• “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See the note below—this post is from July 6, 2014 and is a bit outdated…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").

Tagged as: , , , , , ,

938 Responses »

  1. Diana,
    I have a friend who is from Russia. I would like to share the Outlander Series with her. She is also a reader of good books and I love how you tell a story! Are your books translated in Russian so I can share the Outlander Series with her? Please let me know where I can or if I can purchase these for her!!
    Fan of yours,
    Elizabeth Eberhart

    • Dear Elizabeth–

      At least the first two books have been translated into Russian, because I’ve seen them, but I couldn’t tell you whether the further books in the series have been published there yet. Hope your friend enjoys them, if she can find them!

      Best,

      –Diana

  2. I wanted to say again how much I love the whole Outlander series and the other shorter books that you have written! With Outlander, I was drawn in on the first page feeling like a mouse in a corner living in the time of the books! Going through each and everything that the characters are experiencing! That is true with each and every book that I have read that you have written! Your ability to draw someone in within such a short period of time and keeping us there throughout the books is just amazing! I so admire your writing skills, your patience with all of us who follow you in your blog and/or on FB, etc. You actual reply to many of the comments in areas of interest to many! Not many authors do that, especially ones who are as busy as your certainly are!
    Your work is simply amazing! I am 66 yrs old and have read since I was 5 yr old (beginning reader, of course) and was encouraged to read for enjoyment by my mother who was an avid reader! Mother was very so encourging to me and told me to read a variety of books until I found a type or subject that I really enjoyed! I am so grateful to her for her encouragement and support! Money for reading was almost non existent as my mother was a single parent during the late 40′s with no support from my father. We went to the library weekly, walking there and back! The libraian knew us by name! :) That continued throughout my elementary, secondary and upper level schools!
    After I graduated, I married at 18 yrs to my high school sweetheart, who had just finished boot camp in 1966! My reading continued as we were very financially strapped, of course! So I found out about second hand stores that sold just books or you could turn in yours and get credit to get others. As time went on, we got to a point that I could save and get hardback books that I would buy to keep! Yours were at the top of the list when I bought my first Diana Gabaldon book, Outlander! Since then, whenever I knew another Outlander series novel was to be published, I saved the money to purchase it! I still have my original hardbacks but they are very well read after reading them all completely 8x and some of them going on 9x!
    Ms. Gabaldon, I so appreciate your talent, your extensive research and your end product! I admire and respect you very much! You have the patience of Job with all of your fans and the repetitive and sometimes aggresive comments!
    I am one fan who, of course, looks forward to each new book! But I am also very willing and supportive of your writing process! Whenever a new one comes, I am ready to buy it immediately (on pre-order when available)! Take your time, in whatever your endeavor is, for the end result is certainly worth it!
    With great respect and admiration and His Blessings to you and yours, Tari Herron

  3. I have read all of the first 8 novels and have re-read the first seven, so far, loving it just as much, if not more, the second time around. I had a few of my questions answered in the re-reading and read some events I had absolutely no recollection of. (maybe I had read those sections late at night while falling asleep) I’m now down to two unanswered questions: how did Malva know Jamie had an identifiable mark in his private area and the names of Gerald and Neil Forbes seemed to be interchangeable both having lost an ear, but I think only one man lost an ear?
    Thank you Diana for sharing your talented gift of writing. Your characters are in my mind such that they feel like a part of my life, especially when I dream of them. I feel bereft when I’m not reading about them.

    • Dear Karen–

      Best bet is that Malva saw his rear end while he was bathing in the creek, or while working in the fields with his shirt tied up between his legs–doing that would show a good section of buttock when bending over.

      As for Mr. Neil Gerald Forbes, it’s a rather Scot who has but two names, that’s all I can tell you…

      Best wishes,

      –Diana

  4. I came to the party quite late – I only started reading the series last summer. I read straight through & finished book 8 about a month ago – so I have been immersed for a solid year. I even called off work (high school English teacher) twice to stay home & read because I was at such exciting parts! I feel such a strong bond with the Frasier family, et al. So….am I the only one who has watched The Outlander on Starz, only to weep at the one they chose to play Jamie? Where’s the beefy cat eyed, towers above “normal men, wild copper haired, SEXY, hairy man of my fantasies?!? They need to go out & search again, because the one they chose reads as very one dimensional & I feel no connection with the lad whatsoever.

