• “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

SPECIFICALLY SCOTTISH – PANALBA BLOG

I can already hear people screaming, “WHAT? Why are you doing that instead of finishing AN ECHO IN THE BONE?!?” [g]

Well, I am finishing ECHO, as fast as ever I can–and we do now have a pub date for it, too: September 22nd!

Still, it helps to have small things to do for mental distraction other than playing Solitaire, and when a Scottish gentleman named Lord Jamie Sempill came along some months ago and invited me to do a regular blog on Matters Scottish and Literary for his new venture, a website called “Panalba”, I said, “Sure, why not?” (Well, I didn’t know that the launch of Panalba was going to coincide with the Final Frenzy, is why not, but what the heck.)

Anyway, I was flatttered to be asked, and very pleased by the look and variety of Panalba, and have had fun doing the first couple of blogs for that site. It’s a site devoted specifically to Scotland and people who love that country, and features all sorts of fascinating personalities and information. As opposed to this personal blog (where I may talk about butt-cooties or anything else that takes my fancy [g]), the Panalba blog entries that I do will be specifically devoted to Scottish material—particularly things from the world of literature. (Well, all right, my first entry had to do with Men in Kilts, but still…)

I’ve just put up my second blog entry there: “Ye Canna Push Yer Granny Aff the Bus: Scots, Gaelic, and Miscellaneous Accents” — and cordially invite you to come check it (and the rest of the site) out here.

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Good Book – Happy Valentine’s Day!

As a small treat (to go along with the chocolate, good wine and flowers I trust y’all are enjoying) for Valentine’s Day, allow me to recommend this as a good book for February.

Jewell Parker Rhodes is a friend of mine, and I always enjoy her books–well-written historical novels with vivid characters. I think this is one of her best.

Enjoy!

Diana Makes the Funnies!

I was both flattered and amused to get an email from Bruce Tinsley, who draws (and writes) the “Mallard Fillmore” comic strip (it’s syndicated by Knight, so appears in a number of newspapers), saying that he’d done a strip on me and my books, inspired by a conversation he’d had with his wife, who is a fan of the books.

Here’s a link to the strip, which appeared in newspapers yesterday:

http://www.jewishworldreview.com/strips/mallard/2000/mallard1.asp

Lest anybody think that he was making fun of me or the books (well, hey, it’s a comic strip!), I asked Bruce if I could quote his email to me, which he kindly allowed me to do:

Dear Ms. Gabaldon,
My wife loves your books so much, that I had to put one in my comic strip, Mallard Fillmore, which is syndicated nationally by King Features.
The strip will appear on Feb. 11, and feature Chantel’s righteous indignation at Mallard’s stereotyping one of your books as a bodice-ripper. I, of course, had committed the same sin in real life, without having actually read your books, and gotten the same response.
I’ve read some now, and realize that you’ve got a great gift. I also really respect the time you seem to take encouraging other writers…..
Bruce Tinsley

So–Thank you, Bruce! This is even better than being the subject of Trivial Pursuit questions. [g]

(I showed the strip to one of my editors, who said, “Next thing, the New York Times crossword puzzle!” [g])

US Cover Proof for ECHO!

Well, the art department chose a different background color than the one I’d suggested–but they did a wonderful job with the caltrop! And over all, I think it’s quite striking, and in keeping with the rest of the series.

Whattayathink?

Historical Fiction Workshop

Well, Homer is still exceedingly cute, and I really haven’t forgotten about the next recipe (I’ve just been writing madly on ECHO; I mean it when I describe this stage as the Final Frenzy; I do precious little else!).

However, I do have to pause for a bit here, because a year or so ago, I agreed to teach a two-and-a-half hour workshop on Writing Historical Fiction, as part of a week of such workshops sponsored by a local group called Arizona Authors. (At the time, of course, I had no idea the FF was going to hit _now_).

Anyway–thought I’d ask, for any of you who might harbor ambitions (or merely curiosity) in this regard, whether there are any specific questions _you’d_ like answered, if you were taking such a workshop, or any particular material you’d like to see covered?

I think we may do a minor bit of writing in the class–can’t do too much, as it takes quite a bit of time, but I’m thinking a few paragraphs might be fun; any topics that you’d suggest? (E.g., introduction of a major character, setting a historical background, etc.?)

See if this worked.