• “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See the note below—this post is from July 6, 2014 and is a bit outdated…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. Of course, I thank you, what a treasure these books have become to me. I was fortunate to being in the act of tracing my ancestry, (really) when I stumbled on your books again. I had read the first three years ago and not picked up when the fourth came out. So I started at the beginning. Where else? Simultaneously, I traced my ancestry to Scotland, England, and the Nordic countries. Although my Scottish roots ‘rooted’ in the 17th century and prior, I found myself my ancestor’s way of life. What a treasure to bring the way of life to life.

    Oh, but it didn’t stop there. Having ancestors who fought in the Revolutionary War at Fort Ticonderoga, I again could get a feel for the times and trials of their lives.

    I grew up in New Jersey with a Mom determined that we knew the historical value of our state. I have been to Molly Pitcher’s well, (the Battle of Monmouth) and lived just outside of New Brunswick and not too far from Perth Amboy. Your books made me see all in a different light.

    And so, I thank you, not only for the books, but for your research into the daily lives of your characters. How they lived is the same way my ancestors lived. What they feared, what they loved………..oh, you know what I mean.

    I appreciate all of it and am looking forward to next book.

    Sincerely,

    Pat

  2. Dear Diana, What a fantastically rich series you have given the world. My daughter introduced me to it in late August and I have read, in sequence, until yesterday when I finished MOBY. I have laughed and cried and been terribly afraid, hoped, and, well, all the spectrum of emotions with each book. I even dream in the language of your exquisitly drawn characters. Sometimes I wake wondering if I am recaling a scene or making up one of my own. That’s how deeply your writing has infected (in the most beautiful way), my imagination. Thank you a million times. Just want to thank the series for the most beautiful depiction of Jamie and Claire’s wedding night. I’ve also read the first of the Lord John series and look forward to enjoying the rest. Being a born and bred Philadelphian has added to the pleasure of the reading as well as having a strong feeling for anything Scots/Irish. I have to say that I have carried the books with me wherever I go and have often found myself weeping or laughing out loud in public. It’s not embarassing to me but seems to disaffect others. Oh well. And you , my dear , must take some time to decompress. just imagine Jamie telling you to do so. His tenderness with Claire completely undoes me. Just an afterthought. I currently live in the town of Ardmore. Could this be a derivitive of Ardsmuir ? (I probably haven’t spelled that corrrectly).

    • Dear Donna–

      I imagine “Ardmore” could well be a slight Anglicization of “Ardsmuir”– “Ard” means “hill” and “muir” means “moor.” So I’d suppose it refers to the view of a moor from a nearby hill…? [g]

      Best,

      –Diana

  3. Dear Diana, This is my first time writing you but I want you to know that I have enjoyed ALL of your books better than any I have ever read. I love the time travel aspect of them and how you tie everything together is amazing! I can’t wait for #9 and yes I will start at the beginning With Highlander and read them all again. There is so much content and details that I have to go back each time and reread parts of the last on to keep up. Your writing makes things seem so believable that you can actually believe that it’s really possible to travel through time. I will anxiously be awaiting book #9. I have read #8 in less than 2 weeks and I have a full time job taking care of my 93 year old Mom that has to be watched constantly. I think I’m doing pretty good. I just hope I live long enough to see the last book in print and have time to read it. God bless you and help you in writing it. You are the best.
    Sincerely, Sherry

  4. Diana

    iam a newcomer to your writings, but i admit they are what i needed as a distraction. I read all nine books in a 3 month span. Reading your series has a waken a desire to read. Iam looking forward to book nine. I do hope that you answer a few questions. 1. Will Jaime and Lord John relationship repair and how does Claire share these two men. (I like Lord John and Claire) 2. Will the Frasers and the Greys fight for the same cause. I have also introduced the series to my 20 &22 year sons its a kitchen discussion. So, again looking forward to book nine

  5. Dear Diana
    I have just finished reading Outlander and there was an “excerpt” from the second book ….which blissfully continued on from the ending of Outlander. After Dragonfly in Amber finished downloading I opened it to begin reading and what a shock! I was not expecting the first of the book to begin where it did ! At first I thought I made a mistake and downloaded the wrong book!…no right book!
    I was so heartbroken I could barely get through the first chapters…
    I realize I am being a tad melodramatic. …but I was truly Beside myself that Claire was where she was ( I am trying to avoid spoilers)
    After reading through the comments on your blog though I can see there are a lot of happy fans so it must be okay…
    now that I have calmed down and gotten over my initial shock I am excited to see where you will take me through this second book.
    I consider myself an avid reader but I must have been hiding under a rock all these years not to have come across your books sooner.
    I was looking for a good show to watch and came across “Outlander” and it seemed good so I started watching it …wow all I can say is I was hooked! Downloaded the first book and now the second and won’t be stopping anytime soon !!
    Thank you for your brilliant imagination and awesome writing ..
    oh and because of your wonderful book I will be making definate plans to visit the highlands….something that I always wanted to do but never acted on it …Thank you again Diana

