• “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

WHAT NEXT?


See the note below—this post is from July 6, 2014 and is a bit outdated…

I’m about to head back out in a few hours, to do my _last_ US/Canadian book-tour event in Traverse City, MI. But thought I might grab an hour to do a bit of updating before I absquatulate again…

First—I’m delighted that so many of you like MOBY!* Thank you so much for all your kind words.

As for the next book(s), I have no idea.** I finished writing MOBY on April 15th (having stayed up 36 hours straight to do it), spent the rest of April working 16 hours a day to finish the copyedits and galley proofs, then spent most of May dealing with everything (including stuff associated with the TV show) that was pushed out of the way during the Final Frenzy of MOBY. And on June 7th, all hell broke loose and I’ve essentially been on the road for a solid month, with three brief touchdowns at home (ranging from 12 hours to a whole day-and-a-half). So far, I’ve signed roughly 38,000 copies of MOBY and will undoubtedly hit between 40-50,000 by the end of summer. (No, I don’t have carpal-tunnel syndrome, but thank you for your concern.)

Now, I realize that it’s difficult to know what to say to a writer at a book-signing; I’d be tongue-tied myself, in the presence of someone I admired but didn’t know. It’s always great to hear, "I loved this book!" or "I love your books and I’m really looking forward to reading this one!" if you need a default. "WHEN WILL BOOK NINE BE OUT?!?" is possibly a little less welcome.

But I do appreciate the enthusiasm/impatience that spawn this question, so here’s what my immediate writing future looks like (assuming I survive the rest of the summer):

At the moment, there are only scraps of Book Nine—plus a useful "What I Know" document that I wrote right after finishing MOBY, about the "shelf-hung" subplots (those are bits that are kind of folded back on themselves, but not left as cliffhangers—like where William is going or what will happen to Lord John next).

Shelf-1-Gus I haven’t even formally sifted MOBY’s Mfile (the regularly updated list of files written for a specific book) and moved the remnant files to JAMIE9 (the directory/folder for Book Nine) yet (that’s a two-day job in itself). The next thing I do is to go through my major reference shelves, cleaning and tidying, and in the process, assemble the "core" shelf for Book 9–for any book, no matter how many references I consult along the way, there will end up being maybe five books that are _very_ helpful/relevant and that I use a lot, and maybe 5-10 more that I want to keep close to hand, for more limited but still important stuff. I keep one shelf for that core reference stuff, and refurbish it when I start serious work on a new novel. adding new sources as I come across them. Then I read through the relevant portions of ALMANAC OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION, a _very_ useful book that gives brief notes on everything happening everywhere <g> on a given day, that had any importance in the Revolution. This is my first pass at a historical timeline (which lives in my head and evolves constantly over the course of a book). I’ll probably write bits and pieces while I’m doing these necessary chores, but it’s pretty random and nothing like the sustained effort that comes as I move fully into a book.

In other words, you’re not likely to see #DailyLines from Book Nine for awhile.

Now, there’s a _lot_ of THE OUTLANDISH COMPANION, Volume 2 in existence. I’ve been messing about with that on the side for the last 2-3 years, and most of it is _there_, if not yet tidied into its final form. There are a few chunks of original writing still to be done for that–the detailed synopsis for MOBY is the first that springs to mind, though I’ll also need to add commentary to a largish excerpt section (specialized excerpts), and a few other bits to be collected or contracted (i.e., I may have to get someone to produce things like maps or floor-plans, as I can’t do better than crude sketches on my own). But IF I move OC2 to the top of the work pile (not as the main focus, but as the main side-project), it _might_ be ready for delivery to the publisher around January, and thus might be in print sometime in the first half of 2015, which would be nice. (I also need to do slight updates to OC1, removing obsolete material and maybe improving the Gaelic Pronunciation Guide—that sort of thing.)

Then there’s the HOW TO (AND HOW _NOT_ TO) WRITE SEX-SCENES ebook. That’s actually complete, but I finished it right before both the show and MOBY hit high gear, so I now need to read it through again and do final fiddles (and maybe include a few scenes from MOBY), then run it past my agent for response and suggestions (if any). Ebooks can be produced _very_ fast, though, so once we’re happy with it, it could be out within a couple of months–I’d kind of like to have it out this fall, but that’s a matter for discussion with agents, publishers, etc.

