Ask the Author: Diana Gabaldon

“Ask me a question.” Diana Gabaldon

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Diana Gabaldon Well, Percy was deeply insecure--I mean, consider his background. And he was used to being sexually taken by anyone who wanted him; he'd been a prostitute. So I imagine he just didn't have the gumption to resist Weber's threat of blackmail; the sex itself would have seemed inconsequential to him.
Diana Gabaldon I try to be as accurate as possible (bearing in mind that history itself is not always all that accurate ). I think I've only bent dates twice that I recall--and I always put in an Author's Note when I do that.
Diana Gabaldon Yes, but I generally have much less time to work when I'm traveling, so may only be writing for an hour or two a day--mostly in the middle of the night, though sometimes in airports or on planes, depending on how urgent the work is.
Diana Gabaldon It's just in my head. I think in shapes; each scene and character has a shape, and the shapes of the scenes fit (eventually) into a bigger shape that's a book--but the shapes of the books in turn make a bigger shape, which is the overall story. I don't know what the shape will look like, though, until I've been working on whatever it is for a while.
Diana Gabaldon I don't even know how to work the DVR. I do binge-watch things occasionally--but I either do it with DVD's or download episodes of "Downton Abbey," "True Blood," or whatever. It's pretty rare that I have time to do that (both because of work, and because what time I _might_ devote to television watching is given to watching the show dailies and cuts of the evolving episodes--not merely because I'm a consultant on the show and need to tell the production people what I think about the occasional thing, but because they're fascinating!), though.
Diana Gabaldon Let's see-- I am simultaneously

1. Reading galley proofs for THE OUTLANDISH COMPANION, Volume 2, that's coming out in late October,

2. Working (slowly) on the early phases of Book Nine, and

3. Writing a script (fairly quickly) for Episode 211 of the TV show.

I was also writing a book review last week (of THE EXCHANGE OF PRINCESSES, by Chantal Thomas--excellent book, btw!) for the Washington Post, but that's done now.
Diana Gabaldon That's just the sort of normal vague answer you give to the kind of question that you don't really have an answer to, but people keep asking it all the time and get offended if you don't answer, because they think you're just keeping stuff from them.

I mean--I know (or suspect) a _few_ things that will probably happen, but I have zero idea as to when, where or how they might happen--and what I think might happen might not happen at all.
Diana Gabaldon Yes, several times. I go whenever I get the opportunity--beautiful part of the world!
Diana Gabaldon I do the US and UK, at least. (Korea, Croatia, etc., not so much...) Yes, there will be more of Lord John's story, in the fullness of time. Glad you enjoy him!
Diana Gabaldon I read all of the time, no matter what else I'm doing. I read just about anything, so long as it's well-written and has engaging characters--though probably I read more crime/mystery novels than any other major genre.
Diana Gabaldon Neither one, really. I just wanted to write a novel for practice, in order to learn how--and picked 18th century Scotland on a whim, having seen a young man in a kilt on an early episode of "Dr. Who" (no, the time-travel really had nothing to do with "Dr. Who"--that was a separate occurrence). Things just kind of evolved from there, but there was never "an idea" for the book.
Diana Gabaldon I think in shapes, is the short answer. The long answer(s) are in THE OUTLANDISH COMPANION books (the revised edition of Volume 1 came out in April--Volume 2 will be at the end of October).

But no, I don't keep notes; if I write anything down, it's gone. I do the research concurrently with the writing, so the overall timeline of historical events kind of takes shape in my head as I work; then the fictional "chunks" can eventually be sort of put in place along that rough backbone of events.
Diana Gabaldon I don't know. I don't plan the books out ahead of time (what fun would _that_ be?), so beyond a few vague notions, I don't have any idea what may or may not emerge in future stories.
Diana Gabaldon People keep asking that. I don't mean (at all) to sound snarky, but a) how on earth would I know that? I'm still in the early stages of _writing_ the book; the publisher wouldn't even _try_ to set a pub date until I was close to done, and b) (just out of curiosity) why do people want to know that? I mean, you're not going to miss the book, believe me. If I told you it would be out on May 10th, 2017 at midnight, how would that information affect your happiness or future behavior?
Diana Gabaldon Well, everyone has his or her own tastes in men, but I'm naturally gratified that a lot of people like Jamie, as I'm very fond of him myself. As for myself...I tend to fall in love pretty easily with sympathetic male characters, so it just depends what I've been reading.

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