• “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


Which is….


(I still want an octopus on the cover, but we’ll deal with that later.)


Now home from DragonCon!! Had a good time, but good to be back. Further info on title, pursuant to questions:

Y’all are assuming I _know_ everything about that title, which is not the case. {g} I do know a _few_ things, though:

First off, it has to do with the printing trade, the written word, and its effect on the American Revolution (and the effect of the Revolution on the printers and writers, for that matter). That’s why it specifically needs the “written with…”–

Though that part has also to do with Roger, but I’m not going to tell you why.

And as I said (I think) earlier, it has to do with the Gaelic term “A chuisle,” meaning, “my heart’s blood”–to refer to a beloved child. (You recall that Jamie uses it of his adopted grandchildren as well as those who really _are_ of his physical blood.) Ergo, possibly—you think?–to do with family relationships, of which there are One Heck of a Lot in this book.

I can’t think why some folk assume there’s anything ominous about the title. It just means that something’s done–e.g., written–with passion, not that someone’s stabbing themselves in the chest with a quill and going GAK! on their desk. Have we never heard of imagery or metaphor, for heaven’s sake?

And no, it certainly doesn’t give any intimation that this is the last book. What about it sounds like “THIS IS THE END?” IF it should turn out to be the last book, I’d tell you straight out. At the moment, I’m thinking the odds are against it being the final one, but I won’t know that for a few months yet.

As for the person who thought someone was going to die in this book….well, I can give you pretty good odds on that one. I’ve never written a book that didn’t have anybody dying in it. (And fwiw, Jamie’s _been_ dead for at last part of every single book in the series. It isn’t necessarily fatal, you know. {g})

And as for not sounding like the other books in the series–it has the same number of words, the same number of syllables, and the same rhythm as A BREATH OF SNOW AND ASHES. Most of the books are paired, in terms of title structure: OUTLANDER/VOYAGER, DRAGONFLY IN AMBER/DRUMS OF AUTUMN, A BREATH OF SNOW AND ASHES/WRITTEN WITH MY HEART’S OWN BLOOD (I’m leaning toward “Heart’s Own,” if only because “HOB” is easier to pronounce). Only THE FIERY CROSS and AN ECHO IN THE BONE are unlike the others. (I didn’t do this on purpose, btw, with the exception of DRUMS OF AUTUMN–that one _was_ chosen specifically to echo DRAGONFLY (and is subsequently the weakest title of the bunch).)

359 Responses »

  1. The title is wonderful, especially with the connection to writing and publishing–which author was once quoted as saying something along the lines of “writing is simple; just sit at the typewriter and open a vein”?

    Based on a caltrop being the cover art for Echo, and you desiring an octopus for Written, I suspect eight “major” story lines being intertwined: Jamie/Claire/John; Jem in the tunnel; Roger; Brian’s story (thanks to the recent spoiler excerpt); Jenny/Ian/Rachel; William/John/Jamie/Claire; Brianna; Fergus’ past/parentage (you did mention Jamie calls his adopted grandchildren his heart’s blood) and the extra story lines of Buck’s return to (hopefully) his past; Hal’s daughter’s story with Rachel’s brother (darn–need to re-read Echo if I cannot remember names LOL); the possible demise of Rob Cameron (now there’s a death you could write into the story–he’s a real chunk of nasty); and Michael’s trip to France to help with the wine business.

    I’m really looking forward to “Scottish Prisoner” for another look at the Jamie/John relationship. The way all the characters and storylines interlace, you have many tales left to tell–Jamie and Claire eventually will die, but they live on in Brianna’s family story as well as in Fergus’ tale. You’ve encouraged us to love William and I personally want to see more of his life. Extending the Murrays into America and France will allow stories to carry on for many more years (anybody else looking forward to Diana’s take on the French Revolution? Both Fergus and Michael are young enough, and if Jem ends up in the past due to the stones above the tunnel…)

    Well, you don’t need a novel from your readers, so I’ll close with, “Thank you from the bottom of my heart” for the experience I receive when reading your works.

  2. Hey Diana,
    I like the new title, especially with its relevance to the American Revolution, the role of the press (propaganda?) in influencing the movement for rebellion, and Jamie’s intention to start printing tracts and such, after having retrieved his printing press.

