Many of you will have noticed that there have been several different versions of the new title for Book 8 floating around on various sites this week, on Diana's blog and elsewhere.

This is causing a fair amount of confusion:  is it "IN" or "WITH"? "HEART'S OWN" or "OWN HEART'S"?

I asked Diana about this yesterday on Compuserve, and here is her verbatim reply, which I am posting here in an attempt to get the word out.
   After living with it for a few days (and talking to my husband about it over a few glasses of wine), I think it's settled down into


   I like the internal percussion of the "in" sound between "written/in," which also gives you a natural brief pause before the last phrase--"my own heart's blood"--which then comes all of a piece.   And I think "own heart" rather than "heart's own" for several subtle reasons.   1) the internal rhythm of the sentence sounds better to me with that placement, 2) it puts a rhythmic emphasis on "own," thus making it seem more personal/passionate, and 3) it puts ownership of both blood and emotion <g> onto the speaker, rather than the heart.  Oh, and 4) it sounds more like an Appalachian ballad's phrasing--such ballads deriving from the Highlands of Scotland.
So there you have it. <g>  WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART'S BLOOD. I like it, particularly because you can see lots of different layers of meaning in it.

A number of people on Compuserve and various fan-sites have been wondering how to abbreviate it. I think Diana has settled on WRITTEN as a logical shorthand for the title, and I personally will be happy to go along with that.  It has the advantage of being brief, easy to spell, and easy to remember.  But I think it's much too early to come up with a standard that fans everywhere will use.  If you want to refer to this book as WIMOHB, or HEART'S BLOOD, or whatever, that's fine with me.  I'm just glad that we can call it something other than the generic "Book 8".

By the way, if you're wondering who is speaking this line, Diana said on Compuserve, "It's just the voice of the book, not a particular character's."  But it's fun to speculate, certainly.  To me, it sounds like Jamie's voice.

Finally, because a lot of people have been asking me this lately:  To the best of my knowledge, Diana intends to finish writing WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART'S BLOOD by the end of 2012, so presumably that means we will see it sometime in 2013.  It's much too early to set a specific release date yet.  If and when I hear anything more definite, I will post it here.

Again, if you want to tell Diana what you think about this title, feel free to post a comment on her blog. I'm very excited that we finally have a title for this book!


Jill W. said...

I'm really excited too! I haven't been on the forum to see the, er, 'development phase' of any of the other Outlander books - so this is kind of an adventure for me too. [g]

Words cannot express how much I love this title! You know, I didn't at first - I was disappointed for about ten seconds. I didn't like it very much, but then I started to think about it (this being a mix of my own postulations about the book and what Diana's told us already). And once I did, it just seemed perfect.

I try not to be a senseless fangirl but sometimes it's rightfully deserved, ya know? [g]

Marte said...

Interesting--from the first time I heard the title, I thought of Roger.

MichelleP said...

I too wasn't keen on the title when I first heard it, but it does sound interesting to be sure. I am a little worried as to just what it can mean for the characters that we all love so much. But like everyone else, I cannot wait to read the new book...btw I like the abbreviation of "Heart's Blood"

Anonymous said...

So I absolutely love her explanation of the title. Before it was just a title and I hadn't given it too much thought other than I was excited there was enough progress with the book itself for it to have been given a title. It has so much more meaning and depth now and there is much to ponder after reading what Diana says about it. Thanks for sharing, this is all good stuff!


Anonymous said...

I have to say, this title is growing on me. As I commented on Diana's blog, it's a very evocative title, and I like the rhythm of it as the words are spoken.

My favorite title is Drums of Autumn, and I think it's funny that Diana has said she considers that to be the weakest title. Just goes to show how YMMV [g]

Karen Henry said...

Jill - I think this title is growing on me. The more I think about it, themore associations, layers, and deeper meanings I see. THat's a good sign, I think. :-)

Marte - Me, too. A promise that he'll be reunited with Bree and the kids some day?

Michelle - as I said earlier this week, I have a feeling that this is going to be a more "character-focused" book than ECHO, and I'm looking forward to that very much.

Lara - Yes, there's a lot to ponder. I think it's amazing how many meanings people have come up with just in the first week, and there will be lots more to come, I'm sure!


Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

Karen, I agree with you, I think it sounds like Jamie saying this. I didn't really like the title at first, I thought it sounded long and wordy, but now I don't think so, it definitely grows on you. I really like it now, esp after hearing DG's explanation of it.

Terry said...

Thank God there is a next book coming in the foreseeable future. This is my second reading of the series and am even more hooked than the first time. Thank you Diana for sharing Jamie and Claire with us.

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