Sunday, November 22, 2015

Nine years!

Nine years ago this week, I started reading OUTLANDER, and my life changed forever, in more ways than I can count.

Here's the story of how I found Diana Gabaldon's books.

Diana often says that these are "word-of-mouth" books, but that's not true in my case. I had never heard of the series or its author, I knew no one else who had read the books, and I knew nothing at all about the plot or the characters in advance.  I found OUTLANDER completely by accident, browsing in a Barnes & Noble bookstore sometime in the fall of 2006.

It was the small-size (mass-market) paperback edition. I remember it was on a rack at the end of one of the aisles, or I probably would never have noticed it. My eye was caught by the striking blue color of the cover, and I picked it up (a little startled by the size of it, but not at all put off -- I like Big Fat Historical Novels, and always have) and briefly glanced through it.
Time-travel...that's good, I'm always up for a decent time-travel story. Hmm...Scotland? That could be interesting. starts in 1945, and the main character is an Englishwoman. Is the author British too? Probably.* I often find British novels hard to get into, especially if they take place that far in the past [and by that I meant the 1940's, not the 18th century!]. Am I going to be able to, you know, relate to these characters? **
And so I put it back on the rack. Walked out of the store, and promptly forgot the author's name (quite unintentionally) ***. But I hadn't forgotten about the book, by any means, and I promised myself that if and when I ever saw it again, I'd give it a closer look.

A couple of months went by, and then I finally did find OUTLANDER again. I still hesitated (my thought at the time was, it's an awfully big book to buy if you're not sure ahead of time if you'll like it or not). So I went home without buying it, again, and with the name of the book and the author firmly fixed in my memory this time, looked up the Amazon reviews. (Lots of talk in there about the Wentworth scenes, but I'd already had a bit of warning about that, having flipped through the book in the bookstore. The first bit of a scene I read was the part where Jamie tells Claire about the fortress inside him, so I knew something awful was going to happen to him. But I had no idea just how devastating it would be. Not a clue.)

I was still wavering, undecided, and then I got a B&N gift card for my birthday. And I figured, why not? <g>  Within a few pages, I was hooked! I devoured the first six books (ECHO and MOHB hadn't yet been published) in only about five weeks, then immediately started over, and I have been in a more-or-less continual state of re-reading or re-listening to the books ever since.

HUGE thanks to Diana Gabaldon for creating this amazing story, and for her support and encouragement over the last few years!

* It took me a LONG time to learn otherwise. For those of you who don't know, Diana was born and raised in Arizona, and currently lives in Scottsdale, AZ.

** Mea culpa #1. This particular thought makes me want to go back in time and slap myself. <g>

*** Mea culpa #2. I would have been hooked several months earlier if I'd just bought the darn book the first time I saw it! <wry g>

#FranceNeedsOutlander Twitter party rescheduled for Dec. 7

OUTLANDER France announced today that the #FranceNeedsOutlander Twitter campaign, postponed due to the terrorist attacks in Paris, has been rescheduled for Monday, December 7.

As some of you may know, the OUTLANDER TV series is still not available in France. :-(

French fans have been waiting for a very long time for news about which TV channel will carry the series, but so far they've heard nothing. You can imagine how frustrating that is for them, when OUTLANDER is being broadcast all over the world, including in many parts of Europe. There will even be a French version available in Canada, starting in January 2016.  But in France itself....?  RIEN!

So the French fans have decided to hold a Twitter campaign to raise awareness and hopefully catch the attention of the TV network executives in France.

If you're on Twitter, please tag your tweets with #FranceNeedsOutlander on Monday, December 7, from 6-8pm France time (that's noon-2pm ET, 9am-11am PT, 5pm-7pm in the UK).

For more information, see the announcement here.

Please help spread the word to anyone you know who may be interested. Thanks!

Friday, November 20, 2015

OUTLANDER 12 Days of Christmas

Check this out!  I think it's hilarious.

OUTLANDER: 12 Days of Christmas

Thursday, November 19, 2015

What are you looking forward to in Season 2?

What are you most looking forward to seeing in Season 2 of the OUTLANDER TV series?

* * * S P O I L E R  W A R N I N G!! * * *

If you haven't yet read Diana Gabaldon's DRAGONFLY IN AMBER (Book 2 of the OUTLANDER series), you will find MAJOR SPOILERS below! Read at your own risk!









Which characters introduced in DRAGONFLY IN AMBER are you really excited about getting to see on TV?  For me, that list would include the young Lord John, Mother Hildegarde, Master Raymond, and Fergus.

Which scenes from DRAGONFLY are you looking forward to the most, and why?  Personally, I can't wait to see:
  • Jamie and Claire's reunion after the miscarriage
  • Jamie in the brothel with a "verra large sausage" <g>
  • The French court at Versailles -- I'm sure the costumes will be amazing!
  • The whole sequence involving the 16-year-old Lord John at Prestonpans
Of course there are scenes I'm dreading, too.  It's going to be really tough to say goodbye to Rupert, Murtagh, and Dougal at the end of Season 2.  And I'm 100% positive that the farewell scenes at Craigh na Dun will leave us in floods of tears -- but I don't want to think too much about that just yet!

What about the rest of you?  Which scenes, characters, locations, etc., are you looking forward to the most in Season 2, and why? Please leave a comment here or on my Outlandish Observations Facebook page.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Davina Porter wins an award for MOHB!

Davina Porter has won a 2015 Voice Arts Award for her audiobook narration of Diana Gabaldon's WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART'S BLOOD!

From the Recorded Books blog post announcing the winners:
Created by the Society of Voice Arts and Sciences as part of the That’s Voiceover! Conference, the Voice Arts Awards is an international competition showcasing the best work in professional voiceover acting, creative direction and communications for advertising, audiobook narration, movie trailers, video gaming, animation, television, radio and casting realms.
Congratulations, Davina!

The audiobook of WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART'S BLOOD is available for download here. I highly recommend it, and all the other OUTLANDER audiobooks.

Monday, November 16, 2015

OUTLANDER Pop! Photography on Instagram

I'm sure many of you have seen the little Pop! Vinyl OUTLANDER figures from Funko.

I just discovered an Instagram account where a fan has been posting some very clever recreations of scenes from the OUTLANDER TV series, featuring the Pop! figures.

OUTLANDER Pop! Photography

Here, for example, is the scene from Episode 102 ("Castle Leoch") where Claire takes a basket of food out to Jamie in the stables.

You can see the whole collection here. Some of these photos are hilarious!

Happy Birthday to a 98-year-old OUTLANDER fan!

This is Grandma Meister, who is celebrating her 98th birthday today.  She's one of the oldest living OUTLANDER fans in the world!

I don't know her personally, but her daughter-in-law, Maryann, submitted this photo as part of the Droughtlander Photo Contest, with the following description:
This is Grandma Meister who will be celebrating her 98th birthday on November 16 (born in 1917).  Could she possibly be the oldest current Outlander reader on the planet?  Reading is going a little slow since she also loves softball and baseball and the playoffs and World Series are getting in the way. Grandma Meister is my mother-in-law and is well-known across the country as she used to travel up until last year following a high school aged girls' softball team and would often be seen cheering in her wheelchair all over the country. She was, and still is, quite a wild one in her day.
Please join me in wishing Grandma Meister a very happy birthday! If you're on Twitter, you can send birthday greetings to @jerseyinferno.