• “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

Why, Yes, We Had a Very Nice Christmas

Hope y’all had a happy holiday, too!

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89 Responses »

  1. A shark in the dining room must have a story! Christmas was wonderful my husband and I were able to celebrate with our kids…parents…and our very first grandchild…that was the BEST gift ever!

    • I am nit sure how to post to a blog as this is my first one and I just got a new iPad so please forgive any spelling errors! Just finished reading The Scottish Prisoner! My soul had been aching for a new good read! Well done Dianna!

    • Diana,
      Greetings and Salutations for the new year of 2012 to you and yours. Congratulations on the Outlander Series. In stumbling about, searching for something interesting to read, I came across the Outlander. Next came Dragonfly in Amber, which I am presently 3/4 of the way to finish.
      How beautiful you write. Are you English, perhaps? I am a poet of many years (stuck in the 18th Century of rhyme and Meter). I am presently writing my first novel which is defined as Crime/Fiction with a sub-plot of Mystery. I’m about 85,000 words to date and should be finished by the end of 2012, hence time to began pre-publish marketing. I am sending this note along just to say how much I enjoy your writing and have no doubt I shall read the entire series, then move into your other works. I am delighted with the down to earth characters and feel right at home with them. Clair being the favorite, of course.

      Be well Diana, you have a new fan in me, as I am gobbling up your words with gusto and relish.


    • Have a Wonderful Holiday Gabaldon Clan!!!

    • Hi, I was wondering if there was a list of where/ what books to find the short stories you have written about characters in Outlander? I would like to read them, but I don’t know where to look or what books to buy?
      Thank you so much!

      Happy New Year!


      • Dear Rhonda–

        Many of them are listed under the “WRITING” tab on the home page, but the ones in progress or that haven’t yet come out aren’t. I’ll do up a little blogpost on them soon, with a list.


  2. Oh, is that the shark from last years Doctor Who Christmas special?
    I loved that one but this years was great too.
    Hope you had some lovely days with your family. :)

  3. So, either you have a live crow/raven or several stuffed ones at your house (which looks very interesting in and of itself.) There has GOT to be a story here.

  4. Is that a real crow? A pet? I had a friend years ago who had one. They are very smart and loyal friends.

    • Dear Julie–

      {g} No, it’s a) a raven, and b) a bronze sculpture (one of four in that room) by Jim Eppler, who does wonderful wildlife bronzes, based on extensive behavioral observations.


  5. Does the shark have special meaning to you? & Christmas?

  6. Oh, lovely family celebration.
    The shark looks like wonderful fun.
    Just curious, what is the painting showing on the lower left of the bottom picture? Looks like it might be a portrait.

  7. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours! It looks like your daughter gets the same magazines/catalogs that I get. I thought the shark was pretty cool when I first saw it but I wasn’t sure how well it would work and judging by your pictures, it appears to work really well! And he’s a lot bigger than I expected. How excellent and thank your daughter for me because now I’m definitely going to pick that up for my neice (well…and maybe one for myself too).

    • I saw a news segment about the fish/sharks that follow a person around in a house, etc. I think it would be a really cool gift. Where on earth do you find them? Thanks!

  8. All the best to you and your family in 2012, Diana! :)


  9. A shark for Christmas entertainment…hmmm. Very interesting:) Glad you had fun and Happy New Year! Alana

  10. Diana:
    Wishing you a wonderful 2012. With a wedding to plan, books to write, appearances all over the place I’m sure it will be eventful.

    Health, Wealth and Happiness to you and yours!


  11. I have a couple of friends who gave their children the shark for Christmas and they really enjoy them :) However, one friend had to purchase another for her daughter. Apparently they are not meant for outside use and it “swam” away LOL

    Many blessings to you and yours for 2012.

  12. Blessing to you and your family in 2012 Diana.

    What a wonderfully bright room your Dining Room is, it looks like a perfect place to have ravens and sharks swimming around in. :)

  13. Would like to know when your next book in the series (following Echo) is to be published. Anticipation is at times overwhelming.

    Happy New Year


    • Dear Peter–

      The next book is called WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART’S BLOOD. I’m working on it–have been for awhile {g}–and am hoping to finish it by the end of 2012. (That doesn’t mean it’ll be _published_ then, but probably pretty soon after I finish writing it.)


      • Diana,

        I just finished reading “The Scottish Prisoner”, I loved it and am anxiously awaiting the 8th book in the Outlander series. I got the first book from the series in a “well” package that someone gave me before I had surgery. I fell in love with it and have since re read them all. I am constantly looking for books to tide me over until your next comes out. I must confess that I’ve read a few that I like very much, but none compare to Claire and Jamie’s adventures. I feel as though you’ve spoiled me and I am unable to find anything that quite measures up.