    I. COULD. NOT. BE. ANY. MORE. DISAPPOINTED.

    • Dear Kate–

      Well…tastes in men definitely differ. And I rather think you are in a small minority here. [g] Still, you’re certainly entitled to your opinion, though I’d point out that Sam Heughan is 6’3″ and (at a guess) weighs about 230 lbs. (Jamie is 6’4″ and weighs 226.) He can’t “tower above other men” because most modern actors are taller than the 5’8″ that was the average male height in the eighteenth century. They just don’t make a lot of seven-foot-tall actors, let alone ones capable of playing this part, so I think you will just have to get along without the towering part, and accept that Sam actually is just about the same size as Jamie. As for coppery hair, he’s got it. Cat-eyes? Sometimes yes, sometimes no, depending on the angle of photography, but close enough. Def. hairy–plenty of photos to attest to that. [g] As to sexy…as I say, tastes differ.

      Best wishes,

      –Diana

    • Sam Heughan is H.O.T. He didn’t look anything like the Jamie I had conjured up in my mind at first either, but by the end of episode 1 he was spot on and pure perfection. Sam Heughan is the perfect Jamie in my opinion. And so is Caitriona Balfe as Claire (she is what I pictured).

      Anna

      • Dear Anna–

        Haha! And yet Caitriona looks nothing like Claire’s description from the books, whereas Sam is virtually identical with Jamie’s written description. Just goes to show that people’s mental images come from everywhere, I suppose…

        Glad you’re enjoying the show!

        –Diana

      • Diana,
        I have been completely enamored by your books. My poor family has suffered dramatically…clean clothes left to be fished out of laundry baskets, poor dears. I was given Outlander by a friend in March of this year and have just finished MOBY. I’ve also read The Scottish Prisoner and The Exile (great comic btw). I actually went back to the library today and checked out Outlander and plan on reading a little slower this time. I knew nothing about these books and was really surprised that it was Jamie she fell for. My weird brain kept thinking it was going to be Dougal (glad it wasn’t though).
        Caitriona is definitely beautiful, but she fit the part pretty well. I did picture Claire kind of homely, pretty in her own way and Caitriona is anything but homely. Sam blows my mind..enough said. Thank you for your reply.

        Anna

  5. I was reading the latest in the series when I had a heart attack., I told everyone I couldn’t die as I had not finished the series and that I hoped you had the next one nearly finished and ready for publication. Please hurry as, at 87, my mental and physical capacities are seem to be on the road to nowhere.
    I have enjoyed every one of the series and also some of the connected books.

    • I think Diana Gabaldon is probably responsible for more readers looking to take care of themselves, keeping fit, eating sensibly and getting ‘little worrying symptoms’ checked out just in case than any medical or keep fit author!!! Got to take the long-term view with this series! I’ve even seen people threaten to come back and haunt ‘Herself’ ……. and also threats of ‘doing a Geillis’ – if ‘Herself’ doesn’t look after herself!!!

  6. I was planning a trip to Scotland long before reading or seeing Outlander. I saw the first episode, read every book and just got back from Edinburgh, and went on a tour to the Highlands. Everyone has there opinions, but I feel that you are an excellent writer, and Jamie and Claire are perfect. I am waiting for the next book and the next season.

  7. I grabbed Outlander off a book table in a store in May and am now just about finished the 5th book. The following 3 are at home waiting for me. I look forward to entering another world, be it Scotland or Colonial America, when I finially setttle to read in the evening. I am touched every day by the tenederness and the resiliance of Jamie and Claire. I am excited about book 9 coming but, at the same time, I am afraid that something may happen to one or both of them. Whatever happens in the 9th, 10th or whatever turns out to be the last book, I pray we do not have to say “goodbye”. It would break my heart. As imaginary as they are,I would like to go on thinking I can visit them in the pages of the books.

  8. Have loved all the books in the Outlander Series and am awaiting the explanation of why Claire’s husband Frank saw the ghost of a Highlander in the very beginning of the first book and who that Highlander was.

