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Tuesday, August 11, 2009:
Spotlight: G - Diana Gabaldon

You always remember your first. For me, it was Diana Gabaldon. The very first author I had ever met in person. I remember talking about her Outlander series with my co-worker, and was beyond thrilled(!) to discover she was also a fan. Somehow we found out she was going to be in town for a booksigning, so we decided to go.

I remember how excited we were, giddy almost. For a die-hard reader, meeting a person who has written a piece of literature - in this case what I would consider to be of epic proportions - that has wrung the strongest of emotions out of you on nearly every page, well, it was a chance of a lifetime.

Knowing what I know now, it seems rather silly, but at the time, we were nervous. Standing in line, waiting for the signing to start, was a strange agony, until this tiny woman with long dark hair walked by right where we were standing. It was Diana Gabaldon, and the mood was electric. The fun was about to begin.

Before the signing, Diana took some time to chat with the crowd, to read a passage from her latest release, and basically enchant the crowd. She was very charismatic, very aware that we all suffered from serious Jamie Fraser love, and patiently indulged us all.

Meeting Diana was amazing. She was sweet and funny and made my first booksigning a memorable experience. Painless, fun, exciting, and highly recommended.

Back to my Jamie love comment. It's true, while Claire was a strong, brave, independent, pragmatic woman, she was not the heart of the series. A part of me felt too distanced from her, and while her personality is what helped her survive her ordeal, it also made it difficult to warm up to here. It was Jamie that "made" the series. Jamie, who loved his Claire unhesitantly and is an unrivaled hero. When it comes to Jamie, there really is no comparison. He's in a category all of his own. It's not fair to pit anyone else against him because really, he wins.

But, despite all that, I've only been able to read up to "The Fiery Cross" (hanging head in shame). I feel awful, and though I have it, I haven't been able to pick it up again. I think I'm just to remember the love I had for the first 4 books, and die happy because of it.

Have you read Diana Gabaldon's series?

Does Jamie rock your world, and who should play him in the movie?

Who was the first author you ever met?



  1. I am so ready for Echo in the Bone! I ate up the Outlanders series like potato chips. I have a bad feeling that Echo is going to be heartbreaking.
    Ock Jamie. Ock Ock!
    And isn't it great that Jamie and Claire are in their 50's and still are passionate and in love?

  2. I haven't read any books by Diana Gabaldon, I've seen so many who love them by the review I've read. Looks like you had a wonderful experience at your first signing and it must of been nice to go with someone who was just as enthused as you were. :)

  3. I have read the first three and a half books in the Outlander series but somehow life intervened and I got distracted *bad me* I think I have re-read the first one in this series like 4 times, the first time they meet wow and any moment there after.

    I think I will need to re-read the first three to get back in to the swing of it. Perhaps a personal reading challenge after I finished my Bar Cynster one.

    The first author I ever met? That was Sherrilyn Kenyon at a small German convention.

  4. I've only read first four books..there is something about Jamie that kills me..I honestly get way too emotionally involved and drained and I can't keep reading. At the same time, I can't believe how much I love this series and haven't read all the books!

    How cool that Diana Gabaldon was your first author. Mine was Kate Noble.

    No idea who should play Jamie in the movie...

  5. what a great post. I'm envious. :)

    I started the Outlander series when I was an impressionable 16 year old, trying to deal with the culture shock of moving to America (my passport country) after having lived abroad all my life. I remember closeting myself in my room and just consuming the Outlander stories. They seemed so real to me. Jamie is and will always be my number one hero. Like Mandi said, I get emotionally I can't pick them out now without bracing myself and being in the right place.

  6. I'm ready for ECHO. I almost didn't finish BREATH because I was afraid it was the last book and didn't want it to be over.

    For those of you who haven't begun Gabaldon: It will take time, energy and heart--but it will change your life as a reader and a writer.

  7. Hey Stacy:

    I blogged about the Outlander series a while back. Here is the link if you are interested, it is about the evolution of the cover art but also my experience with the series.