    I have a suggestion for how to incorporate your octopus wishes into the book 8 cover. You’ve probably thought of this or someone else has already suggested it, but after I read your note about the title and what it means, it occurred to me that you could use the ink sacs of octopi to, perhaps, make a connection with your title (and a major theme of the book itself, I assume–i.e., Jamie being an ink-stained printer). Perhaps your cover could have an image of an octopus ejecting a cloud of ink over a printing press? Not sure of the practical applications of such an idea, but I’m sure the clever people in the art dept. could sort it. {g}

  3. Then again, you could just have the octopus positioned with all 8 legs outstretched (like spokes on a wheel) and let it represent this being book 8. We usually don’t understand what the picture means until you explain it to us anyway. {g}

  4. Ms. G. your books have saved my serenity in the last year while I was left with no income after having to leave my job due to being medically unable to perform the essential functions of the position ( examiners can’t be dosing off while proctoring). I will admit to the additional assistance of David and Leigh Eddings and Laurell K. Hamilton but since I’m a Celtic hillbilly healer whose ancestors came as indentured servants who escaped bondage, and came to Oregon so long ago we are in the Polk county museum, and have had rumors of witchcraft follow us forever. I was especially drawn to your story and I am sure I will enjoy #8 how ever you finish it if I live so long. Blessings on your head woman! You are truly a gift… I thank ye.

  5. Ms Gabaldon,
    Aside from the fact that your Outlander series has dominated my reading time, again and again (have read the entire series several times), I am in awe of your fantastic creative talents which capture one’s imagination, fascinates with adventures, incidents, events, and inspires visions of romance and love which were the truth known, we would all like to experience and enjoy. You are literally a wellspring of creative writing at its’ very best. It goes without saying that you are appreciated by your many many readers and hopefully that will inspire you to keep writing into your grandma years!! Your family must be so proud of you too. Take good care of those “writing” hands and don’t ever stop writing. Thanks for the escapes your books provide from today’s often grim realities.

  6. What can I say but YAY!!!

    I actually just started re-reading ‘An Echo in the Bone’ two days ago (somewhere between pg 200 and 300 atm), and I told my Mum (who introduced me to you books about eight years ago this summer) that you were writing another one, so coming here to find out that you revealed the title of the new book naturally made me grin like a little child on Christmas.
    I’ve re-read your books about a dozen times by now, and while they get even better after some re-reading because I can pick up small hints and connections I did not spot during the first read a new book of yours is still a great thing, so I basically couldn’t wait for the new book since I put down ‘An Echo…’. Seeing the title revealed tells me we’re a step closer to publishing which is great. :-D

  7. We need to clone you … :-)

  8. I’ve just finished reading “A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows” which deals with Roger and his parents and am now crazed to find a sequence that occurred (I think!) in The Fiery Cross. Roger has a dream about the moment his mother dies in the tunnel during the London air raids and gets some insight that shakes him up. Can anyone tell me if I’m on the right track here? All I have is the abridged Fiery Cross audiobook so I can’t tell if that’s where this bit happened.

    SO looking forward to a tip on this one! :)

    • Yes, it’s in The Fiery Cross, chapter 98, “Clever Lad”. It wasn’t a dream, though. Brianna had asked Roger if he remembered his mother (she was concerned about Jem remembering her should anything happen). Roger hadn’t ever really tried to remember his mother, had always veered away from remembering, but later gave in to the memories and let them flow…

      Is that helpful?

      • Ooh, super helpful Nancie, thank you!! I’m going to have to re-read that one. Do you also happen to know if Audible Recorded Books is planning to release the unabridged version of “The Fiery Cross” read by Davina Porter anytime soon? I’ve seen that it’s out there in other places but for some obscene amount (upwards of $85 and for cassette I think!!) but would MUCH rather pay my monthly membership fee of $16 and have a nice mp3 file for my ipod. :)

      • Kristen, I don’t know much about the Audible books. Diana herself mentioned something about it in her blog…somewhere…about why it isn’t yet available, but she did say it will be available in November.

      • Wahoo! Worth waiting for then. Thank you Nancie!

  9. I just wanted to say I like your thoughts on the title! I was also thinking, with people wondering if this is the last book or not that Jamie has 4(?) of his nine lives still. If that is the case, either book 8 will be a roller coaster ride or we are sure to see more books ;)

    Thanks for creating such fantastic characters!

  10. I am extremely excited that the 8th Outlander book is coming along nicely. News of a possible 9th book (please, please, please) is… well I don’t want to jinx it. Congrats on the new Lord John book, I cannot wait to get my hands on it.
    Also, I would like to thank you for helping me receive an “A” on an English paper (about a year ago). I was instructed to convince the reader why a product was worth purchasing. As I’m sure you can guess I chose your Outlander series. A simple paper that practically wrote itself and I must say I couldn’t praise your talent enough. So, thank you for the great books and the inspiration. Your books alone kindled my obsessive, love of reading.

    • P.S.
      Your titles always seem to fit after reading the book. Not knowing what the title means as I open the cover is part of its allure. However if your taking votes I definately like “WIMHOB”
      Huh, the acronym is kind of witchy.

    • Dear Jamie–

      Congratulation on your good grade! Always glad to be of service. {g}


  11. I am very excited by the title :) I read 5 of the books years ago and have just, today, finished listening to them all on audiobook… however… I can’t believe I’ve caught up and now have to wait for the next!! I have spent the last 6 months listening to Davina Porter (who does a lovely job) tell me about Claire and Jamie… how can I stand to wait!! I actually contemplated not listening to the last couple of chapters… just so it wouldn’t end.