        I love the way you add real life events and actual locations. The way you’ve also incorpated the way the people really would have sounded only adds to the realistic feel of the story. I apologize for rambling, I just wanted to Wish you a Happy New Year for you and yours and let you know how much joy your books have brought to mine!

  14. Dear Diana,

    on the last day of the year I want to say a heartfelt “Thank you!!!” from a mother of three from Germany who had a nice family-epidemy in december… your books lifted up my spirit every free minute.

    For you and your family the best wishes for 2012 and many happy readings, too!


    Irina Wistoff

  15. Have A wonderful NYE, Diana!
    Thank U for yrs of reading enjoyment!

  16. Re the shark: Someone shops at ThinkGeek! A family after my own heart! : )

  17. Thank you Diana for sharing your life with us who so love your writing and stories….
    Here is hoping that you have a wonderful year to come…
    by the way…
    I have been listening to Loreena McKennitt alot lately and I was wondering if you had ever thought of her music as a background to Claire and Jamie’s story? So much of it fits so well…maybe someday it might be in the soundtrack?
    Just a thought….
    Happy New Year!!

  18. My son got the Air Swimmer shark too! Been loads of fun. He pretends its the shark from Doctor Who. That’s his fab show !!!

  19. I had a wonderful Christmas thanks in part to the signed bookplates that I received for a present! I happened to mention to my aunt that I’d always wanted some from you for all of my Outlander books, but I had never sent away for them for myself. It was great to find them waiting for me. Thanks so much for being a part of my Christmas!

  20. Diana,
    Happy New Year!
    All the best,

  21. We have some sharks in our family too! :) Happy 2012!!!!

  22. We have a shark too! Happy new year!

  23. I am waiting, rather impatiently, for “Written In My Own Heart’s Blood.” I finished ‘The Scottish Prisoner” three days after it came in the mail, which happened to be the day it was released. I want you to know that you have inspired me to begin my own writing career. I know that my writing will never compare to yours, but I still feel as though I must write. I hope to one day write quality stories that readers will find enjoyable, stories in which the reader can form connections to the characters in the same way that I have connected to Claire, Jamie, Ian, John and so many of the others. Your words are magical and wondrous and paint a beautiful picture in my mind, and I want to, some day, do that for readers of my own. Thank you for that inspiration. Thank you for the gift of Jamie Fraser!

    Happiness and safety in the new year to you and all that you love.

  24. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you Diana and all the Outlander fans. Feels like family here. Am currently reading “Scottish Prisoner”, taking my time, savoring every detail. Very impressed with the unashamed use of “ya’ll” in the caption…..makes this North Carolina girl proud!!!!

  25. How wonderful of you to be so patient and real with your fans.
    In my life I have read two books twice , the first was Rebecca and the second Outlander
    Thank you and happy times in 2012.

  26. Thank for sharing your joy of writing, as well as your family life. I have had years of reading pleasure thanks to the Outlander and Lord John series.

    I am writing a book about my son who has health issues and a learning disability. I am hoping to finish in the next year. I am hoping the resource list in the back will help other families as well as support systems.

  27. Happy 2012 to you and yours, Diana! Looking forward to WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART’S BLOOD – maybe before December, just in case the Mayans were right? :)

  28. Dear Diana,

    It’s been so many years since we’ve been in touch, but I follow you on Facebook all the time! I hope you remember my name. I wanted to wish you a very Happy New year, to you and your family! Even though I haven’t been in touch, you are on my mind! Love getting to see your updates and all of you success!

    Have a wonderful New Year!!!!

    Lori Musser

  29. Diana,

    I thought it funny when I saw the picture of your shark. Last week Jacqueline Carey had a pic of her Christmas dinner with a remote control Clown Fish flying around!!!! Happy new year to you and your family. Thanks for all the wonderful stories you give us!


  30. Dear Diana,

    Just a message to let you know I just read THE SCOTTISH PRISONER and loved it! I’ve read all the OUTLANDER series and can’t wait for WIMOHB. I’ve recently reread all your books on my NOOK and I can’t tell you the joy I have while using the “look up” function. Your stories are the richest in language and I have never felt a love story more deeply! Glad tidings to you and yours in 2012! Thanks for all you do with words!