    • In A Breath of Snow and Ashes, Jamie describes seeing Claire in her own time through a dream. He remembers seeing her surrounded by light and holding something in her hand.

  9. Ms. Glabadon

    Have read all the big books more times than I remember. Love them!! I have almost found all the short ones.

    So far in reading I have found NO reference of any of Claire’s family (except Uncle Lamb).

    We readers have thoroughly enjoyed Jamies history and friends but have not been treated to any of Claire’s.

    Will a future series about them be secretly in your files?

    Please keep writing.

    Patty

    • Dear Patty–

      There are small references here and there to Claire’s parents (even to a grandmother), but not long stories about them, no. I don’t have any great expectation of writing any, but who knows?

      Best,
      –Diana

    • I’m re-reading Voyager (yet again) and just read last night the bit where Claire tells Jamie about the box she left Bree with all the information and documents and a very emotional and very long loving letter. In the box was a tinted photograph of Claire’s mother (which I remember had been coloured wrongly as it gave her brown eyes when they should have been gold like Claires) and the birth certificates of Claire and her parents and her parents marriage certificate. As I’m now at Chapter 44 or 65% on kindle it will be somewhere in Chapter 42 I think :)

  10. Dear Diana,

    I have been an Outlander fan for sooo many years and I was very excited when my dream of a series came true. I have read all of the books many times waiting (YEARS IN ANTICIPATION) for the next one to become available. Back to my dream of the series, I must be honest and say I am a bit disappointed in the casting of characters. Your description of Jamie, easy to find in a crowd, always the tallest, and Claire’s unruly hair and well proportioned backside, does not fit the actor.

    If I watch television, it is usually something from BBC or ACORN, I invest my time watching British television because the actors are believable and they allow people to age…not everyone must be a model or a Barbie doll type. I recently finished watching the updated version of Poldark starring Aidan Turner as Ross and Eleanor Tomlinson as Demelza. When I see Bree in my mind, she looks exactly like Eleanor Tomlinson. Too bad Americans are producing this series
    and not a seasoned Brit. Very happy you are filming in Scotland.

    Thank you for providing great entertainment to the masses, but most important, enlightening so many about the genocide endured by the proud Highlanders(my grandmother was one and her daughter, my Aunt Laura received an OBE from King George V during WWI for bravery). It is sad that the English robbed the Scots of their clan system. Unlike the English nobility, who believe they are entitled to a higher position of authority, the Scottish Laird looked after and cared for his people.

    Waiting in eager anticipation for the next book and I too would like to see Claire and Jamie come to the future together and begin a new life. Jamie would still have to follow his heart as a printer or farmer. Whether observing his reaction on screen or reading your description of his first sight of a motor car or tractor, would be great!

  11. Dear Author,

    I thought from all your historical detail in your book, that you had a PH.D, in some type of history. Did you use creative writing for the battle/militia scenes in America, or did you sit down with some to research with an expert., to collaborate with.

    Thanks.

    Alana

    • Dear Alana–

      Um…do you mean, did I make up everything, or did I ask an expert to help me write it? Neither. I do all my own research–and I do do it. [g] The historical aspects of my novels are as accurate as history is (which is not saying as much as one might think, in some instances…)

      Best,

      –Diana

  12. Late last spring my husband and I planned a British Isles cruise – my bucket list trip. It wasn’t until after the trip was booked that I discovered the Outlander world. I have no idea how I’ve missed it all these years! Imagine my delight upon finding the series on STARZ – and then all your wonderful books. I managed to watch all of season 1 (okay, a couple of times) and read half of the books prior to our trip. It was such a treat to be able to travel to Scotland with the whole story fresh in my mind. I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy the ongoing story and your writing. You are my new favorite author! Thank you.

  13. i would like know you for write a book of avencturs american some indians and cowboys history.i have a 46 years but i am enjoy of do this event with you.phone mobile +39 3292290485.i live in italy nord,correggio of reggio.emilia boccaccio 12 42015.please write soon.thank you.by by…

    • Thanks for the offer, Alberto, but I think I have more ideas than I can possibly write in one lifetime already. Best of luck with your cowboys and Indians, though!

