• “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

Best Before…2013?

You know, I don’t usually _feel_ old, bionic knees notwithstanding. But I got a letter a couple of months back from the “Be the Match” organization that gave me pause for a moment.

“Be the Match” ® is the registry for the National Marrow Donor Program ®, which I’ve belonged to for the last thirty years or so. This is the registry that allows people to volunteer as a potential donor for bone marrow, should their genetics prove a good match for someone in need of a transplant.

I’ve never been asked to donate—evidently I don’t match many people –but have been on their books a long time. So along comes this letter, containing a small Certificate of Recognition and Appreciation, recognizing me “for outstanding commitment to and life-saving support of the Be The Match Registry ®.”

After thanking me, the letter went to say (in boldface type, no less):

“With your 61st birthday approaching, you will soon complete your eligibility for being on the registry as a potential donor.”

So evidently my bone marrow has expired, in terms of shelf-life. [g] The letter went on to ask me to donate $100 (tax-deductible—or at least it _was_, before the latest round of tax-hikes) to the Registry, to help them in recruiting a replacement donor.

Frankly, I thought it might be more effective to mention it here, in case any of you kind folks feel moved to sign up. The letter says further:

“Since 1987, we have facilitated more than 50,000 transplants from unrelated donors to give patients a second chance at life. Last year alone, we helped more than 5,500 people get the transplants they needed. We’re very proud of those accomplishments, but we have much more work ahead of us. Each year 10,000 patients with leukemia, lymphoma and many other life-threatening blood cancers need a marrow transplant from an unrelated donor.”

So. If any of y’all are interested in helping out with this valuable work, you can find out more details at BeTheMatch.org/help. Any of you who haven’t expired yet, I mean…

P.S. You want old? Well, age is relative. The photo above was taken this past August in the park at Castle Leod, Strathpeffer, Scotland. The tree I’m standing in front of was planted by Mary of Guise (this would be Mary, Queen of Scots’ _mother_) when she came to visit the castle back in 15-something. [You can see more about the Castle itself here.] Both the tree and I are doing Just Fine, Thank You.

Tagged as: , , , ,

76 Responses »

  1. Diana

    I started your books about 3 years ago, my sister actually found them after out mother passed. My sister begged for me to read them and at the time, I was not a reader. After a year and the 3rd attempt I finally got past chapter 2 of Outlander. I have become a full blown book worm now. To be honest it was a picture I saw of you on your web page. One day my sister called me and asked me to pull up your website because she heard that Book 7 had a release date and she wanted to know when. I was stunned when I saw your picture. You remind me Alot of my mother. That was when I decided to dedicate my self to reading something she read, but she passed 14 years ago. I Love your books.

    Thank You for giving me something else (reading) to love in life. In some strange way I feel that when I read your books, she is with me.

    Thank You so Much for what I consider, The Greatest Gift from a Stranger.


  2. Hi Diana,

    I have also started a few months ago re reading your …-What was the acronym that you used to describe the Outlander series in the Trail of Fire? Anywho I am currently in Breath of Snow and Ashes. I have just enjoyed rereading the part where Ian and Rollo are being attacked by wolves as they run around the Mohawk village’s woods in the middle of the night.

    Where did you first get your inspiration for the character of Rollo?
    He sounds like a fantastic dog! I am a big animal fan and work for a Vets office for the past 8 years. I just finished pet sitting for an Irish couple who are our clients. They have a HUGE Irish wolfhound aptly named, “Finn”. They have taken him fox hunting and stag hunting in Ireland but now he is 10 and has some trouble with stairs. Even so to see him trot across their yard is a sight; his stride length is just Amazing!

    Do you have any dogs yourself? What was your favorite pet? (Past or present) :)

    Kind regards,


    P.S. (there is no way that your in your sixties!! um you def look like your 40!! )

  3. Hi Diana,

    I had to laugh at your story. A belated Happy Birthday to you!!! First, I must tell you …you don’t look 61. Secondly, my husband shares the same exact birthday with you—-1/11/52, and he doesn’t look 61 either, but has certainly has experience with bad joints. We have a similar picture of him and me standing next to a 6000 year old baobab tree in Africa. We’re certainly not ready for the boneyard yet!!!!

    I’m a huge fan. Can’t wait for the next BIG BOOK, and am sooooo excited about the possibility of a TV version.

    Keep up the great work.

    Best Regards,

    • Thats good that you are both loving life still. Where in africa were you next to the Baobob tree? I lived in Tanzania for 4 months and there were many beautiful baobob trees there. :)

  4. God Bless you for being on the Bone Marrow Registry!! My 10 year old son is in need of a donor and I can’t express how grateful I am to all who are on the registry.

    I am a long time fan of your novels, this knowledge has helped me see you much more in a humanitarian light.

  5. Dear Diana, I have to add myself to the many fans who are finding it so hard to believe you are 61! What a bonnie lassie you are to be sure! What is your secret? LOL.

    I have every one of your very wonderful books and have read and re-read them. They are fabulous. At 76 going on 77 and a widow…. I am too old for the bone marrow donor list but hope many more people will consider it after reading your testimony.

    I didn’t know that there might be a film! Please don’t let them spoil your fantastic stories as they did with Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett.

    Films leave so much out and often spoil the mental images we form of our favourite characters and how theylook. You can’t beat a book and you surely can’t beat yours for the best reads I’ve ever had.

    Take care now


  6. I was surprised when, close to my 60th birthday, I received a notice from the Dept of Safety that I no longer needed to have my photo on my driver’s license. Are they kidding? How old is that law? Try to get on an airplane (or cash a check, or get a library card, or check into a hospital) without a photo ID.

    I wonder, Diana, if you attended Catholic school? I attended for 12 years, and we were strongly discouraged from reading the bible. The nuns and priests felt that they were better interpreters.

