• “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. Don’t make this your last one, please…..
    We all have come to love these people and their families so much.
    Can’t you keep it going somehow?

    Can’t you?

  2. Diana-
    You have ruined it for all other books out there! I can’t wait for #8 (especially after all of those bombs you had dropped at the end of #7!)
    No pressure, but can you hurry please? Sleep isn’t really necessary, is it? I need my fix!

  3. Hi Diana, I have embraced your Outlander books, love the CD and want the jewelry for Christmas.
    Now something, somewhere, led me to believe this next, 8th book would finish the Jamie/Clair love story – “you will like the ending, but there will be a lot of tears”. Now I read MAYBE – we will know in a few months?

    PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE! Finish THIS series! I started reading Outlander when I was 50 years old, am now 70! I could DIE without ever knowing what happened to Claire and Jamie, if you extend their story with several more books! Couldn’t you handle other related people in a different series, as you did with Sir John?

    Yours, Adele Needham

    PS My sister and I are planning a trip to Scotland soon. We want to do the Outlander tour.

  4. My husband is not much of a reader, but he loves for me to read him to sleep, a chapter a night from your books. It drives me bonkers to stop at one chapter, but I’m loving getting to draw him into my world, my love of reading, in this way. And your books are what started this cozy nightly ritual of ours. Cannot wait for the next one!

  5. Reading just that title brought tears to my eye’s, Those words are full of emotion. It didn’t feel ominous to me just Loving and emotional. (if that makes any sense at all)

    Sounds like a perfect title for a Jamie, Claire and CO. book. :)

    I’m am so looking forward to it being in my hand. I am missing my great friends Claire, Jamie, Brianna, Roger and Ian, Dearly :)

  6. Diana
    I fell in love with the Outlander series in the summer of 2009. In the business of life I had only finished Dragonfly when in January of 2011 I was diagnosed with cancer. I have now since read all but “Echo” which I am looking forward to greatly. I am back to work and feeling better, and wanted to tell you that having Jamie & Claire with me through all my hours of treatments made it feel like I was with family.

    I am Scottish in descent but have never visited. Thank you for creating this wonderful family who has brought smiles to my face and tears to my eyes. You must be quite an old soul. Whatever you title the next book I will buy it and treasure it.

  7. Diana, I dont care about the cover, you could tie it up with a string & a paper clip & I’d still buy it!

  8. Diana ~
    I purchased Outlander (when it first came out) from my book club because nothing else looked interesting and have been HOOKED ever since and am PATIENTLY awaiting book eight.
    I took off work early from work one day ~ I told my boss I had to leave because my “Favorite Author” was at Copperfields Bookstore in Santa Rosa.
    If you haven’t seen Diana ~ she’s beautiful!

    I have two questions:

    1. When you finished Outlander, did you already know it would be a series?

    2. In Drums of Autumn Claire is thinking about one of Frank’s lectures that she attended and has some items from the past ~ a perfume bottle and two miniatures among others items. One of Claire and one of Jamie that Brianna painted while she was in the North Carolina with them. I’m confused as to how the paintings could be with Frank and Claire before she went back to Jamie. Or am I REALLY confused about everything?

    Thank you so much for your wonderful books.

    • Dear Bobbie–

      Thank you! Yes, I did know when I finished OUTLANDER (though not when I started it {g}) that it was a series. As I said to my agent at the time, “I can tell there’s more to this story, but I thought I should stop while I could still lift it.”

      Claire’s _dreaming_ about Frank and the miniatures. We don’t have any indication that Frank actually had them.


      • Thank you Diana ~

        I’ve been wondering about that ever since I read BSAA and had to go back and forth several times and finally decided I had to ask you.



      • Claire had another dream to ponder on–

        In Drums of Autumn, Claire also had a dream the night she found Otter-Tooth’s skull. She dreamed that she was lying in the rain with her throat cut. Are Claire’s dreams premonitions?

        Come to think of it, Brianna has a few dreams of her own, doesn’t she?!—”her dads” dream, Jemmy being taken from her home in boston….

        Makes you wonder the meaning of these nightmares!

  9. Diana,
    I am counting the days until the next book!! I have loved your writing ever since I picked up Dragonfly In Amber on a whim. I even got my husband, who won’t read anything beyond the sports stats, to listen to the audio versions! I recommend your books to everyone who asks. I can’t wait to see what happens next with Jamie and Claire and all their people. Thank you so much for continuing to write about them!

  10. Ms. Gabaldon,
    Really enjoy your writing. You have such a flow to your words, it’s almost mesmerizing! To my thinking, a story can have a great plot but if the words and phrases don’t sing on their own, it’s a dull read! There is probably no complement I could give you that you haven’t heard already, but I concur with all these other fine judges of good books on this page–I look forward with nearly fanatic anticipation to the continuing story! My question would be, Do you ever need to re-read anything from the previous books to refresh your own memory?

    If you ever get to the “movie making” stage, could you put in a word for me? I also completely reinvented myself into a television producer about 6 years ago, (these days, that also includes-if you want to stay employed-directing, shooting and editing) and I would just love to work on such a project as yours promises to be.

    You have such a gift.

    • Dear Dianne–

      Thanks! And best of luck in your new career! Alas, I have nothing whatever to say about the movie process–that’s in the hands of the production people who have the option on it.

      As to previous books–no, not usually. I recall exactly what happpened, but I _never_ remember how old anyone is supposed to be, or which year things happened in, but fortunately there are a lot of folk who enjoy the collection and tabulation of trivia, so I can just ask them and they pop right back with an answer–Most Helpful of them!!


