Pictures from the book-signing in Winston-Salem

I'm back! Had a wonderful time at Diana Gabaldon's book-signing today in Winston-Salem, NC. I thoroughly enjoyed myself, and we managed well despite the fact that it rained lightly throughout Diana's talk and book-signing.

Highlights of this day, for me:

Lunch with Diana and a group of forumites at a local restaurant. That was a thrill for all of us, I think, and I was just delighted to be able to spend some time chatting with Diana in person and in a more relaxed environment.

I love this pic of Diana and me and Shirley Williams (right), who organized the luncheon - what a wonderful memento of an unforgettable day!

I got to hold THE EXILE in my hands -- briefly -- and it looks gorgeous! (Tried not to look too closely. I want to *savor* that first-reading experience, and I figure I can wait 10 more days. ) It's thicker than I was imagining, somehow, more substantial-looking, which is good.

I asked Diana, over lunch, "Have you decided what excerpt you're going to read?" She nodded. "From Book 8?" "Yes." "Is it one of the cliffhanger pickups?" "Yes. You can cover your ears if you want to." But of course I couldn't bring myself to do that when the moment came. The excerpt (Jamie and Lord John) was WONDERFUL, I thoroughly enjoyed it, and my first coherent thought afterward was, "If ECHO ended with a series of firecrackers, Book 8 looks like it's going to begin with fireworks!"

My homemade sign was a bit the worse for wear by the time Diana saw it, due to all the moisture in the air, but it recovered just fine as soon as I got it home, and I was happy to have it signed. I'm sure I'll use it again sometime. (Note Diana's copy of THE EXILE on the table at the lower left side of this picture. <g>)

Diana signed my Hebrew copy of OUTLANDER. (Not sure if she's ever actually signed one of those before; I forgot to ask.) The picture below shows her looking at the page in the text that shows the blood vow at the wedding.

The inscription in the Green Slime ECHO paperback (which I did not actually read until I got home) reads, "To Karen, Czarina of Traffic and a great friend." Great friend? I was really, genuinely touched by that. It means a lot to me.

It was great meeting so many Compuserve forum members for the first time today! Hope you all enjoy the pictures, whether you were there in person or not.


Mary said...


What a lovely day with wonderful people. Thank you so very much for sharing this with us.

Mary EMH

Anonymous said...

Karen, I couldn't be happier for you! I know what a fabulous day it was with all that excitement. (I'm also VERY jealous! What a treat it must have been to chat for an entire lunch with Diana and appreciative fans.) Thank you for sharing the photos and highlights of your day.
--Amy in Atlanta

Aven said...

those are wonderful, Karen. thanks for sharing them.

Cathy said...

Great pictures. It looks like you had a wonderful day!

Karen Henry said...

Mary - you're welcome! I was so excited, of course I had to share these right away!

Amy - yes, it was really a privilege and a rare treat to be able to get some time to talk with Diana in an informal setting like that. (I talk to her online, on Compuserve, almost every day, but that's Not The Same Thing, at all.) I'll treasure those memories for a long time to come.

Aven and Cathy - thanks, yes, it was a wonderful experience and I'm very glad I went.


LisaW said...

Karen, what a wonderful day you had. That must be such a thrill for you to be included as one of Diana's friends. How could you not be with all the work you do over a compuserve. You all look great at the lunch. Thanks for sharing your photos.

Karen Henry said...

Thanks, Lisa! Glad you enjoyed the pictures. :-)


Purgatory Carol said...

YEY!!! OH Karen that's wonderful. Good for you. I'm thrilled you all had such a great day! :)

Wow. Book 8 spoilers. YIKES. You were OK with it, huh??

Karen Henry said...

Carol - I didn't have a lot of choice! :-) What was I going to do, tell her, "I really wish you wouldn't read that"? (Ha. I do NOT have that kind of clout, believe me!) From her tone of voice, it was pretty clear she was going to read it anyway, no matter what I said. So I gave in gracefully.

Anyway, the excerpt was not so much spoilerish, as extremely dramatic. It's not going to damage my reading experience at all, I don't think.

You have a few weeks to think about this and figure out how you're going to deal with the same thing. Because I really can't picture you and Tracey sitting in the audience at ComicCon with fingers in ears, going, "La-la-la-la-I-CAN'T-HEAR-THIS!!" Just go with the flow. It'll be fun, trust me! She is a terrific public speaker.

See you in chat tonight!!


Jane said...

What a great way to spend a day! I am so curious about the excerpt. Is it one that has already been posted or something just for the ears of those that day? In an event I am so jealous.

Karen Henry said...


According to one of the people who heard it, part of this excerpt had already been posted on Compuserve, but part of it was new. (To me, of course, it was ALL brand-new :-) )


Anonymous said...

Some of it was new? Do you think she'll be sharing it with the rest of us?

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