• “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.”
    —ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY
  • “These books have to be word-of-mouth books because they're too weird to describe to anybody.”
    —Jackie Cantor, Diana's first editor

Introducing The BEES Chapter Titles!


2021-04-15-BEES-PRH-US-coverGO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE officially went on sale on Tuesday, November 23, 2021!

For those folks who like chapter titles, here they are for BEES:

Part I

A Swarm of Bees in the Carcass of a Lion

1: The MacKenzies Are Here
2: A Blue Wine Day
3: Rustic, Rural, and Very Romantic
4: The Women Will Ha’ a Fit
5: Meditations on a Hyoid
6: Home Is the Hunter, Home from the Hill
7: Dead or Alive
8: Visitations
9: Animal Nursery Tales
10: Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme

Part II

No Law East of the Pecos

bees-pollen-party-crop11: Lightning
12: Erstwhile Companions
13: “What is not good for the swarm is not good for the bee” (Marcus Aurelius)
14: Mon cher petit ami
15: Which Old Witch?
16: Hound of Heaven
17: Reading by Firelight
18: Distant Thunder
19: Daylight Haunting
20: I Bet You Think This Song Is About You . . .
21: Lighting a Fuse
22: Ashes, Ashes . . .
23: Trout-fishing in America, Part Two
24: Alarms by Night
25: Voulez-vous coucher avec moi
26: In the Scuppernongs
27: Cover Her Face
28: Math-ghamhainn
29: Remember, Man . . .
30: You Should Know . . .

Part III

The Beesting of Etiquette and the Snakebite of Moral Order

bees-white-flower-crop31: Pater familias
32: Lhude sing cuccu!
33: Spoilt for Choice
34: The Son of a Preacher-man
35: Ambsace
36: What Lies Unseen
37: Maneuvers Beginning with the Letter “V”
38: Grim Reaper
39: I Have Returned
40: Black Brandy
41. Awkward Sod
42. Sasannaich Clann Na Galladh!
43. The Men Ye Gang Oot With
44. Beetles With Tiny Red Eyes
45. Not Quite Like Leprosy
46. By the Dawn’s Early Light
47. Tace is the Latin for a Candle
48. A Face in the Water
49. Your Friend, Always
50: Sunday Dinner in Salem

Visit my GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE webpage for more information about this new book, the ninth major novel in my OUTLANDER series of major novels featuring Jamie and Claire. And the BEES webpage gives you access to the more than 100 excerpts I have posted.


Thank You to Pam Onasch, who sent me the lovely top photo of bees having a pollen party in a poppy—and to her brother, who took the picture!

And Many Thanks to Jaimee Butters for the lovely bee photo! (bottom image)


This blog entry was last updated on Friday, November 26, 2021 by Diana Gabaldon or Diana’s Webmistress.

BEES Virtual Launch Celebration on 11/22!


2021-11-22-PRH-BEES-virtual-event

I’m thrilled to announce the virtual GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE launch event to celebrate its publication! You will need a ticket (even the virtual world is not infinite, alas), but tickets are available NOW! You may sign up for a free ticket or one of the paid options; paid include a copy of the book.

So—I hope you’ll join us on Monday, November 22 at 7:00 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time-EST-U.S.A.) for a virtual event celebrating all things Outlander and launching my new book.

To determine your local time if you live in a different time zone around the world, go to;

http://www.dianagabaldon.com/appearances/time-zones-bees-launch-event/

This will be the only major book event that I’m doing this fall, where I will discuss BEES, the Starz Outlander TV show, and more. I’ll be in conversation with Maureen Lee Lenker from Entertainment Weekly, I’ll answer some of your burning questions (you can submit yours for review when you register for your ticket!) and there will be, um, a few secret things, as well.

You can find all information about the event, and order your tickets, at the link here:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/an-outlander-celebration-with-diana-gabaldon-tickets-187791157407

This is a virtual event. You will need access to a computer, tablet or other device with an internet connection that is capable of streaming video.

Types of Tickets:

Note that the number who can join online has a maximum number, so please sign up for your tickets as soon as possible if you’d like to attend.

General Admission
Free
The registration for free admission ends on Nov 22, 2021. (You must sign up to attend.)
A free ticket gives you access to the conversation and a digital event kit featuring sponsor discount codes, an exclusive note from Diana, a digital book club kit, BEES themed food and drink recipes, a Q&A with Diana, downloadable OUTLANDER-themed knitting patterns, coloring pages, and Zoom backgrounds. With this option, you cannot participate in trivia or giveaways and will not receive a book or Fan Box.

