Saturday, July 30, 2011

Lord John and the Plague of Zombies

Here are some of the frequently asked questions about Diana Gabaldon's upcoming novella, "Lord John and the Plague of Zombies".



1) What is "Lord John and the Plague of Zombies", and where can I find it?

Diana Gabaldon's latest Lord John story, a novella called "Lord John and the Plague of Zombies", will be published on October 4, 2011, in an anthology called DOWN THESE STRANGE STREETS, edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, the same people who brought us WARRIORS and SONGS OF LOVE AND DEATH.

There is a list of the other stories in the anthology here.

2) Where does this story fit into the chronology of the Lord John books and stories?

Diana says this story comes after THE SCOTTISH PRISONER.  Which is interesting, because "Plague of Zombies" will be published on October 4, and SCOTTISH PRISONER doesn't come out until November 29.  We may see references in "Zombies" to events that occur in SCOTTISH PRISONER that we haven't read about yet.

For the full list of the order of the Lord John books and stories, look here.

3) How can I get an autographed copy of DOWN THESE STRANGE STREETS?

You can order autographed copies of all of Diana Gabaldon's books, including DOWN THESE STRANGE STREETS, from the Poisoned Pen bookstore, in Scottsdale, Arizona. This is Diana's local bookstore, and they ship all over the world. Their staff is very friendly and knowledgeable about Diana's books.

4) Where can I go to discuss "Lord John and the Plague of Zombies"?

There is a thread (discussion) about this story, including excerpts, in Diana Gabaldon's section of the Compuserve Books and Writers Community.  The thread is here

You can also discuss the story on the LOL Excerpt Board.

5) Will there be an audio version of DOWN THESE STRANGE STREETS?

Yes.  The audio version will be released on October 4, 2011.  You can pre-order it here.

6) What about e-book editions?

DOWN THESE STRANGE STREETS is available for pre-order for Kindle, Nook, and probably other e-book readers as well.

7) Why is Diana Gabaldon writing about zombies, of all things?

I've never asked, but I suspect it had something to do with the popularity of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES, which had just been published when Diana first began talking about this story several years ago.

And for what it's worth, this story takes place in Jamaica.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Alex Beaton

I just found out that Scottish singer Alex Beaton is in the hospital, recovering from a serious spinal-cord injury sustained earlier this month.  Look here for details.

I heard him perform at the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games last year, and fell in love with his music immediately. <g> I have two CDs of his songs, and listen to them frequently. I was so sorry to hear this news today.

I have always imagined that Roger's voice before the hanging sounded something like Alex Beaton's.  I don't know if Diana had him in mind as a model for Roger's singing voice or not, but it doesn't matter.  His will always be the voice I hear in my head when I think of Roger singing.

Please keep Alex Beaton and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

SCOTTISH PRISONER description



The product description of SCOTTISH PRISONER on Amazon and elsewhere has been updated to include a summary blurb about the book.  It sounds intriguing! <g>

I'll add some spoiler space here, in case anyone doesn't want to know yet.

S

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The summary blurb reads as follows:
London, 1760. For Jamie Fraser, paroled prisoner-of-war in the remote Lake District, life could be worse: He’s not cutting sugar cane in the West Indies, and he’s close enough to the son he cannot claim as his own. But Jamie Fraser’s quiet existence is coming apart at the seams, interrupted first by dreams of his lost wife, then by the appearance of Tobias Quinn, an erstwhile comrade from the Rising.

Like many of the Jacobites who aren’t dead or in prison, Quinn still lives and breathes for the Cause. His latest plan involves an ancient relic that will rally the Irish. Jamie is having none of it—he’s sworn off politics, fighting, and war. Until Lord John Grey shows up with a summons that will take him away from everything he loves—again.

Lord John Grey—aristocrat, soldier, and occasional spy—finds himself in possession of a packet of explosive documents that exposes a damning case of corruption against a British officer. But they also hint at a more insidious danger. Time is of the essence as the investigation leads to Ireland, with a baffling message left in “Erse,” the tongue favored by Scottish Highlanders. Lord John recognizes the language all too well from his time as governor of Ardsmuir Prison, when it was full of Jacobite prisoners, including a certain Jamie Fraser.

