Also posted on my facebook page on August 19, 2015.
Also posted on my facebook page on August 19, 2015.
It is—plainly—the Dog Days of summer. When I got home from Calgary last night (at midnight), the first thing my husband said to me was, "Welcome to Hell!" It was 117 degrees (F.) last Friday (which was OK, because I was in Calgary, where the inhabitants kept apologizing for the <ahem> "heat" (it was about 85)), and 112 or so today.
Still, many things thrive in this climate—including prickly pear cactus (above) and geckos (right). This little pink guy (he’s about three inches long) is one of the family of office geckos who live in my cabinets, where they helpfully eat the little caterpillars who pupate between the pages of books and infest my chocolate supplies.
Dachshunds aren’t that wild about heat (neither would you be, if you were black and furry), but they still want to go out every day and hunt lizards and toads. I fill the tree basins while they do that, and while they aren’t wild about baths, cooling their tummies in a muddy puddle is a whole different thing.
Note: This blog entry was also posted on my FaceBook page on August 18, 2015 at 3:48 a.m.
As my husband often remarks, "’FINISHED’ is a relative term to a writer." This is true! <g> I thought y’all might be interested in Just What Happens to a book after the writer is "finished" writing the manuscript:
(NB: This is the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). Owing to the tight Production schedule for MOBY (and now for THE OUTLANDISH COMPANION, Volume 2, aka "OC II",) a lot of these steps have been done concurrently, rather than sequentially, and a few repetitive steps have been skipped. But by and large, this is how it works. FWIW, I’m presently at step "M" for OC II…)
(1. The ebook coding happens somewhere in here.)
And we do hope you like it when you get it—because we sure-God went to a lot of trouble to make it for you. <g>
This essay is also available under "What I Do" under the Resources menu:
Advent is a time of waiting, and of preparation. Of contemplation—of what is past, and what is to come. During Advent, we make wreaths, made of leaves or evergreens, with four candles, and we light one candle for each of the four Sundays leading up to Christmas.
Today is the first Sunday of Advent. May your candle burn quiet in the dark, and may you be at peace.
[From OUTLANDER, Chapter 38, “The Abbey”.]
The monastery was quiet, in the way that all large institutions grow quiet at night; the rapid pulse of the day’s activities has dropped, but the heartbeat goes on, slower, softer, but unending. There is always someone awake, moving quietly through the halls, keeping watch, keeping things alive. And now it was my turn to join the watch.
The chapel was dark except for the burning of the red sanctuary lamp and a few of the clear white votive candles, flames rising straight in still air before the shadowed shrines of saints.
I followed Anselm down the short center aisle, genuflecting in his wake. The slight figure of Brother Bartolome knelt toward the front, head bowed. He didn’t turn at the faint noise of our entrance, but stayed motionless, bent in adoration.
The Sacrament itself was almost obscured by the magnificence of its container. The huge monstrance, a sunburst of gold more than a foot across, sat serenely on the altar. Guarding the humble bit of bread at its center.
Feeling somewhat awkward, I took the seat Anselm indicated, near the front of the chapel. The seats, ornately carved with angels, flowers, and demons, folded up against the wooden panels of the backing to allow easy passage in and out. I heard the faint creak of a lowered seat behind me, as Anselm found his place.
“But what shall I do?” I had asked him, voice lowered in respect of night and silence as we had approached the chapel.
“Nothing, _ma chère_,” he had replied, simply. “Only be.”
So I sat, listening to my own breathing, and the tiny sounds of a silent place; the inaudible things normally hidden in other sounds. The settling of stone, the creak of wood. The hissing of the tiny, unquenchable flames. A faint skitter of some small creature, wandered from its place into the home of majesty.
It was a peaceful place, I would grant Anselm that. In spite of my own fatigue and my worry over Jamie, I gradually felt myself relaxing, the tightness of my mind gently unwinding, like the relaxation of a clock spring. Strangely, I didn’t feel at all sleepy, despite the lateness of the hour and the strains of the last few days and weeks.
