OUTLANDISH COMPANION FAQ
Diana Gabaldon has two books coming out this year:
THE OUTLANDISH COMPANION Volume One (Revised and Updated)
Includes: OUTLANDER, DRAGONFLY IN AMBER, VOYAGER, and DRUMS OF AUTUMN
Publication Date: March 31, 2015
THE OUTLANDISH COMPANION Volume Two
Includes: THE FIERY CROSS, A BREATH OF SNOW AND ASHES, AN ECHO IN THE BONE, WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART'S BLOOD
Publication Date: October 27, 2015
A lot of people have been asking about these books recently, and I hope this FAQ page will help to clear up some of the confusion.
1) What is THE OUTLANDISH COMPANION?
For those of you who are not familiar with the original OUTLANDISH COMPANION, Diana Gabaldon described it this way, in a post on Compuserve on January 14, 2015:
[It's] a non-fiction book, with a lot of information about the first four books of the series: OUTLANDER through DRUMS OF AUTUMN. It has detailed synopses of those books, for the use of people who can't remember what happened and want to catch up before reading the next book, but don't have time (they think) to go back and re-read the earlier novels.Please note that word "non-fiction"! This is NOT one of the OUTLANDER novels.
It has numerous essays by me, about how I came to write the books, where characters come from, doing historical research and a few other things, an annotated Bibliography of all the references I used while working on those four novels, a Gaelic Glossary, a few fun things like professionally-cast horoscopes for Jamie and Claire, and so on. My husband describes it as "the perfect bathroom book," since you can pick it up and open it anywhere. <g>
The original version of THE OUTLANDISH COMPANION (pictured above) was first published in 1999, at a time when there were only four books in the OUTLANDER series, the Lord John books and stories did not yet exist, and none of us (including Diana Gabaldon!) had any idea that there would someday be a TV series based on OUTLANDER.
It's an interesting book, and definitely worth reading, but a lot of things have changed since 1999, to put it mildly!
2) I already have a copy of the original OUTLANDISH COMPANION. What's new or changed in the Revised and Updated Edition?
The sections on "Work In Progress" and "Outlandish Websites and Online Venues", which had become badly outdated, have been removed, and obsolete material has been removed from some of the other sections as well.
As for what has been added, Diana Gabaldon posted this on Facebook on February 18, 2015:
I put _in_ four new essays, and a new Section dealing with the TV show. The essays are: Jamie and the Rule of Three (about the hows and whys of Wentworth Prison), Book-Touring for Beginners (for those who think this is a glamorous thing to do <g>), A Brief Disquisition on the Existence of Butt-Cooties, and "The Shape of Things" (an essay on How I Write, and what the internal geometry of each book looks like to me).For the full explanation in Diana's own words, look here.
Now, these essays have all appeared in one place or another on the internet, though the first three were originally done as blog-posts, and thus have been formalized and tidied up a bit for their appearance in the OC I. ("The Shape of Things" appears as a back-matter add-in to the 20th Anniversary edition of OUTLANDER.)
The new TV section has several pieces, describing the book-to-screen process (how we got from an option to a TV show), the adaptation process in theory and in practice, the actors and what they do, and an account of "My Brief Career as a TV Actor." Also a section including photos from the show kindly supplied by Sony.
3) What is included in THE OUTLANDISH COMPANION Volume Two?
In addition to detailed plot synopses and an updated Cast of Characters for THE FIERY CROSS, A BREATH OF SNOW AND ASHES, AN ECHO IN THE BONE, and WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART'S BLOOD, the OC II includes a number of other interesting topics.
Diana Gabaldon gave a detailed description of the OC II in an interview with the Poisoned Pen on October 11, 2015. You can see the video here. The part about the OC II starts at about 11:19 into the video.
4) When will these books be available?
THE OUTLANDISH COMPANION Volume One (Revised and Updated Edition) was published on March 31, 2015.
THE OUTLANDISH COMPANION Volume Two was published on October 27, 2015.
5) How can I get a copy of the new OUTLANDISH COMPANION books?
The updated OUTLANDISH COMPANION Volume One is available in print and e-book editions from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
The OUTLANDISH COMPANION Volume Two is also available in print and e-book editions from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
If you would like an autographed copy of either book, you can contact the Poisoned Pen bookstore in Arizona. The Poisoned Pen is Diana Gabaldon's local independent bookstore, and they ship autographed copies of her books all over the world.
Please note: Signed copies of the OUTLANDISH COMPANION Volume Two will be available starting on October 27, but you will not be able to get personalized inscriptions at this time. Contact the Poisoned Pen if you have questions.
6) Will the updated OUTLANDISH COMPANION and the OC II be available in the UK and other countries?
I asked Diana Gabaldon on Compuserve about the availability of the updated OC Volume One in the UK, and she said, "Probably. Eventually. <g>" The situation in the UK is complicated because there are several different publishers involved. See Diana's explanation here for more information. If I find out anything more definite regarding UK availability of either of the two new OUTLANDISH COMPANION books, I will update this page.
As for other countries, I have no information at this time.
7) Are there plans for an audio version of either of these books?
The audio version of the OC Volume 1 was released on August 17, 2015. It's narrated by both Davina Porter and Diana Gabaldon.
Diana has said there will be an audio version of the OC Volume 2, eventually. I have no further details at this time, but I will update this page when I find out more.
8) What about Book 9??
Diana Gabaldon is still in the early stages of writing Book 9 of the OUTLANDER series. It takes her 3-4 years to write one of the Big Books. The fact that these new OUTLANDISH COMPANION books are coming out this year is NOT slowing down or delaying her progress on Book 9. Diana likes to work on multiple projects at once, because she says it keeps her from getting writer's block. Please try to be patient!