The National Post spoke with Diana Gabaldon while she was in Canada for her Written in My Own Heart’s Blood book tour. She discussed the TV series, the spotlight, and why this is her most complex novel. Below are excerpts, but please read the whole article. It also has a very nice photo of Diana (above) taken by Laura Pedersen of The National Post.
Gabaldon seems poised to follow the path from bestselling cult writer to semi-celebrity recently trod by another formerly misunderstood genre author, George R.R. Martin, whose Game of Thrones has made him a bonafide pop culture phenomenon – that is, if she embraces the spotlight.
“You kind of have a choice as to whether to do that or not,” she says, sitting in a boardroom in the downtown Toronto offices of Showcase, which will air the series in Canada beginning in late August. “The opportunity certainly occurs – it has been occurring, now and then, on a lesser level, thank God. I don’t know. I’ll deal with it one incident at a time, as it goes along. We’ll just see. I’m 62. I’m too old to have my head turned, as it were, or be something that I’m not.”
As complex as her previous books might have been – her website features a handy guide explaining the series’ chronology so as to not overwhelm new readers – her latest is “probably the most technically ambitious thing I’ve ever done,” she says, weaving eight separate storylines into one novel – or, as her editor called it after reading the manuscript, “the literary equivalent of juggling half-a-dozen chainsaws.”
“I don’t like to do things that I’ve done before, so every book is unique in structure, approach, voice, theme, et cetera,” she says.Written In My Own Heart’s Blood, which clocks in at 825 pages, is only the third-longest entry in a series of books that could double as bricks, were you building a house.
She recalls one meeting with a “very nice producer [who] flew in from Hollywood to talk with me.” Over lunch, she pitched the idea of turning Gabaldon’s novels into a four-hour miniseries with ABC. When talk turned to potential actors, the producer agreed that Jamie had to be Scottish, of course, but told Gabaldon “‘I don’t see why we couldn’t make Claire be an America.’ I said, ‘Well, in that case you don’t see why I won’t give you the option.’ “
Source: The National Post