• “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See the note below—this post is from July 6, 2014 and is a bit outdated…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. Reading your blog I am amazed! One at your stamina and then at your productivity. I was also pleasantly surprised to see that you work on multiple pieces at one time. I could almost see the threads of your mind as they float, twist and weave the pieces of your next work. I look forward to reading more. Just wish that there was a PG version, as I love the historical pieces and could using the series in a classroom at the secondary level.

  2. Diana,
    I am so glad there will be a book 9. I read books 1 & 2 many years ago but got sidetracked by years of professional schooling to further my career. When I saw that the TV show was coming, I started over, this time on the Kindle which is much easier on my older eyes. I started on 8-17 -14 & just finished book 8 on 11-16-14. I have been living & breathing Outlander & I am now totally obsessed! I just watched your interview at the Edinburgh International Book Festival last night. You are amazing & so funny! Thank you so much for creating the world of Outlander. As a history buff myself, I really appreciate all the work you put into it. I also noticed that we share the same birthday but I am 5 years behind you. Maybe another reason why it all feels so right!

  3. Dear Diana,
    I wanted to express my appreciation for the Outlander series of books. You are a very gifted and talented individual. The Starz TV series intrigued me and when I was having difficulties with my spouse and needed a distraction, I decided to purchase the books and read the genuine story for myself. Not do go into unnecessary detail about my marital issues, I made it through the rough patch and came out on the other side due to the books. They totally absorbed me and allowed me to escape when I needed to. The characters become real people in such a short time and I love your writing style.
    My uncle remarked that he knew you at NAU and said you were a remarkable individual; very talented, and I agree. He has since retired from the genetics department but seems to remember you vividly.
    I look foward to the next book, or books. I do feel that William, Bree and Roger and others could take off in their own books. They are colorful and interesting figures on their own. The Outlandish Companion; Vol. 1, is delightful and helpful, I look forward to to Vol. 2.
    Understanding the time involved to compile such masterful volumes, I plan to investigate the Lord John series of books while I wait. Thank you for sharing your time and talents with the rest of us.
    A devoted reader, Norma Jean

  4. Diana,
    This is just a brief note to tell you how much I enjoyed reading the Outlander series and the Lord John books. You’ve created a wonderful cast of characters; as a reader, I cannot help wondering what happens to them next. I love the way you’ve developed the Claire and Jamie marriage–they’re both pushed into it, but they eventually fall passionately in love. And this love continues to exist, despite a twenty-year-long separation across time. It was truly painful reading the scenes in Book 7 (An Echo in the Bone), when Claire is grieving for Jamie to such an extent that she thinks of committing suicide. I think John saves her life, when he barges into her room and refuses to let her grieve alone.

    What I loved about book 8 was Jamie and Claire getting back together, the double wedding (Ian/Rachel and Denzell/Dottie), Roger and Brianna returning to Fraser’s Ridge (just how did they manage that?) and William’s relationship with Arabella-Jane and Fanny. I loved the fact that, when his first attempt to get Hal and John to convince Campbell to free Jane fails, he turns to Jamie to break into the prison and rescue the girl. And then, when they find her dead, the Fraser-Murray clan gets together to bury her. I loved his relationship with Ian–that quasi-friendly rivalry over Rachel. I loved it when Jamie resigns his commission when Claire is shot. The saddest bit in the book was Henri-Christian’s death–he was truly a lovable character.

    I look forward to reading book 9, whenever it is published. And I would love to read about Jamie’s parents.

    All the best!

    • Thanks so much for the series. I am in love with all the characters and each time a new book comes out I start the series from book one before allowing myself to read the new one out. A monumental act of self discipline I must say as well as time consuming. It took me all spring and summer to make it through all 8 books. Then the TVseries in the fall was fun. I really enjoyed that as well and am waiting to purchase the series when it comes out on DVD. I am not qualified by any stretch to critique writing of any sort but I will say that your stories have given me countless hours of enjoyment and I thank you for sharing your wonderful stories. I am often struck with a sense of connection to the past and peoples in the world when I am baking bread for instance. How connected I feel to women the world over and throughout time who bake bread for their families. I imagine the telling of stories which has such a strong place in human history might do the same for you. The connection to the story tellers of olden times. All our technology is window dressing for the humans love for stories no matter what form they are presented in All the best to you and again thanks for the stories

  5. I just finished MOBY, and I’m bereft and losing my daily companions–having started with Outlander in August after seeing the first of the Starz episodes–and continuing through your saga, reading some of it every day for three months. Wonderful books. Thank you so much for sharing your vision. I ken fine what a man be!