Book plus Event Admission ($46.16 plus $4.44 Fee)
Sales end on Nov 22, 2021
A $46.16 ticket gives you a first-edition hardcover copy of GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE; access to the conversation; a digital event kit featuring sponsor discount codes, an exclusive note from Diana, a digital book club kit, GO TELL THE BEES themed food and drink recipes, a Q&A with Diana, downloadable OUTLANDER themed knitting patterns, coloring pages, and Zoom backgrounds; and you can participate in the trivia and giveaway portions of the event. Open to residents of the U.S.A. only.

VIP Outlander Event Fan Box Plus Event Admission
$70.00 plus $5.89 Fee
(Sorry… this option is Sold Out)


Launch Event Replay in the U.K.

For U.K. fans only, there will be second event viewing of the launch event on Tuesday, 23rd November at 7 p.m. (GMT). You will be able to watch the event through Waterstones bookstore. General admission tickets are free.

Sign up for your ticket at:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/an-outlander-celebration-with-diana-gabaldon-tickets-191093103617

Please note though, that if you want to watch the event live on Monday, November 22, you will need to purchase the *U.S.* ticket or sign up for the free option.

[Update: As of November 8, the paid ticket option for this event which includes a copy of BEES through Waterstones is sold out.]

New Season Six Trailer and Art from NYCC


New York Comic Con 2021 - Day 3

Left to right: Myself, Maril Davis, and Sam Heughan at NYCC on October 9. (Image Credit: Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for ReedPop)

I had a great time at New York Comic Con (NYCC) in the Big Apple on October 9!

An exciting new trailer for Season Six of the Starz Outlander TV series was unveiled during a special Outlander panel discussion with Maril Davis (executive producer), Sam Heughan (the actor who portrays Jamie Fraser) and myself in person. Joining us virtually were stars Caitriona Balfe, Sophie Skelton, Lauren Lyle, Cesar Domboy, and John Bell. Please scroll down to view the new trailer.

2021-come-what-may-crop New tidbits about the TV series discussed included:

  • Come What May… New graphic art for season six was released at NYCC (see below and at right). It features snow, which is appropriate since these new episodes are based on A BREATH OF SNOW AND ASHES, the sixth book in my OUTLANDER series of major novels.
  • “They’re such a weird little family,’ Sam Heughan teased about the Christie family joining the show. If you’ve read my books, you know that the trio will be causing trouble in North Carolina.
  • Season Six of the Outlander TV series will be released by STARZ in early 2022. Season Seven will begin filming next year with a future release date to be announced. And,
  • Check out the article by TV Insider for more of what was discussed at this panel.

Here is the new Season Six trailer released at NYCC:

If you are having difficulty viewing the trailer above, click here to view it on the Starz website.

The Outlander TV series is produced by the STARZ network, and is based on my OUTLANDER series of novels. It is shown in the U.S.A. on the STARZ network, and on multiple cable and streaming channels around the globe.


Links and References:


‘Come What May’

Below is a new Season Six graphic for Outlander released by STARZ earlier this month at NYCC. Click on it to view the full-sized image.

Season Six graphic for Outlander released by STARZ in October, 2021.


GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE, the ninth book in my OUTLANDER series of major novels, will be released in the U.S.A., Canada, the U.K., and Germany on November 23, 2021 or soon after.

Late-breaking: Appearance at NYCC with Maril and Sam!


Outlander-Starz-NYCC-panelLATE BREAKING NEWS: Are you going to New York Comic Con (NYCC) in a few days?

I’ll be there in person for a panel and autograph session along with Maril Davis and Sam Heughan from the Starz Outlander television show!

On Twitter, NYCC recently announced:

Diana Gabaldon, Maril Davis and Sam Heughan are joining us IN-PERSON for the “OUTLANDER Season Six Takes NYCC” panel… & they want to meet YOU.

Joining virtually will be Caitriona Balfe, Sophie Skelton, Lauren Lyle, Cesar Domboy, & John Bell.

This panel will take place on Saturday, October 9, 2021 from 11 a.m. to noon on the Empire Stage.

Outlander Panel Description: “Travel through the stones of Craigh na Dun and go back in time with the cast and executive producers of OUTLANDER as they take on New York Comic Con in support of the sixth season, premiering early 2022. Don’t worry, we’ll make sure to get you back to your own time.”

A paid membership is required to attend the panel in person or digitally via virtual membership. To buy in-person badges and passes or digital passes, go to the NYCC webpage at:

https://www.newyorkcomiccon.com

and click on the blue “Badges” button. Information on other guests attending the convention, including William Shatner, George Takei and many others is on the NYCC webpages.

An additional charge and separate advance reservation is required for the Outlander in-person autograph session. Fans who already have in-person passes for October 9 may register for autograph passes for Outlander (with Maril Davis, Sam Heughan and me) at http://NYCC21.com/Reservations.