Soon Lord John and Jamie are unwilling companions on the road to Ireland, a country whose dark castles hold dreadful secrets, and whose bogs hide the bones of the dead. A captivating return to the world Diana Gabaldon created in her Outlander and Lord John series, The Scottish Prisoner is another masterpiece of epic history, wicked deceit, and scores that can only be settled in blood.
The Amazon listing also gives a page count of 448 pages, but I don't know if that's supposed to be the final number or not.  (Just by way of comparison, LORD JOHN AND THE BROTHERHOOD OF THE BLADE was 494 pages.)

Please note: as many of you know, I'm an excerpt-avoider.  It's fine to discuss this summary description here on my blog if you want to, but please don't refer to the specifics of any excerpts from SCOTTISH PRISONER.  I really don't want to know yet.  Thank you for your cooperation.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A very special gift for Diana

Yesterday was a very special day for Diana Gabaldon and a lucky group of OUTLANDER fans from the Ladies of Lallybroch.
For Christmas 2010 and her birthday in January 2011, The Ladies of Lallybroch (TM) dedicated a bench at Culloden House to Diana. July 25, 2011, Judy Lowstuter and Elenna Loughlin met with Diana and unveiled her bench on behalf of LOL.
Check out the slideshow of photos here.

Here are some of Diana's comments about it, from Twitter (she's @Writer_DG):
Lovely day lolling at Culloden House, and sitting (ceremoniously) on the new "Diana Gabaldon" bench in the beautiful garden--thanks to LOL!  LOL being the delightful Ladies of Lallybroch--especially Judy Lowstuter of Celtic Journeys, who thought up the bench (LOL paid for it).

The Ladies put a nice plaque on the bench: "DIANA GABALDON, Given by the Ladies of Lallybroch, 2011".

I was very touched and grateful. If one of the ladies sends me photos of me/bench, I'll post one. <g>
Congratulations to Judie R., Judy Lowstuter, Elenna Loughlin, and everyone else involved!  What a wonderful tribute to Diana.

I hope to be able to see this bench in person some day, if I ever make it to Scotland.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Video of Diana at Sir Walter Scott conference

Here's a long but very interesting video of Diana Gabaldon's recent appearance at the Sir Walter Scott symposium in Laramie, Wyoming.  (Thanks to Nikki Rowe, who runs Diana's YouTube channel, for the link!)



The video runs about an hour (45 minute talk plus 15-20 minutes of Q&A) but it's definitely worth watching.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Cover art for THE SCOTTISH PRISONER



The US cover art for Diana Gabaldon's upcoming novel THE SCOTTISH PRISONER (due out November 29, 2011, in the US, Canada, and the UK) has finally been released.  (I've seen it on Amazon.com as well as Random House's Diana Gabaldon page, so this looks official. <g>)

So they've gone with the same picture featuring the keys that the UK cover will be using.  I think this is a good decision.  (Much better, IMHO, than trying to be consistent with the "eyes" on the other LJ books, which I never really liked anyway.)

Note the new title, THE SCOTTISH PRISONER, with "A Lord John Novel" in small print at the bottom.

What do you all think of this cover?  All opinions, pro and con, welcome. <g>  There is a thread on Compuserve about the new cover art here, if you want to tell Diana what you think.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Allan Scott-Douglas interview and CD giveaway



For those of you who are fans of OUTLANDER: The Musical, or Allan Scott-Douglas (who sings the part of Jamie Fraser on the CD), or both:

Check out this wonderful interview with Allan Scott-Douglas, by Michelle at Another Look Book Reviews, in which Allan talks about how he got the part of Jamie, what he thinks about OUTLANDER fans, and more!
The wonderful thing about the Outlander series is exactly what you mentioned; the ‘passionate fans’. Without those fans, the books wouldn’t have been the success they are and ‘Outlander the Musical’ and any future movie or television series would never exist. For that reason, I have huge respect for the opinions of the Outlander fan base – both good and bad.
Thanks very much to Michelle for letting me know about this interview.  But that's not all!  If you live in the US or Canada, you can enter a contest on Michelle's blog to win a CD of OUTLANDER: The Musical.  All you have to do is comment on her blog post between now and Sunday evening.

