Love,love,love the Outlander series!!!! J&C becomes almost alive right in front of me when I read about them I’ve read the series 3 times,but,as so many of you reading people out there,I have unanswerd questions 1) How did black Jack Randall end up dead on top of Jamie at Culloden? Did they just happend to meet during the fight or did Randall search for J at the battlefield? And who killed Randall? Was it J that killed him in the end,wanting to do that for so long? 2) Will William ever get to know that Jamie is his biological father ? 3) Claire,Brianna and Roger can travel back and forth in time assumingly because they put all theire thougts on someone they love in the time they want to travel to.What about Mandy,who’s so little when they go back to the 19th century that she probably can’t focus on anything?
    love to hear from you

    I’ve posted these questions earlier but didn’t get any respons,so I try again :) Is there anybody out there who can answer me? I’m really curious!! :) :)

    Ann Kristin,Norway

  13. Diana,

    I not sure what I’ m going to do for the next year. I hoping you surprise us and complete the book sooner; in the mean time please continue with the excerpts. I also hoping against hope that somehow Jamie is able to travel with Claire to present time so they end up with Brianna and Jamie gets to see all that he has heard about.
    I know this is your book; not mine; but as you see, I am a little obsessed with the series and spend a lot time thinking abut it.

    Ruth H, Chicago