“Diana Gabaldon and Outlander” was the only ticketed panel we attended at this year’s Tucson Festival of Books. By the time the session started, there was not an empty chair in the 300-seat auditorium.
Here is Ms. Gabaldon, along with the moderator for the session, Barbara Peters, a friend of Ms. Gabaldon’s and the owner of The Poisoned Pen, an independent bookstore located in Scottsdale, AZ.
The Outlander series has been published in 42 countries and in 38 languages. The series has also been adapted into a television show that appears on the Starz Channel.
The show is currently streaming Season 1 right now for FREE!!!
From the time Outlander was published in 1991, Hollywood was very interested in creating an adaptation of the book. Ms. Gabaldon used these criteria to select the person she wanted working on a tv/movie adaptation of Outlander.
- Someone who has read the book
- Someone who has previously made a movie/tv show
- Someone who understands the book
In the end, Ronald D. Moore, of Battlestar Galactica and Star Trek fame, fit the bill. He is the executive producer of the Outlander television series. It took 2 years of negotiation with Sony to make the show a reality.
Mr. Moore had previously signed a three pilot contract with Sony and the first two pilots he had created were not picked up. Outlander was his last shot.
Sony liked the pilot and agreed to produce the show. You can see Ronald in “Set Tour with Diana Gabaldon” below. Mr. Moore also creates a podcast to go along with each episode of Outlander, which can be found here.
In Season 1, Episode 4 of the Outlander TV series, “The Gathering,” Ms. Gabaldon appeared as a guest star. She was originally going to play an extra in a crowd. However, if she did that then she would have to stand in the same spot for three days. Instead, they created a small speaking role for her, Iona MacTavish, that only required one day on set.
In the above photo, along with the first image on this post, you can see the Claire Wedding Bear, released by Sony and created by the North American Bear Company. You can read more about the Claire Bear at Diana Gabaldon’s website and purchase an autographed bear on the Poisoned Pen’s website.
On June 14, 2016, the Outlander Kitchen will be available. It was written by chef and food writer Theresa Carle-Sanders. Ms. Carle-Sanders was a fan of the Outlander books and created recipes to the food items mentioned in them and posted them to her blog, which led to the cookbook. There is also an Outlander Coloring Book by Diana Gabaldon.
Ms. Gabaldon is currently working on the ninth book of the Outlander series, which does not yet have a title. In the above photo, she is reading the audience an excerpt during the session.
A few more nuggets from the panel:
- Ms. Gabaldon wrote an episode for the upcoming season, Season 2, Episode 11.
- Ms. Gabaldon doesn’t own the merchandise rights to anything related to her show; Sony does.
- Ms. Gabaldon uses first person accounts as a base for intense content in her books like fight scenes and psychological damage after trauma.
- Ms. Gabaldon writes 6-7 chunks of the story then moves them around to form the final book. It takes about 18 months to see the shape of the book, and it takes 2-3 years to complete a book.
We had a wonderful time at the panel and really enjoyed listening to Ms. Gabaldon.
By the way, on Thursday, April 7, USA Today will be hosting a live chat with Diana Gabaldon at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT. Read more at USA Today.
Are you a fan of Outlander? Let me know in the comments below!