If you haven't yet listened to the CD, I highly recommend it!  My detailed review is here.  And there is a "sampler" CD of four songs from the musical included with the brand-new 20th Anniversary Edition of OUTLANDER.  Here's a preview of the songs on the CD:



I have actually begun listening to the CD again in recent days, for the first time in about eight months, and I find it holds up very well to repeated listening.

For more discussion about Allan Scott-Douglas, including the idea of his playing Jamie in any future movie or miniseries, look here.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

SONGS OF LOVE AND DEATH in paperback



I saw this on Amazon last night and wanted to pass it on:

SONGS OF LOVE AND DEATH will be out in paperback on October 25, 2011.

For those of you who don't know, SONGS OF LOVE AND DEATH is the anthology containing Diana's short story, "A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows" (the story of Roger MacKenzie's parents).  If you haven't yet read this story, I highly recommend it!

The audio version of SONGS is also being released on October 25, 2011.

So, that gives OUTLANDER fans something else to look forward to this fall -- which is already shaping up to be pretty eventful! <g>  For the full list of Diana's upcoming releases for the remainder of 2011, please see the Release Dates FAQ.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

New poll format

You may have noticed that I'm trying out a new format for the monthly poll. I decided I didn't like the poll options Blogger provides (too restrictive, no way to let users type in their own choices for "Other", no control over fonts or colors, etc.) and so I have switched to a poll widget hosted by PollDaddy.com.

If you have already voted in the July poll, there's no need to vote again. I copied all of the results from the previous poll into the new format.

Please let me know if you have any problems accessing the new poll, either to vote or to see the results. (And if you are having problems, it would help to know what web browser you're using. I tested it on Firefox and IE.)  Thanks!

Thank you from Diana

Here's Diana Gabaldon's reaction to the 20th Anniversary essay collection:
Dear Karen (and all)--

Just wanted to come by in person to thank you all--so much!--for the wonderful book of essays. They're delightful: funny, heart-wrenching, and everything in between. Thanks so much for giving me these little pieces of yourselves; I treasure them.

--Diana
Needless to say, I'm just DELIGHTED with her response!  I wanted to make sure everyone here saw it, because it's really intended not just for me, but for all of you, the readers of Outlandish Observations, who took the time to put your thoughts down in writing and send them to me.  I couldn't have done it without you!

Friday, July 15, 2011

20th Anniversary reactions

Diana's Reaction to the 20th Anniversary Essay Collection

I know many of you have been wondering what Diana Gabaldon thinks of the collection of essays I sent her from the OUTLANDER 20th Anniversary Contest. Here is a picture of the final collection that I mailed to her.



I sent an email to Diana on Tuesday asking whether she'd received the package, and here is what she wrote back:
Dear Karen--

   I did!  And thank you IMMENSELY!  I was saving it to open once SCOTTISH PRISONER was done <g>, so did open it last night, after the launch party at the Poisoned Pen.  I've only had time enough to read the first few essays, but they're wonderful--touching, funny, and just amazingly lovely.  Thanks so much, and yes, of course I'll come by the blog to say thanks in person.

   All the Best,

   --Diana
I'm so glad to hear she's been enjoying the essay collection.  Thanks again to everyone who participated in the contest!  And I do hope Diana will stop by here and comment on it, when she's had a chance to read through the whole collection.  [UPDATE 7/17/2011 8:13 am:  She's now done just that!  Click here to see Diana's comments.]

My reaction to the 20th Anniversary Edition

And speaking of reactions <g>....my autographed copy of the 20th Anniversary Edition of OUTLANDER arrived from the Poisoned Pen this afternoon.  I think it was worth the wait, and the extra money, to get a signed copy.