  7. What do you eat? I want to know, because I hope to you like you in 25 years!!!!

    • Dear Jennifer–

      Mm…chocolate and Diet Coke. [g] Other than those, I don’t really eat processed food, bar an occasional hot dog.


      • Well your skins just glows! I love love love your books! Jamie and Claire have the ultimate love story! You are just super cool!!!

  8. I am also in the registry, and have yet to be approached as a bone marrow donor. I have had the honor of being a match for an infant undergoing open heart surgery and requested to donate packed red blood cells for her. I like the idea of promoting participation in BetheMatch to your readers. I know that there are many of us….

  9. I would like to thank you for that information. I just assumed that since I was an organ/tissue donor and obviously willing to give away anything that would be useful to someone, that I was also included on the bone marrow list. I will be 40 this year but hopefully I can help someone before my shelf life is up!

  10. Thank you so much for writing this post! Be the Match is an amazing organization and does wondeful work! You posting this provides such wondeful endorsement of their work and the need for donors! I have been an the list for 19 years and was matched with a patitent. I didn’t end up donating because the patient had a change in status and no longer needed a transplant.

  11. Glad to know I wasn’t the only one with hurt feelings when I got the “we don’t need you anymore” letter. I bet my bone marrow is just as good as it was 20 years ago!

    Love your books, novellas and everything else you give us. Can’t wait for the TV series. You have a lot of fans in this small south georgia town. Keep em coming!

  12. Wow. I’m over a hill that I didn’t even know existed!

    Like many on this list (and elsewhere, I suspect) I’m surprised to learn that you’re 61. Fortunately writers’ abilities don’t expire until they do–P.D. James recently had a new novel published and she’s 91. So, we can hope for lots more Jamie & Claire!

  13. Thank you so much for all the hours of reading pleasure you have provided. I have traveled to book signings to see you since “The Outlandish Companion”. Cleveland once, a couple of National Book Festivals, and several times at the Borders in Baileys Crossroads. A dear friend lives within walking distance of that store, which btw, is now a furniture store. Tradgedy! Will be ordering your new book from the poisoned pen today.

    Hope all is well with you and yours. Take care and keep safe. Eagerly awaiting Written…

  14. Diana,

    My brother had a bone marrow transplant in December of 2011. His donor was a person from Germany, still unknown to us all, but literally a life-saver! Since then he has been cancer free and enjoying life with his 2-yr old daughter and wife. This past weekend they organized a drive to sign up for donors. I have enjoyed reading your novels, which I am still doing, and I greatly appreciate that you found this letter and organization wortwhile enough to write to your fans. I hope just one person adds themselves to the list after reading your note.


  15. Holy crap, you’re 60?!?!? I honestly thought you were maybe in your 40s… Go you! You look amazing!!! I can only dream of looking that good in 30 years.

  16. Dear Diana,

    I love the Outlander series and have been eagerly awaiting number 8!!! I was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma last year but am currently in remission. I certainly hope I never need a transplant but am grateful that there are people like you who are willing to donate! Thank you for sharing this and maybe more people will become donors and save more lives from cancer! Really, cancer sucks.

  17. I am 64 and like you, I do not look or act my age. I have always been an organ donor and did not know there were “expiration dates” on any organs or parts to donate.

    Just wanted you to know that I had run out of authors to read when your books came along. I love any long book (they should all be at least 1000 pages) because I am a fast reader. You were recommended by Laura Vosika. I am very grateful for that recommendation because your books have filled up many scary hours while I have been through surgeries, hopitalizations, and now major dental work.

    It is so easy, due to your amazing descriptions, to go into the story and disappear from pain for awhile. I cannot find strong enough words to express how much your Outlander Family has meant to me. I am about to embark on the journey of Book 7 and wish there were 7 more with the Fraser family and their descendents. I can honestly say that your books are my favorite of all time and I have been reading since I was 2 years old.

    Strange, with all the medical overhauls I have gone through my knees still work fine! Many Blessings to you and your family, Patricia

    • Dear Patricia–

      Why, thanks! I’m glad the books could be a help to you. [smile]

      I’m also glad medical science is keeping us both in good working order! [g]


  18. Thank you for highlighting Be The Match. I discovered your books a few months ago while recovering from an auto stem cell transplant to treat relapsed Hodgkins lymphoma. When I was diagnosed, many friends and family members joined the list. A few months ago my mother got her “aged out” letter and shortly thereafter a friend got called to donate. He claimed it left him slightly uncomfortable for 48 hours and in return he saved a 22 year old man’s life. Hopefully, many more will volunteer to Be The Match after reading your post.

  19. Hi Diana,
    Like so many others, I absolutely love your Outlander series. Can’t get enough of Jamie and Claire.
    Just wondering, will Davina Porter be narrating the audio version of Book 8? I hope so. Can’t imagine any other voices for Jamie and Claire. In fact, I’ve been biding the time until Book 8 comes out listening to the series on my drive to work every day for months now. I never tire of it, no matter where I am in the story.
    Thanks, Jeanne

  20. Dear Diana-

    I read my first romance novel after you recommended author Susan Elizabeth Phillips and quickly devoured every one of her books. Do you recommend any other romance authors? Have you read anything by Rachel Gibson? Looking forward to MOBY. Thank you for your novels. They are the best stories, have the best characters and allow the reader to become totally immersed in the best tale ever told!


    • Dear Amanda–

      Why, yes–Jennifer Crusie is very good for contemporary romance, and I’d _highly_ recommend Joanna Bourne for historical romance. Laura Kinsale’s books are older (she doesn’t write frequently these days), but I’d certainly recommend FLOWERS FROM THE STORM.


Leave a Response

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