Contest update, and my essay for Diana

The entries are still coming in for the OUTLANDER 20th Anniversary Contest.  Thanks very much to all of you who've sent in your essays already.  It's shaping up to be a great collection of stories, and I'm sure Diana will enjoy reading them.

Things seem to have slowed down this week, though.  I received only four new entries during the past week, bringing the total up to 36 so far.  I can understand that people are busier now that summer is here, but I hope you won't forget about this, if you're still planning to participate.

Special thanks to Carol and Tracey from My Outlander Purgatory, and Anne from My Writing Existence, for helping to spread the word about this contest!

If you haven't yet sent in your entry, or you've been procrastinating <g>, you have about 2 1/2 more weeks to think about it.  The contest will run through the end of June.  You can post your entry here on my blog (please remember to sign your name, and leave an email address where I can reach you if you win), or email me at with the subject line "OUTLANDER 20th Anniversary Contest".

I'll include my essay below.  You may need to click on the "Read more" link to see it.  I plan to send this to Diana Gabaldon along with the rest of the contest entries.  (I've added some links to previous blog posts, for the benefit of those of you who may not have seen them before, but otherwise this is basically identical to what I plan to send to Diana.)


It’s been more than four and a half years now since I stumbled across a certain book with a striking blue cover while browsing in Barnes & Noble, and I can honestly say that my life hasn’t been the same since! <vbg> I have so many wonderful memories related to OUTLANDER.  Here are a few of my favorites:
  • Getting Janet’s invitation to join the forum staff, in September, 2008.  I spent the next several days in a state of nervous (but delighted) shock.  “Who, me?!?”  (That feeling wore off quickly, but I’ll never forget it.)
  • Meeting you in person for the first time, at a book-signing in Columbia, MD, in 2009.  That was a fantastic experience that I will treasure for a long time to come.  (You told me you kept noticing me in the audience while you were talking, and you thought I looked familiar. <g>)
  • Our discussions via email of my first impressions of ECHO.  I thoroughly enjoyed that, as I know you did.  <g>  For all my joking on the forum about how my job as SL comes with “benefits”, I feel VERY lucky and privileged to be able to get an early look at your books.
  • Having lunch with you and a group of other fans in Winston-Salem, NC, in September, 2010.  That was a rare treat, and a lot of fun.  Arriving home after the book-signing, I flipped open my copy of the ECHO paperback to find this inscription:  “To Karen, Czarina of Traffic and a great friend.”  I was moved almost to tears when I saw that.
  • Being interviewed about OUTLANDER for RT Book Reviews magazine in April, 2011.  That was totally unexpected, and I’m delighted that the article turned out so well.
It’s been a pleasure and a privilege for me to help out as Section Leader on the forum in the last several years.  I like to think of it as my way of giving something tangible back to you, in return for the many hundreds of hours of pleasure your books have given me.  And a HUGE thank you, once again, for your support, encouragement, and occasional “gifties”.  <vbg>  That means more to me than I can say.

And finally, without OUTLANDER I would never have created my blog, Outlandish Observations. I’ve met so many wonderful people, from all over the world, as a result of this blog, and it’s succeeded far beyond my initial expectations.

Congratulations on the 20th anniversary of OUTLANDER, and thank you, once again, for creating this wonderful story!

Karen Henry


L said...

Great post Karen, I too have had my life enriched by Diana's books.

Socially: I have met so many wonderful virtual friends as well as some flesh and blood types. I have had great conversations about the books with people whom I might otherwise not have connected. I have introduced Diana's books to many people and have made friends because of it.

Intellectually: I love the rich vocabulary and phrasing Diana offers, I am so glad she didn't dummy down the language in the books. Also, I can now relate more to the history of my own country. The Outlander books have enriched my life in so many ways.

I myself have no writing skills but know great writing when I read it. Thanks to Diana for making my life richer, and thank you Karen, for making my Outlander experience more enjoyable.

The only downside to Diana's books is that now no other books are as good. :(

Liz aka L

Karen Henry said...

Liz - great comments, thanks! If you're intending this as your contest entry (and it certainly could be!), please send me an email address where I can reach you if you win.


MaryFaithPeace said...


Thanks for the "like"on Facebook!
I've been so swamped in the studio, I didn't remember that the new edition of Outlander was about to come out UNTIL a customer requested it (as a book bead) two days ago. It is gorgeous! The Red/gold theme reminds me of Gryffindor for some reason. I will leave the essay writing to better writers than me, but will have my tribute (in clay) to this beautiful edition sometime soon. Thanks again!

Nenya said...

I will write something too when I find the time. ;)

Karen Henry said...

A tribute in clay?! Wow. I can't wait to see a picture of that.

And yes, I think it will be gorgeous.


Deniz Bevan said...

Lovely essay Karen! I can't believe how many good things have come my way just from reading these books.

Karen Henry said...


Believe me, I feel the same way. Frequently. :-) Thanks, glad you enjoyed it!


Karen Henry said...


Thanks, I know it's a busy time of year for a lot of people. I'll look forward to seeing it!


MaryFaithPeace said...

Just wondering, will there be a 20th anniversary UK edition as well?

Karen Henry said...


Sorry, no. Look here for Diana's detailed explanation as to why.


Bri said...

Hi Karen,

This is indeed a very busy time of the year! I haven't even had time to write on my own blog for almost a month now, but I think this contest is a lovely idea and I would really like to be a part of it. I am going to try very hard to get my essay in before the deadline. Thanks for sharing your essay as well, I enjoyed it :)


MaryFaithPeace said...

Diana's explanation as to why there will be no UK edition had me in stitches! Thanks for sharing the link!

Powered by Blogger.