Diana Gabaldon Discusses ‘Doctor Who,’ ‘Outlander’ & More with Interviewing Authors

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In a recent interview with Interviewing Authors, Diana Gabaldon touched on numerous topics related to her Outlander series. Gabaldon addressed many topics covered in previous interviews, but goes into great detail on her path to becoming a novelist, including her history with Disney and scientific publications. The interview also covers Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, fans’ initial reaction to the series, The Exile graphic novel, and the long, winding road to bring Outlander to life on screen.

Below are just a few excerpts from the interview, which you can listen to in its entirety in the player below or read the full transcript here.

The Doctor Who connection:

Well on this really old show that had to have been filmed 55 years ago at least, he picked up a young Scotsman from 1745. This was an 18, 19 year old young man who appeared in his kilt. I said oh that’s kind of fetching.

I found myself still thinking about this the next day and said well it doesn’t really matter where you set this book, why not? I said, fine, Scotland 18th century. So that’s where I began, knowing nothing about Scotland or the 18th century.

I had no plot, no outline and no characters, nothing but the rather vague images conjured up by the notion of a man in a kilt which is of course a very powerful and compelling image. So that’s where I began, the man in the kilt. I didn’t know who he was. I didn’t know anything about the history of Scotland so I wasn’t sure what clan he should belong to or what his family name was. I began with him. He did have a name.

The part played by the young man in the Doctor Who episode, that young Scotsman was named Jamie McCrimmon and so I called my main character Jamie as a sort of compliment to the original. Other than that there really was no connection between them, the name and the kilt. So he was just Jamie. He was Jamie blank for a while.

Fans’ initial reaction to Outlander:

What you actually asked me is how the fans reacted to them – with great enthusiasm. With the initial marketing, most of the fans had been and in some respect continue to be women. The male readership is certainly increasing, especially of late with the advent of the TV series I think. I expect that we will have a great many more, a larger swatch of humanity.

Source: Interviewing Authors