After all, I thought, what were days and weeks in the presence of eternity? And that’s what this was, to Anselm and Bartolome, to Ambrose, to all the monks, up to and including the formidable Abbot Alexander.
It was in a way a comforting idea; if there was all the time in the world, then the happenings of a given moment became less important. I could see, perhaps, how one could draw back a little, seek some respite in the contemplation of an endless Being, whatever one conceived its nature to be.
The red of the sanctuary lamp burned steadily, reflected in the smooth gold. The flames of the white candles before the statues of St. Giles and the Blessed Mother flickered and jumped occasionally, as the burning wicks yielded an occasional imperfection, a momentary sputter of wax or moisture. But the red lamp burned serene, with no unseemly waver to betray its light.
And if there was eternity, or even the idea of it, then perhaps Anselm was right; all things were possible. And all love? I wondered. I had loved Frank; I still did. And I loved Jamie, more than my own life. But bound in the limits of time and flesh, I could not keep them both. Beyond, perhaps? Was there a place where time no longer existed, or where it stopped? Anselm thought so. A place where all things were possible. And none were necessary.
And was there love there? Beyond the limits of flesh and time, was all love possible? Was it necessary?
The voice of my thoughts seemed to be Uncle Lamb’s. My family, and all I knew of love as a child. A man who had never spoken love to me, who had never needed to, for I knew he loved me, as surely as I knew I lived. For where all love is, the speaking is unnecessary. It is all. It is undying. And it is enough.
Time passed without my awareness of it, and I was startled by the sudden appearance of Anselm before me, coming through the small door near the altar. Surely he had been sitting behind me? I glanced behind, to see one of the young monks whose name I didn’t know genuflecting near the rear entrance. Anselm bowed low before the altar, then motioned to me with a nod toward the door.
“You left,” I said, once outside the chapel. “But I thought you weren’t supposed to leave the, er, the Sacrament, alone?”
He smiled tranquilly. “I didn’t _ma chère¬_. You were there.”
I repressed the urge to argue that I didn’t count. After all, I supposed, there was no such thing as a Qualified Official Adorer. You only had to be human, and I imagined I was still that, though I barely felt it at times.
Jamie’s candle still burned as I passed his door, and I caught the rustle of turning pages. I would have stopped, but Anselm, went on, to leave me at the door of my own chamber. I paused there to bid him good night, and to thank for taking me to the chapel.
“It was…restful,” I said, struggling to find the right word.
He nodded, watching me. “Oui, madame. It is.” As I turned to go, he said, “I told you that the Blessed Sacrament was not alone, for you were there. But what of you _ma chère_? Were you alone?”
I stopped, and looked at him for a moment before answering.
“No,” I said. “I wasn’t.”
#DailyLines #MOBY #WRITTENinMYownHEARTSBlood #ForThoseWhoMaybeDidntWantToDoIt #ButDidItAnyway #ThoseWhoFightAndThoseWhoLoveThem #HappyVeteransDay
He’d come up to the loft and pulled the ladder up behind him, to prevent the children coming up. I was dressing quickly—or trying to—as he told me about Dan Morgan, about Washington and the other Continental generals. About the coming battle.
“Sassenach, I _had_ to,” he said again, softly. “I’m that sorry.”
“I know,” I said. “I know you did.” My lips were stiff. “I—you—I’m sorry, too.”
I was trying to fasten the dozen tiny buttons that closed the bodice of my gown, but my hands shook so badly that I couldn’t even grasp them. I stopped trying and dug my hairbrush out of the bag he’d brought me from the Chestnut Street house.
He made a small sound in his throat and took it out of my hand. He threw it onto our makeshift couch and put his arms around me, holding me tight with my face buried in his chest. The cloth of his new uniform smelled of fresh indigo, walnut hulls, and fuller’s earth; it felt strange and stiff against my face. I couldn’t stop shaking.
“Talk to me, _a nighean_,” he whispered into my tangled hair. “I’m afraid, and I dinna want to feel so verra much alone just now. Speak to me.”