  11. This totally stinks for those of us with short term memory issues…if this isn’t the last book I think I will hold off for a few years and just reread all the Outlanders when it’s a completed set. :) Something to occupy me when I retire!

    • Dear Kate–

      Well, there _is_ THE OUTLANDISH COMPANION–and will in the fullness of time be an OUTLANDISH COMPANION, Volume II. {g} One of the functions of those books is to serve as a recollection for those who don’t want to reread the whole series every time a new book comes out (many people _do_, God bless them {g}). But the OC has detailed synopses (plus Cast of Characters lists) for the first four books, and OCII will cover the next four, plus the Lord John books to date. (No, I don’t yet know whether Book Eight–aka WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART’S BLOOD–is the last or not.)


  12. Hearts Own Blood sounds wonderful to me. Can’t wait till it comes out! And…. so glad to hear it probably isn’t the last.

  13. I am 79 and hope I live long enough to get the eighth book. Also I can only listen to talking books (I have severe eye problems preventing me from reading a book). Your wonderful narrator Davina Porter is fantastic. She makes the characters come alive. Please have the next book come as a CD too as soon as it is published.

    You are a genius with your descriptions and narrative. Thank you.

  14. I love the books and have read them all at least 3 times and can’t wait until the next book. Honestly I wish you did less book tours so that the wait was not so long.

  15. Diana – I found out about your books while talking to the night shift nurses at work. (Nurses usually have their own informal book clubs and they are a tough crowd). You blew them all away. The Labor and Delivery nurses talked me into trying one and somewhere around page 150 of Outlander, I realized “Oh my gosh!!! I’m in love with these characters!!! I am one of those multiple readers (I think I’m up to 3).

    Just know that there is a 250 bed hospital in Texas that is staffed with some of your most avid fans!! I’m not quite sure how we’ll staff the place when the new book is released!!

    My question is this….Did you have an interest in the standing stone and ley lines phenomenon before the story took shape or the other way around?

    • Dear Tammy–

      No, I’d never heard of ley lines before, and all I knew about standing stones was what Stonehenge looked like. {g} Didn’t know there even _were_ other stone circles, ’til I began researching Scotland.

      Give my regards to the nurses!


    • Okay all you ‘re-readers’. I sarted with “Outlander” when it first came out ~ and have re-read them all ~ from start to finish every time a new one comes out. PLUS ~ when I haven’t been able to get to the library and am ‘out of reading material’ ~ I will re-read them all again! I’ve tried to just read one to hold me over until I can get out, but end up reading them all again. So I’ve read the whole lot of them at least 9 or10 times! I also have “The Outlandish Companion” and will certainly get the next one(s) when they’re available.
      Anyone have any “Outlander” jewelry? I have Claire’s wedding ring! Have had it since it first came out! I wear two rings ~ one that my father gave my mother in 1959 or 1960 and Claire’s wedding ring!
      Talk about obsessed with people who aren’t real!?!?! BUT THEY ARE!!!!!
      Read on “Outlandish People” and on . . . and on . . . and on . . . .

    • There are many more stone circles all over Great Britain. Everyone knows all about Stonehenge because it’s fairly compact, is right on the road to Salisbury, and has a lovely gift shop. But Avebury is so large that you need a guide to show you where you are in the circle. There are actually several concentric circles there, but the outer one is miles across. It’s amazing how any of that could have been done at all, given the building materials and processes early people had.

      Anyway, I love the Craig Na Dun idea — I want to drag my husband to Scotland for an Outlander tour! He’s read the first one only, but he loved the book. Now we need a North Carolina Jamie & Claire tour as well. Love your books, Diana! Keep up the good work!

      Historical fiction is the best genre because you learn so much by making the people come back to life. Maybe that’s the truer essence of time travel?

  16. Great title! I have been longing for the next Outlander adventure lately. I can’t wait until this book is out!!!!

    I read your information above on the Outlandish Companion I and II. I need to get myself a copy of them. I usually reread the novels when the new one comes out, or last time I listened to the audiobooks.

    It’s a new test for me to recommend your books to my fellow book lovers and book club members to see how they feel about them. I can’t feel quite the same way about someone if they don’t love Outlander (or if heaven forbid, they refuse to read the book as it is “too big.”).

  17. Please, please make it the last book! I’m turning 80 in three weeks, and not at all sure I’ll be around for another after this. On the other hand, since I refuse to die before the end of the series, maybe there should be another one.

  18. Excellent title! I’m glad to hear about the printing trade/ Revolution connection- it’s a particular fascination of mine, and I was so hoping you would explore it more.
    And since I’m commenting, I’d also like to say that I *love* your treatment of religion in the series. I really appreciate how well-researched it is, especially the bits with Presbyterians and Quakers.
    I’m glad there are so many of us who enjoy smart historical fiction!

  19. Hi Diana, it is with regret that I have just finished re-reading all 7 books in the series (though still have the Lord John ones to go!) I loved being engrossed in the books over the past few weeks and feel a loss knowing that I have to wait for “Written in my own Heart’s Blood” to be published to see what happens next – but wait with baited breath I will. Thank you so much for your wonderful books, can’t wait for the next instalment!

  20. I listened to the Audiobook Dragonfly in Amber probably shortly after if first came out … by the end of it, I realized that there was definitely a “before” book and an “after” book. I then read Outlander … LOVED it, read Dragonfly in Amber and realized how much I had missed because the audiobook was abridged!

    So started my love of Jamie and Claire and their family and friends!! I have introduced innumerable family members and friends to this series and wait (impatiently) for the next release!!! I love the new title … like all of your titles, so thought provoking! Like so many of your fans, I will reread and relisten to all your books before the new one comes out!!!


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