And more or less on the same level with Book Nine (in terms of how eager I am to work on them) are the prequel volume about Jamie’s parents (for which I have only fragments at the moment) and the first contemporary crime novel. I think I have about half of that, and it’s "live" for me–but will take a good bit of intensive work, both in terms of research and writing. On the other hand, it’s short by comparison with everything else on my menu.

And on the outskirts of my mind are the germs of what might eventually be novellas, but I haven’t had the time even to _look_ at those with any attention. They _are_ brief, though, and I might well pick one up to get back into my regular routine–come September. I’ll be traveling/working most of July and August, and won’t have anything like peace and quiet ’til Labor Day. (No, I’m not going to Dragon Con this year, unless Starz decides they want to have a presence there for the show, and at the moment, they don’t.)

In the meantime, any eager soul who foolishly asks me, "When will Book Nine be out?" will be politely ignored. Or bonked on the head with the copy of MOBY they just asked me to sign, depending…

*(And for those few who complained that the ending of MOBY was a cliffhanger….go back and read the end of AN ECHO IN THE BONE, to see what one actually looks like. <g> If you just wanted to "see" what happened next in MOBY…feel free to fill in your own version of "OMG! OMG! OMG! <hughughug> <weep tears of joy> OMG! OMG! OMG! <broken endearments> OMG? OMG? OMG? <hopping up and down> OMG!" I have complete faith in my readers’ intelligence and imagination, and I don’t tell y’all things I know you can figure out for yourselves.)

**Webmistress’s Note on August 28, 2015: A lot has changed in the year since Diana posted the blog above on July 6, 2014:

  • See Diana’s Book Nine webpage for excerpts (aka "Daily Lines") and current information.
  • The revised, updated and expanded version of THE OUTLANDISH COMPANION, VOLUME ONE, was published on March 31, 2015 in the U.S.A. This ultimate guide to the OUTLANDER series covers the first four major novels: OUTLANDER, DRAGONFLY IN AMBER, VOYAGER, and DRUMS OF AUTUMN. (The original OC was published in 1999. The U.K. edition of this guide was titled THROUGH THE STONES.)
  • THE OUTLANDISH COMPANION, VOLUME TWO will be published in the U.S.A. on October 27, 2015. OC II is the guide to the second four major novels in the OUTLANDER series: THE FIERY CROSS, A BREATH OF SNOW AND ASHES, AN ECHO IN THE BONE, and WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART’S BLOOD (aka "MOBY").

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938 Responses »

  1. Dear Diana,
    I am a girl from Spain who has read and enjoyed all your books. I must confess that I read Outlander every year. I just have one question for you. When will we be able to read your last book in spanish? or when is moby going to be published in Spain? I hope it will be soon, because not all your readers can do it in english. By the way, sorry for my English.
    I can’t finish this message without telling you that I have seen the serie on line and I have loved it.

    • Dear Juani–

      Your English is much better than my Spanish. [g] Muchas gracias! Glad you’ve been enjoying the TV series, as well as the books. I don’t know exactly when MOBY will be published in Spain, but it normally takes a foreign publisher about a year to finish the translation of one of my books. Hope you’ll enjoy it when you get it!

      Best,

      –Diana

  2. Loved long-awaited MOBY and tell myself patience is a virtue. Besides, another Outlander book is well worth the wait. I remember in your “daily lines” on MOBY, there was a small snippet of a scene with Jamie and Natty Bumpo — am so looking forward to the development of that — I remembered Cooper’s Leatherstocking was based on a real character and absolutely love the suggestion he might appear in your next book. Almost as good as the fascinating scenes with Benedict Arnold and John Andre. I suppose Clair might say something to Arnold; after all, she warned Jamie about Culloden and it did no good — isn’t there a theory than history cannot be changed in regards to big events, only small and relatively unimportant ones? In other words, Jamie and Clair’s personal lives are only earth-shattering to themselves (and all your readers), while Benedict Arnold will try to surrender West Point and John Andre will hang no matter what warnings they might receive.