“Why has it always got to be _you_?” I blurted into his chest.
That made him laugh, a little shakily, and I realized that all the trembling wasn’t coming from me.
“It’s no just me,” he said, and stroked my hair. “There are a thousand other men readying themselves today—more—who dinna want to do it, either.”
“I know,” I said again. My breathing was a little steadier. “I know.” I turned my face to the side in order to breathe, and all of a sudden began to cry, quite without warning.
“I’m sorry,” I gasped. “I don’t mean—I don’t want t-to make it h-harder for you. I—I—oh, Jamie, when I knew you were alive—I wanted so much to go home. To go home with you.”
His arms tightened hard round me. He didn’t speak, and I knew it was because he couldn’t.
“So did I,” he whispered at last. “And we will, _a nighean_. I promise ye.”
The sounds from below floated up around us: the sounds of children running back and forth between the shop and the kitchen, Marsali singing to herself in Gaelic as she made fresh ink for the press. The door opened, and cool, rainy air blew in with Fergus and Germain, adding their voices to the cheerful confusion.
We stood wrapped in each other’s arms, taking comfort from our family below, yearning for the others we might never see again, at once at home and homeless, balanced on a knife edge of danger and uncertainty. But together.
“You’re not going off to war without me,” I said firmly, straightening up and sniffing. “Don’t even _think_ about it.”
#Excerpt #OUTLANDER #HappyBirthdayClaire
[From OUTLANDER, Chapter 25]
“I believe you,” he said firmly. “I dinna understand it a bit—not yet—but I believe you. Claire, I believe you! Listen to me! There’s the truth between us, you and I, and whatever ye tell me, I shall believe it.” He gave me a gentle shake.
“It doesna matter what it is. You’ve told me. That’s enough for now. Be still, _mo nighean donn_. Lay your head and rest. You’ll tell me the rest of it later. And I’ll believe you.”
I was still sobbing, unable to grasp what he was telling me. I struggled, trying to pull away, but he gathered me up and held me tightly against himself, pushing my head into the folds of his plaid, and repeating over and over again, “I believe you.”
At last, from sheer exhaustion, I grew calm enough to look up and say, “But you _can’t_ believe me.”
He smiled down at me. His mouth trembled slightly, but he smiled.
“Ye’ll no tell _me_ what I canna do, Sassenach.” He paused a moment. “How old are ye?” he asked curiously. “I never thought to ask.”
The question seemed so preposterous that it took me a minute to think.
“I’m twenty-seven…or maybe twenty-eight,” I added. That rattled him for a moment. At twenty-eight, women in this time were usually on the verge of middle-age.
“Oh,” he said. He took a deep breath. “I thought ye were about my age—or younger.”
He didn’t move for a second. But then he looked down and smiled faintly at me. “Happy Birthday, Sassenach,” he said.
It took me completely by surprise and I just stared stupidly at him for a moment. “What?” I managed at last.
“I said, ‘Happy Birthday.’ It’s the twentieth of October today.”
“It is?” I said dumbly. “I’d lost track.” I was shaking again, from cold and shock and the force of my tirade. He drew me close against him and held me, smoothing his big hands lightly over my hair, cradling my head against his chest. I began to cry again, but this time with relief. In my state of upheaval, it seemed logical that if he knew my real age and still wanted me, then everything would be all right.
Jamie picked me up, and holding me carefully against his shoulder, carried me to the side of the fire, where he had laid the horse’s saddle. He sat down, leaning against the saddle, and held me, light and close.
A long time later, he spoke.
“All right. Tell me now.”
I told him. Told him everything, haltingly but coherently. I felt numb from exhaustion, but content, like a rabbit that has outrun a fox, and found temporary shelter under a log. It isn’t sanctuary, but at least it is respite. And I told him about Frank.
“Frank,” he said softly. “Then he isna dead, after all.”
“He isn’t _born_.” I felt another small wave of hysteria break against my ribs, but managed to keep myself under control. “Neither am I.”
He stroked and patted me back into silence, making his small murmuring Gaelic sounds.
