Shelf Life Book news, reviews, trends, and talk

Tag: Outlander (1-2 of 2)

Diana Gabaldon: Books of My Life

The breathlessly anticipated eighth installment of Diana Gabaldon’s sweeping Outlander series has finally hit shelves. In honor of the publication of Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, we talked to Gabaldon about her favorite books.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What was your favorite book as a child?
DIANA GABALDON: You got me. I learned to read at age 3 and never stopped, so there are dozens of books I remember fondly from childhood: Alice in Wonderland, Daddy Long-Legs (which was not about a spider), all the OZ books, all of the biographies for “young people” that the local library had, Man-Eater (which was about tigers), The Moon-Spinners… Now, I do recall going to kindergarten, being given a copy of See Dick Run, flipping through it and tossing it on the table, saying — aloud, I was not a tactful child — “Who wants to read that?”

What is your favorite book that you read for school?
I don’t think I ever consciously separated “school” books from any others; I just read anything that came across my path. I do recall loving All Quiet on the Western Front, and I know I read it in a schoolroom, but I think I was in the sixth grade at the time, so it probably wasn’t assigned reading.

What’s a book that really cemented you as a writer?
Personally, I learned to read at the age of three, and have read non-stop ever since. You can read a lot of books in 59 years. I’m sure that every single book I’ve ever read has had some influence on me as a writer, whether negative (I’ve read a lot of books with the mounting conviction that I would never in my life do something like that) or positive.

Is there a book you’ve read over and over again?
Yes, hundreds of them. Most recently, I’ve re-read Phil Rickman’s Merrily Watkins series (for the third time) as additional enjoyment of his new volume in that series, The Magus of Hay. Great stuff!

What’s a classic that you’re embarrassed to say you’ve never read?
Can’t think of any. I’ve read a lot of classic literature from assorted cultures, and always glad to read more when one comes across my path — but why be embarrassed by the fact that flesh and blood has limits? Nobody’s read everything.

What’s a book you’ve pretended to have read?
I don’t usually do this, but if it’s small-talk in a social context, I’ll just nod and smile when someone mentions a book I’ve not read, and let them talk about it, in case it’s something I might want to read.

What’s a recent book you wish you had written?
Oh, Pandaemonium, by Chris Brookmyre! Just fabulous — such a layered, beautifully structured, engaging, intelligent book. I love all Chris’s stuff, but this was remarkable.

What’s a movie adaptation of a book that you loved?
Kipling’s The Man Who Would Be King; beautiful, lovely adaptation, and very faithful, too. And The Last of the Mohicans, which is somewhat more flexible, but still a good adaptation and a terrific movie. Good soundtrack, too.

What’s a book that people might be surprised to learn that you loved?
About half of what I read, probably. I really will read anything, from nonfiction to comic books, and like it all.

If there were only one genre you could read for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Probably mystery and crime. That genre unfailingly provides a coherent structure and guarantees moral content, which you need for a truly good book, while having enough flexibility for almost anything the writer wants to do.

What was the last book that made you laugh out loud, and what was the last one that made you cry?
Well, it was the one I was writing — Written in My Own Heart’s Blood — so I don’t know if that counts.

Do you read your books post-publication?
Absolutely! It wasn’t a Book when it left my hands, and it’s a huge thrill to open the package and find one, all fine and crisp and smelling new. I carry it around for days, fondling it at stop-lights and reading it in lines.

What are you reading right now?
Oh, let’s see… Hunting Shadows by Charles Todd and Deanna Raybourn’s City of Jasmine and rereading Shilpa Agarwal’s Haunting Bombay.

Diana Gabaldon answers burning questions about the next Outlander novel. Plus, the cover! -- EXCLUSIVE

To the Diana Gabaldon fans out there: You’ve been waiting patiently for the next Outlander novel since 2009′s An Echo in the Bone, but you’ll still have to wait until December for the eighth installment, Written in My Own Heart’s Blood. The novel will follow your favorite characters through revolutionary Philadelphia as Jamie makes a dramatic return to Claire’s side, a new army sweeps the city, and romance and violence brew. While you’re waiting, Gabaldon has taken the time to tease Written in My Own Heart’s Blood without giving anything away. See below for some intriguing answers to your most burning questions and an exclusive look at the cover — which isn’t as simple as it looks:

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: The ending of the last Outlander novel thrilled some and infuriated some, and left all your fans in agony. It’s been four long years, so please assure us that there’s resolution in the beginning of Written in My Own Heart’s Blood?
DIANA GABALDON: Oh, yes. If you’re lucky, there will be quite a bit in the end, too.

What have your readers been most vocal about since An Echo in the Bone?
1. IS THERE ANOTHER BOOK!?!?
2. You left that poor little boy alone in that tunnel ALL THIS TIME?!?
3. OMG, what’s Jamie going to do to Lord John?!? What will he do to CLAIRE?!?!?
4. The next book isn’t the LAST ONE, is it?!? (No, it’s not.)

Where does the title come from?
From the rock polisher in the back of my brain. I throw Evocative, Significant, or Euphonious Words in there by the handful, let them tumble around, and now and then I pull them out to see if any of them are shiny yet.

How does this one differ from previous Outlander novels?
You notice the symbol on the cover? It’s an octothorpe. That’s because I’m juggling eight storylines here (and one of them has to do with the printing trade). The books are all different, in tone, approach, theme, shape/structure, and (of course) plot. This one is shaped like a chord progression, and the one-word theme is “Betrayal.” READ FULL STORY

Latest Videos in Books

Advertisement

TV Recaps

Powered by WordPress.com VIP