NYCC in 2021: In-person and Virtual

New York Comic Con, an annual convention for fans of comics, movies, science fiction and fantasy will be held from Thursday, October 7 through Sunday, October 10, 2021 in New York, New York. This year NYCC will be a hybrid in-person attendance and also can be enjoyed virtually at home. The Javits Center will allow a limited capacity due to COVID-19. Those without in-person passes are able to purchase a digital ticket to enjoy the Outlander panel and other events.

Please consult the NYCC webpage for COVID-19 health guidelines for in-person attendees.

(Sorry that this was not organized and announced farther in advance by NYCC, likely due to the pandemic. Note that I as of October 5, I am not yet listed as a literary guest at NYCC.)

Signed Books, Tip Sheets, and Trolls…


2021-09-17-Diana-office-tipsheetsIt must be a dull week in Trollsville. I went by the Poisoned Pen (that’s my local independent bookstore, for those unfamiliar) yesterday afternoon to sign the latest pile of backlist titles (the Pen handles all my autographed books, and has done so for the last twenty-odd years) and while chatting with Patrick, the manager, was surprised (and displeased) to hear that some folk with too much time on their hands were posting intemperate messages on tumblr, claiming that the Poisoned Pen is a scam outfit, that they don’t really provide signed books, and that people who have pre-ordered BEES won’t get their copies signed.

<sigh>

This is a shot of my small office tonight (above image). I’m up in Flagstaff, in my old family house, just for the day. And what am I doing, in the middle of the night?

2021-09-17-tipsheet-DGSigning tip-sheets. A tip-sheet (see image at left) is a loose sheet of paper, which will eventually be bound into a book as it’s produced. It’s a method of dealing with huge numbers of books, where shipping the actual books to and fro would be both expensive and laborious. I do this now and then—on request—for some of my publishers (in the US, the UK (including Australia and New Zealand(, and Canada, on this go) when a new book is coming out.

Normally, I might sign something like a thousand tip-sheets for a publisher. This time…

The UK asked for 8,000 tip-sheets.

Canada asked for a modest 2,000.

The US asked for 17,000.

(That’s 27,000 signatures, for those who are adding them up.)

This is NOT what I do for the Poisoned Pen. The Pen is an old-fashioned bookstore, that caters to people who truly love books, and to whom it makes a substantial difference as to whether a book was personally handled and signed by the author, rather than having a tip-sheet bound in ex post facto, so to speak.

I generally go by the Pen once or twice a month, and sign (and personalize, if requested) their orders. This usually amounts to 4-500 books at a time.

When I have a new book out, it’s all hands on deck, because I’m signing several thousand copies, and doing that requires a team of five people helping me:

Pen-signing-3Person 1 opens the cartons of books, dumps them and stacks the books at one end of the table.

Person 2 takes a book from the stack, opens it and finds the second title page (the one with both the book’s title and my printed name and a small, evocative photo). They then fold the dust jacket over the copyright and first title pages, so the jacket serves as a book-mark, allowing

Person 3 to open a book immediately to the right page. (This is called “flapping.” ) The flapped books are restacked next to—

Person 3. This person grabs a flapped book, opens it, turns it at a ninety-degree angle (because I sign uphill, not side to side) and sets the open book in front of me.

I sign it (fast), shut it and shove it toward—

Person 4, who grabs the hurtling book (you want a smooth surface for this, preferably wood, because plastic-topped tables build up a terrific charge of static electricity if you send books whizzing across them in large quantities, and people get shocked) and places it neatly on a growing stack.

Person 5 takes the stacks and puts them back into the original cartons (having run down to the other end of the table every other minute in order to retrieve said cartons), tapes the cartons shut and stacks them. There’s limited room in the backroom of a bookstore, and if you’re dealing with huge quantities, it’s lots easier to move the cartons from place to place than it is to load the books onto a cart and drive them to distant shelving, unload and come back. (This is also how you move a lot of books to an offsite signing/event venue.)

I can sign roughly 500 books per hour, doing this with help.

Awright. That’s how it works. Now—thanks to you all who’ve been ordering the book!—BEES is going to be kind of a big thing, apparently, in terms of copies needing to be signed, moved, etc.

Pen-signing-2-crop-fixedI don’t know how many copies of of BEES have so far been ordered from the Poisoned Pen (let alone how many they’ll eventually sell), but they had 20,000 pre-orders by August (thank you!!), and at that point, the Pen’s owner put out word that while I will sign all the books people want signed, there’s a limit (physically) to how many I can sign by December 10th— that being the latest shipping date on which you might reasonably expect the book to be delivered by Christmas 2021. That limit is 20,000. (See, I can’t sign books until they arrive at the bookstore, which won’t be until November.) Ergo, if you want a signed book, handled by me personally <g>, you can certainly have it—but if you order it now, I might not be able to sign it in time for it to be shipped for Christmas delivery (especially not this year, when shipping and delivery is a lot bigger and more complex in every area of business). And I can’t personalize them, sorry. (If you really want a personalized book, just wait until January or February, when we’re not working under a shipping deadline.)