“When I took ye from Randall at Fort William,” he said suddenly, “you were trying to get back. Back to the stones. And…Frank. That’s why ye left the grove.”
“And I beat you for it.” His voice was soft with regret.
“You couldn’t know. I couldn’t tell you.” I was beginning to feel very drowsy indeed.
“No, I dinna suppose ye could.” He pulled the plaid closer around me, tucking it gently around my shoulders. “Do ye sleep now, _mo nighean donn_. No one shall harm ye; I’m here.”
I burrowed into the warm curve of his shoulder, letting my tired mind fall through the layers of oblivion. I forced myself to the surface long enough to ask, “Do you really believe me, Jamie?”
He sighed, and smiled ruefully down at me.
“Aye, I believe ye, Sassenach. But it would ha’ been a good deal easier if you’d only been a witch.”
Since book-touring is done (thank GOD!) and the show is on hiatus, we have a bit of time to stop, think, and catch up on the email…
So—I thought I might address a few recent comments and questions on Episode 8. Not to refute people’s opinions—everyone’s entitled to think as they like, and say so—but just to show you a bit about How Things Work.
While most people were riveted—as they should have been; it was a terrific episode—there were a few who were upset at things they perceived to be "missing"—these including:
(One person also thought we should have seen the redcoats stalking Claire, rather than have them pop out abruptly to seize her as she reaches for the stone.)
And there were a number of questions regarding the "Deserter" scene—mostly as to whether Claire had actually been raped or not (and if she had, what kind of doofus was Jamie for going off to talk to Dougal instead of tenderly cradling her and soothing her, etc.).
As I replied to one such commenter:
"Well….your comments pinpoint the major difference between Book and Show: Time.
ALL the things you wanted to see—one on one Jamie and Claire, more scenes of intimacy, relationship building, Claire patching people up, etc.—ALL of them, are things that would require extended chunks of time (‘extended,’ in a TV show, is anything that lasts more than 60 seconds). None of these things are ‘action,’ none of them move the plot in any direct way.
The show has 52-55 minutes in which to do everything that has to be done. They don’t have time to do nice-but-nonessential "Oh, wait while I triage the whole group, bandage Angus’s scorched hand and reset Ned Gowan’s tooth," or "Oh, my God, I know we just had sex, but let’s do it again…"
In short…if you want more of all those things—you can have ‘em. In the book. <g>"
Now, a successful adaptation is always balancing the needs of the story versus the exigencies of the form. As Andrew Marvell notes to "His Coy Mistress,"— "Had we but world and time, this coyness, mistress, were no crime…" I have world and time in a novel; pretty much all I want. I can shape the story to fit my own notion of pace, rhythm, focus and climax. So can a show-runner and his gang of writers—but they don’t have world and time. They have to decide what’s essential, and then shape the story to the time available and to the necessity for each 55-minute episode to have a satisfying dramatic arc of its own.
(in reply to the person complaining about the redcoats’ abrupt appearance):
"But…the redcoats came out of ‘nowhere’ in the book, as well, when they pull Claire out of the stream. It isn’t that they aren’t ‘there’—it’s that in neither case does Claire see them, because she’s so totally focused on her goal…and we’re in her head, so we don’t see them, either.
To have shown the soldiers sneaking in from the side, while Claire was laboring up the hill, calling for Frank, would have given us a different sort of suspense in the scene—but would have been a distraction from the growing sense of desperate hope between Claire and Frank. And that was the true point of the scene.
See, one of the main tools of good story-telling is focus; getting the reader/viewer to look where you want them to look. And physical reality is really a pretty small part of that. The fact that X must have been there may be logical—but it isn’t relevant, so you don’t show it. Q.E.D. <g>"
Now, the focus of that scene is really what’s controlling it, and thus dictating changes from the book. Several people expressed disappointment at not seeing Claire fall into the water and be pulled out by the redcoats. Amusing as that might have been, it’s merely a way of interrupting her headlong rush toward the stones and getting her into Captain Randall’s clutches. The way it was done instead accomplishes that same plot goal—but also makes a very solid and dramatic point about her longing for Frank and his for her. So the adapted form is not detracting from the original version; in fact, it’s adding to it, and giving us a really good two-for-one, combining plot and character development/backstory reminder.
