Beautiful weather, great people, fun activities, all kinds of fun goodies – oh, and Diana Gabaldon and MOBY!
Friday night, 125 Outlander fans gathered together for a fun evening at the Pyramid Brewhouse – dinner and a fundraising raffle. We raised $4000 for Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos, the charity that Diana donates her speaking fees to. Donated prizes ranged from handmade jewelry to a fabulous-looking cheesecake, a bottle of Glenfiddich Scotch, and t-shirts and a Sam and Cait-signed photo from Starz. It was a terrific start to our weekend, getting to meet all those people we just know as tiny little icons on Facebook!
Saturday was the main event. Everything went very smoothly, from check-in on. Attendees received a cute Random House tote bag, stuffed with Walker’s Shortbread cookies, an Outlander tumbler, and best of all, a pre-signed copy of MOBY (which Diana would personalize later for all of us). Random House had all kinds of events planned for us – an Outlander-themed ComedySportz presentation, Highland dancers, a whole truckload-worth of (plastic) flowers to make crowns, a psychic and a palm reader, a bagpiper, men in kilts serving Outlander-named beer and wine, a large buffet, all kinds of giveaways.
Book personalizing went very smoothly – Diana was cheerful, graceful and unflappable all day. Her hand must be uncrampable. (yes, that’s me with Diana – and the t-shirt that we presented her – we raised $1900 for NPH with the sale of our “Outlandish Friends” shirts!)
The morning’s keynote session featured Diana talking about how she came to write Outlander, how she found an agent and sold the book, and her writing process. The video below is a small snippet of her talk – watch to the end, for a very cute Sam Heughan anecdote!
This is the entire keynote session, for those of you with more time:
The afternoon session featured Diana, Theresa Zoro of Random House, Karen Bailey from Starz, the owner of the Poison Pen bookstore, and Diana’s editor. We got a major treat: the long trailer that will be shown over the summer! Sorry, it’s not available for the rest of you yet, but watch out for it! We also got to see a “making of” video:
Random House asked attendees to make a 30-second video on what Diana and Outlander have meant to them, and they compiled these videos into a fantastic, funny, touching presentation. Watch it here:
The team from Random House deserves huge thanks from everyone who attended – they put together an exciting, creative program, and the day went off without a hitch, at least that we could see. I personally would like to say thanks to all of the wonderful women I met over the weekend! And I can’t adequately express how exciting and inspiring it was to meet Diana, whose books have given all of us so much for so many years. And now, dear readers, I’m off to bed, or to read more of MOBY.