• “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.”
    —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

Schmoozing in LA – Part 2 – Episode 1!

Starz Poster So, Sony was previewing all of their new shows (eight in all, I think, and I don’t recall all the names) for international (i.e., non-US) buyers. Each day had a different slate of buyers to view the shows (Latin America/Africa/MiddleEast/Europe, etc.), and every evening had a mix of fairly high-up TV executives from different countries for cocktails and dinner.

Every day save Friday, OUTLANDER was fairly late on the schedule, so Ron and I would arrive around 3 p.m., and depending on how far behind schedule the shows were running (there’s some friction, given that some up-front interviews run longer than others), we might go on by 3:30 or 4:00. We’d be in the green room just before our time, and then follow one of the stage-hands (they thoughtfully shining a light on the floor so we could see what we were about to step on, and not trip over anything or miss a step). A technician back-stage (a very narrow, dark space, with a small cart stocked with cordless microphones and other useful items) would hand us each a mic and we’d stand there, listening while the audience saw a quick trailer for “Outlander” (from the sounds of it, it was either the same one y’all have seen lately, or something quite similar; with music from “Last of the Mohicans”). Then the moderator would introduce us and we’d walk out and take our places: there were three tall director’s chairs set up onstage at the side of the screen (a regular movie-theater-sized screen), and the interview would be televised onto the screen itself (and onto the TV in the green room as well, for the edification of anyone waiting in there to go on next).

The interview was short, about ten minutes, and pretty much The Usual: What attracted you to the material? (Ron) Did you have any concerns about having Outlander translated to film? (Me. Answer: Hell, yes…) How would the story evolve over the season? (Ron. Meaning they wanted to know how much of a book or books would be covered in a season, how many episodes, etc.) How did I come to write Outlander? (Me — quick reprise of my Dr. Who/man-in-a-kilt story), etc. (Webmistress’s note: See “So where did you get the idea to write these books?” in Diana’s FAQ to read about how a character from Dr. Who helped inspire Diana to write OUTLANDER, her first novel.)

Then we’d wave and walk off, and they’d start running the full first episode of the show. The first day we did this, I rather shyly said I’d like to watch the episode; I’d seen it, but not in its final form, with color corrections and score. Of course! They said, and obligingly brought me up the metal stairs to the top of the theater (the seating area looked very solid, but was evidently made of portable stuff like stadium seating; it wasn’t built into the building), where I paused for a moment.

The show was just starting, with Bear McCreary’s theme song/lead-in — I probably shouldn’t tell you what it was <g>, but I liked it very much. A different take on a well-known Scottish traditional song, let’s put it that way…

Ron had come up the stairs with me, presumably to see what I thought of the opening, as he wasn’t staying. We stood there watching the lead-in, and when there was a shot of Claire’s hands reaching for the flowers at the foot of the standing stone, I turned to him and said, “You got them!” (He and Maril had asked me, some months earlier, if I knew exactly what the flowers were, and if it was important that they be _that_ sort of flower. I told them I did, and it was— but only if they filmed all the way through the last book. He said they’d go on the assumption that they would.)

He grinned and hugged me, then went off about his own business and I found a seat and watched the whole thing, rapt.

They had made a few small changes to the first episode since the last cut I’d seen, but nothing major. It flowed beautifully, starting with the quick scene that Ron had described to me more than year ago, of Claire in a French military hospital (a bombed-out building), splattered with blood and working frantically to save a man, then coming out to find that peace has been declared. On to 1946 and a roadster with two laughing people, wind in their hair as they drive through the Scottish Highlands…

The major change, though, was the music. The previous cuts I’d seen had had temporary, sort of generic TV-music. This one had Bear McCreary’s score, and it was fabulous. Very atmospheric, by turns subtle and visceral, using (as is his wont) traditional instruments like tin whistle and bodhran.

He tweeted to me today, to congratulate me on MOBY, and I replied “The same to you, man! LOVED the music! (The whole theater shook when you hit the bodhrans— the thunder shook my bones.)” Which he was kind enough to say was “a wonderful review of my score! Can’t wait for the whole world to see this…”

Neither can I. You’re gonna love it. <g>

Click here to read Part 1 of this blog: “Schmoozing in L.A.: International Film Rights” if you haven’t read it already!