  6. I love the books and have read now 2 times (all back to back this last time, amazing how much you forget from the first time i read the first 4 about 16 years ago.) In book 8 what are the ages of Jamie, Claire, Brianna and Roger??

    Look forward to book 9 and the restart of the tv series in the new year.

    Thank you.

  7. Diana,

    Thank you for another wonderful page-turner.

    Whenever I start reading one of your books, as soon as I hear Jamie speak, I feel I am “home.” I think one of the best and most amazing talents you have is giving each character such a distinct voice. Not just in their speech but in their thought processes. Love the accents and speech patterns. I find myself wanting to say, “I dinna ken,” or “Dinna fash yourself,” while immersed in your stories.

    I will share with you that while reading “Echo in the Bone,” I thought it was your last book. I tried to stretch it out (unsuccessfully). Just as I finished it and was sitting in bed weeping, my husband came in the room and made fun of me. I remember that book as being very “dark” because Claire had such a hard time, but after re-reading it this year, I decided it wasn’t as bad as I remembered it. Turns out my own sadness at seeing the characters for what I thought was the last time had a lot to do with it. When I finished the book, I went online to see what other people were saying about it. (I was also upset that all ends seemed tied up except I wanted to see Young Ian with someone to love.) I quickly saw that Echo wouldn’t be the last book and felt ridiculous for all the extra weeping I had been doing! haha (Never have heard the last of that from my husband.)

    Re MOBY: Thank you for giving Young Ian such a wonderful woman. I especially enjoyed the scenes toward the end of the book where the family is together. We’ve watched these young men (Ian and Fergus) grow up and now are watching as they mold the next generation.

    You are awesome!

  8. I remember the day I bought my first copy of Outlander. It was late summer of 1991. I was very pregnant with my first child and had a lot of time on my hands. I was browsing through the historical romance section of a B Dalton bookstore at the mall. I saw Outlander and, being a huge fan of time travel romances, decided to give it a go. And since it was such a large book, I thought it would be the perfect book to read while I waited for my new arrival. Little did I know that that was the start of an “obession”. I have read and reread the entire series several times. I can even quote many parts by heart. I have had to replace that first copy many times, as I loaned it out to so many of my friends and family, who I might add became as addicted as I was, and didn’t always get them back. I own a copy of every single book in the whole saga, as well as the Companion and the graphic novel. I have them in print and now on my Nook (yes I even have the graphic on my nook as well) so that I can make sure I always have them with me. I just started watching the Starz series on line, and while I noticed the changes as it goes along, I love how it stays true to the heart of the story itself. The changes are minor compared to the huge realm of things. I just wanted to let you know that I have been a fan since the beginning (seriously, who vividly remembers the first time they actually saw, let alone bought a certain book 13 years ago) and will continue to be for as long as I am on this earth. You are by far my favorite author. I am so looking forward to the next, as well as all the ones in between. You truly have a wonderful gift and I am so glad I picked that book up all those years ago.

    • P.S. I have to admit that my favorite was Voyager. Especially when Claire finally tracks Jamie to his print shop and he faints dead away when he sees her…..just love love love that part of their story

  9. You continue to amaze me by giving each character such distinct and recognizable personalities. As a reader, I feel so convinced and attached. Just finished book 8 and I’m lost and grieving with out the Fraser’s in my life…how amazing that you can do that!! Thank you Diana, you are one of those great authors that will go down in history.

  10. I watched the first few episodes of the Outlander series before reading the books so the characters images were already in my head. I devoured all eight books in eight weeks, neglecting all sorts of work and family obligations! Ha! They are fabulous, and I love them so much. I love how long they are and that there is another book coming. I
    I love that my sister is only on book five and has no idea how big of a presence some of the characters will have, i.e. Ian returns from the Mohawks and Bree discovers her brother, William, just by the sight of him! Thank you! My favorite books ever!

  11. Diana,

    I enjoyed all 8 books so far! They’ve all been wonderful reads, and I love the back-history that reading historical fiction gives me.

    I’m just looking forward to however you decide to wrap up Jamie’s and Claire’s story; they are both epic characters and I have no doubt that their conclusion (whenever it happens) will be just as large as the characters you have made them over the last 8 novels.

  12. The Outlander series has taken over from Jean Auel’s Children of the Earth as my favorite series of novels. Both draw wonderful, deep, multi-faceted characters, including strong women who are natural healers and inventors. Davina Porter does such a wonderful job giving voice to your books, and I love your rich vocabulary! I spent most of the summer listening to the audio books while I gardened or drove long distances, but I would also keep a hard copy for times when audio was impractical.
    Thank you!