  31. I wish all kinds of wondrous things for you in the New Year ! All the company has gone home and I’m back into the daily routine, so now I can read “The Scottish Prisoner” that I got for Christmas.( started it this morning before I headed out to work) Thank you Diana for all the Daily Lines , Photos of you , your family and friends at Christmas. Happy New Year ! Ellen Vandeven

  32. We have a shark, too! It’s amazing!

  33. Dear Diana,

    I am reading the Outlander series for the second time and it moves me as much (or more) this time around as it did the first. I cry, laugh out loud (literally), and of course sigh…often :) Your words create very vivid pictures for me and I love them all. I’m a nurse myself and felt a connection with Claire from the start and Jamie….ahhh…well…he’s Jamie. I feel sure I’ll be reading these books again and again. Thank you so much for the joy of Jamie & Claire!

    Happy New Year!!


  34. Happy New Year! I hope 2012 is full of adventures!

  35. Diana,

    I am a semi-retired nurse, who always kicked myself for not doing what Claire did–go back to get my MD. As an ‘older American’, I relate mostly to Jamie and Claire. Jamie makes me remember, fondly, that the old heart can still skip a beat for a good looking guy. ;D

    After reading 2 of the books, I do not have any appreciation for the Lord John series, but to each his own.

    I love your writing, your characters are so realistic, and I anxiously await the next installment in the series. During my travels, I have ‘turned on’ many other people to the Outlander series and your glorious writing, requiring only that they return the favor and introduce others to this simple pleasure.

    You are a great writer, as you continue to prove, over and over again. Thank you. Have a wonderful, happy, productive year, and keep up the good work!

    • Hello Jan,

      Like you I am a ‘Gabaldon Dealer’. My husband and I recently went on a two week cruise around New Zealand. I found myself scrabbling around as soon as we hit land on our first port of call to buy 4 copies of ‘Cross Stitch’ just to get my new shipboard friends started. On my return I purchased another 3 online to have sent to others.

      I love it that your only requirement when gifting a book is that the recipient ‘play it forward’. I must do that.

      I urge you to give ‘Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade’ and ‘The Scottish Prisoner’ a go in that order. There is a lot of Jamie in ‘Scottish Prisoner’. I about to start my first re-read.

      Happy New Year

  36. Dear Ms. Gabaldon,
    I have listened to each one of your books in my lengthy car travels. Many times I have pulled into my garage, or parking space unable to shut off the car because I am so rapt with your stories. Thank you so much for giving me such blissful getaways with my imagination. I am looking forward to another. May this be a prosperous New Year for you and your family.

  37. Happy New Years to You and Yours! All the very best of good health, happiness and contentment.

    I remember picking up your very first book when it originally came out and I was then hooked. I’ve now just finished An Echo in The Bone for the third time. The first time I raced through it hungry for news of everyone, the second time I absorbed the details with complete satisfaction and the third time I simply enjoyed everyone’s company.

    What a wonderful gift you have given us. Thank you.


  38. Happy new year Diana. I am on long service leave from work for 6 months before I retire and am looking forward to catching up on some reading the last 2 of your books.

  39. I come from a family of avid readers. For my mom, sister, several nieces and a couple of first cousins, thank you for offering up such sumptuous fare for us to enjoy! It’s been a nearly 20 year love affair (my daughter was a toddler when I got Outlander!) I’ve had to replace some of my books several times over (one was drowned in the tub, a couple were so well read they were falling apart, and my original Voyager paperback was a binding error copy with sections missing!) I’m still reading and loving the story of Jamie and Claire! I think it’s perfect that your final book comes out the year of my 50th birthday! What a great gift that will be!

    • Dear Robin–

      Hey! Did _I_ say the next book is the final one? No, I did not. {g} I don’t _know_ whether it is or not, but let us not spread wild rumors; this leads to people who don’t read carefully leaping to Conclusions, and getting all indignant when the next book is _not_ the last one (though that makes no particular sense to me).

      Many thanks, though–I’m glad your family has been enjoying the books, and hope they’ll continue to do so!


  40. Hi Diana,
    Heartfelt thanks from a compulsive reader for creating characters like Jamie & Claire & Lord John. I think Jamie is the best male character in any book I have ever read. When circumstances recently forced me to cull my library of several hundred books the Outlander series & the Lord John spin offs were the only ones I kept. I reckon I would save them in case of disaster above almost anything else in my possession.
    Keep up the good work. Cant wait for the next one. Its a great exercise in patience building waiting for each episode. When I know one is due I read the whole lot from the beginning.

    What great joy you have given me. Thank you so much


  41. I hope you will continue writing as long as you have a story to tell, and the strength to type! I came to your books late, despite my advanced age, but have made up for lost time. It actually was a joy to read one after another, without that interminable wait that so many suffered through. Now, of course, I join the suffering horde.