On the plus side:

- I love the look of this book.  Very elegant!  There is something about the "faux-leather" cover that makes me want to squeeze it over and over, just for the pleasure of how it feels in my hands.  I like the ribbon bookmark very much; it's longer than I expected, and the color is lovely.

- I love the map!  It really helps to see the approximate locations of many of the places in the books.  I was surprised that Ardsmuir is so far north; I didn't really have any concept of where it was located.  My only quibble is that I wish Helwater was marked on this map.  (And yes, I know it's not mentioned until VOYAGER, but then, neither is Ardsmuir.)

- The lengthy description of Diana's writing process was fascinating, even though I'd seen some parts of it before.  The part that is new to me is the detailed explanation (starting on page 634) of how she fiddles with every word in every sentence, to get it just right.  No wonder it takes her so long to finish a book, if she's spending this much time and effort fine-tuning every sentence!

- Diana says she wants an octopus on the cover of Book 8.  I may actually have been the first one to suggest that, in a discussion about possible Book 8 titles on Compuserve in October, 2010.  (Not looking for credit, of course, just noting that I came up with an idea that Diana seems to like quite a bit.)

- Kudos to my friend Cathy MacGregor for the wonderful Reader's Guide to OUTLANDER that is included with this book.  She clearly put a lot of time and thought into it, and it shows.  I hope we'll see similar Reader's Guides for the other books, eventually.

The down side:

- I will miss that striking blue cover, which is the reason OUTLANDER caught my attention in the bookstore almost five years ago.

- I didn't really care for the new song on the OUTLANDER: The Musical sample CD.  (Although the other three songs are some of my favorites.)  I will have to listen to it a few more times just to be sure, but my first reaction was that the songwriter didn't really get the relationship between Claire and Dougal very well. Too bad.

On the whole, I'm quite pleased with the 20th Anniversary Edition. If you've seen it, please let us know what you think of it!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Pre-ordering THE SCOTTISH PRISONER

I noticed this morning that Diana Gabaldon's upcoming novel, THE SCOTTISH PRISONER, is finally available for pre-order in hardcover from Amazon.com.  It is not easy to find on Amazon's site, but it's there.



It's also available for pre-order at other major bookstore chains, such as Barnes & Noble in the US, and Chapters in Canada.

For information on e-book editions of SCOTTISH PRISONER, look here.

Diana has confirmed that the book will be released in the US, Canada, and the UK on November 29, 2011.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A little news

Now that we have a definite publication date (November 29, 2011) for THE SCOTTISH PRISONER, I have added a countdown widget to my blog. I hope you like it!

Diana is almost done with the writing of SCOTTISH PRISONER, which she hopes to complete this weekend, as she explained on Compuserve yesterday:
I also need to a) finish pasting in the missing bits of Section V, read it to and fro and tweak anything that may need it, break the chapters and title them (it's a short section; I think there are only four or five chapters), b) unpack and do all the laundry (as I have to repack everything for Scotland in three days), and c) rush by the Poisoned Pen and sign as many of the pre-ordered 20th-anniversary OUTLANDERS as time permits (I'll do the rest on Monday, before the launch event, if I don't manage them all tomorrow)--the Pen says they have about 500 orders needing personalized inscriptions, and those take a lot longer to do than the straight signatures.
I am really looking forward to getting my copy of the 20th Anniversary Edition of OUTLANDER. Have any of you seen it, and if so, what do you think of the look of it? The special features? Would you recommend it to other fans?

Here is a new fan-made video featuring the 20th Anniversary Edition. (Thanks to Nikki Rowe, who runs Diana's YouTube channel, for the link!) Judging by this video, I'd say the younger generation of OUTLANDER addicts is coming along just fine. <g>

Friday, July 8, 2011

LiveStream event with Diana July 8th

Diana Gabaldon just posted this on Twitter and I wanted to pass it along:

"LiveStream event with me and Jim Rollins today! http://t.co/k0uCbmu"

This is at 2pm ET today, July 8th.  I have no idea if people in other countries will be able to see it, but it's worth a try.