      –Diana

  14. Dear Diana

    I found Cross Stitch (Outlander) in about 1995 – on first read i loved it so much I immediately re-read it! Imagine how i felt when i found that there was a sequel (DIA) which i read but it made me very sad. For this reason I am not sure how I am going to feel when I see the book translated to the screen for the TV series. DIA is my least re-read book of the series, life throws everything at J&C and I find it hard to read.

    I love the TV series, it is as near as perfect/close to the books as you can get (apart from the few storyline changes). I have watched the series over and over and it is so great that your characters have come to life.

    Do you have a least favourite book/storyline from the series?

    Ruth

  15. Dear Diana.
    I bought your book “The Fiery Cross” completely by accident. I was looking for a Science Fiction book.
    It was about 2001, or a little later. (It was already in the cheaper book section.)
    PS. I have not bought another Sci. FY. book since.
    As I was starting in the middle, I had to read them backward and forwards. (I have now all 8 of them)
    As I am an old man (81) and my memory is not so good, (this time it is a blessing), I just flip one of the booksopen and start reading. As I know all the main characters and you, Diana, write episodically, there is no problem.
    That way by now I have read at least 90% of all 8 books.
    I just read, or reread one episode that I really loved.
    It is a very simple story. In a North Carolina mansion a simple slave girl dies. Of course Claire has to find out why.
    It turns out that the girl was killed with glass shards in her drink.
    Now comes the detective “conference”. Present are; from the 18th Cent. the mansions owner, her black servant, a Sottish chieftain a half Indian, I think. From the 20th cent; a Surgeon, a history professor, an engineer. I think there were more but I forgot. And the solution is about 10 steps higher you might imagine. Marvelous Diana.
    PS2. I did not want to give too much away. Readers, you have to find your own way. Ha, ha.

  16. Just a quick question. I have just finished Echo in the Bone again and cannot figure out how Frank knew that something bad would happen to Brianna’s child. Is this explained in book 9 also along with (hopefully) how Brianna, Roger and Family got to Fraser’s Ridge at the end of Book 8.

  17. I really had to say that I haven’t had a series of books ‘take me over’ like this for as long as I can remember. I live in Italy but am reading the books in English whereas my nearby Austrian friend is reading them in German and we both exchange notes to see who has reached where….Both our husbands are really fed up with seeing us with our noses in the books of course. Well done Diana; I think I and my friend are both ‘addicted’!

  18. Hello! Wow! I stumbled upon your series after spending several years in school and reading nothing but nursing books and articles. I was immediately hooked! I love the way you fully develop the characters and immerse the fictitious with the factual – who wouldn’t be thrilled with the prospect of meeting George Washington?!?! (Not that I romanticize our forefathers…). And there are so many other instances and people whom it would seem wonderful to understand the truths that the history books do not tell us.
    Anyway, thank you so much for your hard work and dedication to creating these works that you share with us. I stop wish I could write as well!!
    I am so looking forward to the 9th book, but will read some of your other books in the meantime.
    All the best,
    Laura

  19. I haven’t been able to determine if the Outlander series will continue on tv. Do you know if it will be back for a third season?

  20. Dear Diana Now that Brianna and family have returned to the ridge I can’t wait to see what happens Since Brianna has read all her parents letters she knows their future. Should be interesting
    I was also wondering who is living in Fergus’ cabin on the ridge since they moved out. Maybe Brianna and Roger could live there. Jamie and Clair’s new house is going to be very crowded with Fanny, Germaine and Jenny not to mention Ian and his little family They are definitely going to need that third floor Jamie was asking Claire about near the end of Moby
    I love that you are posting little bits of book nine. Can’t wait for more.
    I will wait to re-read books 1-8 until just before book nine comes. Was it 6 or 9 weeks after you finish writing it?
    You will of course keep us all up to date on your progress.

Trackbacks

  1. What’s Next for Diana Gabaldon? | Candida's Musings
  2. Word on the Lake | Candida's Musings
  3. Gabaldon: Written In My Own Heart’s Blood | Hyllytontun höpinöitä

Leave a Response

Please note: comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.