Top 10 OUTLANDER moments of 2010
1) January 7 - AN ECHO IN THE BONE is finally published in the UK, nearly four months after it was released in the US. I still don't understand why the publisher made such a stupid decision. Delaying publication of the book in the UK accomplished nothing but a) to annoy and frustrate thousands of OUTLANDER fans, and b) to persuade many of them to acquire ECHO by other means, which can only have resulted in reduced sales for Orion, the UK publisher. Let's hope they don't do that again!
2) March 16 - Diana's latest Lord John story, a novella titled "The Custom of the Army", is published in the WARRIORS anthology. (If you haven't yet read this story, go here for the details.) It's a fun story, and a very enjoyable read.
3) Early May - Diana posts some very controversial comments on her blog, on the subject of fan-fiction. A huge firestorm ensues. A few days later, Diana issues an official fan-fiction policy on her web site, and deletes the blog posts.
4) July 9 - I attended the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games, in western North Carolina. I'd never been to a Highland Games or any other type of Scottish festival before, and I had a wonderful time! My homemade sign was a big success, and I won't hesitate to use it at future gatherings and book-signings.
5) August 1 - The "OUTLANDER: The Musical" CD is released. I love most of the songs, and I played it in my car for months (literally) without getting tired of it. What a wonderful tribute to Diana by songwriters Kevin Walsh and Mike Gibb! If you haven't yet heard the CD, I highly recommend it. You can go to OutlanderTheMusical.com to listen to free samples.
6) September 11 - I had lunch with Diana and a group of other OUTLANDER fans in Winston-Salem, NC, prior to her appearance at the Bookmarks Book Festival. It was just ten days before THE EXILE's release. At one point during the luncheon, Diana reached into her bag and handed me a copy of the book. I let out a yelp of surprise and amazement, and she said, "Not to keep. Just to look at." <g> I was thrilled to get a sneak preview of the book. And the luncheon was a wonderful experience; thanks so much to Shirley Williams (pictured below, right) for her efforts in organizing it!
7) September 21 - The OUTLANDER graphic novel, THE EXILE, is released. The next day, Diana went off on a five-week book-tour of the US and Canada, leaving me to handle the flood of posts on Compuserve about the new book. <g> At the very last minute (late in the evening before release day), I was informed that THE EXILE has no page numbers. "Oh, no!" I thought. "What are we going to do now? How can we talk about a 192-page book with no page numbers to use for reference? This could get complicated!" But we managed very well without them, and I was very pleased with the way the discussions went on Compuserve. I really enjoyed THE EXILE, and I would recommend it to any OUTLANDER fan, if you haven't already read it.
8) November 16 - Diana's short story, "A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows", is published in the SONGS OF LOVE AND DEATH anthology. This is the story about Roger MacKenzie's parents, and I loved it! If you haven't yet had a chance to read it, I would really encourage you to do so. It answers one question from ECHO, and in the process, opens up a whole new set of questions and things for us to speculate about. <g>
9) December 13 - Diana sent me a Chanukah present! Needless to say, I was delighted. <g>
10) December 25 - Diana posted the following message to me on Compuserve: "And a very Merry Christmas to our beloved Czarina of Traffic! <g> Without whom, we would all be Hopelessly Muddled. (Instead of just Partially but Pleasantly Distracted.)" Wasn't that sweet of her?! That title, "Czarina of Traffic", never fails to make me laugh.
Wishing all of you the best in 2011!