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83 Responses »

  1. I finished reading MOBY last night and I’m in awe!
    It’s a magnificent epic story evoking huge spectrum of feelings and prodding one’s mind.
    Without spoiling it for those who haven’t finished reading it yet, I need to tell you that
    I’m absolutely grateful for the way the book 8 ends!
    It’s so powerful and emotionally satisfying that now I can wait for book 9 , for as long as it
    may take you to complete it, with a peace of mind.
    Thank you Diana, for the joy ( for heart and mind) your books have brought me.
    Ivona

  2. I have read the ‘Outlander series twice could not wait for book 8 I have to say I have never
    Been so disappointed in a book as I am in this one. What happened I wanted to quit reading half
    Way through. So sad you let your readers !

    • Dear Alice–

      Well, you–like everyone–are entitled to your opinion. I’m rather pleased to say that you appear to be in a distinct minority with that one, though…

      Personally, I think it’s one of the best things I’ve written. But then, I’m entitled to my opinion, too. [g]

      Best,

      –Diana

  3. Am about 80% though MOBY and now I have to leave for a weekend. Argh!

    I am really happy that the books will be made into a series. We recently moved to a new home, and the cable company offered one year free of HBO, Sho, or Starz. I selected Starz so that I can see the series.

    BTW, I can’t help noticing that many of the characters in MOBY have the same names as the actors in the series (e.g. Caitriona, Menzies). Very clever.

    Best of success!

    • Dear Lisa–

      Well, Mr. Menzies was in the books long before Tobias was cast in the show. [g] And Caitriona is merely one of Jamie’s mother’s middle names. I won’t say there _aren’t_ any guest cameos, though…

  4. I have a question, and I will say sorry in advance if this has been asked and answered before. I got rid of cable/satellite… Will their be a season pass available on Amazon?? Please, please, please say there will be.

  5. Diana, finished MOBY and reading it again. Just read Franks letter to Brianna starting out Dear Deadeye …and I know we have seen part of that letter before. What book was it in and why didn’t she read the whole letter the first time? Am I dreaming or did she really see this previously?

    • Dear Cyndy–

      She found a partial draft of this letter, in one of her father’s books. I don’t recall at the moment in which book that was, though. (It’s all One Big Story to me…)

      –Diana

  6. Thank you, Diana, for this wonderful book, MOBY, No. 8. I loved it and have to admit that I have read the ending at least five times, and each time, I cry. I have read that you have begun on No. 9 already, and for that I am very grateful … more about the meeting with Brianna and family. I would like No. 9 to be maybe half the length of MOBY, because (since I turned 80 in April) I want to be able to read it, and I hope you can get it done in, say, two years instead of four. I have my DVR ready for Outlander on August 9, can’t wait, and I love getting the emails, especially Claire’s apothecary cabinet. Thank you again, with all my heart … what a talent you are, what an intellect, and a funny lady to boot.

    With affection,

    Jeanne M. Ney

  7. Loved MOBY, especially the ending. It’s truly satisfying for me, since at my age (78) I may not be around in 5 years for Book 9. Of course I know enough about the American Revolution to realize that upcoming historical events form the big cliffhanger going into the next book! It’s going to be a lot more than a few loose ends like what happened to Buck or how to get from 1730 to 1779!

    Love some of the names! “Mrs. Weisenheimer” and a few others, as well as names of 21st century celebs such as Mr. Cumberbatch. Also, lots of spots where I was Laughing Out Loud!

    I was disappointed that I couldn’t access your Facebook page today without logging in. Is it no longer public? I value my privacy enough that I refuse to join Facebook (I tried it once and promptly had serious security issues). With most of the interesting items and the “previews” seemingly all migrated from this site to Facebook, it’s going to be hard not to be able to view the latter occasionally.

  8. Your books are definitely worth waiting for. I tell any and all I can about Outlander, I even bought book 1 for my sister and she is now working her way through them! I am currently reading through them all for the fourth time before I get Moby and I can’t wait! And for the tv series… little does hubby know that we are now ordering starz just so I can watch :)

    Diana, I give you a truly heartfelt thank you for creating such a beautiful story! I look forward to reading Moby…

  9. Oh Congrats Diana,

    It sounds like a really fun week in LA.

