Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Gabaldon interview in The Scotsman



Check out Claire Black's very interesting interview with Diana Gabaldon in The Scotsman, Scotland's national newspaper. This interview took place during Diana's trip to Scotland in January.

Some highlights from the article:

She is fastidious, a lover of detail. Her novels number thousands of pages of densely packed prose, labyrinthine plotting, historical detail. She speaks in the same way that she writes, answering questions in long statements, leaving nothing out, dates, places, times. Gabaldon is a fan of specificity.

This is undeniably true, as anybody who's observed her for any length of time on Compuserve can attest!

Gabaldon is feisty, confident, openly irritated by the furore, or worse, the indifference with which her literary output is met. Partly that's an issue of genre, an entrenched disdain directed at all books that are popular – although it's hard not to notice that there seems to be an even greater opprobrium for Gabaldon since she is perceived to write for women, or perhaps because she is a woman.

Or perhaps because her books can't be easily categorized? I do think that genre has something to do with it. Especially given the fact that, as the article notes, the books were originally classified as "romance", even though they're so much more than that.

I think Diana would object to that word "feisty", because I've heard her say (on Compuserve, here) that it doesn't mean what most people think it does.

The article goes on to describe Diana's typical working habits:

I wonder what a typical day is like for Gabaldon, imagining a meticulously planned 24-hour period.

I laughed out loud at that, knowing what the answer was going to be. And sure enough....

"I work late at night. I'm awake and nobody bothers me. It's quiet and things come and talk to me in the silence. My husband gets up at around 5.30am, so I'll tuck him in around 9.30pm or 10pm and then I'll go and lie down on the couch with a book and my two dachshunds. If nobody needs me, and usually these days they don't, I'll fall asleep until around midnight. Then I go upstairs and work until 4am, and that's when I go back to bed for good. It suits me."

Diana's habit of being up and working in the wee hours of the morning is something I don't think I'll ever understand. But it's been very convenient for me, because I'm almost always online between 6 and 7 a.m. ET (corresponding to 3 or 4 a.m. in Arizona) and I can often get a very quick response to comments or questions posted on Compuserve at that hour of the morning.

I would encourage you to read the rest of the article for yourselves.

2 comments:

Janell said...

Thanks for sharing this article with us Karen. I probably would not have found it without your help. Interesting to read.

癢癢 said...
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