• “The smartest historical sci-fi adventure-romance story ever written by a science Ph.D. with a background in scripting 'Scrooge McDuck' comics.”—Salon.com
  • A time-hopping, continent-spanning salmagundi of genres.”
  • “These books have to be word-of-mouth books because they're too weird to describe to anybody.”
    —Jackie Cantor, Diana's first editor

Inspiration and Bookshelves

I get a lot of questions about what "inspired" this or that element/incident/character in my books. Occasionally, there will actually be some concrete kernel—like a historical description of some fascinating object or incident—but more often, Stuff just comes along as I think and work, or floats silently to the top of the murky pools in my mind.

I tend to hover by my bookshelves while thinking—sometimes a book wants to come into my hand, sometimes I’m actually looking for something—but just as often, it’s the little objects sitting on the bookshelves that serve as an aid to thought. There are a lot of different things on my shelves, but the third bay seems to have more stones and natural items than the others. Thought you might enjoy a look… (Click on images to access a larger version.)





See more of my bookshelves from an earlier blog…

This blog entry was also posted on on my Facebook page on September 3, 2015.

14 Responses »

  1. Looking at the collections on your bookshelves reminds me of something I’ve wondered from time to time as I’ve read about Young Ian and his time with the Mohawk. Do you have a spirit animal, Diana? How would one go about determining his/her own spirit animal?

    Thank you again for your wonderful story. Ron Moore and crew are doing a magnificent job with the tv series, but the written word will always be my preferred version. I do find that my perspective on the story has changed now that there is a visual influence. Take, for instance, the scene where Claire’s just discovered, in VOYAGER, that Jamie has married Laoghaire, and they have that terrible fight. Before the show I didn’t like that scene because I was so mad at Jamie for not being up front with Claire about it. Now, all I can think about is how Sam and Cait will play it out, and I’m quite entertained by the idea. If you get the chance to write an episode for Season 3, I think that storyline would be a fun one to pursue.

    Have a wonderful weekend, and Happy Labor Day!!


  2. Your shelves look very similar to mine. I have to move so much stuff to get the book out sometimes I give up. People have got to stop giving me cats and eggs, In one of my more favorite trashy novels the main character says to never collect anything because your friends and relatives will never let you stop. Aint it the truth!

  3. I wish my bookshelves were so organized and dust free! :-)

    One quick question….with the success of the Showtime series, is there greater pressure on you now (from various influences within the “industry”) to complete the next book(s) at a faster pace…or are you still allowed your creative freedom to complete these on your own timeframe?

  4. Diana,
    Your collection is beautiful. It looks like they are form a lot of different places. I espcially like the dark green and blue stones as well as the lavender quartz. Just taking a wild guess, but did these inspire all the little stones that Raymond sends Claire? Or maybe the idea that gemstones are the key to “steering” through the stones like Bree and Roger? Didn’t Lord John have stones of some sort too?

    Love your everything about your books! Have fun writing book 9!

  5. Been reading Shepherd’s Crown by Terry Pratchett right now and I instantly thought of Jamie when a stable boy named McTavish popped up … (any chance Pterry was your fan? :-)

  6. I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one that picks up rocks and stones (soil too, in glass containers of course) and add them to the bookshelf with my precious books! I’ve even had family and friends bring me rocks from their travels! ♥

  7. I’m just listening to a CD I got a while back which accompanies the book ‘We’re Indians Sure Enough – the legacy of the Scottish Highlanders in the United States’ by Michael Newton. Many of the songs were created around the time that Jamie and Claire went to America, by the newly-arrived Scots Gaelic speakers. Fascinating stuff. I expect it has already found its way to your bookshelves! I think it was originally written as a PhD thesis.

  8. I like the shells, rocks, and other miscellaneous treasures. Do you make use of Bartlett’s Quotations? Oh, memories… lol

    I’ve loved your books: a perfect recipe of history, fantasy, sci fi and romance, with a strong female character. No other books I’ve ever read or seen have those ingredients in them. Your books aren’t typical romance and that’s exactly why I enjoy them. I tried the Harlequin novels. They were too formulary and bland for me (don’t mean to offend-just an opinion).

    I’m also a Doctor Who fan and I’ve seen the episode that started it all for you. As undergrads a friend and I decided to take a short trip on the spur of the moment (very uncharacteristic for me!) and travel from Long Island, NY to Boston, MA as Peter Davison was there. We met him and while gushing, told him of our adventures on our car trip. He probably thought we were a little crazy! But we had fun. We both needed stress relief.

    My husband is part Scot; we’re trying to look up his family (there may still be some family remaining in Scotland) but we’re at an impass. It needs more research.

    Thank you for working so hard on so many projects simultaneously! Have a safe fall, a Happy Thanksgiving, and a Merry Christmas!

  9. Hi Diana – lovely to see a little platypus on your shelf – very ancient little animal all the way from Australia! Loving both the books and tv series…just hoping that not too much ‘adaptation’ happens in bringing your story to life, however, with you writing scripts for the second series, fears are much allayed! I am sure you will do your best to keep them on the straight and narrow. Also, so looking forward to No. 9, but ‘no rush’!! :-D

  10. I’m reading KIDNAPPED by Stevenson. Could Alan Breck be an inspiration for Jamie’s character?

  11. I had to laugh, as your bookshelf looks alot like mine. :-)

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