Friday the 13th was a lucky day for me – I went to Diana Gabaldon’s book signing in Sacramento! I was so excited last year to hear she was coming to Sacramento since most authors only visit the San Francisco Bay Area (which is about a 2 hour drive for me). So my friends and I anxiously waited for the tickets to go on sale. After the months of waiting the big day was finally here!
The tickets we bought were for floor seats but they were not assigned. So my friend and I arrived at 3 pm and waited in line. The weather was warm but we had great conversations with the other people in line. Being surrounded by people who also love the author makes these events so much fun.
The event was hosted by the Sacramento Library. The moderator did an incredible job interviewing Diana for us and the questions that were submitted by the fans were unique.
Here is a quick recap of what I learned that night:
– Gabaldon is pronounced GAB-uhl-dohn (it rhymes with “stone”). All these years I’ve been pronouncing it wrong!
– Her inspiration for the Outlander series came from a 1980’s episode of Dr. Who. It was the episode with a Scottish man in kilt from 1700’s. He must have been some hot looking guy because Diana kept thinking about him for a couple of days before writing the book.
– When writing she starts from the middle of the story. Later she will add the beginning and eventually the end of the story. For Outlander she started with the scene in which Claire meets Dougal MacKenzie. He spoke with the traditional highland tone but Claire spoke as a modern day, independent woman. The more she wrote the story Claire never transformed to the period she was writing for. So she finally decided there had to be some way a modern day woman would be stuck in the 1700’s highlands and that is how the time travel came to be.
– Diana writes from Midnight to 4 am every day. This schedule started because she was raising 3 small kids and working 2 jobs. But even though the kids have grown and is writing fulltime now she still hasn’t changed this routine. During the day she goes walking, works in her garden, runs errands, checks emails, etc. But her writing is only at that specific time. Her writing time may seem strange to some, but for the sake of her fans I hope she never changes this (“if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”…that’s her “magic” time)!!
– Diana plans to write another novella called “What Frank Knew”. OMG I can’t wait to read this! I don’t want to spoil the series but there are so many unanswered questions about Frank!! I hope this comes out soon!
Diana Gabaldon was so charming and funny. The interview was great. My only complaint about the evening was the book signing portion. They announced that people in wheelchairs would get their books signed first, which was a great idea. But the organizers should have asked everyone to remain in their seats until all the people that needed assistants got their books signs. They didn’t do this so everyone rushed to get in line. Those in wheelchairs or canes had a difficult time making it to the stage because of all the people in the way. That was really disorganized and luckily no one was injured. It would have been better to go either row by row or one section at a time. I paid $27 for my ticket. I think since I paid I should have gotten priority in signing. There was a section of seats that were free, but they were high up in the theater. So imagine a mad dash of people on the floor and from the balcony seats trying to get in line. It was a mess. But after an hour and 30 minutes of staying in line I finally got to meet Diana Gabaldon!! I was so excited but all I can say is “I love you” lol. And she said “thank you” lol. She signed my copies of Written In My Own Heart’s Blood (Outlander Series #8) and The Exile (an Outlander graphic novel). I can’t wait for the Starz premier of Outlander in August!