When Ron and I met in New York for the first-ever Outlander Fan Event, we shared a long cab-ride to the event, during which we talked Book. I told him why the flowers at Craigh na Dun are forget-me-nots and why the ghost is there (and no, I’m not telling you guys; you’ll find out, eventually <g>), and he told me about his vision of that scene with Claire and Frank approaching the stones from either side. I thought that was a great idea and said so.
See, that’s something that I couldn’t have done in the book, because it’s told entirely from Claire’s point of view. We can’t see what Frank was doing and going through after Claire disappeared. I preserved Claire’s worry about/attachment to Frank by having her think about him and grieve for him periodically—but that’s all internal; the only way of doing internal monologue in a visual medium is voice-overs, and I think y’all would agree that it’s best to keep that technique to a minimum…
But it’s simple to change time, place and viewpoint in a visual medium; one shot and you’re there. Also, since you’re working in a constrained time-space, the balance of viewpoints is easier to manage.
Technically, it’s possible to use multiple viewpoints in a book — (in fact, I got a note from one of my editors (regarding a chunk of MOBY I’d sent him) saying, "Congratulations… I think you’ve just done the literary equivalent of juggling half a dozen chainsaws.") — but OUTLANDER was my first book, written for practice, and I wasn’t out to make things too complicated. Had I used flashbacks of Frank’s life in the context of a book of that size, they’d either be overwhelming, or trivial distractions. Used in the context of a 55-minute TV episode, they were beautifully balanced against Claire’s 18th century life.
In addition, there’s a visceral punch to seeing Frank’s actions that gives you an instant emotional investment in him and his story. I probably have the chops to do such a thing effectively in print now, but I didn’t when I wrote OUTLANDER (and in fact, I wouldn’t have thought of doing it; I wanted most of the focus on Jamie and the 18th century, both because that’s where most of the color and action and Story was, but also to assist the reader in falling in love with Jamie along with Claire, so that we would understand her later choices. But just as the visual invests the viewers in Frank, it does the same for Jamie—are we in any doubt, following "The Wedding" that Claire is falling in love with him?).
See, a visual medium speeds things up. You don’t necessarily need the longer build-up that you have in text, because the images are much more immediate, and easier for the audience to absorb in an emotional way.
OK, moving on to the was-it-rape? scene and the aftermath…
Well, the people who’ve read the book (and remember it <g>) know it was attempted rape. Claire grabbed her attacker around the neck while he was fumbling for a, um, connection, pulled him down and stabbed him in the kidney—but he never did succeed in penetrating her.
The TV-only people probably think he did succeed because one of the "warnings" at the beginning was an "R" for "Rape," even though there isn’t one in the episode. Now, whether whoever put the warning on thought that’s what happened, or whether it’s merely a "trigger" warning (i.e., people with a sensitivity to scenes of sexual assault might want to know there is such a scene in this episode)…I don’t know.
But this is one of those things where stuff from the book actually can’t be shown adequately. It’s absolutely clear from the book, because we’re in Claire’s head, and we know what she was perceiving. But the shot can’t be under her skirt—and unless they put in a line where Claire tells Jamie, "Don’t worry, he didn’t manage to get it in…" (which would not only be crude, but would grossly undercut her—and the audience’s—sense of shock and dislocation)…then it’s not going to be clear to viewers, who will have to be left to draw their own conclusions.
Same diff with the "waterweed" scene. This is a scene in the book that occurs between the fight with the Grants and the men instructing Claire next morning in the art of killing people. It’s a very vivid scene (sufficiently vivid that the U.K. editor asked me to remove it from her edition of the book, she thinking it "too graphic" for her audience. <cough> So this scene is in OUTLANDER but not in CROSS STITCH. The relevant part of the scene is available below, for convenient reference), and extremely memorable to readers, many of whom complained about its omission in the episode.