Please help spread the word to anyone else you know who may be interested.  Thanks!

UPDATE 7/8/2011 3:53 pm:   If you missed the LiveStream today, you can watch a recording of it here.  The interview is about 30 minutes long.  Many thanks to Susan, aka the_bothy on Twitter, for the link!  This was a really good interview, interesting and informative.  I highly recommend it!  (Please note, you may experience problems with the sound in the first couple of minutes of this recording.  The actual program, with sound, starts at about 3:45 into the recording.  Just skip over the first part.)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Video of Diana at RWA



Check out this new video of Diana Gabaldon at the RWA Convention last week in New York City.

Thanks to Nikki Rowe for the link!

USA Today article about Diana

There's an article in USA Today about Diana!

I only have a few small quibbles:

- "a cult following"?  I object to that on general principles, even if it's sort of true. <g> 

- "a British husband in the 20th century and a Scottish one in the 18th" - Scots are British too, no?  I think he should have said "English", not "British" (and yes, I know I'm nitpicking here <g>)

- In the small box at the lower left of the page, labeled "Stats for Gabaldon", it calls ECHO "the seventh and final book" in the series. <rolling eyes>  Idiots!  Why do they do that?  The briefest glance at Diana's web site, or Wikipedia for that matter, would tell anyone that there is indeed going to be a Book 8.

Anyway, I thought it was a pretty good piece.  You may want to check it out.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

My top 10 quotes from OUTLANDER

In honor of today's publication of the 20th Anniversary edition of OUTLANDER, here are my top 10 favorite quotes from OUTLANDER.

All quotes are copyright © 1991 by Diana Gabaldon. Page numbers refer to the older hardcover edition with the blue cover.

1) "A Highlander in full regalia is an impressive sight--any Highlander, no matter how old, ill-favored, or crabbed in appearance.  A tall, straight-bodied, and by no means ill-favored young Highlander at close range is breath-taking." (Chapter 14, "A Marriage Takes Place", p. 190)

2) "You bluffed your way in here with an empty gun?" (Chapter 21, "Une Mauvais Quart d'Heure After Another", p. 278)

3) "Don't be afraid," he whispered into my hair.  "There's the two of us now." (Chapter 15, "Revelations of the Bridal Chamber", p. 212)

4) "Seasick?" I said incredulously.  "Scotsmen aren't seasick!"

Murtagh was testy.  "Then mayhap he's a red-heided Hottentot.  All I know is he's green as a rotten fish and pukin' his guts out.  Are ye goin' to come down and help me stop him puttin' his ribs out through his chest?"
(Chapter 37, "Escape", p. 568)

5) "And if your life is a suitable exchange for my honor, tell me why my honor is not a suitable exchange for your life?"  The brows drew together in a scowl, the twin of the one adorning her brother's face.  "Or are you telling me that I may not love you as much as you love me?  Because if ye are, Jamie Fraser, I'll tell ye right now, it's not true!" (Chapter 26, "The Laird's Return", p. 432)

6) "Aye, I believe ye, Sassenach.  But it would ha' been a good deal easier if you'd only been a witch." (Chapter 25, "Thou Shalt Not Suffer a Witch to Live", p. 406)

7) "Twenty-seven years of propriety were no match for several hundred thousand years of instinct.  While my mind might object to being taken on a bare rock next to several sleeping soldiers, my body plainly considered itself the spoils of war and was eager to complete the formalities of surrender." (Chapter 18, "Raiders in the Rocks", p. 251)

8) "Ye are Blood of my Blood, and Bone of my Bone,
I give ye my Body, that we Two might be One.
I give ye my Spirit, 'til our Life shall be Done."
(Chapter 14, "A Marriage Takes Place", p. 195)

9) "You can't," I whispered.  "You can't.  I won't let you."

His mouth was warm against my ear.  "Claire, I'm to hang in the morning.  What happens to me between now and then doesna matter to anyone."  I drew back and stared at him.

