Sunday, January 27, 2008


I get quite a bit of mail asking about the permutations of the audiobook versions of the OUTLANDER and Lord John novels, so thought maybe I'd clarify—as much as is possible.

Hokay. Back in the day….around 1994, this would be…audiobooks were a new and Highly Suspect (in the minds of publishers, who tend to be a wary breed) development. Publishers didn't want to risk money on producing an audio version of a book that they didn't think would sell well, so they seldom did audio versions of anything that wasn't already a bestseller—and costs being what they were, they were even warier of recording an extravagantly long book.

Well, in 1994, VOYAGER (my third book) was published, and hit the New York Times list, thus becoming an official Bestseller (as my beloved first editor also used to say, becoming a bestseller is really the only good solution to the "where do we shelve this?" conundrum—because a book that's a bestseller automatically gets display space at the front of the store, no matter where else it may be shelved. Seemed like a good strategy to me, so I've pursued it ever since. [g]

So. This meant that the publisher's audiobooks department was now cautiously interested in my books. They looked at said books, uttered loud screams of consternation at the length (this being the universal reaction of all publishers, anywhere), and then offered my agent a small amount of money for total world rights, abridged and unabridged, forever.

As I had a very good agent (I still have a very good agent, but not the same one; my first agent, Perry Knowlton, retired, and then died, alas), he said nothing doing, and proceeded to negotiate them into a somewhat better deal: English-language rights only, and on a ten-year license (renewable if agreeable to both parties), rather than the usual, "We'll publish it as long as we feel like it (i.e., as long as it makes money)" contract. They still insisted on having both abridged and unabridged rights, though—in spite of the fact that they made it clear that they only intended to do an abridged version, given the books' length.

(Right. A word about "abridgement." This means that the publisher wants to publish a shorter version of the original book—ergo, they're going to take stuff out. In my innocence, I assumed this meant removing short passages of description, excise a few adjectives…maybe cut a nonessential scene here or there…perhaps boil the book down by 15-20%...not ideal, but maybe acceptable, in that it would introduce a new market, and perhaps someone who "heard" one of the books and was attracted by the characters or storyline would then go and buy some of the others.

Well. "Abridgement" does indeed mean the publisher's going to take things out. They rather cunningly do not tell you how much they propose to take out. And they did offer me "approval" of the abridgement. More about this, below.)

I didn't care for this, "approval" notwithstanding. "I think eventually the books are going to be sufficiently popular that there might be a market for the unabridged version," I told my agent. "And if I thought stuff could desirably be left out of these books, I would have written them that way. I want to keep the unabridged rights. We may never sell them, but if we give them to these guys, they'll never use them, and there'll never be an unabridged version."

Excellent agent that he was, he went back and fought for my unabridged rights, emerging triumphant a few weeks later. Unwilling to absolutely surrender these rights, though, the publisher had insisted on a "non-compete retail" clause. In other words, I could sell the unabridged rights—but whoever made an unabridged audio version could not sell it in the same physical retail outlets (i.e., bookstores) where the abridged audo was sold. (The publisher accurately fearing that if anyone saw the abridged and unabridged versions side by side, they'd see just how much was missing, and not buy the abridged form. (Just as an example, the abridged form of A BREATH OF SNOW AND ASHES contains 9 CDs. The Unabridged form contains 48. Yeah, you'd see, all right.))

This was the best we could do, and I agreed.

Some time later, the Bantam Audio department called up, burbling with good news: "The usual audiobook is only six hours—but we got permission to do OUTLANDER as nine!" they said.

"Yeah?" I said. "I'd be a lot more impressed if I hadn't just read that book myself for Recording for the Blind (see footnote*), and know that it takes at least 32 hours."

"Oh," they said, still chirpy. " That won't matter; we have wonderful Scottish music to bridge the transitions!"

Still, I didn't realize the full extent of the carnage, until they sent me the abridged manuscript for [cough] "approval."

"Approval" of an abridged manuscript is like a newspaper photographer coming to your house and taking a picture of your sweet child, all dressed up and combed to perfection. Then the editor calls you to tell you the picture is running on the front page! But…owing to space constraints, "You can have the left ear, the chin, the middle button on the dress, and your choice of nostril—or would you rather have one eye, the bottom lip, and both shoes?"

In other words, they hand you a pile of bloody shreds, and you have four days to make any changes you like. Right. Well, I did the best I could to smooth the unspeakably ham-handed transitions that someone had written to (haha) "bridge" the gaping holes between these chunks, but that was all that could be managed.

OK. Well, they produced the abridged audios—the reader, actress Geraldine James, is a lovely reader, I'll say that for them—and they do include snippets of Scottish music (which, btw, I do not consider an adequate substitute for my deathless prose.) Sold a modest amount of them—mind, this was early days for audiobooks, so pretty much all audiobooks sold modestly.

Well…the more books I wrote, the longer they got—and the bloodier the carnage of the abridgements. (They discarded Fergus altogether from the second book, for instance, thus causing considerable confusion when he inexplicably appears in the third. He's in VOYAGER, but they didn't bother to explain to Ms. James that he's French. He therefore appears with a most incongrous heavy Scots accent, she having evidently (and reasonably) assumed from his name that he was Scottish, and there being nothing left in the abridged text to indicate otherwise.)

So I really wanted an unabridged version. I looked into it, and at that time, there were only two companies who did unabridged titles: Books on Tape, and Recorded Books. Well, I happened to be doing an appearance at a Public Librarians Association conference, at which there was a trade show, featuring all kinds of publishers—including a booth rented by Recorded Books. I strolled casually past this a time or two, screwing up my courage, and when I found the booth momentarily without visitors, walked up and introduced myself to the gentleman manning it, proceeding swiftly from general schmoozing to pointing out the popularity of my books—which were fortunately being sold in inspiring quantities from the Random House booth on the other side of the room; every third librarian walking by was carrying one of my books, as I'd been their principal program speaker.

I got a card from this cordial gentleman, and once home, emailed my agent with the contact information, suggesting that he go at once to reinforce any good initial impression I might have made. Subsequently, Recorded Books made an offer for the unabridged audio rights to OUTLANDER, and thus began a most satisfying relationship.

Now, nothing against the production or the reading/acting of the Bantam abridged versions—both are excellent—but the simple fact is that the abridged version of THE FIERY CROSS, for example, includes precisely 23% of the original story. No, they didn't leave out 23%; that's how much they left in.

Recorded Books has (so far) recorded unabridged versions of all of my novels, both the main OUTLANDER series (read by the exquisite Davina Porter) and the Lord John books (read by the marvelous Jeff Woodman, who just is Lord John, in vocal terms). Both these readers are nothing short of spectacular in their acting ability and facility with accents.

