Saturday, November 22, 2014

Eight years!

Eight years ago this week, I read OUTLANDER for the first time, and my life changed forever.  That's not an exaggeration! These books have had a profound impact on me, in many ways.

1) I've been a skim-reader all my life, but I discovered very quickly that you just can't do that with Diana Gabaldon's books, or you miss too much. <understatement!!>  So I started listening to the audiobooks, and was astounded by the amount of detail that I'd missed the first few times.  I've been listening to the OUTLANDER audiobooks on a continuous rotation (with occasional short breaks) for about 7 1/2 years now. <g> I never get tired of them!

2) In September, 2008, I became Section Leader (moderator) of the Diana Gabaldon folder on the Compuserve Books and Writers Community, which is the online forum where Diana hangs out. This has been a tremendous opportunity for me, and a lot of fun, but it's not without its challenges, especially in a year as busy as this one has been! Diana refers to what I do on the forum as "herding the bumblebees", which is an image that always makes me smile. The trick to herding bumblebees is to do it without getting stung. <g> 

3) I visited Scotland in July, 2012, on the Celtic Journeys OUTLANDER Tour, along with my mom and my sister Alice.  We had a wonderful time, and it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me.  You can see my blog posts about the trip here.

4) I've been lucky enough to meet Diana Gabaldon in person three times.  Diana called me "the fabulous Karen Henry" in front of 1200 fans at an appearance in Annandale, VA, in April, 2013. Needless to say, I was thrilled!

5) Diana has mentioned me by name in the Acknowledgements to AN ECHO IN THE BONE, THE SCOTTISH PRISONER, A TRAIL OF FIRE, and WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART'S BLOOD.  The e-book edition of her novella, "The Custom of the Army", is dedicated to me. <g>  And the character of "Keren-happuch" in THE SCOTTISH PRISONER was named in my honor.  I'm flattered and delighted, of course!

6) Last but definitely not least: Without the OUTLANDER books, I would never have started this blog, Outlandish Observations.  It's succeeded far beyond my wildest imaginings <g>, and the average number of visitors per day is up more than 300% since the TV series premiered in August. My Outlandish Observations Facebook page now has almost 5900 followers. THANK YOU ALL!!

I originally bought OUTLANDER with a gift card my mom had given me for my birthday. I have always thought it hilarious that I got so thoroughly addicted without spending a penny of my own money. <g> If you want to see the story of how I found the OUTLANDER series, look here.

Many thanks to Diana Gabaldon for creating such an amazing story, and for her support and encouragement over the last few years.  It means a tremendous amount to me!

6 comments:

Cathie Jones said...

Thanks for posting your Outlander history. I looked back at mine and found that my first purchase was, of course, Outlander, in Kindle form, on June 28, 2010.

I have also had the marvelous Davina Porter reading them to me the whole time. Am now on the 4th reading, about 3/4 of the way through "Dragonfly." When I finish the series I always feel a little lost for a few days and then start searching for something else to read.

Finally, after the TV series started, my husband started reading (and loving) them. He is 82 and had only read non-fiction. I'm buying the hardbacks for him.

Cristina H said...

Congratulations, Karen, on all these amazing things! When things get busy I can't follow all things Outlander but I always read your blog because I know that way I won't miss anything! Happy Birthday!!!!

Susan said...

Congratulations on all of your accomplishments, Karen. It looks as if Diana relies on you a great deal. That's awesome. :)

I went hunting around the compuserve site one night, looking for discussion on something a friend of mine and I had questions about. I didn't find what I was looking for, but found so much more! I've have some guilt about being able to jump from one book to the next, when I think about the readers who came before me--I can't imagine having to wait so long, though they are absolutely worth it. After DIA, I was dying to see how C&J reunited. I was disappointed. It has to be the best I've ever read.
Thanks for all of your hard work. It has certainly helped me have a better understanding and view on these wonderful stories!

Meg @ Adventures in Verdance said...

Happy Outlander-versary! I, too, listen to the audiobooks on rotation. It's so funny, because when I go on runs everyone else I see is listening to music to pump them up -- I just use the "I need to get to this part in the story" motivation. Ha!

Thanks for sharing your history and congrats on being awesome!

Elaine said...

After avoiding many attempts by family/friends to read "Outlander", I finally relented in May of this year when a lady I knew from walking my dog in the park told me she thought I should read it. All she knew about me was that I was Scottish and a registered nurse. After humming & haa'ing I thought well I need something to read as I was going to Scotland in a week so I bought the book from B & N. From the front piece I was hooked "people disappear all the time". Finished Book 1 in Edinburgh having no idea the series was being filmed, while I was in Glasgow nor of the huge fan base. Tried to find Book 2 in Scotland with no luck & phoned a cousin (one who'd been trying to get me to read the books) in a panic. She tells me to "calm doon" she has extra copies of 2 & 4 that I can have. Big relief drove to her house to pick them up. Finished 2, back to California to read 3. Read 3 in literally 3 days. Then not long after I came home saw the commercial for the series on TV - couldn't believe my eyes. Had hubby order Starz. Finished all 8 books in 5 months. Now back to Book 1 (for the 3rd time) Obsessed much? Forgot to mention I'm not only an RN, born Edinburgh, I am a natural ginger, genealogist, WWI & WWII buff & history nerd. The series is amazing. Beautifully filmed, perfectly cast with extra humor which I love. All Scots love a good banter. This has been a heck of a ride.

Anonymous said...

More than twenty years ago, I signed up for two free books from some paperback book club that I found in the back of another book I was reading at the time. Just by chance, and perhaps by the book covers, I chose Outlander and another book called Savannah. We were leaving on a vacation to Hilton Head, and I chose Outlander to take along. Well!! Needless to say, I saw very little outside our condo because I was sitting in a bucket-type chair reading Outlander for hours at a time. I was so "pinned" into the chair with my arms at my sides while I was reading that I ached when I finally came up for air each time. I was hooked for life. I have read all of the Outlander and Lord John books and listened to the audio books of each more times than my husband would like. Thank God for the great luck of choosing the right free books all those years ago. And that book, Savannah, I have no idea what became of it.