As for the tip-sheets… those are sent back to the publisher when they’re done [after I sign them]. The publisher decides which bookstore accounts will get the books with signed tipsheets; I have no control over that and no idea where the books may end up.

But if you see a dump (that’s what the cardboard stands set up by the cashier’s desk are called) or other display of BEES in a chain bookstore that says, “Signed Books”—that’s what they are. Books with a signed tipsheet bound in.

2014-05-Diana-Pen3-smNow, to some people, it won’t make the slightest difference whether their signed book has a tipsheet (signed by me en masse), or was signed by me on the second title page (if you want to tell the difference easily, that’s how; the tip-sheets are blank, aside from my signature), as a complete book. To some people, it does make a substantial difference, and these are the Poisoned Pen’s book-loving customers.

I’ve known the Pen and its proprietor and managers for more than thirty-five years; I’ve been coming by to sign books for them for more than twenty of those years. (And no, there’s no extra charge for an autographed book.)

So, if you should happen to see any nasty little trolls grumping away to each other under some dank bridge… don’t bother dropping garbage on them; they make plenty of their own.

P.S. If you were keeping track…. 27,000 tip-sheets, plus 20,000 books is 47,000 signatures. Just for fun, try signing your name 25 times on a sheet of paper and see what it feels like… <g>

P.P.S. In the photos above with me in them, I am signing DRAGONFLY IN AMBER in hardcover and WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART’S BLOOD when they came out in hardcover in the past. As I say, I do it pretty much all the time.

Pen-Signing-1 The image at left shows many copies of my books waiting to be signed by me in the storeroom at the Poisoned Pen.

Congratulations, Caitriona!


C-Balfe-2021-08-babyHUGE congratulations to Caitriona and her husband Tony on the birth of their lovely little boy! (Said little boy, along with Covid, is one of the reasons why Season Six of OUTLANDER has eight episodes, rather than the originally planned twelve—don’t worry, though, the last four episodes are not lost; they’ll just be pushed forward into Season Seven (which–God willing and everybody’s not down with the Zeta variant or something–will start filming early in 2022) which will end up with sixteen episodes!)


Caitriona posted the image at right on her official Instagram account after the baby’s birth, according to an online article in Parade magazine in August, 2021.

“Freedom Has Many Costs” (BEES)


Social Media Hashtags: #DailyLines, #GoTELLTheBEESThatIAmGONE, #Book9, #YES, #ItsDONE, #PubDate #November23rd, #YesThisYear, #HappyFourthOfJuly, #FreedomHasManyCosts, #LetUsNotForgetThem

2021-07-04-Tordjman-beesIt wasn’t God Roger found with him, but the next best thing. The memory of Major Gareth Everett, one of his father’s friends, an ex-military chaplain. Everett was a tall, long-faced man who wore his graying hair parted down the middle in a way that made him look like an old hound dog, but he’d had a black sense of humor and he’d treated Roger, then thirteen years old, as a man.

“Did you ever kill anyone?” he’d asked the Major when they were sat around the table after dinner one night, the old men telling stories of the War.

“Yes,” the Major replied without hesitation. “I’d be no use to my men, dead.”

“What did you do for them?” Roger had asked, curious. “I mean—what does a chaplain do, in a battle?”

Major Everett and the Reverend had exchanged a brief look, but the Reverend nodded and Everett leaned forward, arms folded on the table in front of him. Roger saw the tattoo on his wrist, a bird of some kind, wings spread over a scroll with something written on it in Latin.

“Be with them,” the Major said quietly, but his eyes held Roger’s, deeply serious. “Reassure them. Tell them God is with them. That I’m with them. That they aren’t alone.”

“Help them when you can,” his father had said, softly, eyes on the worn gray oilcloth that covered the table. “Hold their hands and pray, when you can’t.”

He saw—actually saw—the blast of a cannon. A brilliant red flowering spark the size of his head that blinked in the fog with a firework’s BOOM! and then vanished. The fog blew back from the blast and he saw everything clearly for a second, no more—the black hulk of the gun, round mouth gaping, smoke thicker than the fog rolling over it, fog falling to the ground like water, steam rising from the hot metal to join the roiling fog, the artillerymen swarming over the gun, frenzied blue ants, swallowed up the next instant in swirling white.

And then the world around him went mad. The shouts of the officers had come with the cannon’s blast; he only knew it because he’d been standing close enough to the Lieutenant-Colonel to see his mouth open. But now a general roar went up from the charging men in his column, running hell-bent for the dim shape of the redoubt before him.

