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Favorite HF Authors > Diana Gabaldon

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message 1: by Colleen (new)

Colleen MacGregor (colleenmacgregor) | 2 comments I'm new to this but isn't Diana Gabaldon the queen of hostorical fiction?


message 2: by Whitney (new)

Whitney (whitneychakara) | 33 comments Says who?


message 3: by Colleen (new)

Colleen MacGregor (colleenmacgregor) | 2 comments I would love to find someone that I loved as much. I welcome suggestions.


message 4: by JC (new)

JC (jmnc) | 528 comments I recently read The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley and it had the same feel as a DG novel, I highly recommend it.


message 5: by Nancy from NJ (new)

Katz Nancy from NJ (nancyk18) I don't think that Gabaldon is the queen but I could be wrong. Actually she emphatecally told an online book group I was in that her book should have been categorized as fiction BUT the powers that be strongly suggested to her that Outlander be placed in romance so it might sell. They also said they would put her future books in fiction which never happened since by the time the second book was published she became known as a romance writer. Frankly I always thought her books were time travel. As for better HF writers I would suggest Anya Seton, Celeste DeBlasis, Sharon Kay Penman, Allison Wier and so on. Again genre headings blur to many but a good book is a good book. Never gonna find one author who suits everybody's needs or wants. BTW - Never cared for this writer's books and I did try reading the first two, two times and then said no more.


message 6: by jb (new)

jb Byrkit (jbbyrkit) I read Outlander all the way through. I did not like the book ..... Definitely not for me.


message 7: by Jackie (last edited Feb 19, 2012 12:49PM) (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) | 2231 comments I love the Outlander series. They remain one of my faves, but I wouldn't call her the queen of HF. She can certainly use a good editor, especially for the later books. I love her use of historical detail, but I think she over does it in book 5.


message 8: by Nancy from NJ (new)

Katz Nancy from NJ (nancyk18) Jackie wrote: "I love the Outlander series. They remain one of my faves, but I wouldn't call her the queen of HF. She can certainly use a good editor, especially for the later books. I love of her use of historic..."

I also thought she was way too wordy and attributed this to why I didn't care for her first two books.


message 9: by Whitney (new)

Whitney (whitneychakara) | 33 comments Didnt mean my comment to sound snappy was very tired from either school or work I dont remember which as they both run together.

I dont know about Diana Gabaldon though I have her first book in the Outalander and in the spin off but have not read them from what I heard even those who like her are kinda effy on something about a beating that the main character gets I'm not trying to read about a main character who is cool with being abused right now. Its just not something I want.
Again I have not read the books so I may be reading to much into the scene I will give it a try before the end of the year and then I can form a better opinion of the series.


Allison (The Allure of Books) (inconceivably) | 230 comments I love the Outlander series! Nice mix of historical and romance. Still though...

I think trying to universally agree on a queen of HF is...never gonna happen.


message 11: by Whitney (new)

Whitney (whitneychakara) | 33 comments Allison (The Allure of Books) wrote: "I love the Outlander series! Nice mix of historical and romance. Still though...

I think trying to universally agree on a queen of HF is...never gonna happen."


Agreed


message 12: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Dray (stephaniedray) | 44 comments She is the queen of making hatable villains as far as I'm concerned. I'm in the midst of reading the second book in the Outlander series and I shook my fist and shouted when someone who should have been dead turned out not to be!


message 13: by Kate (new)

Kate Quinn | 544 comments Says the woman who created a more hateable villain in Emperor Augustus than I have seen in many a day . . .


message 14: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Dray (stephaniedray) | 44 comments Kate wrote: "Says the woman who created a more hateable villain in Emperor Augustus than I have seen in many a day . . ."

Why Kate, that's the nicest thing anyone's ever said to me :P


message 15: by Lori Ann (new)

Lori Ann (sassenachla) If it wasn't for Outlander, I wouldn't be here today! Cheers to Diana!


message 16: by Melodi (new)

Melodi | 37 comments I think it depends on what kind of historical fiction you're looking for. I think James Michener, James Clavel, Sharon Kay Penman, etc are more true to the historical side on historical fiction books. Where DG books are more fictional/romance with a little bit of historical.

