• “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

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.


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:


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.


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.


Well, we are once again a dogged household. We’ve been without a dog–for the first time in thirty-odd years–since our aged Molly (she of the gruesome post-mortem encounter with coyotes) succumbed to congestive heart failure at the age of sixteen or so, a few months ago. I’d wanted a smooth standard dachshund like my beloved Gus, if I could find one; most breeders these days seem to supply only mini-dachshunds or the occasional longhaired or wire-haired variety.

I’d been looking for a while, when I came across Kristin Cihos-Williams’s Alphadachs breeder listing online. On impulse, I called, got Kristin at once, and learned that she was sitting at home with a very pregnant dachshund named Lily, who was due that very day. We hit it off, and stayed in communication over the next three or four months, with the end result that our son and I drove to Indio on New Year’s Day to pick up one of the puppies from this litter (Kristin lives in Temecula, CA, but was at a dog-show in Indio, which is substantially closer to Phoenix).

It’s a four-hour trip from Phoenix to Indio, but the eight-hour drive was well worth it.

[Hmm. I tried to upload three photos of Homer here, but not working for some reason. Will try again tomorrow–gotta go to bed now. [yawn].]