    Outlander and Dragonfly in Amber are books that will stay with me always. I agree, Ms. Gabaldon wrote an incredibly charismatic and strong hero in Jamie Fraser, however I also became very invested in Claire as a character and as you indicated the "epic" proportions of the novel.

    As indicated in my post, I read up to book 5, "The Fiery Cross", but the series lost it's appeal for me with that book.

    Who should play Jamie Fraser? Well, I don't think they should be making a movie because Hollywood will never do it justice. IMHO

    Great Post

  8. I haven't read any books by Diana Gabaldon, but I think I have one in my TBR pile.

    The first author I met at a book signing was Nora Roberts. I'm pretty sure I went all fangirl, but it was so fun. She answered questions for almost an hour before the signing tons of books and taking lots of pictures. She was so nice and down to earth.

  9. Hey Stacey,
    You are so right about Jamie, no one has ever held a candle to him. He is in a class all his own, and am so totally jealous that you got to meet Diana. Her books are some of my all time favs, and some of the only ones that I have ever reread and love just as much as the first time.

    As far as the movie goes, I am totally with Lea on this one. They should never make a movie out of this series. They could never do it justice and honestly can't even picture an actor playing Jamie's part...he would never live up to the iconic image that fans have given him.

    Thank you so much for this post. These books have been on my mind lately because I am so anxious to get my hands on Echo. The countdown has begun :)

  10. I have not read her yet, and (head hung in shame) I have had Outlander in my tbr pile for about 3 years. But even when i clean out my books i have kept it knowing htat i want to read it. I have got to just read it.

  11. I LOVE the Outlander series. I've managed to hook a slew of people including cousins, numerous friends, aunts, my mom and even my dad. He loves the series!

    There's no doubt Jamie is the heart of the stories. He's just scrumptious! For sure!

    I also got the privilege of meeting Diana at a book signing and she is pretty terrific!

    I can't think of ANYONE who could play Jamie in a film version. Perhaps they could find the perfect Jamie in an unknown actor...??!

    Although, the book(s) are so epic and contain so much information I don't know that a 2 hour movie could do it justice....

  12. I ABSO love Jamie...I remember when I first read Outlander, I couldn't wait to get the other books...they are such a great blend of what I love, history and romance...I haven't had the pleasure of meeting DG in person, but I hope to one day...I will hang my head in shame with you, Stacy...I got to "Fiery" as well, and I have "Breath", but I haven't opened them yet...That is really bad of me...I need to start the series over again though,just to prepare for "Echo." Okay, I will be is just so that I can rediscover JAMIE got me...The only other hero that comes close to him for me is ROARKE!

    My first author was Carly Phillips at RWA was an indescribable feeling...especially when she greeted me by name...gosh, I got that giddy when I just saw Nora Roberts...I have learned to control my inner fangirl in front of my fav authors though...but, once I walk away, I am like a twittering

    Peace and love,
    Paula R.

  13. I recently got her book. Everyone is always talking about Jamie, Jamie, Jamie, so, I knew I just had to read it. But when I opened the package I nearly passed out! WOW! That bad boy is thick. It will definitely have to be a weekend read for me. There's no way I could finish that in one sitting.

  14. I've read all the books 3 times (incl reading it to my hubby at bedtime - and he loved them!) and listened to the unabridged 1 time each.

    Diana Gabaldon changed my life. Because of her ... and Jamie ... I started to write. Whenever I finished her latest I missed her characters so much I had to invent my own!

    Can't WAIT for "Echo" - and I think there's one more after that. The Graphic Novel comes out in 2010, then Diana is planning a Prequel trilogy about Jamie's parents!!!

    I have to add .. I'm actually wildly in love with Roger. He somehow seems more "real" than Jamie, who is impossibly incredible.

  15. Ahhh...I'm really jealous you met DG in person! I adore this series in a big, big way. I read the first four books when I was pregnant with my first child...and, well, I'm almost embarrassed to admit it now, but his name is a play on Jamie's name. Yup, it's true. Sigh.

    I just scored a thick excerpt booklet of Echo and I'm afraid to read it. Actually, I'm afraid to read the book...just out of fear it might break my heart, yk?

