Diana Gabaldon Interview in The Sacramento Bee

Diana GabaldonPrior to Diana Gabaldon’s book tour stop in Sacramento, CA, she gave a phone interview with The Sacramento Bee about Outlander, Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, and her upcoming non-Outlander world novel.  It also has some quotes from her editor, Jennifer Hershey.  Here are some excerpts, but please read the who article on their site.

“I’ve spent the preceding two months working 15 hours a day in what I call the ‘final frenzy,’ finishing ‘Written in My Own Heart’s Blood,’ ” she said. “I made the drop-dead deadline one dawn after writing all night. The experience of finishing a book is like walking from California to Japan across the sea bed – there’s immense pressure and effort, but it’s an amazing journey. My life is never boring.”

“It’s an (epic) that exists on multiple levels,” she said. “It has a courtship story, which causes some people to say it’s a romance, but it’s not. It’s the evolution of a relationship. Romance novels don’t have sequels, and mine do.

“On another level, it explores the consequences of cultural dislocation – Claire living in 18th century Scotland – and metaphysical speculations through the time travel element,” Gabaldon said. “There’s moral ambiguity with time travel: If you travel into the past and you know a (disastrous event) is about to take place, do you have a responsibility to try to alter it?

“Another level is the entire second half of the 18th century, a really interesting time of tremendous political and intellectual foment, the echoes of which we are still feeling,” she continued. “You had all these entertaining conflicts – the Enlightenment, revolutions, new inventions and innovations, spiritual awakenings and the rise of rationalism.” (For research, she draws from her core collection of 1,500 volumes.)

“I do offer advice here and there, such as, ‘We may need more information about how (a certain character) fits into the action here, because it’s been so long since the reader has seen (him or her),’ ” said Jennifer Hershey, senior vice president and editor-in-chief of Brilliantine-Bantam-Dell.

“But I have to admit that a lot of what I do is just stand back and admire what she’s doing,” Hershey added. “Certainly I roll up my sleeves with some authors, and we take things apart together, but not with Diana. She does something so particular, and her world is so carefully calibrated and elaborately constructed, that it’s not something you can just go into and rummage around with your toolbox. It would be like taking a wrench to a really fine watch. So she doesn’t need a lot of help putting it all together. That’s what she excels at.”

Now that “Heart’s Blood” is out, Gabaldon is looking forward to returning to work on the first book in a contemporary mystery series set in Phoenix. “It’s half-completed. It has a male protagonist who’s a journalist, but I shouldn’t get into the plot,” she said. “I feel very comfortable with men. I like them. Many women don’t.”

Source: The Sacramento Bee

  • David R

    Thanks for sharing this – it was one of the better interview/biographies I’ve read about Dr. G. 🙂