The sword was in his hand, and he was running, yelling, wordless things.

Torches glowed faintly in the fog—soldiers trying to re-fire the abatis, he thought dimly.

The Lieutenant-Colonel was gone. There was a high-pitched yodeling of some sort that might be the general, but might not.

The cannon—how many? He couldn’t tell, but more than two; the firing kept up at a tremendous rate, the crash of it shaking his bones every half-minute or so.

He made himself stop, bent over, hands on his knees, gasping. He thought he heard musket-fire, muffled, rhythmic crashes between the cannon blasts. The British army’s disciplined volleys.

“Load!”

“Fire!”

“Fall back!” An officer’s shouts rang out sudden in the heartbeat of silence between one crash and the next.

You’re not a soldier. If you get killed… nobody will be here to help them. Fall back, idiot.

He’d been at the back of the rank, with the Lieutenant-Colonel. But now he was surrounded by men, surging together, pushing, running in all directions. Orders were being barked, and he thought some of the men were struggling to obey; he heard random shouts, saw a black boy who couldn’t be more than twelve struggling grimly to load a musket taller than he was. He wore a dark blue uniform, and a bright yellow kerchief showed when the fog parted for an instant.

He tripped over someone lying on the ground and landed on his knees, brackish water seeping through his breeches. He’d landed with his hands on the fallen man, and the sudden warmth on his cold fingers was a shock that brought him back to himself.

The man moaned and Roger jerked his hands away, then recovered himself and groped for the man’s hand. It was gone, and his own hand was filled with a gush of hot blood that reeked like a slaughterhouse.

“Jesus,’ he said, and wiping his hand on his breeches, grappled with the other in his bag, he had cloths… he yanked out something white and tried to tie it round… he felt frantically for a wrist, but that was gone, too. He got a fragment of sleeve and felt his way up it as fast as he could, but he reached the still solid upper arm a moment after the man died—he could feel the sudden limpness of the body under his hand.

He was still kneeling there with the unused cloth in his hand when someone tripped over him and fell headlong with a tremendous splash. Roger got up onto his feet and duck-walked to the fallen man.

“Are you all right?” he shouted, bending forward. Something whistled over his head and he threw himself flat on top of the man.

“Jesus Christ!” the man exclaimed, punching wildly at Roger. “Get the devil off me, you bugger!”

They wrestled in the mud and water for a moment, each trying to use the other for leverage to rise, and the cannon kept on firing. Roger pushed the man away and managed to roll up onto his knees in the mud. Cries for help were coming from behind him, and he turned in that direction.

The fog was almost gone, driven off by explosions, but the gun-smoke drifted white and low across the uneven ground, showing him brief flashes of color and movement as it shredded.

“Help, help me!”

He saw the man then, on hands and knees, dragging one leg, and splashed through the puddles to reach him. Not much blood, but the leg was clearly wounded; he got a shoulder under the man’s arm and got him on his feet, hustled him as fast as possible away from the redoubt, out of range…

The air shattered again and the earth seemed to tilt under him, he was lying on the ground with the man he’d been helping on top of him, the man’s jaw knocked away and hot blood and chunks of teeth soaking into his chest. Panicked, he struggled out from under the twitching body—Oh, God, oh, God, he was still alive—and then he was kneeling by the man, slipping in the mud, catching himself with a hand on the chest where he could feel the heart beating in time with the blood spurting, Oh, Jesus, help me!

He groped for words, frantic. It was all gone. All the comforting words he’d gleaned, all his stock in trade…

“You’re not alone,” he panted, pressing hard on the heaving chest, as though he could anchor the man to the earth he was dissolving into. “I’m here. I won’t leave you. It’s gonna be all right. You’re gonna be all right.” He kept repeating that, kept his hands pressing hard, and then in the midst of the spouting carnage, felt the life leave the body.

Just…gone.

He sat on his heels, gasping, frozen in place, one hand on the still body as though it was glued there and then the drums.

A faint throb through the rhythmic sounds of gunfire. His bones had absorbed that without his noticing; he could feel the ebb when the first rank of muskets fell back and the surge when the second rank reached the edge of the redoubt and fired. Something in the back of his head was counting… one… two…

Created with GIMP“What the hell,” he said thickly and stood up, shaking his head. There were three men near him, two still on the ground, the third struggling to rise. He got up and staggered over to them, gave the live man his hand and pulled him up, wordless. One of the others was plainly dead, the other almost so. He let go of the man he was holding and collapsed on his knees by the dying one, taking the man’s cold face between his hands, the dark eyes bleared with fear and ebbing blood.

“I’m here,” he said, though the cannon fired then and his words made no sound.

The drums. He heard them clearly now, and a sort of yell, a lot of men shouting together. And then a rumbling, squashing, splashing and suddenly there were horses everywhere, running… Running at the fucking redoubts full of guns.