I think books categorized as historical fiction often don't have much historical aspects to it, but the book takes place back in time say in England, therefore it's considered historical fiction. I tend to like books that are more "historical" than fictional. But I do like them fictionalized so they are easier to read. Sometimes the author has to add fiction to fill holes or gaps in a historical story because theres not enough information known about that time period.

Kinda went off topic, sorry :)


message 17: by Stacey (new)

Stacey (slkenn79) | 75 comments Melodi wrote: "I think it depends on what kind of historical fiction you're looking for. I think James Michener, James Clavel, Sharon Kay Penman, etc are more true to the historical side on historical fiction boo..."

I like both, just depends on what I'm in the mood for.


message 18: by Anne (new)

Anne (gloucester) | 23 comments Diana and I talked about why she is on the Romance shelf as I was worried when I first started writing that my books would end up there (because of the love story that anchors all of them), and she agreed she was not happy, but boy have her books sold! Now I'm wondering if mine would have done even better had they also been lumped in with Romance. I think because my characters for the most part are real people, I got put in Fiction or Historical Fiction.In this down market, it's hard to know what sells a book.


message 19: by Bobbye (new)

Bobbye Hudspeth (bobbyesox) | 23 comments I think DG is one of those authors that does really really well with those that follow her avidly, while those that don't love her writing absolutely hate it. Not a lot of middle ground. Which is another reason that I agree that it would be impossible to name a "queen" of any genre. Too many differing reading styles and opinions.

I feel for everyone who soul searches trying to decide where they belong on the bookshelves. The American Civil War was the central theme of my debut novel so they had no problem placing it, the second novel is decidedly chick-lit, but the third is going to be a toss up. I think (hope, pray, want to believe) that even in this grotesquely saturated market, good writers will rise to the top and will eventually find their niche among readers that will appreciate them. Diana certainly found hers, no matter where her books were filed. And I applaud her talent AND her marketing.


message 20: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) | 2231 comments Anne wrote: "Diana and I talked about why she is on the Romance shelf as I was worried when I first started writing that my books would end up there (because of the love story that anchors all of them), and she..."

Just curious- do you feel like you won't be taken seriously if your book is labeled Romance?


message 21: by Kate (new)

Kate Quinn | 544 comments I think there is a connotation that romance is not a genre for "serious" writers. Never mind the fact that most books have at least a touch of romance/love/sex in them.


message 22: by Anne (new)

Anne (gloucester) | 23 comments Jackie wrote: "Anne wrote: "Diana and I talked about why she is on the Romance shelf as I was worried when I first started writing that my books would end up there (because of the love story that anchors all of t..."
I just don't think my books belong in Romance. Of course those writers are serious about their craft, I just think of myself as more historically based than romantically. I'm not sure a lot of romance readers would have patience with all the historical facts and details that I include. Hope that sounds fair.


message 23: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) | 2231 comments Anne wrote: "I just don't think my books belong in Romance. Of course those writers are serious about their craft, I just think of myself as more historically based than romantically. I'm not sure a lot of romance readers would have patience with all the historical facts and details that I include. Hope that sounds fair."


Yes, it does :) Please don't think I was trying to call you out. I was genuinely curious because I've had the conversation with other authors and there seems to be a stigma regarding the romance genre. It's the same with books that are labeled Young Adult.

There is a GoodReads group here that focuses on romantic historical fiction. To meet their criteria books should have both history and romance in equal measure. I find that many readers think that because a story is set in the past it makes the book historical, but that's not true.


message 24: by Geoff (new)

Geoff Woodland | 68 comments I classed my own book as HF, with adventure, but female readers have classed it as a ‘romance’ story, to such an extent that it is #1 for ‘romance slavery’ on Amazon. My 'problem' is that the slavery aspect of the story is the back cloth, not the main thrust. Would you say that the reader is always correct in their classification of a story, regardless of the author’s opinion?
I don't care which slot the reader places my book, as long as it is read, and hopefully enjoyed :-o)


message 25: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) | 2231 comments Geoff (Scouse) wrote: "I classed my own book as HF, with adventure, but female readers have classed it as a ‘romance’ story, to such an extent that it is #1 for ‘romance slavery’ on Amazon. My 'problem' is that the slave..."