    I appreciate how painstaking your research is and how much time it takes to interweave all the threads of history in your stories. No wonder your books take you so long to write! Wouldn’t have it any other way.

    Am enjoying Outlander on Starz. I was so afraid it would be cleaned up and dumbed down, but it isn’t. Well cast and the development of characters is excellent. Jamie is clearly growing from a boy to the man he will become, and Frank’s character hints at some of Black Jack’s demons, an unexpected exploration. Claire thinks of Frank in your books; this script treatment deals with those hints very well.

    Thank you.

  3. Diana, I just finished reading MOBY and realized I had come to the end of a nearly 2 year long adventure of reading all of your Outlander books back to back. MOBY was once again beautifully written, and I cried with joy at how you wrapped things up for these characters that I’ve come to know and love. I don’t think any other book series has affected me quite as much as this one; I can’t recall having invested as much emotion in any other set of characters- to the point where I actually miss them in a sense, you’ve made them seem so real.

    As soon as I finished the last one, I had to look online to make sure that at some point there would be a next book- and I’m so glad to see that there will be. No pressure of course. Thanks for writing these beautiful books, it’s been an amazing literary experience for me and really brought back the joy of reading which sort of went away during my college years.

    From a grateful reader, all the best and good luck with the next book!
    Dee

  4. Just want to say thanks!

  5. Diana,

    Just finished MOBY. So much going on in one book. How on earth do you keep all the threads aligned. I’m glad to hear the adventures continue. I always intended to read Outlander, but didn’t until I watched the first two episodes on STARZ. I kept recording the TV, but backtracked and became completely engrossed in the books. Soon as I finished the 8th, I watched the rest of the season. The books are wonderful, the TV series is wonderful. (I love Germaine, he’s so funny and bright. I liked him very young, but was smitten when he fell out of the tree and landed in front of Claire, birds eggs intact!) I am starting the Lord John series next. I must say at first I didn’t want to like him. I guess I was siding with Claire. Once I got to know him through his friendship with Jaimie, I came to see him in a different light. I guess Claire did too. Thank you for your dedication to the characters and the world they inhabit. My only regret is that I delayed reading your books!!! I’m thoroughly hooked.

  6. Looking forward to eventual book 9! And any more ‘bulges’.

    I’m currently re reading from the start … Again … And have just finished Drums of Autumn. A question I’m sure I’m not alone in asking and hoping for an eventual answer (or a point to where it is answered if I’ve missed it??) is why Jack Randall was buried at St Kilda???

    With all your wee sub books etc, most questions on the characters get answered…..will/does this?

    Reading above re meeting you and not knowing what to say, happened to me when you came to Edinburgh, Scotland a few years ago. Total mind blank, dribbled/babbled something incoherent, when all I wanted to say was ‘thank you, your books are the reason I came to Edinburgh and now live’ . I’m a NZ’er. So, thank you.

  7. Just like everyone else, I will endeavor to wait patiently for Book 9 or any novellas. I just finished MOBY – I have tried to pace myself, but couldn’t – and I am saddened that I will have to wait for more. I LOVE being in that world! Can’t wait for OC2!

  8. I keep rereading outlander series, alternating with other books, but can’t find any historical romantic novels that can hold a candle to your books!!!! Please, can you recommend any of your favorite books to fill in between rereading numbers 1-8 and waiting for book 9?

    Thank you for creating such marvelous characters and stories while managing the monumental task of presenting the periods in time as historically accurate as possible! The temper of the times, customs, dress, speech, everything to make the tales real, authentic, at the same time so wonderfully magical and other-worldly!

    Cindy

    • Dear Cindy–

      Well…I don’t -write- historical romances. You might go to the menu bar here and click on “Resources.” There’s something there called “The Methadone List,” which is a collection of books that I personally like a lot and would feel happy about recommending to anyone. Maybe you’ll find something there that suits your taste–mine is pretty eclectic. [g]

      Best,

      –Diana

  9. Dear Diana,

    I just want to tell you that you have written an amazing story!
    I started reading Outlander only two years ago, and I had to buy all the books (from “Voyager” to MOBY) in England or online because, unfortunately, they aren’t sold here in Portugal. But let me tell you, all this effort turns into nothing when I get to read all this amazing books. Thank you!