A crash of guns and the cavalry split, half the horses wheeling, back and away, the rest scattering, dancing through the fallen men, trying not to step on the bodies, big heads jerking as they fought the reins.

He didn’t run; he couldn’t. He walked forward, slowly, sword flopping at his side, stopping where he found a man down. Some he could help, with a drink or a hand to press upon a wound while a friend tied a cloth around it. A word, a blessing where he could. Some were gone and he laid a hand on them in farewell and commended their souls to God with a hasty prayer.

He found a wounded boy and picked him up, carrying him back through the smoke and puddles, away from the cannon.

Another roar. The fourth column came running through the broken ground, to throw themselves into the fighting at the redoubt. He saw an officer with a flag of some kind run up shouting, then fall, shot through the head. A little boy, a little black boy in blue and yellow, grabbed the flag and then bodies hid him from view.

“Jesus Christ,” Roger said, because there wasn’t anything else he could possibly say. He could feel the boy’s heart beating under his hand through the soaked cloth of his coat. And then it stopped.

The cavalry charge had broken all together. Horses were being ridden or led away, a few of them fallen, huge and dead in the marshy ground, or struggling to rise, neighing in panic.

An officer in a gaudy uniform was crawling away from a dead horse. Roger set the boy’s body down and ran heavily to the officer. Blood was gushing down his thigh and his face, and Roger fumbled in his pocket, but there was nothing there. The man fell and doubled up, hands pressing his groin, and saying something in a language Roger didn’t recognize.

“It’s all right,” he said to the man, taking him by the arm. “You’re going to be all right. I won’t leave you.”

“Bòg i Maryla pomò&zring;cie mi,” the man gasped.

“Aye, right. God be with you.” He turned the man on his side, pulled out his shirt-tail and ripped it off, then stuffed it into the man’s trousers, pressing into the hot wetness. He leaned on the wound with both hands, and the man screamed.

Then there were several cavalrymen there, all talking at once in multiple languages, and they pushed Roger out of the way and picked the wounded officer up bodily, carrying him away.

Most of the firing had stopped now. The cannon was silent, but his ears felt as though fire-bells were ringing in his head; it hurt.

He sat down, slowly, in the mud and became aware of rain running down his face. He closed his eyes. And after some time, became aware that a few words had come back to him.

“Out of the depths I cry unto you, O, Lord. O, Lord, hear my voice.”

The trembling didn’t stop, but some little time later, he got up and staggered away toward the distant marshes, to help bury the dead.

[end section]


Click here to visit my webpage for GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE, which features more excerpts (“Daily Lines”), news, and information about this new book.


Excerpt from GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE, Copyright © 2021 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved. Please do not copy and repost this excerpt elsewhere; instead share the link to this blog post. Thank you.

And many thanks to Yolande Tordjman for the beautiful collage of bees on lemon blossoms!

This excerpt was also posted on my official Facebook page on July 4, 2021.

Happy Flag Day!


2021-06-15-excerpt-BEES-cropA Happy Flag Day to all! (I don’t seem to have any notable flag scenes in BEES, but one is at least mentioned here…)

Social Media Hashtags: #DailyLines, #GoTELLTheBEESThatIAmGONE, #pubdatenovember23rd, #minorspoilerspossible

“My name is Roger MacKenzie. I’m a Presbyterian minister, and I’ve brought a letter to General Lincoln from General James Fraser, late of General Washington’s Monmouth command.”

Sergeant Bradford’s brows rose out of sight beneath his hat.

“General Fraser,” he said. “Monmouth? That the fellow that abandoned his troops to tend his wife?”

This was said with a derisive tone, and Roger felt the words like a blow to the stomach. Was this how Jamie’s admittedly dramatic resignation of his commission was commonly perceived in the Continental Army? If so, his own present mission might be a little more delicate than he’d expected.

“General Fraser is my father-in-law, sir,” Roger said, in a neutral voice. “An honorable man—and a very brave soldier.”

The look of scorn didn’t quite leave the man’s face, but it moderated into a short nod, and the man turned away, jerking his chin in an indication that Roger might follow, if he felt so inclined.

US_Flag_Day_poster_1917General Lincoln’s tent was a large but well-worn green canvas, with a flagstaff outside from which the red and white stripes of the Grand Union flag fluttered in the wind off the sea.

Sergeant Bradford muttered something to the guard at the entrance, and left Roger with a curt nod.

“The Reverend MacKenzie, is it?” the guard said, looking him up and down with an air of skepticism. “And a letter from General James Fraser, have I got that right?”

Christ. Did Jamie know of the talk about him? Roger remembered the moment’s hesitation when Jamie had handed him the letter. Perhaps he did, then.