Wow, I didn't realize there was such a thing as 'romance slavery.'

I wish more authors had your attitude in regards to placement. :)


message 26: by C.P. (last edited Jan 17, 2013 05:22PM) (new)

C.P. Lesley (cplesley) | 673 comments Jackie wrote: "there seems to be a stigma regarding the romance genre."
There does, and that's too bad, because romance writers work just as hard on their books as everyone else. The books sell well, and much of the content is just as good as novels in any other genre.

One issue for me is the genre constraints of romance, by which I mean that if a book is labeled as romance, readers seem to expect the love story to unfold according to a specific pattern. I have no problem with that, but I don't usually manage to follow the conventions in my own books. Hence I categorize my books as historical fiction rather than historical romance because I want to avoid disappointing people.


message 27: by Kate (new)

Kate Quinn | 544 comments Yes, that can be both the problem and the saving grace for a category like romance: by definition, it must end in a happily-ever-after. If you want to be surprised by what you read, a category romance may not do it for you because there isn't much suspense. But if you are in a mood simply for some cheering up, or if a romance writer is a good enough writer of scene and character that you simply enjoy the ride, then category romance can be just the thing.

I know a lot of good romance writers, and one thing they all agree on is that many of their fans dive into romance as escapism. They all agreed that they'd gotten a lot of touching fan mail where people said that romances were just the thing to cheer them up through family troubles/health problems/other black areas of life.


message 28: by Jesse (new)

Jesse Coffey (jessevcoffey) | 4 comments I would most definitely call her a "Queen of Historical Fiction". She does a great deal of research and is quite true to the period. I am most unabashedly in love with the "Outlander" series, as well as the Lord John Grey spin off series. And yes, she does bristle at the "romance" label -- but only because the emphasis of her books is not on the romance of Jamie and Claire, but the time in which they live. "Outlander" did, and does, fit the genre, but the remainder are most solidly in the Historical genre.

But I would also consider Susan Higganbotham a "Queen of HF" as well. Bloody brilliant that one. As well as Philippa Gregory, Karen Marie Moning, and Lorrieann Russell as queens.


message 29: by Beth (new)

Beth Camp I too admire Diana Gabaldon, but I'm always looking for good historical fiction reads, especially in the 19th Century (and Australia). I had trouble finding Susan until I did a google search as her last name is HIGGINBOTHAM and she has a fascinating website http://www.susanhigginbotham.com/ Which of her books would you recommend?


message 30: by Beth (last edited Jan 19, 2013 08:51PM) (new)

Beth Camp Just following up on what Anne and Jackie wrote (see below). OK so my current wip has a love story, but that's not as central as the struggle of three key characters to survive through a very difficult time. I've always thought of romantic historical fiction (what some agents call historicals), as closer to cozy romance or steamy bodice rippers. And I'm writing what I consider conventional historical fiction. So is this dated? Love to see more comments on this tension between the writer telling a story and finding the right niche for readers. Because knowing the audience affects the writer's pitch, blurb, and overall marketing. Comment?

Anne wrote: "I just don't think my books belong in Romance. Of course those writers are serious about their craft, I just think of myself as more historically based than romantically. I'm not sure a lot of romance readers would have patience with all the historical facts and details that I include. Hope that sounds fair."

Jackie wrote: Yes, it does :) Please don't think I was trying to call you out. I was genuinely curious because I've had the conversation with other authors and there seems to be a stigma regarding the romance genre. It's the same with books that are labeled Young Adult.

There is a GoodReads group here that focuses on romantic historical fiction. To meet their criteria books should have both history and romance in equal measure. I find that many readers think that because a story is set in the past it makes the book historical, but that's not true.



message 31: by Eileen (last edited Mar 20, 2013 05:56PM) (new)

Eileen Iciek | 459 comments Diana Gabaldon is a delightful mix of historical fiction and romance and adventure. I learn from her books, as I do from the best of historical fiction, there's romance as well, and she has you on a roller coaster of adventure in all her books.

When I first heard of her books, I thought "time travel and historical" I really don't like to mix my genres. But when I finally got into her books, I became addicted. I listened to them in audio in 2011, finally getting to The Scottish Prisoner by year end. Listened to a few audio books after that, but then decided the best thing to do was listen to her books again! Just finished the 2nd round of them.