  10. I would like to share what your books have brought to my life, Diana, and also what the first one took from my life. .

    I was 32 years old when I met a man who seemed to be a great partner for me. We laughed at the same things, we had similar tastes and preferences, and while we were getting to know each other and decide if we wanted to make our relationship permanent, the July 4th holiday was upcoming. The young man decided that it would be fun for us to spend the weekend at Virginia Beach.. So, we secured reservations at a lovely hotel on the beach and headed there. First stop- the very windy and not so warm beachfront.

    I had my brand new copy of the just- released “Outlander” with me. I thought it would be a ” light beach read” – you know the type of book I am referencing.. Certainly NOT one of your books. :)
    Less than an hour into my reading, I was extremely caught up in the story. much to my boyfriend’s exasperation, then frank anger.

    It was on that day 20+ years ago, that I found out that he hated books. hated to read, and apparently did not think highly of those of us who have enjoyed and learned from literature all our lives ( I was reading by the age of 3). I honestly do not know how I made it through that horrible nightmare of a weekend except that I have the memory of continuing to read “Outlander”. You, and it, were my salvation in the dismal situation, as “Outlander” would have been such a brilliantly shining light of a book in any situation.

    He is but a very faint memory now, but I have re-read all your books, and purchased the Kindle versions of the last few I had never read, and it is if I never left you or the Frasers. I laughed and I cried throughout the TV series on STARZ. because I literally HAD been waiting for a movie, a serious of movies, or something of that nature based upon the books FOR OVER 20 YEARS.
    I loved every part of Season One and I can hardly wait until Season Two.

    And, although ” Outlander” will always have a very special place in my heart for the introduction to Jaime and Claire, and for the part the reading of it played in my ” real life”, I dearly loved MOBY and I accept what you tell us at face value in the books.
    I do NOT wonder ” What if? or ” Why?” because, IMO, although you will continue to write about the characters, you may not choose to tell everyone’s answers to all the possible questions. Life is NOT wrapped up in a neat package and handed to us.

    I remember a chat with you online MANY years ago. I asked you who had influenced your writing and your answer brought tears to my eyes, for you answered, ” John D. Macdonald” because he KNOWS ( Knew) his characters and he lived with them (in his mind.)

    I would like to gently say that Mr. Macdonald’s passing left the Travis McGee series unfinished, which is a point of sadness for those of us who loved Travis and Mr. Macdonald. I have always hoped there was a finished manuscript squirreled away, as he did mean to write one more McGee novel.
    I hope all the fans of your Jaime and your Claire live to read the last book, and I hope that you will be truly and utterly satisfied with the body of work you have produced. :)
    I think that if someone had told me all those years ago that the ” Outlander” series would last as long as the Travis McGee novels did, I would have disbelieved them. It didn’t seem possible at the time of your online chat with fans.

    I’m so glad we’ve had this journey together, and I’m so glad I stepped out of the shadow of a man who disliked books to later marry an incredibly gifted bibliophile who happens to love the time travel aspect of “Outlander”.
    I never could have respected a man who can read but chooses not to do so. Another lesson learned at a young age from the circumstances surrounding my copy of ” Outlander”.
    My gratitude is enormous, my respect for you is immense.

    Thank you,
    Lily Amanda

    • Dear Lily–

      Haha! I’m glad I saved you from the non-reading boyfriend; you wouldn’t have been happy with _him_. [g] And I’m very flattered at the comparison with John D. MacDonald and Travis McGree; John D. is who taught me how to carry a series character from book to book. (Personally, I thought THE LONELY SILVER RAIN would have made quite a decent ending to the series.)

      Best,

      –Diana

  11. I am asking about the USA release of the Trail of Fire collection in paperback. Amazon was showing publication date of Aug 29 2014, but still nothing in the USA only UK sellers. Any idea on a revised release date for the US market?

    • Dear Mike–

      Amazon just makes things up. We haven’t even contracted that book with a US publisher at the moment. I’ll be sure to announce it when the book is ready, though.

      Best,

      –Diana

  12. Finished the last paragraph of Written In My Own Heart’s Blood this morning and closed the book with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat. That’s only the second time that reading a book has done that to me. I became very attached to Brianna in this book. It also re-lit a fire inside of me to continue on with my own writing.

