SDCC Interview – Diana Gabaldon – Outlander

Q: And then how do you feel being…like Jen Graham has said she started her novels because of your writing.

Diana: I am extremely flattered that they could take anything from me. They are more than welcome to it.

Q: Has the show influenced how you write?

Diana: Oh, no. People do ask that all the time and I can see why. As I say, look, they are working thirty years behind where I am. There are eight books between me and them and I have written all this stuff in between. What exactly would I change in the ninth book? These people are now in their sixties and how would they be affected by what these people are doing now. There is just no way that would happen.

Q: Has the show affected how you see the characters?

Diana: No, I still see the original Jamie and Claire as they are. It is fun to watch Sam and Caitriona and they are totally Jamie and Claire when I am watching the show, but I don’t have any problem with show versus book. I can easily carry both images in my mind.

Outlander SDCC TV Still 5

Q: Fan enthusiasm over the years, has it changed in tone? And by that, I mean have you had to distance yourself or change how much you engage with them over the course with the huge influence of social media?

Diana: There are ways of dealing with social media. The thing is that I have always been in the middle of it. I was on Compuserve’s literary forum in 1985. So social media has coalesced around me as new events in technology has come along. I just adapted them. Tumblr and Pinterest, they are not really offer me anything so to speak. I don’t do them. I do Twitter because it is good to getting out quick messages to people and collecting the fans if you need to rally them for something.  You can quite easy that way. Facebook, I love to stay in touch with people. I have a website that is sadly neglected, but I really need to move my stuff from Facebook to there as well. The website is really more a repository or archive of information which is good. When I first knew Sam Heughan, I was sending him some of the stuff the fans were saying and so forth, and he wrote back and he said, “Your fans are crazy. How do you deal with this?” Well, there is a way and I will tell you because he was on Twitter and that is how we met. I said, “Look, you take ten minutes twice a day or only once if that is all you afford, but go on everyday and you don’t have to try and read everything addressed to you or pertaining to you, but go through as much as you can in ten minutes. If someone says it is their birthday, stop and say “Happy Birthday.” Someone says my dog just died, stop and say you are sorry. Someone says something witty to you and something witty occurs to you, say it back. When you hit the end of ten minutes, stop. But the fact that you do it everyday and seem to be responding to people, it gives people the feeling you are actually there all the time. You aren’t and it does not eat you alive.” Likewise with Facebook, it is usually once a day or maybe twice if there is some sort of announcement or something else I need to add, but usually once a day. And I will usually go for a couple of days without if I am doing something like this (SDCC), but the fact that I do it regularly, and I put up a post the next day, I usually take about ten minutes and read through the first two or three screens of comments and reply to the ones that I can easily reply to and nobody notices you are not replying to the ones at the bottom because Facebook helpfully moves all the ones you do reply to up to the top, so anyone who is looking is like, “Oh boy, she is here. She is talking to us. This is great.” It is partly illusion, but partly I just enjoy engaging. I like to talk to people about what it is that I do. I always have. I’m a born teacher and I love to talk to people about writing and the craft. And now that we have the show, I am learning so much about the way it is put together, I like to share it with people.

Pages: 1 2 3


Sarah resides in Dallas where she writes about films and trailers in her spare time when she is not taking care of her animals at the zoo.

You can reach her via email or on Twitter

View all posts by this author