Anyway, if you should be curious, the Recorded Books website is (reasonably enough) , and I am pleased (having just gone to check it) to see that HAND OF DEVILS is their monthly special at the moment:

All right. Moving right along with this gripping saga…

Because of the "non-compete retail" clause in the original contract with Bantam, the Unabridged versions done by Recorded Books couldn't be sold in bookstores, until the license for the abridged versions was terminated. We (current agent and I) did terminate these licenses, as each one expired—so far, the first four books have been terminated, which means that while Bantam has had a six-month grace period after each expiration in which to sell off their stock, after that, the unabridged audio can be sold in bookstores. I haven't checked, but I think you can in fact now get the unabridged versions of the first three or four books from Barnes and Noble, as well as from, in addition to the Recorded Books site. (I should note, btw, that Recorded Books also has a rental plan—which, considering the size and expense of the unabridged books, is a nice alternative.)

Oh—and for those who like to download their books as mp3 files— now carries the first three (or possibly four) unabridged audios in this form, by arrangement with Recorded Books. (They may have the abridged ones, too—be careful what you're ordering!)

We will be terminating the licenses for FIERY CROSS and A BREATH OF SNOW AND ASHES, as these reach their expiration dates—but it'll be a few more years. In the meantime, I'm afraid you'll have to get those two audiobooks in unabridged form direct from Recorded Books.

And I should mention eBay. I'm sure there are sellers there who are selling legitimate copies of the unabridged audios, but there are also a lot of fly-by-nights selling bootleg copies. If the item advertised consists of mp3 files on CD—they're almost certainly bootlegged, and my agent would like to know about it. (If you post a link here in the blog, I'll forward it to him; he's got a regular procedure for dealing with bootlegged stuff on eBay.)

Oh, Alex Kingston. Ms. Kingston has absolutely nothing to do with my audiobooks—though I'm certain she'd be a marvelous reader. It's just that our valiant assistant, Susan (who saves us from financial disaster by coming and doing the family book-keeping, hauls things to the post office (no one would ever get anything if it was left up to me to take it to the PO), pulls bookplates for me to sign, and is the only person who knows where the family membership card to the Zoo is) was here yesterday, and while we were chatting about the various interesting (and occasionally baffling) responses here to Claire's graphic-novel portrait, told me that from the discussions on one site she frequents, she thought the odd notion that Claire has corkscrew curls comes from the fact that a number of people, in the course of that mental casting game that's so popular, had firmly fixed upon the actress Alex Kingston as "their" mental picture of Claire. Ms. Kingston, of course, having that sort of hairstyle.

Right. Well, look. Ms. Kingston is a fabulous actress—I don't watch TV, so don't follow ER, but loved her in the "Moll Flanders" miniseries—but she doesn't actually look anything like Claire, aside from the minor similarities of being female and having curly hair (but not that kind of curly hair; Claire has the silky sort of curly hair, not the coarse kind. If you have to have an actress to visualize, think Madeleine Stowe in LAST OF THE MOHICANS, in terms of hair. Claire's is shorter, wilder, and naturally a different color, but that sort of texture.). Sorry, but she doesn't.

  • Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic. This is a non-profit group that—as the name suggests—provides free recorded textbooks (or books for professional use or development—i.e., we don't read purely recreational books, like novels, unless required for an English class or the like; the Library of Congress Talking Books Program does this, though) for "print-handicapped" readers.

  • (This means anyone, who for whatever reason, has trouble physically reading a book. It includes not only people who are blind or have very low vision (I think RFB&D told me that only about 10% of their clients are actually blind), but those who have substantial cognitive reading difficulties, or those who (because of MS, paralysis, or some other condition) simply can't hold a book. I've been a volunteer reader for them for….geez, more than 27 years now. They tend to give me scientific texts to read, because I don't have any trouble with the vocabulary; nice to kind of stay in touch with more recent developments in science, if only in this sporadic kind of way. (It's also usually the only time in the week that I sit down—not at a computer—for any extended period, so I can knit. The knitting also keeps me awake while reading the less-gripping sorts of books).)

  • They always need volunteers—not only for reading, but for "directing" (a director handles the actual recording of files and follows the reading, to insure that the reader doesn't blink and miss something, or make mistakes, and to fix places where the reader sneezes, coughs, or accidentally impales self with a knitting needle), marking books (so we know where to read the tables and figures, and where to give page numbers), duplicating files, and general office work. Should you have the urge, there are RFB&D studios in most large cities—check your Yellow Pages and give them a call—or go to their website at . They'd be thrilled to see you. [g]


  1. I'm afraid I'm one of those who thought that Alex Kingston would make a good Claire. Maybe it's the medical thing too? I also suspect that the hair thing has to do with the cover of Cross Stitch that I have - the Australian edition has a woman with curly-ish brown hair on the cover, sort of staring off into the distance. Oh well, I guess it's nice to know from the source that Alex Kingston isn't Claire.
    Jen in Oz

  2. I agree with you that the abridged audio versions are horrible (and nothing against the reader, I liked her). I was working my way through the series at the library, and I found that I could get the audio version of Voyager much sooner than I could the written version (there being MANY of holds on each of the books). Listening to it, I could tell that there were lots of logical holes where things had been cut, and where the story made me go "huh?". At the time I thought it was your weakest effort (sorry). But then I finally got the written version, and it not only explained the things that were otherwise non-sequiturs, but it had a lot that I HADN'T realized was missing. The audiobook seemed to cut out all the scenes that made Claire such an equal partner to Jaimie, and that is part of why I like their stories so much. Voyager is now one of my favorites of your books. I'm glad you finally were able to get the unabridged version done!

  3. Dear Margi--

    The abridged scripts were just infuriating. I wouldn't have read them, past the first one--save that they had someone on the abridging crew write these _excruciating_ transitional sections, in a clumsy attempt to explain the truly crucial missing plot bits--and I couldn't let people think I had written those, I just couldn't. Since the cover wasn't going to say, "written by Diana Gabaldon, eviscerated by X, and badly emended by Y..." I had to do what I could to fix at least the grammar and syntax.

  4. Dear Jen--

    Yes, this is why I fight tooth and nail to keep publishers from putting human figures on the front covers. They _can't_ look like the characters, since they're drawn by an artist who's never even read the book, let alone talked to me. And yet people--reasonably enough--glom onto such images when they think about the characters. I'm sure a lot of the people who think Claire has black hair were influenced by an unfortunate (if short-lived) series of UK covers showing a _photograph_ of a middle-aged, dark-haried, Welsh-looking woman, God knows why.