I didn’t discuss the decision to omit this scene with the production team, both because I try not to nitpick them, and because I could easily see why it was omitted:
And now I really must go and do some work. <g>
#ReadWhileYouWait #OUTLANDER #RaidersInTheRocks #NoSpoilersInThisOne
[The rent party has retired for the night, and Jamie and Claire are conversing quietly under their blankets.]
I rolled over and put my arms about his neck.
"Not as proud as I was. You were wonderful, Jamie. I’ve never seen anything like that."
He snorted deprecatingly, but I thought he was pleased, nonetheless.
"Only a raid, Sassenach. I’ve been doin’ that since I was fourteen. It’s only in fun, ye see; it’s different when you’re up against someone who really means to kill ye."
"Fun," I said, a little faintly. "Yes, quite."
His arms tightened around me, and one of the stroking hands dipped lower, beginning to inch my skirt upward. Clearly the thrill of the fight was being transmuted into a different kind of excitement.
"Jamie! Not here!" I said, squirming away and pushing my skirt down again.
"Are ye tired, Sassenach?" he asked with concern. "Dinna worry, I won’t take long." Now both hands were at it, rucking the heavy fabric up in front.
"No!" I replied, all too mindful of the twenty men lying a few feet away. "I’m not tired, it’s just—" I gasped as his groping hand found its way between my legs.
"Lord," he said softly. "It’s slippery as waterweed."
"Jamie! There are twenty men sleeping right next to us!" I shouted in a whisper.
"They wilna be sleeping long, if you keep talking." He rolled on top of me, pinning me to the rock. His knee wedged between my thighs and began to work gently back and forth. Despite myself, my legs were beginning to loosen. Twenty-seven years of propriety were no match for several hundred thousand years of instinct. While my mind might object to being taken on a bare rock next to several sleeping soldiers, my body plainly considered itself the spoils of war and was eager to complete the formalities of surrender. He kissed me, long and deep, his tongue sweet and restless in my mouth.
"Jamie," I panted. He pushed his kilt out of the way and pressed my hand against him.
"Bloody Christ," I said, impressed despite myself. My sense of propriety slipped another notch.
"Fighting gives ye a terrible cockstand, after. Ye want me, do ye no?" he said, pulling back a little to look at me. It seemed pointless to deny it, what with all the evidence to hand. He was hard as a brass rod against my bared thigh.
He took a firm grip on my shoulders with both hands.
"Be quiet, Sassenach," he said with authority. "It isn’t going to take verra long."
It didn’t. I began to climax with the first powerful thrust, in long, racking spasms. I dug my fingers hard into his back and held on, biting the fabric of his shirt to muffle my sounds. In less than a dozen strokes, I felt his testicles contract, tight against his body, and the warm flood of his own release. He lowered himself slowly to the side and lay trembling.
The blood was still beating heavily in my ears, echoing the fading pulse between my legs. Jamie’s hand lay on my breast, limp and heavy. Turning my head, I could see the dim figure of the sentry, leaning against a rock on the far side of the fire. He had his back tactfully turned. I was mildly shocked to realize that I was not even embarrassed. I wondered rather dimly whether I would be in the morning, and wondered no more.
Are you wondering what to do, now that you’ve finished MOBY? (aka WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART’S BLOOD)? Well, most people just go back to the beginning and start re-reading OUTLANDER. [g]
As an alternative/addition to this tried and true strategy, though, you might want to watch the brand-new (and looooooong-awaited) tv show of the series, which is about to debut on the STARZ premium-cable channel in the US. AUGUST 9th! 9PM! (It airs at 9 PM in each time zone, so it’s always on Saturdays at nine o’clock, at least in the US.*)
I think Ron D. Moore and Starz have done a wonderful job of adapting OUTLANDER into a 16-episode first season (they’ll be doing one season per book, assuming the first one is a success–and that’s up to you. I think it’s amazing, and hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do!