“I am, it is, and you do,” Roger said firmly. “Is General Lincoln able to receive me?”

[Excerpt from GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE, Copyright © 2021 by Diana Gabaldon.]


Visit my official BEES webpage for links to more than ninety excerpts from my new novel, listed by temporary titles in order of their release.


Image of the flag day poster from 1917 is from Wikipedia. Caption: 140th U.S. Flag Day poster. 1777-1917. The birthday of the stars and stripes is June 14th, 1917. ’Tis the Star Spangled Banner, oh, long may it wave, o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave! (Library of Congress)

And many thanks to Vikki Brush for the lovely bee photo! (Posted with permission.)

Please do not copy and paste the text in whole or in part from this excerpt and post or print it elsewhere, since it is copyrighted material. Ditto for all of my other excerpts, aka “Daily Lines.”

Thanks!

-Diana


This excerpt was also posted on my official Facebook page on Monday, June 14, 2021.

BEES (Book 9) Publication Date!


Social Media Hashtags: #DailyLines, #GoTELLTheBEESThatIAmGONE, #YESYESYESYESYES!!!!, #WeHaveAPubDate, #And #It #Is… #NOVEMBER23rd #2021 #AndYesThisYear #YesInTimeForChristmas! #Hooray!!!

2021-04-15-BEES-PRH-US-coverFor those cavalier souls who don’t read hashtags—Penguin Random House has decided on a publications date for GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE. (That’s it, right there in the Social Media Hashtags banner overhead.)

The book will be released on November 23rd (yes, this year, yes, in plenty of time for Christmas), which is tidings of great joy, to be sure, but also—

You can pre-order the book now, should you want to!

Check out the announcement in an exclusive Entertainment Weekly’s aritcle:

https://ew.com/books/outlander-go-tell-the-bees-that-i-am-gone-release-date-cover-reveal/

And YES, of course there is a link for ordering information for our U.K. readers:

https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/1109059/go-tell-the-bees-that-i-am-gone/9781780894133.html

(No, I don’t have pub dates yet for the non-English editions; those will be set by the individual publishers in each country.)


Visit my webpage for GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE to access excerpts (aka “Daily Lines”) that I have released from this new book:

http://www.dianagabaldon.com/books/outlander-series/book-nine-outlander-series/

Links to other vendors who are accepting pre-orders, including new hardcover ediitons signed by me, are also on my BEES webpage.

I’ve Finished Writing BEES…!


Important Update: Just a few weeks after I posted this blog entry below, a publication date of November 23, 2021, was announced for GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE by my publisher, Penguin Random House.

Please read my newer blog entry about the publication date announcement, or visit my BEES webpage for current information about this new book.


2021-03-29-what-finished-means-DGI’ve finished writing GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE, as of March 27, 2021! Now this new book enters the publication process, outlined below, which will likely take months (a guesstimate only).

Please keep in mind that I do not set the publication date, the day when you can buy the book at a bookstore. That date will be decided by my publishers. Stay tuned!

Thanks!

What Finished Means To An Author

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—such as there was for MOBY (Book 8) and THE OUTLANDISH COMPANION, Volume 2—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.)

  1. Books don’t go directly from the author to the bookstore.
  2. Books go from the author to the editor, who
    1. reads the manuscript
    2. discusses the manuscript with the author, and
    3. suggests minor (we hope) revisions that may improve the book
  3. The book goes back to the author, who

    1. re-reads the manuscript
    2. considers the editor’s comments, and
    3. makes whatever revisions, emendments, or clarifications seem right.
  4. The book goes back to the editor, who

    1. reads it again
    2. asks any questions that seem necessary, and
    3. Sends it to
  5. The copy-editor. This is a person whose thankless job is to

    1. read the manuscript one…word…at…a…time
    2. find typos or errors in grammar, punctuation, or continuity (one heck of a job, considering the size not only of the individual books, but of the overall series), and
    3. apply “house style” to things like numbers (e.g. do we write “two” or “2”?), and
    4. write queries to the author regarding anything questionable, whereupon
  6. The book comes back to the author—yes, again— who

    1. re-reads the manuscript
    2. answers the copy-editor’s queries, and
    3. alters anything that the copy-editor has changed that the author disagrees with, and
    4. adds things inspired by the copy-editor’s comments that seem like a good idea. After which, the author sends it back to
  7. The editor—yes, again!—who

    1. re-re-reads it
    2. checks that all the copy-editor’s queries have been answered, and sends it to
  8. The Typesetter (aka Compositor, these days), who sets the manuscript in type, according to the format laid out by
  9. 2021-03-29-the-end

  10. The Book-Designer, who

    1. decides on the layout of the pages (margins, gutters, headers or footers, page-number placement)
    2. chooses a suitable and attractive typeface
    3. decides on the size of the font, leading and kerning
    4. chooses or commissions any incidental artwork (endpapers, maps, dingbats—these are the little gizmos that divide chunks of text, but that aren’t chapter or section headings)—or, for something like the OC II, a ton of miscellaneous illustrations, photographs, etc. that decorate or punctuate the text.
    5. Designs chapter and Section headings, with artwork, and consults with the

      (NB: People always want to know how many pages the book will be. This depends entirely on the Book Designer’s decisions, so there’s no telling ahead of time. The font, leading, kerning (leading and kerning are, respectively, the amount of space between lines and between letters) and page layout will all affect how many words fit on a page.)