  5. Holy crap, Diana --

    I just clicked onto the your blog and froze. I saw the title of your new post -- coincidentally, on the Lallybroch site, Books Board, the QOTD is about Claire's hair and I responded by saying that I pictured Claire's hair to look like a cross between the GN depiction and that of Alex Kingston's -- from her roles on ER and Moll Flanders. That was this morning.

    Upon reading your comments, the Catholic school student in me sat up, folded her/my hands in front, and has decided that I will hold with whatever Mother Superior decides Claire's hair texture, quality, and style to be.

    BTW, you are wonderful to put up with us.


  6. I have a feeling that's the cover I'm referring to. is the cover I have (you may be glad to know that I had to search through three pages of google images before I found this one!)

  7. The link didn't work; try:
    without the spaces in it.

  8. I was wondering if there is a reason (legal, stylistic, etc.) that audiobooks are read by one reader as opposed to an ensemble, which would make it more like a play. I think it would make those of us nervous about a film version of The Books able to have our cake and eat it too, because we could hear Jamie, but keep our own picture of him.

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  10. I downloaded the unabridged version of Outlander for my wife a while ago and, to be honest, I am dreadfully glad after reading this.
    They left our Fergus completely?
    Twenty odd percent of the book left IN?

    As for Claire's hair:
    In secondary school I used to date a girl who had natural corkscrew curls. Really tight, springy things that would look good on a judges wig, and I cannot imagine Claire with hair like that.

    I know that I imagine Claire differently from most people I know.
    I see her as either Jennifer Ehell (SP?) or, perhaps, Billie Piper.
    ( )
    Likewise most people I know think Gerard Butler would make a great Jamie, but I have always been in favour of Kevin Mckidd.
    If an Outlander film ever did come about, the casting would be incredibly difficult.

    It must be hard as a writer to see all of the varying images people conjure up for characters you've created and which differ so much from your descriptions let alone your imagination.

    Kudos to you for being so patient about it all!

  11. OK! so. I am afraid that I write the way I think. Please forgive my fractured sentences. I can write correctly if I make a conscience effort (and might I add, very strained) to put aside the diapers, baby food, and laundry that have polluted my brain since college graduation. As it is, my thoughts tend to come out very fragmented. That being said, I would like to say that I simply cannot imagine someone who has read your books choosing to listen to an audio version that is abridged. I have two very close friends who are slowly approaching the 5th book in the series because they don't want it to end. I am consistently nagging them to complete the books so that I don't have to watch my every day speech for fear of spoiling the remaining books in the series. I am also quite upset to hear that the unabridged versions of the last three books are unavailable from audible! How disappointing! My ipod holds the first three unabridged versions currently.

    On another note regarding human depictions of your characters, I cannot think of one actress that embodies Claire. I think that if you are really reading the physical descriptions written that you should have no trouble seeing the GN pic as being Claire. It was an "Ahhh, so that is what she looks like." moment. Diana, you do an amazing job at describing their appearance. I think this is one of the major things that appealed to me about your writing. Your ability to create a scene using descriptions of smells and colors and of course analogies. I must also note that you must have a very keen sense of smell. I guess it takes one to know one. I have always had a keen sense of smell but now have taken to describing smells to myself. Clearly, you research all these scenarios yourself and it shows. I live in south GA, when I was reading the beginning of the fourth book, I found myself laughing at your descriptions of the sticky weather. It is exactly as you described. Thank God for air conditioning! I digress. What I originally began this comment to say was: Is it possible that this artist will do portraits of all of your characters. I am particularly thinking of the Murrays, Roger, Brianna, and the kids, as well as, Willie, Lord John, and Master Raymond, Mother Hildegarde.... OK..well everyone. Your descriptions, as I said before, are amazing but I dearly wish to see them on paper not just in my head. LOL! Thanks again. I am really enjoying your blog.

  12. thank you thank you thank you for taking the time to explain the mystery finally... I didnt know till 1 month past , whats the diff between abridged and unabridged...

  13. It must be so frustrating to know your name is attached to an abridged audio version of your books. This is exactly why I am worried about the movie version. You will not have a say in casting and I just don't think anyone could make a movie the way it should be made, except you. What makes your books so amazing is the characters, you have created very complex characters, and unless you truly understand who they are, how could you cast them? Even understanding them as much as I do, I still don't think I could cast them well enough.

    I wish you could cast, write the script and direct the movie....Then I know I could trust it!!!!

  14. I'd like to know how you feel about Lord John Grey's voice in the audio versions of the Outlander books versus the Lord John books. So far, I only own Outlander in audio form. However, I have every recording associated with Lord John, including Private Matter, Brotherhood of the Blade, and a CD of "Hellfire" (which shows how fond I am of the man that I would pay $30 for one short story).
    I also had purchased an audio tape of a portion of the Legends II book so that I could hear "Lord John and the Succubus", which I found out was not read by Jeff Woodman, but rather by another man who made LJ sound about 70 years old. So you can image how pleased I was that Mr. Woodman re-recorded "Succubus" for Hand of Devils.
    I finally was able to borrow a library copy of Voyager (I had to borrow a copy due to a change in life's financial circumstances-not to mention that I've already bought all that LJ material). I've been looking forward to hearing Jamie and Lord John together at Ardsmuir for so long, but the reality was disappointing.
    Davina Porter is a wonderful reader, but her Lord John voice sounds harsh compared to the way I was used to hearing Jeff Woodman speak as LJ. I understand why she did it. If she presented LJ as soft spoken and refined as Jeff Woodman does (his delivery makes me swoon) he would sound like a woman! So I understand it.
    But I still don't like it.


  15. Re: Claire's appearance. I've said it before, but really, half the fun for me, in watching the graphic novel unfold is the knowledge that we'll get to see what Claire, Jamie and crew actually look like, as opposed to how they look to we readers. As for Jamie, I have a vivid picture in my head, but no celebrity to match him with, so that'll be extra fun. As for Claire, I always thought that if casting were up to me, and I had to pick someone to play Claire in a movie, I'd pick Kate Winslet. So, it just goes to show how different things get in one's head, haha.

    The only other character I'd even thought about, as far as casting goes, is Jack Randall. I hear Jason Isaacs' voice in my head when I read him. *grin* Although, I supsect that has more to do with that man's ability to play an absolute viscious person(See the movie The Patriot).

    Ok, I've said enough, and so I'm off.

  16. When I first discovered the books, it was through Talking Book World, an audiobook rental business here in San Diego. They had only the unabridged/Davina Porter version. When they went out of business, I was able to purchase the CDs -- The Fiery Cross was the last one they had. I'm so glad to hear the history on the audio versions. And I agree that Davina's performance is divine; she is so good at what she does that you never even realize that one person is doing all the characters, so I guess I disagree with Emilie up above. I have gone on to purchase all the books too to see the spelling of the Gaelic and certain names -- I'm a court reporter and have this compulsive need to see how words are spelled -- but I am now on my third go-round of the books. I really miss them all when I finish the series! I drive a lot and they are wonderful companions on my travels!