  13. I binge read the 8 Outlander books in a few weeks, after watching the first episodes of the TV series. Cannot wait until book 9 comes out. Thank you for bringing these wonderful characters to life!

  14. Dear Diana,

    As many others i was taken from the first episode of Outlander (the series) just to happily find out there are 8 books of this great story (shocked also to learn that the age of Outlander is almost like mine). Of course i immediately went to buy them online but was very disappointed to learn only the first two books was translated to Hebrew (i’m from Israel) and non of them lately…
    I contacted the publisher and was told book #3 is not in the process…

    Just finished Voyager audiobook and as much as i liked Davina’s reading it isn’t the same as reading in my language and i feel i’m missing alot.

    Do you have any idea why the rest of the books are not translated to Hebrew? i don’t have anyone else to ask…
    Also wanted you to know there are alot more then 1 fan in Israel… and i’m sure part of them because of me…:)

    Thank you,
    Tal

  15. You are amazing, Diana Gabaldon. I just started reading the ‘Outland’ books after the TV series premiered. I have not encountered a series of book so enthralling since the ‘Hobbit’ and ‘Lord of the Rings’. Thankfully I started late into the books. I am half way through the fifth book. My nerves couldn’t take it, so I cheated and read outlines. It was that or stay up all night reading (which I have on occasion). Bless you.

  16. Well, I think you will probably hate me, since I was like: No! no! HELL NO!! At the last sentence of book 8.
    My husband didnt understood my unpleasant mood at all while I was sitting in my small black hole where I’m kinda still sitting untill book nine suddenly shall appear.

    Well, not completely true aince live still goes on (kid, sleddogs etc) but still, I felt kind of unpleased with the end.
    But you shoukdnt care about that since thats how I feel whenever a book ends and i have to wait and stuff. I’m just not the waiting type but all together I will jump highest and be in utopia when book nine will reveal itself to me!

    This is just a really long story and actually I just wanted to say: I love your books and I’m looking forward to whatever comes next!

  17. I’m in love with your books. I’ve already read the entire series four times (except MOBY). I admire you so much and you’ve even helped me answer many questions on Jeopardy. I look forward to the 9th book when you have time in your very busy schedule.

  18. Diana, I love your books and have read them a number of times. Just finished book 8 and so glad there’s going to be a book 9. I’ll just have to read a few novellas to keep me going… I hope the TV series is going to make it to British TV in the not too distant future, it will be such a hit can’t believe it’s taking so long!

    Enjoy your writing!

    Lesley

  19. Dear Diana,

    I was introduced to Outlander by the show and I could not wait to know what would happen next, so I started reading the books by episode 3. Finished book 8 yesterday and I have no idea what to do with my spare time now. I am no longer interested in other books or my TV shows after reading these books – nothing lives up to them, LOL!

    When Claire left Jamie right before Culloden, I was devastated. After reading Jenny and Ian’s interaction while Jenny was pregnant I really could not wait to read what Claire and Jamie would be like in those circumstances – pregnant, raising children and dealing with whatever adventures might happen. When Claire went back the second time I was happy but still felt I needed those 20 years they spent apart back, as much as the characters themselves did. Well, while I was reading MOBY I got really excited because when Roger went back in time it seemed to make it possible that someone could possibly time travel and change things.

    Now for the big question – Would you ever consider having a character (Jem, Mandy maybe Buck) go back in time and changes things (either accidently or on purpose) so that we could get those 20 years back with Jamie and Claire? Maybe not even all 20 years. I’ll take anything you are willing to give, lol.

    I’m not sure if you are trying to wrap this series up or keep it going forever but as a fan I would of course like it to go on forever! Love the story and thank you so much for writing it and keeping it going.

    All my best,
    Jan

  20. Thank you thank you for such excellent books to read and such a great story. I just finished MOBY and slapped it shut and asked my husband… “Well what am I supposed to do now”…. His response “pay attention to me”… Haha maybe for a while until the 9th book comes out!!! Thank you for your wonderful imaginative and awesome mind!!!! You are a fantastic storyteller

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