• “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

The Outlander Series

The OUTLANDER series started by accident in the late 1980s when I decided to write a novel for practice. My goals were::

  1. To learn what it took to write a novel, and
  2. To decide whether I really wanted to do that for real.

I did, and I did—and here we all are, still trying to figure out what the heck you call books that nobody can describe, but that fortunately most people seem to enjoy.

In essence, these novels are Big, Fat, Historical Fiction, à la James Clavell and James Michener.  However, owing to the fact that I wrote the first book for practice, didn’t intend to show it to anyone, and therefore saw no reason to limit myself, they  include…

history, warfare, medicine, sex, violence, spirituality, honor, betrayal, vengeance, hope and despair, relationships, the building and destruction of families and societies, time travel, moral ambiguity, swords, herbs, horses, gambling (with cards, dice, and lives), voyages of daring, journeys of both body and soul…

you know, the usual stuff of literature.

I don’t like to do things I’ve already done, so (in spite of the fact that this is a series, and does involve the same central characters throughout) each book is unique in structure, tone, approach, and theme. The books can be read independently of each other (I can’t be sure that people seeing the newest one on a bookstore table will realize that it’s part of a series, so the books are (with minor exceptions) engineered to stand alone)mdash; but if you have a choice, I’d strongly recommend beginning at the beginning, with OUTLANDER, and reading through the story in order of publication (I’d say “in chronological order,” but that isn’t necessarily a useful term when you’re playing fast and loose with time, which I not infrequently do):

  1. OUTLANDER, which is published as Cross Stitch in the U.K.
  8. WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART’S BLOOD. Nicknamed “MOBY,” the eighth book in the series was first published in the U.S. in the summer of 2014.
  9. GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE— which I am currently writing and researching— will be the ninth book in the OUTLANDER series of novels. Completion and publishing dates have not been announced yet.

The Lord John Grey novels are in fact part of the series, rather than being a spin-off—but these novels are constructed differently and are focused on Lord John as a central character. Also, while they do include Jamie Fraser as an important character, they don’t include Claire, as many take place during a stretch of time where Claire wasn’t physically present. This Lord John sub-series can be read either independently of the main series, or as part of it. 

If you choose to read the Lord John stories as part of the Outlander series, you can read these novels after reading VOYAGER. See my Chronology of the Outlander series for more details.

THE EXILE, A Graphic Novel

There is one more addition to the OUTLANDER series— THE EXILE, a graphic novel.

For those unfamiliar with the term, a graphic novel is—in essence—a comic book for grown-ups. {g}  That is, the story is conveyed in visual images, augmented by dialogue. THE EXILE covers (roughly) the first third of  the material in OUTLANDER, but is not just an adaptation of the original novel. The editor who invited me to do it (an opportunity I leapt at, as I grew up reading comic books, and in fact, used to write comic scripts for Walt Disney) asked for “a new Jamie and Claire story, but one set within the parameters of OUTLANDER.” To which I said, “Hmmmm….” And what I came up with is Jamie’s (and his godfather Murtagh’s) view of events—meaning that we see all the things Claire didn’t see, didn’t understand, or was kept out of.


Below is a list (and reading order) of books (with example of cover art) in my OUTLANDER series with links to their web pages for more information:


OUTLANDER (also published in the U.K. under the title "CROSS STITCH") is the best-selling first novel in my Outlander series of books. It was first published in the U.S.A. in 1990. What Is OUTLANDER? Frankly, I’ve never been able to describe this book in twenty-five words or less, and neither has anyone else in the twenty years since it was first published.  I’ve seen it (and the rest of the series) sold—with evident success—as <deep breath> Literature, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical NON-fiction (really. Well, they are very accurate), Science Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery, Romance, Military History (no, honest), Gay and Lesbian Fiction, and…Horror. (Really!  One of my books beat both George R.R. Martin and Stephen King for a Quill Award in 2006.) Anyway, the only way I’ve ever found of describing this book to anyone is to begin telling them the story. So here goes…. In 1946, after WW II, a young Englishwoman named Claire Beauchamp Randall goes to the Scottish Highlands with her husband, Frank. She’s an ex-combat nurse, he’s been in the army as […]

Dragonfly in Amber

DRAGONFLY IN AMBER is the second novel in the main OUTLANDER series. The book carries on the story begun in OUTLANDER, but begins with a brief framing story set in 1968, in which Claire Randall visits a young Oxford don named Roger MacKenzie in Inverness, in search of answers for her daughter, Brianna. Her request is unusual; she has a list of names, Jacobite soldiers who fought with Prince Charles Edward Stuart’s army, who took part in the disastrous battle at Culloden in 1746. What happened to these men, she asks, following the battle? Roger is surprised at her intensity, but intrigued at her question—and intrigued even more by her red-haired daughter. The answer to Roger’s search leads all three to an unexpected grave—and to a revelation that will turn all their lives inside-out. Claire tells Roger and Brianna what happened during the year before the Stuart Rising: the political intrigues, the chain of spying, betrayal, and murder that led her and her husband James Fraser from the court of Louis XV to the windswept moors […]


"He was dead. However, his nose throbbed painfully, which he thought odd in the circumstances." Thus begins the third book in the OUTLANDER series, in which we learn that—despite his best efforts—Jamie Fraser did not die on the battlefield at Culloden. He isn’t pleased. Back in the 20th century, Claire is equally shocked by the revelation of Jamie’s survival—but much more pleased about it. We hear Jamie’s story as he moves forward, trying to forge a life from the bits of his soul and his country that are left, and hear Claire’s brief recounting of the twenty years since she left him at Culloden, while Roger MacKenzie and Brianna (Claire and Jamie’s daughter) draw close to each other as they sleuth through the clues of the past, in an urgent hunt for Jamie Fraser. Can they find him? And if they do, will Claire go back to him? And if she does… what will happen then? To be honest, it would be easier to describe what doesn’t happen than what does.  The story moves from the […]

Drums of Autumn

“I heard the drums long before they came in sight.   The beating echoed in the pit of my stomach, as though I too were hollow… it was a hot day, even for Charleston in June.  The best places were on the seawall, where the air moved; here below, it was like being roasted alive.  My shift was soaked through, and the cotton bodice clung between my breasts.  I wiped my face for the tenth time in as many minutes and lifted the heavy coil of my hair, hoping for a cooling breeze upon my neck.  I was morbidly aware of necks at the moment…” DRUMS OF AUTUMN opens with a hanging.   One of Jamie’s old companions from his days in Ardsmuir prison is being hanged for theft, and Jamie has come to lend what support he can.   Suddenly the proceedings are disrupted, as another prisoner makes a break for it–and Jamie, moved by the death of his friend, impulsively helps the man, a pirate named Stephen Bonnet, to escape; a […]

The Fiery Cross

THE FIERY CROSS is the fifth book in the OUTLANDER series, following DRUMS OF AUTUMN.  Set against the War of the Regulation in North Carolina (the first tax-payer’s rebellion in the American colonies, and a precursor to the full-blown Revolution), the story deals with Jamie Fraser’s efforts to protect his family, build a community on Fraser’s Ridge, and keep his land–this last requiring him to walk a delicate tight-rope between the pressing urgency of the rebellion and the increasingly unsteady but still dangerously powerful government.   In these efforts, he’s mostly aided–and occasionally hindered–by his wife Claire, who has become the conjure-woman for the Ridge,  his daughter Brianna, whose 20th-century inventiveness may possibly kill them all, and his new son-in-law, Roger MacKenzie, which whom he has a rather wary relationship, owing to his having at one point sold Roger to the Iroquois (under the misapprehension that Roger had raped his daughter, but still…), and to Roger’s sense of inferiority, comparing his own budding skills at swordcraft, farming, and leadership with the […]

A Breath of Snow and Ashes

Time is a lot of the things people say that God is. There’s the always preexisting, and having no end.  There’s the notion of being all powerful—because nothing can stand against time, can it?  Not mountains, not armies. And time is, of course, all-healing.  Give anything enough time, and everything is taken care of: all pain encompassed, all hardship erased, all loss subsumed. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Remember, man, that thou art dust, and unto dust thou shalt return. And if Time is anything akin to God, I suppose that Memory must be the Devil. That’s the Prologue to A BREATH OF SNOW AND ASHES, the sixth novel in the bestselling OUTLANDER series of major novels (following THE FIERY CROSS).   Here, history once more catches up with the Frasers, and Jamie is at last obliged to declare himself a rebel, though this means the sacrifice of much of what he’s built.  The American Revolution is a civil war, with neighbor turned against neighbor, and the community of Fraser’s Ridge […]

An Echo in the Bone

The seventh–but NOT the last!–novel in the OUTLANDER series, An Echo In The Bone, has four main storylines: Jamie and Claire Fraser, are now in the midst of the American Revolution; Their daughter Brianna, her husband Roger MacKenzie, and their two children, settled at Lallybroch in the 1970′s (finding their feet after their return from the past—but are unaware that that past is just about to leap out at them again); Lord John Grey and his step-son William (Jamie’s unacknowledged illegitimate son), are embroiled in the Revolution on the British side with William in the army and Lord John on the clandestine side of intelligence; and Jamie’s nephew Young Ian: his troubled love-life is about to take another sharp left turn. The US cover design for this book shows a caltrop (and not, as one wit suggested to me, a Celtic chicken-foot)—an ancient military weapon, designed to stop oncoming cavalry (and still in equally effective use by the modern Highway Patrol, for stopping cars).   A caltrop resembles a child’s jack, […]

Written in My Own Heart’s Blood

The Eighth Book in the Outlander Series… The eighth major novel in the Outlander series of novels is titled WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART’S BLOOD. It continues the story of Jamie and Claire and the constellation of other OUTLANDER characters. I call the book “MOBY” for short. My Own Heart’s Blood = MOHB = MOH-B = Moby. -Diana New Paperback Version of MOBY – May 31! Well, here’s news! The mass-market (small size) paperback of MOBY (aka WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART’S BLOOD (My Own Heart’s Blood = MOHB = MOH-B = MOBY. Geddit? Also it’s big and white…)) will be released in the U.S. on Monday, May 31, 2016! The suggested retail price is $9.99. Hope you enjoy it! This new version of MOBY will be available at your favorite independent bookseller, as well as online from the usual sources. (Using the buy links at left or ordering online, make sure that you order the paperback version of MOBY with a retail price of $9.99 to be sure you […]

Go Tell The Bees That I Am Gone

GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE is the ninth book in the OUTLANDER series of novels which focus on Jamie Fraser and Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser. I am currently writing and doing the historical research for this new novel. Talking to your bees is a very old Celtic custom (known in other parts of Europe, too) that made it to the Appalachians. You always tell the bees when someone is born, dies, comes or goes—because if you don’t keep them informed, they’ll fly away. GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE follows WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART’S BLOOD, aka "MOBY." Excerpts, aka "Daily Lines" As I write, I will post passages of this new novel here. They are listed on the upper right of this page under Excerpts. The excerpts will also be posted on my Facebook and Twitter accounts as "Daily Lines." About reposting my excerpts, I’d appreciate it if you would not copy the excerpts and post them yourself all over the web. Instead, please […]

The Outlandish Companion – Volume One

Well, now— most of you (in the U.S.A., at least) have seen or heard of THE OUTLANDISH COMPANION (aka "OC"). This is a non-fiction book, supplying information, background, entertaining trivia and basically, the answers to every question anybody asked me about the books prior to 1998, when the first edition was completed. (The publication date of the original OC was in June, 1999.) THE OUTLANDISH COMPANION covered the first four books of the series. But now it’s 2015, there are four more books in the main series (and quite a few others, to boot), and while the original OC has been selling very well for the last seventeen years… it has been seventeen years. So. I’ve Revised and Updated THE OUTLANDISH COMPANION (Volume One), and the new version was published in the U.S.A. on March 31st, 2015. What Does The Revised COMPANION Contain? To start with, there were two whole chapters (and a number of smaller items scattered here and there) of the original COMPANION that had become completely obsolete: […]