  17. Dear Bedelia--

    Yeah. Cost. [g] And I will say that I understand the quality of performance does vary widely among audibooks. But a truly excellent reader can do just _amazing_ things in terms of the different voices and accents--and I've been remarkably lucky to have two such readers doing my books.

  18. Dear Caroll--

    You write just fine. [g]

    Hoang will (we think) do "portraits" of the major characters in this particular graphic novel--but it wouldn't make much sense to add portraits of Roger, Bree, and other people who don't occur for many years after this story.

    If the graphic novel is well received--and I'm certainly pleased to see how much interest there seems to be in it--then I'm sure others will follow, so you may (in the fullness of time [g]) get to see everybody in paint, if not in the flesh.

  19. Dear Emilie--

    I think Jeff Woodman's Lord John is Just Fabulous. [g] Not only is the voice he uses for Lord John _very_ close to what I hear in my head, he does a terrific job with all the other characters; I particularly love Harry Quarry and Hal.

    Davina also is a marvelous reader--but...she's a woman, as you note. Which means that there's a distinct limit to just how deep and resonant her male voices can be. Jeff has the same difficulty in reverse, with female voices, of course--but the female bits in the the Lord John books are relatively brief and limited, given Lord John's mostly-male military milieu, whereas the OUTLANDER novels are _full_ of men, so you do notice the limitations somewhat more.

  20. I really hope that Davina Porter will be available to do AN ECHO IN THE BONE when the time comes. I just cannot imagine anyone else reading those voices. (All respect to Jeff Woodman, but I didn't like his Jamie-voice at all. Though I love his Lord John. [g])

    I just finished yesterday listening to FIERY CROSS (unabridged, of course [g]) for about the third or fourth time. It's fascinating to hear what Davina Porter does with Roger's voice in that book -- normal in the beginning, barely more than a hoarse whisper when he starts to speak again after the hanging, then by the end of the book, it's still got that hoarse, rasping quality to it, but it's somehow stronger. Exactly as I imagined it from reading the books. (The way it changes, I mean, not necessarily how deep it was to start with. I agree that there's a limit to how well any female reader can do male voices.)


  21. I agree with so many comments about a movie version. I am dying to see it on the big screen, or even a tv mini series, but on the same token, I dread it. How bad are they gonna screw it up if Diana Gabaldon doesn't have her say in casting or scripts????

    I read so much, but I can't think of one series, or author for that matter, that is the same caliber as the Outlander series.

    Comparing Diana Gabaldon to, let's say Nora Roberts (she's good, but a bit "fluffy"), is like comparing a 5 star French restaurant to McDonalds.

    As for the graphic novel, I've never been inclined to read a "comic book for grown-ups", but I will be one of the first to run out and purchase it, mostly to SEE the characters, because I know they will look like they are supposed to.


  22. I admit that when I saw Moll Flanders I thought about Alex for Claire, but that was only having the first 4 books through once, and sometime before. Since then I've read all the books more carefully. I think the thing I saw in Alex Kingston was her spirit more than the hair. She's got a vibrant, vital quality that reminds me of Claire. Physically she's not quite right, but emotionally and mentally she'd do a hell of a job. Now I know that she looks very different.

    Thinking that the abridged versions of your book are an adequate substitute for the full version is like thinking that a person should be able to get by on one pint of blood.
    -Laura Grey

  23. I am another who thought that Claire's hair was something like Alex Kingston's. I didn't picture tight corkscrews, but 1 inch to 1 1/2 inch size curls. I think the reason I visualized corkscrews comes from a scene in DOA. In this scene, Nayawenne gives Claire a pat down and when she gets to her hair, Claire lets it down for her and Nayawenne pulls a curl taut and then lets it "spring" back. A childhood friend and I used to do this to her mother's hair which was very tight corkscrews. I would never imagined doing this to someone that just has what I would classify as very wavy hair like Madeline Stowe in "The Last of the Mohicans." Just thought you might like another idea of maybe why us readers got it so wrong.


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  25. Diana, Claire looks EXACTLY like I had pictured her mentally! And I am sure that Jaime will be perfect too, for of course Claire has very good taste in her man!!! I am really excited to finally know how to get your books in unabridged editions and where they are. This wait has been long, but well worth the time! You are really full of it just keep up the good work and know in your heart of hearts that there are lots of us out here that are all eagerly waiting for your next book with Claire!!!
    Mary Moore in Sacramento

  26. Hello Diana,

    In Germany we have nearly all audio books, but abridged. I am sad that we don't have full versions, but I think noone would buy it, because it will be very expensive. The costs for the abridged ones are high, but not unbelievable, like over 100 $ in the USA. We have the expensive one 30 Euro.

    The german speaker is wonderful, I hope to have the chance to hear her in the 7. book again.

    Claire's portrait is wonderful, I have made in my phantasy a picture from her with not so dark hair, and lots of curls ( like "curly Sue" but older and light brown hair).


  27. Dear Diana,
    I'm so glad you addressed this issue.
    I bought Outlander CD set Borders. It was by Geraldine James. I had no idea that it was abridged - I confess, I didn't check the cover. So, while listening to it I kept thinking -- wait a minute -what happened to this or that. So, I went back to the book to make sure that I wasn't losing my mind or remembering something from some other book. It was so frustrating becuase this Outlander was just wrong. It was missing soooo much. That's when I checked the cover. Dumb me.
    So, I went online and that's when I found Recorded Books and Davina Porter. Ms. James is absolutely fine but Davina Porter is wonderful. I am on the rental program and have now listened to all of the books that are available, including the Lord John books.
    I love being read to -- always have. So, having the books on CD is wonderful for long car drives (even short ones), cooking dinner, at work when I'm doing something that doesn't take a lot of thought ... whatever.
    I recommend listening to your books after reading them. It's a great way to revisit the stories. Also, hearing the books read in the correct English, Scottish and French accents is great. But, hearing the gaelic -- well, what can I say. I absolutely love it.

  28. Audio Books…After loving the Outlander series for so long, I could not give up my Jamie and Clair addiction. Tried the abridged versions but quickly tired of them. So, I now have all the UNABRIDGED versions for the drive to and from work (or any other time I am alone in the car). No, I have not started driving around just to hear it, but enjoy listening to a little segment each day... to drag out the time. Now that the Lord John books are there, I look forward to hearing Jeff Woodman. And just maybe I really will survive until "Echo" comes out!