  13. Hi Diana, love all your books. I did not discover the Outlander series until 2008 so book 8 was really the first book I had to wait on, I filled part of the wait with the novellas. I think waiting on book 9 will surely do me in. I also am enjoying the Starz series. Do you know who is going to play Lord John?!? Best wishes and I hope yiur family has a great holiday season.

  14. Just finished the 8th book of the Outlander series. I have enjoyed all eight books tremendously, found them hard to put down. You are the most descriptive writer I have ever had the pleasure of reading. I am so glad that at some point there will be a ninth book because I must honestly tell you that I was a little disappointed in the ending of the last book. It happened so quickly and left me wondering how Brianna and Roger managed to surmount 40 years just like that! I have travelled in the Scottish Highlands and all the places mentioned in North Carolina and could envision the country very well. Thank you for that wonderful story.

  15. I love the Outlander series, I saw the first half season on Starz and the next day, I purchased the whole series on amazon.net. I have read three times all eight books and am officially an addict. I even play the tv series in the background so that I have the voice of jamie and claire in my mind as I reread the books. Next I plan to or, the lord john series and the other. Hope they will keep help tame my outlander addiction?

  16. So glad to hear you are working on Book 9 but everyone must realize what a commitment you have made to the television show. What a wonderful addition you make to the panels and discussions.
    Waiting for the next book is like a child waiting for Christmas. Besides waiting for something always makes it so much better.

  17. By the time MOBY was released, any reader of the first Outlander book had been long since hooked. Ms. Gabaldon’s novels are a heart-thumping, thrill ride into the past. Anyone who is an Outlander fan knows that the strength of the series (both in the literary and television-adapted forms) is the character of Claire Randall. I have to thank Ron D. Moore & the Starz channel for, without them, I would have most likely never have discovered these books (where have I been?!). From start to finish, I read all eight Outlander novels in less than two months. With MOBY, Ms. Gabaldon has proven she still has what it takes to intrigue and keep her readers hooked. I’m a voracious reader, and have read everything from the classics to the latest New York Times best sellers, and as such, I think I can honestly say that I believe Claire Randall is one of the most compelling characters in modern literature. The strength and likeability of her character alone is the basis and reason for the enduring popularity of the books as well as the success of Starz’s series (it doesn’t hurt that the casting of Caitriona Balfe was a superb choice).

    I’ve recommended the Outlander series of books to all my friends (as well as recommending the fantastic television adaptation). Currently, there are seven of us at work who have read or who are in the process of reading all eight books. They are simply great, rollicking reads into the past. These books have history, adventure, and romance, with a bit of fantasy all wrapped-up into each one. If you’re the type of reader prone to like historical romance with a strong, likeable female lead (which I do), than Outlander is for you. Readers needn’t shy away from the romantic aspects of the books; these are not your fluff, Harlequin variety of novels. The story is much deeper than that, and the books are more compelling by their nature. You’ll actually learn something from the Outlander novels and not mind while you’re in the process of gaining the education the books provide.

    Throughout time, history has provided us with strong, intelligent women who have made positive influences in our world. With the Outlander books and her creation of Claire, Gabaldon has created a character whose strength and intelligence would rival real-life historical women. It’s as if Claire could stand in a room with the likes of Catherine the Great or Emilie du Chatelet and be in such possession of herself, she could easily hold her ground in the presence of such female greatness.

    Thank you, Diana Gabaldon, for creating Claire Randall…for Jamie and for all the characters and stories that encompass the Outlander series. They truly are unforgettable creations and evidence of your true genius!

  18. Hi Diana!

    I want to thank you for telling the best love story of all time. The characters of your books are as real to me as they were standing in this room. Your writing has influenced me so much.

    I will have to wait for the next book a bit longer (translation in finnish by Anuirmeli Sallamo-Lavi, she’s great by the way), but it’ll be worth it.

    Yours,
    Reader from Finland

  19. I am hoping that Jaimie and Claire will end their days in the 1900′s or 2000,s. Jaime deserves comforts and conveniences like air conditioning and central heating as well as seeing his grandchildren growing up.
    The crack on his head made him unable to understand music and the call of the stones, but he can still travel through them just as he knows the words to songs but not the sense of music.

  20. Everything I could say has already been said. I discovered your first book back in 2003 & read several more before I stopped for fear that Jamie &/or Claire would die. Then one day a woman came in holding the book after the one I had quit reading & I got excited & asked if Jamie &Claire were still alive. When she assured me they were I started reading again. I couldn’t stand the thought of them dying! Please stop writing before that happens. These people are so real & the way you write is so natural, I have never enjoyed any books as much as yours. Thank you for your great talent that you have shared with all of us. This is such an incredible story that I will cherish forever.

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