"It matters to me!" The strained lips quivered in what was almost a smile, and he raised his free hand and laid it against my wet cheek.

"I know it does, mo duinne.  And that's why you'll go now."  He drew me close again, kissed me gently and whispered in Gaelic, "He will let you go because he thinks you are helpless.  I know you are not."  Releasing me, he said in English, "I love you.  Go now."
(Chapter 35, "Wentworth Prison", p. 533)

10) "Go ahead," he said, a moment later.  "Open it.  It's yours."

The outlines of the little package blurred under my fingers.  I blinked and sniffed, but made no move to open it.  "I'm sorry," I said.

"Well, so ye should be, Sassenach," he said, but his voice was no longer angry.  Reaching, he took the package from my lap and tore away the wrapping, revealing a wide silver band, decorated in the Highland interlace style, a small and delicate Jacobean thistle bloom carved in the center of each link.

So much I saw, and then my eyes blurred again.
(Chapter 23, "Return to Leoch", p. 317)

I hope you enjoy these!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Help us celebrate the 20th Anniversary Edition!

Happy Independence Day to all of you in the US!

As many of you know, the special 20th Anniversary Edition of OUTLANDER will be published on Tuesday, July 5th, in the US and Canada.  I have put together a FAQ about the 20th Anniversary Edition; I hope it's helpful.



If you are on Twitter, you can help us celebrate the publication of the 20th Anniversary Edition by tagging your tweets on July 5th with #Outlander20.  (Thanks to Susan McCreadie, aka the_bothy on Twitter, for the suggestion!)  When I mentioned this idea to Diana on Twitter the other day, her response was, " sounds like a great idea to me!"

Please help us get the word out to all the OUTLANDER fans on Twitter.  And even if you don't have a Twitter account, you can see all the #Outlander20 tweets here.

You can see Diana Gabaldon's tweets here.  She's Writer_DG on Twitter.

Tomorrow should be a fun day.  I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone thinks of the extras included in the new book.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

SCOTTISH PRISONER will be out November 29!

It's official -- Diana Gabaldon's novel THE SCOTTISH PRISONER will be published on Tuesday, November 29, 2011!

As far as I know, this includes:
  • Hardcover publication in the US, Canada, and the UK (I have no information about availability in other countries)

  • Kindle and Nook editions (and presumably other e-book formats as well)
The book is still not listed on Amazon's US site, but I found this on Random House's Diana Gabaldon page, with the release date listed as November 29.  And it's available for pre-order (in both hardcover and e-book format) on the Barnes & Noble site here.

This is very exciting news!  Please pass it on to anyone else you know who may be interested.

REPOST: 1776, The Musical

I posted this last year, and it seems appropriate to mention it again.

Wishing all of you in the U.S. a very happy Fourth of July!
-------------------------
As we approach the 4th of July holiday in the U.S., I can't resist putting in a plug for my favorite Revolutionary War movie: "1776", which is a musical about the drafting of the Declaration of Independence.

If you've never seen "1776", I highly recommend it. It came out in 1972 (based on the Broadway musical of the same name) and I think I've seen it almost every year since I was nine or so. That tradition continues to this day; my family always watches it on DVD every July 4th, and we will do so again this year.

Diana Gabaldon likes it, too; I've heard her describe it as "hilarious, moving, and very singable". I asked her specifically about the costumes, because I'm fascinated by the details of the 18th century clothing in this movie, and she said they're pretty accurate.

For those of you who have read AN ECHO IN THE BONE: Can you watch Ben Franklin in this movie without thinking of the scene in ECHO where he's "air-bathing", stark naked? <g> That image is burned indelibly into my brain now, and I don't think I'll ever forget it.

Here are a couple of my favorite songs from the movie:

1) "The Egg" - Franklin, Adams, and Jefferson choose America's national bird.



2) "Sit Down, John" - This is the movie's opening number.



Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will be showing "1776" at 2 pm on Monday, July 4th, 2011.  Look here for details.  (Thanks to Tracey of My Outlander Purgatory for the heads-up!)