    Another habit I have developed with regard to the audio versions is double-checking the phrases and paragraphs occasionally. Once getting in from work, I pull out the book and read the written version. There are words that I have not remembered from the novels that have peaked new interest for shinty (I knew what it was from some Scottish friends but did not remember Diana using it) scairt, caul, etc. And sometime in there, I was thinking that you had increased your German interest in the new Lord John novels but was just reminded (listening on the way home) of the minister & Herr Mueller not to mention Manfred and Frau Ute. Oh my goodness, I really need to find the Lallybroch ladies' blog!!! Thanks again, Diana, for all your hard work!!

  29. I'm so glad to finally have a reason for not being able to find the last three unabridged books! My library doesn't even have them, so it's good to know I can rent them.
    I just want to say thank you for the hours (and hours and hours!) of enjoyment I've received from these books. Outlander wasn't something I would have picked up on my own, until I did a book trade with a friend, who made me promise to give it a try. I'm SOOO glad I did! I read them through in book form, and am now listening to them as I do chores, go for a walk, any excuse I can find. Davina Porter is excellent, I quickly forgot it was one woman doing the whole thing, it was just amazing! It's also great to finally know how to pronounce those words I was just guessing at! :-) Again, thank you, the hard work you've put into these books is so appreciated.

  30. I have to say, I pity the people who get these abridged versions of your works, its like seeing only a corner of a fine painting.

    Also as for Claire's appearance, I had never really thought of a specific actress that would look like her, although for protraying her with depth and quality Kate Winslet is always my number one choice, she is the absolute best actress of her generation. She also has the beautiful translucent skin and ageless bone structure, although she is not perfectly Claire. Luckily most of the American novels I have do not have a character on it, excepting my copy of outlander which has a gap-toothed blonde woman with straight hair..LOL!

  31. Lord John is one of my most favorite characters and I was delighted with Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade. I couldn't put it down. I can't wait for The Scottish Prisoner to come out. Please please don't kill him off in the Echo of the Bones...couldn't bear it! I have never bought an audiobook (I have every book in paper or hardcopy). Now after reading this, I realize I must listen to Jeff Woodman's voice, so I will be on the lookout for some of these audiobooks everyone is talking about.

    I also have never read a graphic novel, but I will be first in line for the one coming out. I also was taken aback at the drawing of Claire, imagining someone quite like Alex Kingston, too. However, as my husband points out, I'm sure DG must have the best idea of what she looks like [g]. So as I work my way through the series for a third time (in THE FIERY CROSS at the moment), I am trying to fit this new image of Claire into my mind. Can't wait to see what the others look like as well.

    Diana, My husband gives me a signed hardcopy of one of your books each Christmas. It has become a tradition for us now. The one I received Christmas 2007 is DIA, inscribed Lemeas! I understood Slainte!, but I do not understand this. Can you enlighten me?

    I love your work. Each time I reread it there is more to discover.

  32. Dear Lizzie--

    "Le meas" (pronounced "Lay Miss," for incomprehensible Gaelic reasons) means "Best Wishes." [g] Tell your husband thank you for me!

  33. Dear Princess Di--

    Yes, Davina does a remarkable job! The nice gentleman who used to help me with the Gaelic translations fortunately lived only a hundred miles or so from New York, and kindly volunteered to drive up and coach her through the Gaelic bits (since he'd done them for me)--so the pronunciations are indeed correct! (Doesn't mean _I_ could pronounce those bits, though. [g])

  34. Dear Gray Angel--

    "You are really full of it today..."


  35. Dear Gray Angel--

    "You're really full of it today..."


  36. Dear Laura--

    Yes, I think you're right about Ms. Kingston's vitality--she's a wonderful actress, and (were the age appropriate--I think she's a bit old to play the young Claire of OUTLANDER, but could do the one from VOYAGER, would probably do a fine job of _playing_ Claire (as I've said before, it's not just an issue of physical resemblance). She just doesn't _look_ like her.

  37. Wow. Am I the only one who is terrified to see what Jaimie and Claire look like! LOL. I like how they look in my head! Not having tv myself, I'd never heard of Alex Kingston, but when I googled her I was surprised. That's NOT what Claire looks like! Claire has darker, more brownish hair, and it isn't as curly, it's more wild, I think.
    As I read the first book when I was 14, and have been faithfully, if not impatiently, waiting on each and every new saga, (I am now 30), my idea of what Claire looks like may have changed over the years.
    Anyway, as a long time lurker, I felt I had to post. I am scared to see what everyone looks like, afraid it will give my own personal brain pictures a sure jolt!
    And I'm off to check out too, thanks for the link!

  38. If it makes you feel any better, I was pretty ticked off with the way that they cut up the abridged version too. At the time I listened to it (after having read Outlander once or twice), it was the only copy of the audio I could get my hands on. I was thrilled with the prospect of hearing the parts I loved. One of those was when Claire gets her first taste (or feel, should I say?) of 18th C Highland justice... and then found that part had been completely removed! I thought that was a pivotal scene, but apparently the editors did not. Honestly I'm not sure what I'd cut if it had been me. Guess I'm not cut out for editing. :)

    Anyway, I have since heard nearly the whole series of the unabridged audio, and they are perfect. And might I add: Bravo on getting Davina Porter as a reader. She is top notch.

  39. Laura, if you really want to see Alex Kingston in a great part, check out the PBS showing of Boudica, which I probably misspelled.

  40. I always pictured Claire with ringlets -- maybe loose ringlets. I think that's due to my own straightish hair and lack of imagination :) -- but, as stephm said above, the scene with Nayawenne clinched my misperception.

    Thanks for the tip about RFB&D! I really enjoy doing this sort of thing, but I'm no Davina Porter. I'm glad to hear that there might be a use for a merely competent and enthusiastic reader.

  41. The only actress who comes remotely close to my image of Claire is Reiko Aylesworth.
    She has the silken curly hair (at least in some roles) and the delicate features that I imagine for Claire.

    There's a gorgeous picture of her on IMDB, in their photo gallery of her. It's image #10, the black-and-white one. (The link is too long to post here and I don't know how to shorten it.)

  42. Hello Diana,

    If you think audio books butcher your prose a Hollywood script writer would do the same thing for a theatrical movie. Unless you had full control probably 75% of the book would not make it to the screen. Movie producers and theater owners hate movies longer than 2 hrs. in length. The Outlander series would work better as a TV mini series especially if a network or cable channel were willing to let the story spool out over 6-12 hours. The best way would be like ABC's treatment of "Roots" or "The Winds of War" where the network devoted two or three hours almost every night for a week or two to tell the story. But i fear, entertainment economics the way they are will not allow this to happen again.

    The only way I see a theatrical film being made is if a big-name director is attached to the project and the director is in love with the material. Someone like Steven Spielberg or Peter Jackson would have the clout to make sure the project was done right.


  43. I can't believe they left Fergus out of DIA! That is a perfect example of why abridgement is evil. You not only loose a great character, but you also loose Jamie's motivation for breaking his promise to Claire about BJR, and that weakens the foundation underneath all of the plot points that build on the duel and it's aftermath. You can’t just go hacking away at a book and maintain its structural integrity and that structural integrity is one of the strong points of your writing. Preaching to the choir, I’m sure, but I wanted to add my 2 cents worth.

  44. Karibelle:

    That's a really good point, but somehow I think the people who would commit such butchery are not concerned with the book's structural integrity (to say the least [g]).

    I'm happy to say that I never heard any of the abridged versions of Diana's books, but I've heard abridged versions of other books I've loved over the years, and it's always distressing to see how much they leave out.

  45. I found an article about Davina Porter and her award for reading A Breath of Snow and Ashes:

  46. The Unabridged versions are wonderful. I was looking for a lengthy book to listen to at work. I found Outlander at the library and fell in love with it. Since then I've bought Books 1,2,3 on cassette and 5 & 6 on CD. Somehow I missed #4 Drums of Autumn. I have been looking on iTunes for the unabridge version and can't find it. I went to the website you told of in your blog and still no luck. I would so love to have it in my iTunes library. Any insight on what's going on with the Unabrdged version of Drums of Autumn?
    BTW- I think that if ever your wonderful books are made into film, I think that the Mini-Series format would do a great job of not cutting out any parts. Better yet just make a NEW TV series from your books. We all could be intertained for years from your stories.(That's without anyone else having to add or delete anything from you masterpieces!)
    Thank you so much for Jamie and Claire!
    Kay in MI

  47. I definitely will be buying audiobooks for my second go-round. I don't think that the Scots accent in my head is doing anyone justice!

  48. I have read all the series and now listed to the abridged audio CDs in my car--I agree they leave out way too much. I know this is a little off the topic, but as I was listening to the CD today, I wondered about Claire frequently drinking alcohol while pregnant. As a nurse, I would think she would know of the dangers, but often during her pregnancy with Faith, she drinks. I am not being critical, just wondering about your thoughts on this. Thanks so much! Marcia P.S. I can't wait to read an Echo in the Bones!

  49. Marcia,

    Keep in mind that Claire went through the stones the first time in the mid 1940's. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome wasn't really known about until the mid 1970's. The Surgeon General's advisory about drinking alcohol while pregnant made it's appearance in the early 1980's. I don't think that even a nurse in the 1940's would have too many concerns about moderate drinking.

    My own mother didn't drink once she knew she was pregnant (we're talking 1960's) because it made her throw up! She says she didn't need a pregnancy test - just a drink to let her know!

  50. I agree that Fetal Alcohol Syndrome was so named in 1973, but I believe the link between alcohol usage and fetal damage was made in the early 1900s. I always imagine Claire to be a very wise woman, and considering her problems with pregnancy, her drinking seems inconsistent to me. I'm probably making too big of a deal about it all, just wondered what the author's thoughts were.

  51. Marcia,
    Well, I'm sure the author can answer your question much better than I can. I hadn't realized the question was meant for her only. In any case, I have seen her answer this question before, and I had agreed with her take on it in terms of historical accuracy.

    I hadn't realized there was any early 1900's knowledge that alcohol consumption could be harmful to a fetus. Who knew this and if it were common medical knowledge why did it take until 1973 for scientists to stumble upon a classification for FAS? You've got me curious now! (g)

  52. Diana,

    I am just curious, what has Davina Porter said about the series? Is she as "involved" with the story as all of us are? She must be, how could you not?

    I am going out tomorrow and buying the audio book of Outlander, unabridged of course. I have read the books twice. Waiting patiently for Echo. I simply can not read anything else.

  53. By the way I believe Kate Beckinsale would make a beautiful Claire, maybe?

  54. I was just listening to Disk 31 of Voyager tonight on my way home from work. Jamie and Claire are in Jamaica at Governor Lord John's party, after the murder, and Lord John has just told Claire about Geneva and Willie. It occurred to me that I would love for Claire and Jamie to tell Lord John the truth about Claire and the time traveling. I wonder what his reaction would be...

  55. Diana, I have heard Ms. Kingston mentioned too many times to count for Claire and I never saw it in her either. She's a marvelous actress, more hansome than pretty, and no where near the beauty that your Claire is. And I agree, the hair is all wrong. Lovely to hear it directly from you. Rachel Weisz has been my pick since I first saw her in The Mummy, and I was astonished at how much the drawing resembled her.

    I have never listened to the audio versions, I love the simple pleasure of holding a book and enjoying it at my own pace, re-reading passages and taking my time over the especially good bits (cough). I absolutely would never be able to listen to an abridged version... and I cannot even imagine a DIA without Fergus!!!

  56. Dear Marcia--

    No, _au contraire_. Much later than the 40's, women were still being advised to have a drink to prevent premature contractions, or simply to "relax" them during the stresses of pregnancy. Much more so, to aid lactation.

    I was pregnant during the _80's_, and was repeatedly told by older women that I should drink beer to improve my milk-flow. (Luckily not necessary. A hungry baby--or three--will improve your milk-flow like nobody's business. Moooo.)

    Anyway, no. No one in the 40's would have considered alcohol use injurious to a pregnant woman--and in fact, alcohol consumption doesn't cause miscarriage of the sort Claire had; that was (judging by the symptoms) almost certainly a placental abruption or a ruptured placenta previa.

    I'll ask my friend Dr. Blacklidge (a nice English gentleman who took his medical training in the UK at about the same time Claire becme a doctor--in the late 50's) if he remembers what the official attitude toward alcohol and pregnancy would have been somewhat earlier--but going on reading general accounts of life circa WWII, I'm sure Claire wouldn't have had anything like the modern hysterical attitude toward it (not saying one -should- drink while pregnant, mind; just noting that people _did_, for hundreds of years, and there does not appear to have been widespread fetal abnormality as a result. (Note also that, given the sanitary conditions of the day, it was likely much safer--from the point of view of bacterial infection--to have been drinking beer or wine--than either water or milk (bovine tuberculosis caught through unpasteurized milk being a substantial risk of TB in humans)--and Claire _would_ have known _that_.)

  57. I personally think it is like anything else -- if you do it in moderation, then it will be fine.

    When I was pregnant with my first baby in the late 80's I was of course, clueless, and we were having our work Christmas party. I wasn't showing yet and someone handed me a glass of champagne. I was going to say no thanks, when a co-worker, a mother of multiple children, said to me, "Awww, go ahead, have a glass of champagne. I always said, if a kid of mine isn't tough enough to take a glass of wine or beer now and then, they'll never survive in my house!"