    Lord John is a complex and interesting man, and I enjoy his stories as well. He is so different from Claire and Jamie (as they are from each other, aren’t they?) but he rings true to me, and I would have liked to meet him and perhaps become a friend.

    I would like to join with all your other fans in wishing you and yours a wonderful New Year.

  42. Dear Diana-

    You (and my sister) made my Christmas this year! Her gift to me was a signed copy of the 20th Anniversary Edition of OUTLANDER. When I initially opened it, my husband exclaimed, “Another one?!?! How many copies of one book does a person need?” I did not realize it was signed until my sister encouraged me to open it and I read your message:

    Amanda- I appreciate the sacrifices you’ve made (showering, sleeping, family) to immerse yourself in Jamie’s life. Tell your husband he’s missing out. Read him some of the ‘better’ passages. Diana Gabaldon

    I don’t know how you came to write that particular message, but it got the best snort out of my husband I have ever heard!

    Gratefully, Amanda

  43. I, too, am re-reading the series for the 5th time. I am about a fourth of the way through A Breath of Snow and Ashes. I sincerely hope that Written in My Own Heart’s Blood is NOT the final book. I have looked forward to your next novel for so long, it will seem odd when there is not another one to anticipate. The Scottish Prisoner was great – filled in a lot of detail. The excerpts at the end were wonderful also.

    There is one question I would like to ask, though. I read once where you said that the series would end back in Scotland. Is that still your plan? I would love to see a reunion of Jamie, Claire, Roger, Brianna, Jemmy and Mandy. I don’t know how Jamie would cope with the 20th century, though. Oh, well, you know best, Diana, whatever you write, I will read.

    Happy New Year!!!!


  44. I have a lot of unanswerd questions regarding An Echo…. So,I’m really looking foreward to the next book :) I’m re-reading An Echo,but not to fast,I want it to last as long as possible until next book :)
    You’re a great writer and I love the Outlander!!!!

    Happy new year to you :) :)

  45. Just finished the last of this year’s Gabaldon Fudge, tasty as always. Think I’ll make Drunk Chicken with Pasta for the weekend. Then I’ll be ready to start the immersion phase of the diet, after the five pounds of fudge!

  46. Happy Hogmanay, Diana and family! Just a note to say that I’ve never heard of any author who makes herself more available to her fans than you, even to answering the same mindless questions (seriously, people, don’t you ever read what Diana posts?) again and again. I love all the Outlander characters so much that they feel like family to me and I miss them terribly between books. That’s why I go back and re-read the others over and over. Sadly, “An Echo in the Bone” and “The Scottish Prisoner” are both on my Kindle for Mac application and my MacBook up and died!! I had only read Scottish Prisoner once and wanted to do my second, savoring read right away, but now I can’t get at it! Aaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrgggggggggghhhhhhh! A perfect miracle of bad timing!

    I keep hoping to hear that you’ll be in Chicago or St. Louis or Indianapolis sometime: I would so love to thank you in person for the wonderful world — or is that worlds?! — of the Outlander series.

    Wishing you a healthy and happy 2012!

    ~Amy xoxo

    • I have to take exception to your comment regarding “mindless” questions. If a person does not or cannot remember the answer to something, the only way to find out is to ask. If Diana does not mind (and I don’t think she does) answering any question, I don’t see why you should. I have read and reread the Outlander Series since the first book was published and I still can think of things that are not entirely clear to me and I do read everything that Diana posts!

      Diana, please keep answering all the questions (even if they are repeats). I read this blog faithfully and all the comments are interesting to me. Thank you.

  47. Happy New Year Dianna,family and fellow fans,
    I really like your dinning room, it has the clean, crisp look of the Southwest- mission influence I’ve always admired. I keep looking at the large print of what appears to be industrial cargo shipping boxes with a tower and something on top. What’s it about and what might be the meaning behind it? Sentimental or artist conception of something unknown to the casual observer?
    I wanted to mention, my husband spent a good amount of last year recovering from knee surgery, it was slow going physically but, recovery brought us something to share together.
    It was 20+ years ago near the end of my first Outlander reading, I declared you to be my all-time favorite Author. Since then, I’ve raced to the nearest bookstore on the first day of new D.G. B’s . Every book confirmed my book #1 reaction. I’ve read thousands of other books and never been so attached to another author’s works.
    I guess my words wore on my husband over the years because, as he lay there on the bed, he decided to read Outlander! Listening to him as a new Outlander fan was surprising and touching all at the same time. He’s normally a Tom Clancy Fan of mystery and daring exploits. He discovered all of that and so much more in Outlander. Imagine my surprise as he picked up and read the entire series, He talked about all the books from a different frame of mind than I . As he made his way through the series, it opened new concepts to me, His different insight has become a new part of why you’re books continue to be so special to me.
    On another note, Hurry those presses, and publishers along, the new book can’t come soon enough for us!