*(It will be launching on Showcase in Canada, August 24th, on SoHo Foxtel in Australia on August 14th, and on various dates–not yet announced–in New Zealand, the Netherlands, Japan, China, Germany, and a number of other places that I can’t mention yet as their licensing contracts are still being negotiated with SONY. (SONY owns the international rights to the show; it’s _their_ business to arrange licensing deals world-wide, not mine.)
FOR THOSE OF YOU ATTENDING COMIC-CON NEXT WEEK…
This is where _I’ll_ be; hope to see some of you there!
3:00-4:00 PM: Outlander— Diana Gabaldon
Location: Horton Grand Theater (Capacity: 250)
Solo Talk/Reading/Q&A (moderated by Ali Kokmen, from Barnes & Noble)
(No, there’s not a signing afterward; I will be signing autographs at the STARZ Comic-Con booth on Friday afternoon at 3:45.)
This is a ticketed venue, but tickets are free (see information below).
[The following information is from the Comic-Con site:]
HORTON GRAND THEATER:
"This year Comic-Con International adds the Horton Grand Theatre as its new satellite programming room. The Horton Grand Theatre offers special panel presentations in a small, intimate, theatre atmosphere. Each panel is ticketed with extremely limited seating. There is no extra charge for these tickets.
The Horton Grand Theatre is located at 444 4th Ave., just a short 2-block walk from the Convention Center. It’s also on the shuttle route.
Horton Theatre Ticket Information
Entry to each Horton Grand Theatre panel requires a ticket for the corresponding panel. Drawings for panel entry tickets at the Horton Grand Theatre will be held at 9:00 am in the Autograph Area (upstairs in the Sails Pavilion) on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Each winner will receive entry for two. (Please note: there is limited disabled seating.) The tickets must be presented at the theatre to gain access. The Horton Grand Theatre has assigned seating. Please wear your Comic-Con 2014 badge also.
There will be a second drawing shortly following the 9:00 am drawing for "stand-by seating tickets." The stand-by seating tickets are limited and do not guarantee you access to the panel.
Please be inside the Horton Grand Theatre no later than 15 minutes prior to the panel start time or you will forfeit your seat to stand-by seating ticket-holders."
2:15-3:15 PM: Outlander Panel
Location: Room 6A (Capacity: 1,000)
Panel with Ron D. Moore, Sam Heughan, Caitriona Balfe, Tobias Menzies, Lotte Verbeek, and Graham McTavish.
3:45-4:45 PM: Autographs
Location: Starz Comic-Con Booth (#4029)
Autograph signing with myself, Sam Heughan, Ron Moore, Graham McTavish, Caitriona Balfe, Tobias Menzies, and Lotte Verbeek at the STARZ Comic-Con Booth.
7:00–10:00 PM: Outlander TV Series World Premiere
Location: Spreckels Theater (Capacity: 1,463)
"Red carpet event with cast, Ron Moore and Diana Gabaldon with moderated Q&A." [You do have to have advance tickets to this, and I believe it is sold out.]
4:15–5:15 PM: Ruler of the Realm panel
Location: Room 6A (Capacity: 1,000)
"Joe Abercrombie (Half a King), Diana Gabaldon (Outlander), Lev Grossman (Magicians Trilogy), George R. R. Martin (Game of Thrones), and Patrick Rothfuss (The Kingkiller Chronicle) have written some of the most memorable books of their time, pushing genre fiction into the mainstream. Join these bestselling authors along with moderator Ali T. Kokmen (Barnes & Noble/NOOK Media) for a discussion on fantasy literature, fandom, and how they mastered their craft."
NB: Sam Heughan is also doing a panel on Saturday:
"12:00pm – 12:45pm: TV Guide magazine returns to San Diego for its annual all-star panel. Moderated by senior writer Damian Holbrook, Fan Favorites brings together stars from TV’s hottest shows for a lively discussion filled with behind-the-scenes scoop. Panelists (subject to change) include Misha Collins (Supernatural), Sam Heughan (Outlander), Colin O’Donoghue (Once Upon a Time), Aisha Tyler (Archer), and others."
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).
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: