• “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

When Will the Next Book Be Out?

I am busy working on book eight in the story of Claire and Jamie, which is titled WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART’S BLOOD. Note that as of November 15, 2013, the release date for this book in the U.S.A. has been changed to June 10, 2014. (The publication date is no longer in March, 2014.) Why the delay? Please click here for my answers.)

Excerpts of The New Book

MOBY-cover-final-USIf you’d like to read excerpts of my work, I post them in my blogs or on twitter. You can find a listing of links to such excerpts here, supplied by the kindly efforts of Jari Backman, a man with a much more orderly mind than mine. Be aware that excerpts may contain spoilers!

I’d appreciate it if you would not copy the excerpts all over the internet, but please do pass on the links to anyone you think might be interested. Thanks!

Now, I do normally work on multiple projects at once.  I started doing this back in the day when I had two full-time jobs, three children under the age of six, and recklessly decided that was the right time to try writing a novel for practice.   See, no matter what I’m writing— fiction, non-fiction, blog entry, interview, annual report, scholarly journal article, software review — it usually sticks, about 2/3 of the way down the first page.  By “stick,” I mean you get to the point where nothing’s happening, and you sit there staring at the screen and flipping through your mind like a card-deck, in search of a helpful idea.

What writers usually do under these circumstances is to get up, go get coffee, take the dog for a walk, do the laundry, go downtown and get drunk… often enough, they don’t come back, and that’s why they often don’t finish their books.  Well, I couldn’t do this; I didn’t have time to walk away; I had to keep producing stuff— for my university job, for my freelance commitments, for my research, etc.— or I wouldn’t get paid, and I had a family to support.

So I started running multiple projects.  I’d have a grant proposal up on one screen, a software review for Byte magazine up on another— and perhaps a scene from the novel on a third.  When the first one stuck, I’d move to the second. When that one stuck, I’d go back to the first and check. If my subconscious hadn’t managed to unstick it yet, I’d go on to the novel— and by cycling through two, three, or even four projects at once,  I found that I stayed sitting at the keyboard and kept typing, thus being a lot more productive.

So I still do that. A recent example of my mental work-pile: WIMOHB (aka “MOBY”), THE OUTLANDISH COMPANION, Volume II (this is the one with the maps, the timelines, the floorplans, the costumes, the recipes, the photographs of Scotland and North Carolina, and a Whole Lot of Other Stuff), a novella about Marsali’s younger sister Joan, Young Ian’s elder brother Michael, the Comte St. Germain (no, of course he isn’t dead), and a lot of other interesting stuff, a short story (well, for _now_ it is…) dealing with Jamie and his friend Ian when they were young mercenaries in France— and an essay about “Dr. Who” for an anthology.