  48. I would love to see Jamie come forward and cope with our time? Any way the family travelers could carry him across?

  49. Diana,

    There is a reference in the Scottish Prisoner (which I loved) about what Lord John had said to Jamie that he could never take back. I believe he said it at Helwater but it didn’t go into details. I looked back in Voyager but I could not find it. Could you tell me where to look?


    • Dear Lori–

      It’s toward the end of THE BROTHERHOOD OF THE BLADE. Though John does in fact repeat the basic remark in SCOTTISH PRISONER.


  50. I started re-reading An Echo.. last night Cried for Mrs. Bug….. I have also wondered if Claire would find a way for Jamie to come forward. Now I know……….

  51. Diana,
    I have been reading your books for over 19 years and have loved all of them!! My husband bought me Scottish Prisoner for Christmas, which I must say I had a hard time waiting to open. My husband didn’t think I would make it until Christmas morning but I did. I have read all of your books several times and never get tired of reading them. I love how you write, I kind of feel like the “Elf on the Shelf” sitting in each one of your books and watching the scenes unfold. Thank you so much for sharing your stories with us.



  52. I am a devoted fan! I read most of the ‘Outlander” series several years ago, lost the books, and have just repurchased and reread them all, finishing with ‘An Echo In The Bone’. I’m not sure how I’ll manage until the next one comes out. Though I’ve not been a fan of Lord John Grey, devoted to Clair and Jamie as I am, I may be forced to read the series you have written based on his character, just to get me by!

    I look forward to all that comes next and thank you so much for your gift to us all!

    • Dear Sharon–

      Love devoted fans! {g} I dunno–you may end up liking Lord John better than you think. Glad you have something to read for the next little while, at least.


  53. Okay, I have made your enchiladas…..oh my what a mess (I am just messy, it being my first time to make them). I think it will be okay, they look and smell great. I had to throw away the first three, but I think I got the knack of it now. Would really like to see you make them. Won’t you make us a video? Your directions are wonderfully written but a video would be great!

    Yours in enchilada sauce,

    • Dear Christina–

      Enchiladas just _are_ messy. {g} But I have a new Flip-it video thingy; once I have it figured out, I’ll see if I can do a podcast about making enchiladas.

      Feliz Navidad y Ano Nuevo!


      • That would be great! Mine turned out to be more of a soupy enchilada casserole but tasted wonderful. Was quite warm to the tongue, but not too hot. I used El Pato also, had never used that before…very good. My family was impressed. Thanks for your recipes.

  54. How did I miss your recipe for Enchilada’s? Must of been Christmas or something! It’s January, need something to “Spice” things up!
    Happy New Year!

  55. Hi Diana,
    Are there any plans for an Outlander movie? Since I read the book I have run different actors through my mind but nobody worked as Jamie – until now! Scott Speedman, Canadian born of Scottish parents. Just caught him in a movie on late night television and thought, oh boy, there he is!

    Your Arizona neighbor,

    Kat Meeks

  56. So, how was your New Year??

  57. HA! We got an “Air Shark” too! It has been a LOT of fun chasing the dogs and cat with and we have some hilarious “Jaws” moments from out New Year’s Eve party. Love, love, love your books. You are a very talented writer, the craft of your story telling is wonderful and I always love a strong woman. The best compliment I have been paid lately is when a friend called me “Claire” after I taped up a singers knee during an opera performance.

  58. Hi Diana,

    Your picture of the flying shark was the first one I had seen. I don’t know if you read a news report about one in New Zealand which startled a pilot. i don’t think he had seen one before either. Here is an extract

    A ROGUE shark has been spotted by a New Zealand pilot flying into Christchurch International Airport – cruising at an altitude of several thousand feet above the ground.
    A passenger jet was descending and was about 9km from the airport on Boxing Day when the pilot radioed ground control about his unlikely sighting, stuff.co.nz reports.

    It was identified as a remote-controlled, helium-filled shark – which has proved a popular Christmas gift this season.

    Designed for indoor use, the $NZ99 ($75) 1.44-metre-long Air Swimmer can be operated by remote control over a range of 15m.

    Airways spokeswoman Monica Davis said the pilot had reported the shark on December 26 but its altitude and how close it came to the aircraft were unclear.

    Source – http://www.news.com.au/travel/news/flying-shark-stuns-new-zealand-passenger-jet/story-e6frfq80-1226236281364

  59. Excellent post.. I had to look it twice to comprehend it all though, haha!