You can get "1776" via Amazon here. It's also available on Netflix and Blockbuster. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The winning essay

I asked the winner of the OUTLANDER 20th Anniversary Contest, Rinah Benoliel, if she would let me post her contest entry so that the rest of you can see it.  Rinah has kindly agreed, so here it is.  Thanks, Rinah!

-----------------------
Outlander and I go way back. Actually, it was my mother who first introduced me to Outlander, back in the late- 90s. Though books about time travel weren’t my “thing” I gave them a try and devoured the four books that were available at that time. I loved the books, but didn’t follow the series any further.

Then, last year, a close friend mentioned she was reading the best book called Outlander and I had to read it. Once she described it, I thought it sounded familiar and realized I had already read Outlander before. I immediately started reading the first book again, and I was hooked from the start. I read straight through Book 7 and have enjoyed every moment.

For me, reading is generally a solitary experience; it is my relaxation and escape. The Outlander series fulfills that (in a big way), but it has also become part of an incredible social experience for me. There is a group of four of us now (local friends), who have read all the books, sometimes at the same place in the series, sometimes ahead or behind each other. But every time we get together, we talk Outlander. We giggle, fantasize, analyze and compare, all about Outlander!!! Anytime anyone of us sees a reference about Scotland or time travel, from articles on Stonehenge to a 5K Kilt Run, we share it with each other.

We all have busy family lives and lots of responsibilities, but Outlander is just for us. It is our escape from real life, an indulgence and a pleasure shared between girlfriends. I have never read anything like these books, or been able to connect to other people through books like I have with Outlander.

Our trip to Scotland is pushed off for a while until the kids are bigger…but we’ll make it there one day!!!

Friday, July 1, 2011

And the winner is....

I'm delighted to announce the winner of the OUTLANDER 20th Anniversary Contest

Rinah Benoliel!




Congratulations, Rinah!!  Your name was randomly selected from among the 77 entries I received for the contest.

I just sent you an email requesting your mailing address, and how you would like Diana to inscribe your copy of the 20th Anniversary Edition.  Please send me an email back as soon as possible so I can put the order in to the Poisoned Pen bookstore in Arizona.

Many, many thanks to all of you who took the time to send in contest entries!!  I know that wasn't easy!

I have begun putting the collection of essays together.  It's a substantial collection, 77 individual essays (well, 78, counting my own contribution <g>), covering more than 60 pages.  Some of them are funny, some are moving, but all of them are heartfelt, and I'm sure that Diana will appreciate your stories very much.  (I certainly do!)

I received essays from fans all over the world, including countries as far away as Latvia, Finland, and Australia.

I plan to put the package in the mail to Diana in the next few days.  She is traveling at the moment and won't be back home until July 10, so I don't expect to hear her reaction until then.

June poll results

Here are the results of the June poll.

Are you planning to buy the 20th Anniversary edition of OUTLANDER?
  • 30.8% - Yes, definitely! I've already pre-ordered the book or will do so soon.
  • 25.1% - Yes! I can't wait to see all the extras that will be included in it.
  • 13.7% - I'm not sure yet.
  • 9.3% - I've entered the contest to win a signed copy, or plan to do so soon.
  • 6.2% - No, I already have a hardcover copy of OUTLANDER.
  • 4.8% - No, it's too expensive.
  • 4.4% - No, it's not available where I live.
  • 3.1% - No, I'm not interested in the special features.
  • 1.3% - What 20th anniversary edition?
  • 1.3% - Other
There were 227 votes in this month's poll.  Thanks so much to everyone who participated!

I didn't vote in the poll myself, but I fall into the first category.  I pre-ordered a signed copy from the Poisoned Pen bookstore (Diana's local bookstore in Scottsdale, AZ.)  The staff there is very helpful and knowledgeable about Diana's books, and Diana says they ship all over the world.

In keeping with the 20th Anniversary theme for this month, the July poll question is about how long you've been reading the books.  Please take a moment to vote.  Thanks!