  16. I join you in the head hanging. I've read Fiery Cross but I haven't managed to pick up ABoSaA yet - even though I've had it since it released. I just can't make myself do it.

    Ahh, Jamie. <3<3 Every woman should be so lucky as to be loved like Jamie loves Claire. *sigh*

    Oh, and first author I met - Sherri Kenyon. She's such a sweetie. :o)

  17. Jamie, who loved his Claire unhesitantly...

    *SIGH* I remember that from the first book. I read the first book *thinks* about 7-8 years ago but never got any further - I think that is when I was delving into the crime and thriller genres. But I do have the first book on my TBR list!

  18. I've yet to read anything by Diana Gabaldon. I've heard great remarks on this series. I don't know why I haven't added this series to be TBR pile, hello hot scottish guy check, time travel check; it sounds wonderful!

  19. Kate, I know! I don't even want to think about that.

    Donna, Diana Gabaldon wrote an epic series, and some of it was very difficult to read, but well worth it, imo. And meeting her was amazing :)

    Leontine, I want to go back and re-read now. Many good memories of the series. And how cool SK was in Germany. I know it's gotta be hard to meet authors where you live :(

    Mandi, they are very emotionally draining, but in a weird way that's part of why I love them. I can't really imagine anyone playing him, though I've seen several images of Gerard Butler...however not for the young Jamie we first meet.

    Sula, as much as I love Sam Starrett & Roarke, really, no one can surpass Jamie Fraser. He's an icon. I'm so glad you were able to connect with these books while adjusting during a difficult time, and as a teen, too. Couldn't have been easy. Look at you now :)

    Keri, well said. It definitely changed me, and I'm grateful for that.

    Lea! I'm going to go check out your post. For awhile there I was completely obsessed with the books. I miss that feeling in a way. I want to read the rest but it might be an effort so many years later.

    Liza, I bet Nora was awesome. Never met her, though I'm more of a JD Robb fan.

    Booklover, I think you're right. I have an image of Jamie that no one fits, but also any attempt to capture the movie would most likely be a huge disappointment. Better to let him live in our imagination.

    Kris, they are time-consuming reads, but so worth it. Like Keri said, they will change how you look at books. Nothing has ever managed to hold a candle to this series.

    Mollie, that's what I love about these books too - they transcend gender and age. My friend Karen who I went to the signing with said her family was also hooked, and her niece named her son after Jamie. That's sweet :)

    Paula, you make me wish I had the books in front of me right this instant LOL. Oh how I love them. And wasn't SF RWA awesome? Do you plan on attending next year? If so, I hope to meet you!

    Barbara, uh no LOL. These are huge, rich, detailed, beautiful books, and worth every word. If you don't fall hopelessly in love with Jamie, there's something wrong with you LOL.

    Genevieve, I love hearing how the books have inspired people. Yeah, if I had a disciplined bone in my body, this series would make me want to write as well. I admit to liking Roger a whole heck of a lot, but Jamie, whew, he's my guy.

    Dawn, yeah, I know. I've heard rumors and Kate's mentioned it too, and I'm afraid of that happening. That's a little too realistic for me. I don't want my heart broken :(

    C2, a lot of people stopped around Fiery Cross or thereafter. Don't know why it stalled, it just did. Maybe it wasn't quite as "magical" as the previous books, I don't know. And I agree, every woman should be loved that way.

    Orannia, prepare to be stunned and amazed. Just be sure to set enough time aside to read them. Have your hanky ready!

    Smokin', I hope you do read them, and love them as much as the rest of us :)

  20. I definitely plan to be at RWATN next would be really awesome to meet you too...I might have to take those books up again this weekend...I am going home to CT today...I hope I don't get stuck in traffic...I will check in again later...see you in the jungle...

    Peace and love,
    Paula R.

  21. I'm going to read A breath of Snow & Ashes--soon. I like to have her book on my bedside table and I'll read other books in between and come back to her books. I think it stopped being a romance novel very early on and turned into a 'saga' instead. And I think many of the people first attracted to the series read romance and not sagas (it's just a different kind of story but still wonderful, complex and detailed and a little slow). And I LOVE Jamie--so much I named my daughter after him ;)

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