• “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

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. Wish I’d been there with you. I can hardly wait!

    • Hearing you talk about the mucic reminded me of Dougie MacLean from Scotland and his wonderful ballad Caledonia. Am hoping there might be chance to hear his music sometime in the series…….will love it either way, but combining this awesome Scottish singer with the series would be magic

  2. Cannot Wait til August to sit down and watch this wonderful show………….Hopefully Starz renews it for season 2 and does Dragonfly………..These books are My Absolute Favorite………..I cannot count how many times I’ve read them……….I have the 20th Anniversary edition on
    f Outlander and the graphic novel. Thank you so much!!!!!!!!!!! Never thought in a million years that when someone handed me a copy of Outlander and said here read it, did I ever think it would be my favorite, that I would cry along with Jaime and/or Claire and cry when the book was over and had to wait. I love all the books so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Thank You So Much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    • Looks like I may have company on Aug. 9. So happy it is almost here! We will be having our own Gathering!

      So excited for you Diana Congrats!

  3. Did you see the screen shot of a newspaper with a picture of Claire and the headline “Thousands disappear on August 9′? I though it was so funny, and so true.

  4. I am So happy you liked it Diana. This is your baby and I trust your judgement. If you liked it I KNOW we all will. I am so looking forward to this … more than any other adaptation for the small screen, including GoT and that is saying a lot cause I am a HUGE GoT fan ;) I have read the entire series twice (Outlander) and am currently sharing the audiobook version with my husband who lucky for me, is my own personal Jamie, in fact I always tell him I like the books so much because Jamie reminds me of HIM and not the other way around. Not sure he believes me but he sure likes hearing it … hehe …

    It the “realness” of your characters that captivates me … every situation they find themselves in has a ring of truth to it and how the characters handle themselves every day, the little details. A true masterpiece and I am counting the hours til MOBY .. I NEED to know how everyone is doing and whether Jem gets out of the dam! He’s been in there a long time …

  5. Thanks, Diana, for always taking your readers with you on your adventures and allowing us to really experience your excitement and hard work. I love your books to say the least and am a fan of YOU for being so incredibly humble and real. I love how you include us.
    Can’t wait to go to Wisconsin next weekend and enjoy MOBY.
    Ill wait another 4-5 years for the next one, it just gives me more to look forward to.

    Enjoy your Tour and stay safe and healthy!

  6. August 9 is my birthday. I will be eating cake and watching the show!!! YES!!!!YES!!!!!YES!!!!!!

  7. It will be a magical day I hope for the first episode. I’m gathering as many Outlander friends as I can and we are having a Gathering at my house with Scottish food and we’ll all watch it together. I challenge all you Outlander fans to do the same. It makes sense too because Starz is an extra channel for us here in W NY so only one of us will subscribe. I work every other weekend and was panicking as to how I would keep up wit the rest of the shows until someone turned me onto View on Demand. Thank God!! Diana, you are the very best writer I’ve ever read and my hero. I tell everyone about your fabulous books and yes I re-read t hem.

  8. I am now living for Aug. 9, 2014!

  9. One of the best parts about this is that I can share now with my friends/family who just don’t read, or won’t read books as thick as these are. I can’t wait to see what they think!

    Note to Starz- Renew renew renew.

  10. “…(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…”

    Now that sounds like a puzzle I want answered. But it will be a long time coming if it will only be answered in the last book. Oh well, new puzzles just mean more anticipation, and a long time to wait just means endless hours of enjoyment ‘puzzling’ over possibilities.

    Thank you Diana, looking forward to next week’s book release and then to August for the show. It sounds amazing!

  11. When my mother first suggested that I read Outlander a few years ago, I (foolishly) put off looking for it, not putting too much stock in my mother’s tastes…I’ve never been so ridiculous. When I did finally pick up that first book it set off a whole chain reaction of love, adventure, respect, tears, and laughter. Not only did the books carry me through a difficult period in my life, they remain something that my mother and I can bond over in a way that no other book, movie, or …anything really can. They provide me with a beautiful look at what marriage, love, and sex look like after the honeymoon-phase wears off. In short, they entertain in a deeply-meaningful way, and I’m so, so glad that I’ve had the privilege to read them.

    Even DG’s descriptions of these sort of events make us fans feel like we are experiencing everything with her, so THANK YOU for keeping us informed and excited. Can’t wait for June 10! OR Aug 9th!

  12. Oh, Diana,
    Thank you so much for letting us share in this little bit of seeing your dream come true. You seem to be satisfied with the whole deal and that is good enough for us all. If it is not a blockbuster or a monumental chart topper or however it is described as best of the best cinematically and in literature then I know nothing! Congratulations! I agree that it will be a most exciting summer. By the time we read MOBY August 9 will soon be here. I wish for you and the production team only the best now and always. DD

  13. Waiting for June 10, MOBY…when can we have travel tour to highlights of Claire and Jaime??

  14. Hey Diana – Was thinking about you at Mass this morning because of the quote from the Pentecost Sequence in the first book. ;-)

  15. Thanks for setting the scene so completely. As if there is any other way for you to do it. I have goosebumps on my goosebumps. This is going to be one heck of an Outlander Summer!

  16. Hello, thank you for your marvellous books! I live in Canada and understand we will be getting the series on Showcase. Do you have any idea of the date it starts here? No one seems to know. Do I have to move to the USA by August 10th. Ha ha.

    Thanks for everything, and good luck. Am going to by MOBY this week.


  17. It’s KILLING me that we don’t get Starz!! I have to figure out how I’m going to see this!

  18. I can’t wait either, so glad they went traditional with the music! Looking forward to the LA book signing tomorrow. :)

  19. Today is my birthday, guess what just arrived from Amazon.com? MOBY, now I don’t want to do anything the rest of the day but read! Can’t wait to dive in.

    • Dear Rhonda–

      Happy Birthday!


      • Thank you Diana! I had to chuckle when I looked at the family tree and saw that Lord Lovat had an out of wedlock affair with Davina Porter, my favorite recorded books performer! I have listened to her perform the first 7 books, (after reading them) and I hope she will also do MOBY. I will listen to anything she performs for recorded books because I enjoy hearing all the accents she does.

  20. Today my husband saw a local librarian checking 4 copies of Moby into their system. He said hey my wife just bought that book and proceeded to show her the picture I had texted him from the store. Needless to say I was having a “Woohoo!” moment. She said she had heard of the series but hadnt read it. He said you should. Its gonna be on Starz you should check it out. She said she had Starz. What a guy! Thank you Diana for all your wonderful books. I know you hear that often but I am thankful.

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