    Keep them coming! They are a fantastic blend of history and fantasy!

  12. What is Trackbacks? I’ve never seen this before…
    Diana your books are a treasure, and as far as I am concerned you can keep writing about Jamie and Claire and the rest of OUR GANG FOREVER! These books have seen me through my fathers Alzheimer’s, hanging out at the nursing home ect. He passed away at 91, and he had a great life, and made up the rules as he went along, because he liked to WIN! His name was LeRoy…(and he had red hair as a kid :-))
    I’ve lost count how many times I’ve re-read…spending a lot of time at the hosp with mom now, so have you in my purse quite often…so when there is something new to read…Yahooo. Love the anticipation! Thank you!

  13. Hi Diana,
    I am thrilled with the title, it has a very oath type feel to it.
    I am also excited to see you in a few weeks at the Surrey writers conference!
    It will be an awesome weekend!!

  14. I like “Written in my Heart’s own Blood”. It sounds very Shakespearean.

    It reminds me of the book “Interred With Their Bones” by Jennifer Lee Carrell. A very good read with present and past, lots of drama and tragedy,

    I’m looking forward to the next book whatever it’s called.

    BTW, did you decide whether to start “Scottish Prisoner” with Jamie or Lord John?

  15. Diana,
    It’s going to be hard to wait so long for book eight. The title is interesting – I have tried to guess what’s coming with my first reading of each book by the title. Voyager was the only one that I was “right” about. I am always relieved that Jamie isn’t dead at the end of each one! I find myself hoping that there will be a long period of time for Jamie and Claire to spend in peace and loving each other. While that’s going on – Ian and Rachel, Roger and Briana, and William can have their adventures. I have hope that Jamie and William can spend some quality time together.

    I love this story and trust you with Jamie and Claire et al. Thank you for an unforgettable saga that warms my heart and fires my imagination.

  16. Oh, my. It must be very gratifying that everyone is so on the edge of their seats for the next book that they are parsing every syllable of its title to try to reveal its secrets before it’s even written! Looking forward to it, surely, but take your time.

    Sounds promising from the title (there I go, parsing away. . .).

  17. I just finished Echo in the Bone and was so hoping it wasn’t the last one! I’m very glad to see that you are working on another! How long till it’s finished?.. well roughly I mean knowing that with all the quirks and turns and publishers, blah, blah.. it may not have an exact date. ;)


  18. I….Can’t…..Freakin’…..WAIT!!!!!!!!

  19. Diana
    As a child my parents told me that a good book would take me on a wonderful adventure. That was an understatement. Many times have I picked up a book and lost myself in the story. I read your books and see everything happening around me. I see the story more clearing than one would if watching a movie. Not every writer has that talent but you most certainly do! I have laughed and cried over your books like it was happening right here and now. Thank you very much for the adventure so far. When you saw an octopus for the cover it made me think of Jamie and the tenttecales being his arms trying to hold everyone he loves close to him and safe. I’m sure as soon as Jamie, Claire and everyone let you know what they are up to, it will be a grand adventure!!

    • Trish…….I second everything you’ve said about Diana and her Outlander series. I have always LOVED historical books (usually non fiction, for which I take much abuse from friends….nothing like sitting on the beach reading about the life and times of Queen Victoria!) When I stumbled on Outlander 20 odd years ago, my oldest son was about 3 and I was just pregnant with our younger son. And I found myself a hero. And my favorite hero found his soulmate in Clare. And I have never stopped being touched by all the tender moments these two share with each other and us. My husband asked me the other day what I was reading now. (I am working my way through the series again. Have just gotten stared with Dragonfly. Clare has just told Roger & Briana about Jamie.) He asked me what it was I saw in those books to keep reading them over and over. And I share with you what I told him. I have never come across another writer who writes such tender scenes. I can physically feel the pull on my heartstrings and I treasure that each and every time I read them. I can’t wait for the next book.

      • Hello Diana, Trish and Carole,

        I’m a late-comer to the series, having just discovered them last February. Just started re-reading them and will (im)patiently wait for #8. Both Trish and Carole have described so well how I feel about the series and these amazing characters. They are flesh and blood to me. Perfect title for #8.

  20. I cannot wait for the new book. I picked up a few of these books at a garage sale years ago and they have been treasured by me ever since and I’ve eagerly anticipated every new addition to this amazing storyline. (How could anyone SELL them? My only thought is they must have gotten rid of their paperbacks to get hard-bound editions).

    I have to say, the idea of there being a method to your writing fascinates me because it flows so beautifully and effortlessly that I can get lost in these books like very few others. I want to GO to these places and MEET these people and if this is ever made into a movie, each book would have to be a long mini-series to do it justice. I have read some fan-site stuff through the years, but this is the first I’ve ever posted anywhere for any author. I don’t know how many of these books I’ve bought to give as gifts to get other people reading them.


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