I can understand why some readers might not like her - she does have a number of words and phrases that get reused, and some of the story lines seem quite unlikely, but no matter. I find them remarkably engrossing and the only reason I am glad I didn't read them sooner than 2011 is that I was able to read so many all at once, rather than having to wait for years between new books.


message 32: by Christine (new)

Christine Malec | 169 comments I love the Outlander series too. I remember declining social opportunities when I finally got a copy of A Breath of Snow and Ashes; Lizzie's romance was especially entertaining. I'm ok with events being a bit unlikely; if I wanted 100% credible I'd read nonfiction. I got lost in An Echo in the Bone though, she lost me or I lost her, not sure which. One problem I had was that it really bugs me when a book ends on such an obvious cliff-hanger. I think a book, even part of a series, should have a complete shape.


message 33: by Anne (new)

Anne (gloucester) | 23 comments Christine wrote: "I love the Outlander series too. I remember declining social opportunities when I finally got a copy of A Breath of Snow and Ashes; Lizzie's romance was especially entertaining. I'm ok with events ..."

I agree with you Christine, a book should have its own arc. All of mine are about the York family in the Wars of the Roses and overlap to some extent, but each of them is complete and you do not need to have read the others to know what is going on. I have to remind myself of that when I think I am repeating myself in the next book: "This might be the first (and perhaps only) book a reader picks up of mine. He/she needs to be informed fully in the context of this book." I do love bringing in previous characters, though. In ROYAL MISTRESS I have a fun scene between Richard III's ex-mistress, Kate (protagonist of my first book A ROSE FOR THE CROWN), and Jane Shore, his brother Edward IV's present mistress and the protagonist of RM.


message 34: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Cunningham Chakara wrote: "Says who?"
I adore the Outlander series, also. But you have to read the big books in order or it gets a bit confusing. I love Diana's characters and descriptions. Although the Jamie charachter is almost too perfect! You don't mind reading 979 pages by Diana. But not everyone likes her books.


message 35: by Eileen (new)

Eileen Iciek | 459 comments Lisa wrote: "Chakara wrote: "Says who?"
I adore the Outlander series, also. But you have to read the big books in order or it gets a bit confusing. I love Diana's characters and descriptions. Although the Jamie..."


Not sure I understand why not ;)


message 36: by Eric (new)

Eric | 10306 comments I'm hooked, though a tad disappointed in her "Echo In The Bone" last. Book eight is due in Sept. of this year. While a great series, I feel she should end it with this last publication. I will not read her "Lord Grey" series. Just me.


message 37: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Cunningham Isn't "Echo in the Bone" about the American Revolution? What disappointed you about it? I just finished "The Fiery Cross" and really enjoyed it. I was disappointed with "The Scottish Prisoner," which had both Lord Grey and Jamie Fraser in it. Not much really happened in that book.


message 38: by Eileen (new)

Eileen Iciek | 459 comments Lisa wrote: "Isn't "Echo in the Bone" about the American Revolution? What disappointed you about it? I just finished "The Fiery Cross" and really enjoyed it. I was disappointed with "The Scottish Prisoner," whi..."

The first 3 books take place before, during and after the Jacobite rebellion of Bonnie Prince Charlie. The next 4 are leading up to and during the American revolution. I would imagine book 8 will also be during the American revolution. I've heard the author say that she may end up with 9 books in total - 3 trilogies. So we could see another one.

I think the Lord John books and The Scottish Prisoner are the author's imagination going off on tangents exploring the lives of some of the characters she's created. I enjoyed The Scottish Prisoner since it told more of the story of Jamie's years at Helwater, and Lord John's realization at the end of the book.


message 39: by Eric (new)

Eric | 10306 comments Lisa wrote: "Isn't "Echo in the Bone" about the American Revolution? What disappointed you about it? I just finished "The Fiery Cross" and really enjoyed it. I was disappointed with "The Scottish Prisoner," whi..."

I thought "Echo" a bit lacking in descriptions, as if Diana was eager to get through writing it. You are correct, Lisa, it does reflect the start of the American Revolution.