  11. Cover Artist, who (reasonably enough) designs or draws or paints or PhotoShops the cover art (this often happens earlier in the process, but I put it here for convenience), which is then sent to
  12. The Printer, who prints the dust-jackets—which include not only the cover art and the author’s photograph and bio, but also "flap copy," which may be written by either the editor or the author (I usually write my own), but is then usually messed about with by
  13. The Marketing Department, whose thankless task is to try to figure out how best to sell a book that can’t reasonably be described in terms of any known genre <g>, to which end, they

    1. try to provide seductive and appealing cover copy to the book (which the author normally approves. I usually insist on writing it myself).
    2. compose advertisements for the book (author usually sees and approves these—or at least I normally do).
    3. decide where such advertisements might be most effective (periodicals, newspapers, book-review sections, radio, TV, Facebook, Web)
    4. try to think up novel and entertaining means of promotion, such as having the author appear on a cooking show to demonstrate recipes for unusual foods mentioned in the book.
    5. kill a pigeon in Times Square and examine the entrails in order to determine the most advantageous publishing date for the book.
  14. OK. The manuscript itself comes back from the typesetter, is looked at (again) by the editor, and sent back to the author (again!), who anxiously proof-reads the galleys (these are the typeset sheets of the book; they look just like the printed book’s pages, but are not bound. (NB: of recent years, galleys are often provided in electronic form)), because this is the very last chance to change anything. Meanwhile

    (Somewhere in here, recording begins on the audiobook, which is normally released at the same time as the hardcover. Ideally, the narrator is given a version of the manuscript that’s pretty close to the ultimate printed form, but they may get earlier or partial versions from which to prepare their performance (choosing accents and pacing for different characters, for instance).)

  15. A number of copies of the galley-proofs are bound—in very cheap plain covers—and sent to (NB: This is SOP, but we haven’t been doing it for the last few books, owing to the fact that the book itself is coming out on the heels of Production; there’s no time to distribute ARCs (Advanced Reading Copies).) (NB: These days, it’s often PDFs, though paper ARCs are still used, too.))
  16. The Reviewers, i.e., the bound galleys (or PDFs) are sent (by the marketing people, the editor, and/or the author) to the book editors of all major newspapers and periodicals, blogs, websites, and to any specialty publication to whom this book might possibly appeal, in hopes of getting preliminary reviews, from which cover quotes can be culled, and/or drumming up name recognition and excitement prior to publication. Frankly, they don’t always bother with this step with my books, because they are in a rush to get them into the bookstores, and it takes several months’ lead-time to get reviews sufficiently prior to publication that they can be quoted on the cover.
  17. With luck, the author finds 99.99% of all errors in the galleys (you’re never going to find all of them; the process is asymptotic—vide the typo in the very last line of MOBY…), and returns the corrected manuscript (for the last time, [pant, puff, gasp, wheeze]) to the editor, who sends it to

    (The ebook coding happens somewhere in here.)

  18. The Printer, who prints lots of copies (“the print-run” means how many copies) of the “guts” of the book—the actual inside text—are printed. These are then shipped to
  19. The Bindery, where the guts are bound into their covers, equipped with dust-jackets, and shipped to
  20. The Distributors. There are a number of companies—Amazon is the largest, but there are a number of smaller ones, and the large publishing houses have their own warehouse facilities, too—whose business is shipping, distributing, and warehousing books. The publisher also ships directly to

    
(1. Arrangements are made in this phase for ebook distribution through retailers like Amazon and Barnes & Noble.)

  21. Bookstores, but bookstores can only house a limited number of books. Therefore, they draw on distributors’ warehouses to resupply a title that’s selling briskly, because it takes much longer to order directly from the publisher. And at this point, [sigh]… the book finally reaches
  22. You, the reader.

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>


Click here to visit my Writer’s Corner (What I Do) webpage…


Images are by Diana Gabaldon. The top image shows printed book manuscripts. The bottom image shows a screen from her word processing software.

This blog post includes an updated version of “What Finished Means To An Author,” an essay that I have posted several times in the past. This new version was also posted on my official Facebook page on Monday, March 29, 2021.