  6. Hi Diana
    I want to say I love your books so far! I actually found out about them from the TV series! It was so good I had to check out the book! And then I was hooked! I consider myself an avid reader, so I must have been hiding under a rock for the last 20 yrs to have missed this series!
    I must say though right now my heart is broken !
    I finished the first book and blissfully read an excerpt from Dragonfly in Amber which carried on from the last chapter of Outlander….you can imagine my shock when I opened up the actual book to continue reading and found out where Claire was! ( don’t want to give away spoilers) It may seem a tad melodramatic but I was so shocked, I couldn’t even get through a couple of chapters without stopping…to grieve? Maybe?
    I had to go on your blog and read some of your loyal fans comments …they all seem so happy and positive I consoled myself to it being okay and now I am excited to see where your wonderful story will take me… ( still feeling weepy though…only a few years together)?
    Thank you for your amazing imagination and brilliant writing …
    I have always wanted to visit Scotland and now I believe it will happen this year! Thank you thank you

    • Dear Cathy–

      Keep reading and don’t worry about it. Everything will be all right.

      Best,

      –Diana

      • Well Diana …after a year I have finally finished your books ! I paced myself but all good things must come to an end! I loved your ending in MOBY… it was perfect…but of course now that I know there is a book nine I am excited to continue Jamie and Claire story along with their family! Thank you for this wonderful saga and being the person you are…it means a lot to your fan base to be so personable and approachable! Your posts on social media are fun and I know I look forward to them!

      • Ps …I just discovered your Web page featuring excerpts from book 9
        Thank you for that …helps to keep Jaime and Claire fresh and vivid…your rock!!!

  7. So pleased that there will be another one day. As I reread the ending I thought well that actually could be the end. At least they are together. So I’m very pleased and will wait patiently until the next one. Maybe you could do a novella thingy on Bree and Rogers journey, just to fill in a few gaps for us. Xxxx

  8. Ms. Gabaldon,

    I simply wanted to tell you how much I’ve enjoyed the Outlander series through MOBY. My friend introduced the series to me about 2 months ago, I was immediately hooked, and have read all since then.

    Thank you for creating this wonderful world and introducing me to part of my own Scots-Irish heritage which I will now explore while awaiting “Jamie9.”

    Warm regards,

    Kathy

  9. Diana,

    The Outlandish Companion helped me to remember the details before I continue with Written in my Own Heart’s Blood….but is thgere hope for a volume 2 for the rest of the series before the eighth novel?
    I tried finding it on Amazon and also at my public library, even at Half Price Books, where some of your devoted readers have shared their already read books with others in need….but I can’t find such a volkume anywhere.

    Did I really hear that you had published a volume 2, or was that just my wishful thinking?

    Vicki

    P.S. Your books are the only novels that my grown sons and I have shared to our mutual delight. I, the English teacher, read them first! When I retired a few years ago, a colleague presented Outlander to me as a farewell depoartment gift with a note that read in part: “I know that you do not read fantasy or time-travel science fiction novels, but I also know that you love historical fiction. Just read this one and you will be hooked….and the sex is racy!” Needless to say, I have read them all excpet the lastest Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, which I recently received for my birthday. I just want a detailed summary of the last four so that I will not foget anything important!

    • Dear Vicki–

      I’m presently working on the OUTLANDISH COMPANION, VOlume 2; it should (with luck) be out sometime in 2015. (WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART’S BLOOD _is_ the eighth book; did you miss one? [g])

      Best,

      –Diana

  10. Thankyou for continuing Jamie and Claire’s journey. I wish they could go on forever. I love your characters. I love the story you’re telling. Happy writing!

  11. Hi Diana

    It was with huge pleasure I found Written in my own Hearts Blood recently, due to some big life challenges treating my self to a book has not been a option for ages and I have been so tied up with “stuff” I wasn’t even aware the next book was out! I went in to my book store on a wim and saw your latest. Decided I needed a guilty treat! Reading your books has taken me into another world (and time) over the years so huge heartfelt thanks! I have been lost in the past for a few weeks now lol and it’s been wonderful! Hope you get a great break some time soon too!

    Steph

  12. Love the Loves above as well as all your writings, Diana.
    Almost all my friends in Canada were palpitating awaiting the series and are so gratefu for it and Book 8.
    Last year I was in chemo for many months, I made my husband promise that if I didn’t make it, he’d have to read the latest aloud ( with scotc- but my spirits lifted especially discussing your characters with my several visiting nurses and PSWs- all are hooked.
    Now for a confession- the first I found, was a Lord John in a cruise ship library- gobbled it up! First I’d read with a gay hero. Got home, straightaway demanded more from local library.
    Query in mind about some regimental unknowns I asked my husband- an old reserve officer for explanations. He became interested. He CAN read but he’s ‘cruxiating slow. So I snatched it back and read aloud. Well, it became a ritual- and a re-bonding – after 47 yrs. of not-too- much- in- common-any-more… Soon he would do anything I wanted n payment for ‘a read’. ( except reshingle the roof naked in a blizzard- of which we had to many last year.
    So years later, back in AZ and well into rereads., we both raise a glass of scotch with water to you and yours.
    t Thank you! Merci!

