Diana Gabaldon posted the following comment on TheLitForum.com yesterday:
"The Frenzy is ON."
So she has begun what she calls the "Final Frenzy" phase of Book 9 of the OUTLANDER series, GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE.
What exactly does Diana mean by "Final Frenzy"? Here's an explanation that she posted on the Compuserve Books and Writers Community in 2008, when she was writing AN ECHO IN THE BONE:
Oh, that's just what I call the last two-thee months of work on a novel--it's where I know pretty much where/what all the pieces are--but still have 100,000 words to write. <g> Knowing so much, though, I can pretty much work flat-out, without having to stop and wait for the brain to generate links and kick up ideas out of the compost; it's all _there_, and I'm just digging it out.By the end of the FF, with the book very close to completion, she's often working so hard that she barely stops to eat or sleep.
We still don't have a confirmed publication date for BEES (with luck, it will be out later this year), but the fact that Diana has reached this stage is certainly an encouraging sign!
(Please note: as Diana often says, "finished" is a relative term, to a writer! Even after the manuscript is done, there are many more stages that the book has to go through before it's actually published.)
Keep in mind that Diana may not be online as much (on TheLitForum.com, Twitter, or Facebook) once the FF really gets underway, because she'll be spending most of her time writing. If you have a question that only Diana is in a position to answer, just be patient, and realize that it may take her a while to get back to you.
Let's all wish her the best of luck (and lots of uninterrupted writing time!) during the Final Frenzy!