Still, I await her eighth due out in Sept. 2013.


message 40: by Cateline (new)

Cateline I've enjoyed Gabaldon's series all the way through. Some more than others, it's true, but I believe any series is like that. Ups and downs, like life.

I've read a few of the Lord John series, and can, in the end, take them or leave them.

I'm happy to be discovering new authors in this thread, and encouraged to read the ones I already have on the shelf! :)

I do rather wish DG would stick to one thing at the time, and get the Jamie/Claire books out at a bit of a more rapid rate. By the time the new one comes out, I usually have to reread the previous, just to keep some of the "lesser" characters straight. heh


message 41: by Christine (new)

Christine Malec | 169 comments I'd be more excited about the latest Outlander book coming out if it wasn't for how I felt about the last one; it just didn't come together for me, and if I remember correctly, it ended with the last line being a question. I have a preference for a book being at least complete in itself, even when part of a series. I've enjoyed the others so much though, that I'll definitely be reading the latest with great interest.


message 42: by Eric (new)

Eric | 10306 comments If you read the Goodreads interview with Diana, she admits that "Written In My Own Heart's Blood" is not the last in the series. Perhaps book #9 will end it.

#8 will appear on my Kindle next week, June 10th. I look forward to it. I think the gap between her last and this one was five years? She used to average three. A busy and successful lady she is. Good for her.


message 43: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) | 2231 comments Eric wrote: "If you read the Goodreads interview with Diana, she admits that "Written In My Own Heart's Blood" is not the last in the series. Perhaps book #9 will end it.

#8 will appear on my Kindle next week..."


That's interesting. When I started Outlander a few years ago it seemed like she had a straightforward plan to end the series at #8. I wonder if the success has influenced her plans.


message 44: by Eric (new)

Eric | 10306 comments Jackie wrote: "That's interesting. When I started Outlander a few years ago it seemed like she had a straightforward plan to end the series at #8. I wonder if the success has influenced her plans."

I too was under the impression, book 8 would end it. She gave a reason for book 9 in the interview. I'll have to go find it again and maybe paste the blurb in here.


message 45: by Eric (new)

Eric | 10306 comments Okay I'm back. The Goodreads interview is here:

https://www.goodreads.com/interviews/...

"GR: And after 14 bestsellers in the Outlander universe, this is not yet the last book?

DG: There's one more. I've never been willing to commit to more than one at a time, because I just don't know—I don't plan the books out ahead of time. So I have no idea how much ground we'll cover. But there is certainly one, because I wasn't finished telling the story at the end of number 8."


message 46: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) | 2231 comments Thanks for linking the interview, Eric! Her writing process is interesting. I can see why the books are so long and detailed if she is writing by scene and piecing it together rather than going at it straight forward.


message 47: by Eric (new)

Eric | 10306 comments Jackie wrote: "Thanks for linking the interview, Eric! Her writing process is interesting. I can see why the books are so long and detailed if she is writing by scene and piecing it together rather than going at ..."

Glad you enjoyed it. Is an interesting way to write. I'd lose track and scribble off to oblivion. :)


message 48: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) | 2231 comments So would I. lol. I tend to write in pieces when I do my reviews, but they're short paragraphs. I can't imagine doing that for an entire book.


message 49: by Eric (new)

Eric | 10306 comments Jackie wrote: "So would I. lol. I tend to write in pieces when I do my reviews, but they're short paragraphs. I can't imagine doing that for an entire book."

I tried writing a book once from scratch. About my submarine days. Gave it up. Did publish technical papers in my time and edited my Dad's books for Kindle. I leave writing to the pros. Not unlike learning a musical instrument, when you hear the pros, you can appreciate the music much more. Diana Gabaldon is a pro!


message 50: by Linda (new)

Linda Ulleseit (lindaulleseit) | 41 comments I'm about halfway through her newest, and I am still a big big fan. I recently went to here Diana Gabaldon speak, and the audience was full of 50-ish women. One thing you can say about fans of romance (whether you think this book belongs in romance or not--I don't)is that the romance readers are FIERCELY loyal. They buy every book by the author, start book clubs around them, go to see them speak, etc. Romance writers and readers clubs are bigger than anything else around my town.


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