    And now that I have survived for the present- I have resurrected my own historical research , 7 years dusty and struggle daily trying to flesh out imagine a real ancestor with all too few extant factual but fascinating details. I am in awe of your facility!!!!

  13. Just finished MOBY and, for me, #9 would be most welcome. I got hooked on the series when I was in Scotland . We (the group) were visiting the Culloden battlefield and museum and, while there, one of the members of our group joined my husband and I for lunch. She had read all of your books three times. She sat down with us and was crying “Jamie”. Literally, crying. I thought who’s Jamie and what happened. Needless to say, I had to find out for myself. I am so glad I did and have started reading all of the books again. I am hopeful that #9 will be in print before I die – please!! I am 76 and in good health but one never knows.
    Nanc

  14. Dear Diana,

    I just wanted to tell you how much I love this series. I’m a new fan. After watching the first episode of the Starz series it became clear to me that I would have to read the novels. I started reading after episode 8 aired as I couldn’t wait until April to find out what happened next and I just finished MOBY last night. The bonus about discovering this series so late is that I had the luxury of reading all the novels without the long wait in between books. There are only a handful of novels I’ve ever read more than once but yours will definitely be on that short list. Thank you for writing such interesting and well defined characters, they’ve become very dear to me.

  15. You totally put my writing speed to shame. If there’s one thing I would want for Christmas, it’d be your speed (and thoroughness in plotting)! Thank you for WIMOHB – I’m loving this book, especially the bits with Ian. I’m sure I can’t say anything others have already said, so I’ll just thank you for sharing your characters with us. :)

  16. Diana,

    Just finished MOBY and as always, you surpassed my expectations and I absolutely LOVED it! I am thrilled to know there will be another book and while I am excited to read book 9 (whenever it may be finished as your busy schedule allows) I am content to read the novellas and anything else you publish in the Outlander world, watch the show (which is excellent in every way) and re-read the first 8 books as it is always a pleasure to re-live the moments I’ve come to cherish in the lives of Jamie and Claire Fraser- in the meantime.

    I can’t tell you how thankful I am for this series. Your creativity and writing style are a true gift and my only regret is not reading the series sooner. As it is, I started reading the first Book right after Starz aired the first episode of the show in August and was so engrossed that I went out, bought all the books, novellas, graphic novels, dangerous women anthology (just to read “Virgins”) to read. I am proud to say I’ve finished all 8 books, 3 of the novellas, the anthology and am working through the rest while re-reading my favorite parts from all of the books (especially the first which is when I first fell in love with Jamie Fraser.) I don’t make a habit of re-reading books but I simply can’t resist with this series. You’ve made the characters so real and so dear to me that every time I read it is like discovering it again for the first time OR re-discovering something which I had forgotten the small details of.

    I’ve been encouraging people to read the series and am happy to report they are doing so and loving them as well. It’s great fun to share thoughts and opinions after they’ve read.

    Happy writing and everything else you are involved in as well!

  17. I’ve been following Claire and Jamie since I was first introduced as a seventh grader(yes, with parental guidance and permission). I have enjoyed each and every book and have read them all multiple times. It’s interesting to hear that there will be a ninth book as I felt the end of MOBY was an appropriate ending of the story of Claire’s family in the NC mountains. I was hoping that there might be novellas featuring John and William, but hadn’t dared to hope to have more time with Claire and Jamie. I hope that I will not have to grieve the loss of either person in the remaining books.

  18. Diana,
    I can wait as long as it takes!!! I have loved every one of your books and the way you tell
    these story’s, well its simply incredible!!! So I will be here when book 9 and you are ready!!!!
    Thank you for sharing. all of Outlander with us!!!!!

  19. Diana ,
    After reading the letter from frank to bree , i am seeing him in a very new light. I cried for the man who give up 20 years of his life for raising the child of another man and i feel very bad about it and in my opinion frank do not deserve to die like that and he deserve an happy ending what do you say (please answer )

    P.S: Bree named her son jem after roger’s father and jamie , and even two more names are remaining she did’nt named him after frank . I agree jamie was her real father but did’nt she owe frank for loving her as his own

  20. I got hooked on your amazing series after watching the Starz Outlander series on TV and just had to find out what happened to Jamie and Claire! I had no idea there were eight books!!!! My husband kept asking me if I was almost finished reading that book yet, it was taking forever and I was reading all day and night for days and days!!! If you can imagine taking in the entire series in one long sitting. I couldn’t stop until I was done with #8 and then started in on everything else you have written, even the blog posts. What a relief it is to see you are committed to writing #9. I feel terribly guilty about taking you away from family and will hope that you will recoup quickly, get plenty of rest and be eager to share book nine soon. We so appreciate your tremendous talent and thank you for sharing it. Until then we try to patiently wait for more of your treasured writing.

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  1. What’s Next for Diana Gabaldon? | Candida's Musings
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