    I am so looking forword to the first of many seasons of your Book’s into shows.

    Don’t forget to take a break !!!!!

    susie o.

  10. I can’t wait to see the series on STARZ! My sister and I read your books at the same time so we can talk, talk, talk……. Looking forward to reading the new one. Thank you for many enjoyable , escapable hours of reading.

    You mentioned the music and I can’t wait to hear it compliment the novel. Also, I couldn’t help but think of Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy ( Heifetz recording) as I read Outlander. Have you heard it??? So perfect……

  11. Hi,
    Just finished MOBY – loved the ending but am very pleased to hear you’re not finished. I am loving imagining life on the ridge with Brianna and Roger and kids joining them. Also wondering perhaps William might join them for a bit at some point?

    Is the TV series coming to the UK do you know? Otherwise am going to have to ask my brother in America to record it and buy a plane ticket!

    As I’ve read someone else say – thank you for the escape from the world.

  12. WHOOPEE… It’s Finely Aug. 9 and hours away I am so EXCITED!!! I can hardly sit still. I think I will see each of the showings today and tomarrow.

  13. I am so looking forward to the series, but, found out in the last 24 hours Canadians must wait until August 24th. I did my best to get the channel Starz – but it is not available with my provider.

    So to say I am disappointed is an understatement ! I had my whole evening planned for this! Everyone watch this show if it becomes popular apparently the Canadian providers will pick it up sooner. But, at this point we must wait 2 extra weeks. Going to be a long wait!

  14. I love the series I don’t think a movie could have done it justice. Thank you for the beauty of Scotland shown in the series.

  15. Dear Diana!
    The series is fabulous and beautiful compiled. I know many complained about who played Jamie or some of the various characters but all of you did a wonderful job of putting imagination into a real film. It is the highlight of my week. My only thought was in viewing episode 4 last night why they attached obvious radio music of the 1940′s into scenes that were in-the-moment 1740′s. Trying to attach Claire’s previous influence but it did nothing but offend when the real Celtic score is so lovely and appropriate. Every detail and description up to that music intrusion has been perfect and I suppose even that was a minor offense. Overall, the music is exquisite and adds so much. They are doing a masterful job of displaying a gorgeous story and we already know season 2 will describe the 2nd book. Hurrah! Thank you for your imagination and something that rivals Harry Potter for adults. You are a true talent and a genius storyteller. Hats/tams off to ya!

  16. I have the music from the musical and would like to hear the wedding vow music when they wed. Thanks for the camio last week. At first I said to myself I know that face!!!

  17. DIANA (6th) it just gets better and better I wish I were younger. I would have a crush on Dugal and Mortog. Jamie and Culan have the sweetest smiles!!! I would like to see how they do that to Culan’s legs. I was a graphic Artis for a living at the University.

  18. How very sad the series became a soft-porn serial. Had expected better from Moore. Just goes to show how uncritical the public is, too. The actors, not matter how good their performances are, have prostituted themselves for fame, awards and money. But, that’s what Holly-weird does best; sex sells. I’m done with Porn-lander in all forms.

    • Dear A.A.–

      I find that sex is a highly personal thing, both in its private aspects and its more public representations. What seems lurid and off-putting to one person seems sensitive, emotional and arousing to another. Personally, I think the production has done a wonderful job, from writers to actors to photography and direction, in the ways in which they’ve handle these aspects of the story. (I say “aspects,” because sex is used in the show as it is in the books–not as a one-size-fits-all event that serves the single purpose of titillation, but as an honest representation of the things human beings use sex _for_–these ranging from communication and the expression of love to predation and destruction. Because sex is so important to us as humans, we’re hard-wired to look at it under almost any circumstances–and this means that we may occasionally see a depiction that is at odds with our own assumptions and preferences as to what sex is or how it is appropriately conveyed. I would take issue with your assertion that the actors have prostituted themselves, though. I’ve spoken to them about those aspects of their performances, and without exception, all of the actors viewed those scenes as important–albeit sometimes difficult–parts of the story, and were proud of their perfomances. As they should be.

      Best wishes,

      –Diana