    Since I'd already been told to give up coffee, whenever I was seen sipping at a mug, that's what I would say. "Heck, if a kid of mine can't take a cup of coffee now and then (and the occasional glass of wine!) ..."

    But then again, whenever my son does something, flunks a test, acts inappropriate, my husband always says "it's because you drank coffee and alcohol during his pregnancy!" LOL

    It's always our fault. We may as well take our simple pleasures when we can grab them!

  58. Diana: Thanks for your reply, it makes sense--but I was wondering did you really post that at 3:03 am! My hat's off to you if you stayed up that late or got up that early!
    I guess one of the scenes I was thinking of was when Claire and Jaime hid out in their room after Jaime (unwillingly) punished Fergus and they shared two bottles of wine--well, maybe one. As an attorney (as is your sister, I believe I read somewhere)and used to researching everything, I just did a quick check of historical references to find that the earliest correlation between maternal alcohol use and fetal damage was made in 1899. But I will be interested in hearing what your friend Dr. Blacklidge has to say as well.
    And I don't know if you get tired of hearing it, Diana, but thank you for Jaime and Claire, your books, and your willingness to make yourself available to those who love your work.

    Diane M--I did appreciate your comments and hope you will forgive me if I sounded abrupt.

  59. Diana,

    I have to say - I have never once been tempted to pick up a graphic novel. However, I CANNOT wait for Outlander to come out in this format. I did give my head a shake when I first heard but it was immediately replaced by a smile.

    I adore your work. I am confident this version of Outlander will be as brilliant (even if different) as the original. I look forward to reading it as I look forward to reading your really big books, too.

    I like the picture of Claire. I can see how she would be a remarkable creature back in time - she has that look. As for being too beautiful - we all can glam it up when we need too. I just finished A Breath of Snow and Ashes (again) yesterday and this makes me think about when Claire plaits Jamie's hair and then tidies herself up as they are shut up in the house on Fraser's Ridge - mob waiting to take Claire away for Malva's murder. Jamie calls her verra beautiful.

    So, all I can say is - I trust you to handle our beloved characters right!!!! After all I am thinking you love them, too.

    Now as for the cork screw curls ….. This was driving me crazy so I searched Outlander for the description of Claire’s hair that sticks in my mind ….

    Outlander Chapter: One Fine Day (This is one of my favourite chapters!!!)
    Hardcover page 227:
    “You’ve the loveliest hair,” said Jamie …..
    “What? This?” I raised a hand self consciously to my locks, which as usual could be politely described as higgledy-piggledy.” “….. but it is so curly.”

    ….”I heard one of Dougal’s girls say … that it would take three hours with hot tongs to make hers look like that….. My sister Jenny’s hair is curly, too, but not so much as yours.”

    So there you have it – I leave up to you - the author - as to what higgledy-piggledy curls look like!!!!! Although, when one thinks of a pig (piggledy) one does think of the corkscrew type tail ……. Maybe that is where the confusion comes in.


    PS - I do like this version of Claire better than the one on the Cross Stitch cover!!!!

  60. Dear Diana,

    Folks _may_ have been connecting Alex Kingston's hair with Claire because of a line from the beginning of OUTLANDER. I don't have my copy to hand at the moment, but the one I'm thinking of is when the landlady at the boarding house(can't even recall her name, sorry) thought Claire had been the victim of a bad home perm. Alex Kingston, bad could definitely connect those two images. ;-)


  61. The definition of "higgledy-piggledy" is to be out of order, in a disarray, not neat and tidy, carelessly arranged. The Oxford English Dictionary suggests that the closest this expression comes to having to do with pigs is “the disorderly and utterly irregular fashion in which a herd of these animals huddle together”

    Higgledy-piggledy has nothing to do with pigs' tails or corkscrew curls. To me, Claire's hair is a mass of soft curls that just can't be easily controlled. Alex Kingston, or anyone else with corkscrew curls, actually has an order to her curls. They are neatly arranged in corkscrews that predictably fall in orderly columns.

    As for the springing back nature of Claire's curls...curls don't have to be corkscrew curls to spring back. I have VERY curly hair. Some of my curls can corkscrew, but not all, and not every day. It depends a lot on the weather and how I brush it or leave it alone. Most of my curls are big soft curls. That's not wavy, that's not corkscrew, that's CURLY. They pull long when stretched and boing back into place, and yet they are still soft, messy, disorderly, and springy.

    People tell me they would kill to have my curls. It _would_ take someone three hours to achieve what my hair does with a set of hot tongs. It is even harder to achieve what I have _because_ they aren't tight, neat corkscrews.

    It's really not a big deal to have an image in your mind of one kind of curl or another or to have your own image of what a character looks like. This happens all the time for readers, for a variety of reasons. If you really go back and carefully read and understand the terminology used and go for an overall image based on all the descriptions you can put together a vision that will be closer to what the author's conception is of the character.

    I think keeping an overall image in mind is what we need to do when trying to visualize how Claire will be represented in the graphic novel. It is not this pre-WWII posed glam shot that will be the overall image of Claire, but rather hundreds of individual shots that will show her in different periods of time, emotion, light, and hair-dos. By carefully reading what Diana has posted here on this blog, that's the impression that I have gleaned.

  62. Diane,

    I couldn't agree more - I also have curly hair with body that looks different depending on seasons, weather, etc. I just wondered if that was the term that might have got folks thinking about cork screws!!! I also know what it is like to say, "you mean this?" When folks wish they had my hair - I would prefer straight raven black hair ... whatever! I think the striking thing about Claire's hair is that is it out there! Her attitude about not covering her head is what strikes me and the image of Claire for the graphic novel gets it right in that the eyes capture Claire's strength and independence.

    Regardless, when I read An Echo in the Bone, it is not going to be that painting I think of. I will be there in my mind and the characters will act, move and look as they always have.

  63. Jewell,

    Your quote: "Regardless, when I read An Echo in the Bone, it is not going to be that painting I think of. I will be there in my mind and the characters will act, move and look as they always have."

    Exactly. That is the way it should be. It's OK to have your own image and it is unavoidable to have your own image. Everybody does.

    However, that doesn't mean that it is the same image as the author's conception or that the facts are correct in that image as far as the text goes. However(again), that really isn't a big deal. I'd like to see others relax and enjoy Diana's Claire, even if it isn't the same as the one they have construed in their own minds. Both can exist!

  64. Diane ...

    This is one of the reasons we love Diana's work - she "shows" rather than "tells" leaving the reader to draw on their own experiences to create the world in which her novels are set.

    She is a master writer.

    I think it is exciting to get a wee peek at what is actually happening in Diana's mind - with regards to the characters.

    I also think it is telling that she set up this blog ... the great Claire hair debate!!!! Cannot wait until Jamie comes!!!!

    Makes waiting for An Echo in the Bone a bit easier!!!!

  65. I can't WAIT to see all the graphics. I have my own image of Claire (not quite so dainty, I have to say -- maybe it's the pouty lips) but it fascinates me to see what the author had in mind and compare it to my own.

    I adore this series. Didn't discover these books until Fiery Cross had already been out for some time. All the reviews were so good that I decided to give Outlander a try (I refuse to start any series in the middle). It sat on the kitchen table for a month. I find the concept of time travel is so far fetched that I couldn't even make myself start the book. I gave myself a firm scolding, saying if I wasn't hooked in 100 pages then I didn't have to read it. Well, it took much less than 100 pages to discover that the book was much less about time travel per se than about going someplace completely unfamiliar and having to cope. I blew through the rest of the books in about six weeks. Thank you, Diana, for these wonderful stories.

    And now, I'm ready for Echo in the Bone!

  66. Dear Diane--

    "By carefully reading what Diana has posted..."

    THANK you for that!


  67. Diana,

    Well, geez, you _have_ repeated yourself here a few times! [bg]

  68. hey... wait a minute... if those bantom ppl have a ten yr license, and Book 6 just came out, does it mean it will take ten yrs for tht audiobook to be available freely ??? :O


  69. Dear Rashi--

    Oh, the unabridged version of ABOSA is available _now_; you just can't buy it in stores for another eight years, but would have to buy it online.

    This is no business for an impatient person, believe me. [wry g]

  70. * a very big grimace *
    I dont want to rent it, because then i dun HAVE it.
    Buying online is soo... hmm... well, its just that is much better in some respects (not the aspect that it doesnt carry half hte things ofcourse)

  71. This is my first visit to the blog, and I am a huge fan of the books. I just wanted to say that I am so grateful to Mrs. Gabaldon for writing these books. They are a recent discovery for me, and I can't imagine not knowing these characters. I'm a 21 year old female bookseller (I work at Borders) and I can't believe it took me so long to pick them up. The truth is, I picked them purely based on length, both per book and as a series. (I read so fast that I'm thrilled whenever I see a nice fat novel.)I had the first book for like 2 weeks before I finally convinced myself to pick it up and actually read it. I'm so mad I wasted those 2 weeks!:) Well, I blew through the series in about 3 weeks, and I can't imagine having to wait another YEAR! to find out what happens next! I imagine so many people have waited a lot longer than me, and god bless them. I understand the methadone list, for sure! I wanted to thank you, becase I got my mom to read these books. I got my love and passion for reading from her, but she's doesn't read anything...fanciful? You know, she's never picked up a fantasy or anything "supernatural" or even romance. So, anyway, I read quite a bit of supernatural fiction (the good stuff,'s disturbing how much of it is utter crap...who's buying that shite?) and her and I have never seen eye-to-eye, but I begged and cajoled and she finally started Outlander, I think just to get me to leave her alone :) and I chivvied her through the first 100 pages and suddenly she was addicted. I could see the fever in her eyes one day. [g] We have really bonded over these books and talk about them all the time. So thank you so much for writing that "practice" novel. The world will never be the same. By the way, I'm going to get fired if I don't stop recommending your books to every single customer! "Oh, you want the new Grisham? Well let me show you these novels, they're much better than Grisham!" If you notice a sudden upswell in sales in Spokane, WA you know who to thank! This has been incredibly long-winded, sorry. Please slap me if it's really irritating. Anyway, thank you for sharing these characters with us. I feel like I have a second, much more interesting, family! :)

    P.S. My mom and I have always said Gerard Butler is perfect for Jamie, and when we saw the art for the GN, we both gasped. That IS Claire!!

  72. Diana,

    I just found your blog! I've listened to all the recorded books versions and I love them all. I found them all at libraries around me. I'm so hooked by them that I seriously start to go through withdrawals when I'm done listening. No pressure, but I can't wait for the next book! I don't care if it takes years it just enough to know there will be another one! :)

  73. Ashley1216,

    Your blog hit home with me, I do not work at a book store but I go a lot just to wander is so relaxing looking at all the books...anyway, when I am standing and just checking out Diana's books, I will notice customers browsing and I so want to tell them about Outlander!!! When I am with my kids they insist I mind my own business and stop pushing my books on others!!!

    I agree, that life is so much better thanks to Diana's wonderful characters. Mine is anyway.

    Gerard Butler is my Jamie, the way he looks in Beowulf and Grendel...hmmmm, very nice.

  74. I have to admit that I badgered my library into withdrawing the abridged versions because I couldn't stand to have anyone miss any part of all the beautifully interwoven story lines.
    Davina Porter could read the phone book and make it sound sensational but her voice and your words make beautiful music together. Even when I am reading the actual books the characters speak with her voices in my head.
    Bit gushy but true :-)

  75. Diana,

    I can't wait for the Graphic Novel. I have purchased the entire Outlander series 3 or four times now, because I buy them for friends to read. I can never lend my own copies.

    As for what these characters look like, well, I always see Claire as me and Jaime as my husband but with long red hair, and sexier. not that my husband isn't sexy.. but well.. you know.

    Thank you for your books, they have brought a lot of joy to many lives.

  76. Hi Diana!
    I have read all of the Outlander books and have my own version of what Claire and Jamie look like. The posted picture of Claire was quite a surprise, but it is starting to grow on me. I am now axious to see how your picture of Jamie compares to the one in my head!
    As far as a movie goes, I am not sure about this. Again, your descriptions have put, and pretty much kept, visions in my head. As happy as I am with the visual effects in my head, I am not sure if I would see the movie or not. Part of me, like I said, is very content with my own pictures, yet part of me would be curious to see it on screen. Baby steps I guess...Meanwhile, I am already looking forward to 2009-more Jamie and Claire books-I can't wait. I look forward to the next one as soon as I am done reading the current one!!
    Elaine in West Chester, PA

  77. Diana
    I can't get over all the comments about Claire's hair and how she looks. I think the picture is an
    excellent rendering of Claire. I am anxious to see Murtagh. Point taken about how Jack Randall should look and not necessarily like Jason Isaacs (your right it did have to do w/ him playing an evil English officer).
    I did have a comment about the mention of Faith in Vogager and DOA.
    I appreciated Claire's comment to Jamie in DOA about Faith and how you can never really lose a child.
    Very poignant and hitting close to home for me. My son Samuel was stillborn 13 yrs. ago.And you(Claire) are right you can't lose a child. Thank you for mentioning Faith now and then.It always gives me a warm feeling.
    Keep writing

  78. I really like the picture of Claire on the inside cover of Outlander beside the white horse. Wonder is that supposed to be Jamie on opposite page? I have pictured him differently in my mind's eye.

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