Yes, ok, I’m a stalker. I realize that not all of you are, and that some of you have much more productive lives than I do. So you don’t pay great attention to the random questions that Diana Gabaldon answers on Twitter, which aren’t really part of an organized Q&A. But she’s quite interesting, often funny, often instructive. And maybe you’d like to know! So here are recent questions she’s been asked, and her responses.
Matt Roberts tweeted: Been crazy busy (so much going on). Maybe you folks can post some “winter” POTDs from wherever you are. Let’s see ’em Outlander fans!
Diana responded: OK.
Sam Heughan: Christmas has arrived at studio base!
Diana: I bet it weighs less than the last stag you picked up…
Metin Huseyin: Singer on the radio I once had a meeting with. His testicles hungout from his shorts for the whole meeting. #CheckYerBawballs
Diana: So, did you check them for him?
Metin: Alas, I’m Bashful not Doc.
Diana: For the Completists among you (the people who want to read my shopping lists–will post one of those for you in a day or two), for the men among you, and for the car-loving ladies among you…something Unusual for Christmas!
THE HIGHWAY KIND (collected and edited by the fabulous Patrick Millikin, manager of The Poisoned Pen Bookstore (which you all know about–and yes! they are getting a new shipment of the VIRGINS hardcovers from the UK (they won’t be able to ship them in time for Christmas, but will send you an order confirmation that you can print and give to the recipient in a card (or frame made of macaroni….))….wait, where was I? Oh, yes…THE HIGHWAY KIND is a collection of stories by a lot of great authors (well, and me…) about…cars.
As in, my story isn’t about Jamie and Claire, cars being scarce on Fraser’s Ridge. Still, I think you may enjoy FOGMEISTER (my story) as well as the great contributions by Michael Connolly, George Pelecanos, Megan Abbott and others. (And if you order it from the Poisoned One, you can get a signed copy!)
Stephen Walters: @CahonasScotland #CheckYerBawballs
Diana: What a….er…hypnotic expression… #whatsnext #diamondnipplestuds
Diana: Where am I?
Responses ranged from Chicago’s Field Museum, to “the set of Night at the Museum?”, Natural History Museum in New York, American Museum of Natural History in DC… best answer: Checking the T-Rex’s bawballs! (Look closely, that’s Diana standing right under the dino)
Q Did anyone recognize you?
Diana: Oddly enough, yes.
Q Is this a guessing game, or you really having some kind of existential crisis?
Diana: Guessing game. I’m reasonably sane, most of the time.
Diana: Escaped! From the infamous Back Room at the Poisoned Pen…
Q: Every time I see a pic of you, you look younger! What’s your secret?
Diana: Lack of sleep, apparently… this was taken after signing books for 2 hours, after flying home from NYC.
Q Did you use a handy dandy hairpin to pick the lock?
A I didn’t need to. I have Really Flexible thumbs – can wiggle out of almost anything.
Q Are you sure you’re 64? You look fricking youg! How tall are you?
A 5’3″. I’ll be 65 on January 11th.
Q You have beautiful hair!!! And I am … not interested are they yours 🙂
A They are definitely my hairs. I do have gray sprinkles and I color them, but this is my natural color.
Q You look very pretty in that photo! Lack of sleep apparently agrees with you.
A It must. I quit sleeping “normally” when my first kid was born in 1982…
Q The secret must be your sense of humor.
A Pretty sure that’s it.
Q Goodness. I just assumed the photo was from 1993. Wow!
A I don’t think they even had digital photos in 1993…
Q I think you are a testament to quantity of sleep is more important than continuity of sleep?
A It works for me… can sleep just about anywhere, anytime.
Q R we twins? Nodded off standing @copy machine at work; during staff meeting taking notes; with NASCAR race on; on walking machine.
A Hey, it’s a gift!
Q Recently read Tudors slept 9 hours but split sleep,waking t midnight bcuz moon stimulated brain. Per historian Lucy Worlsey.
A Yeah, people commonly did that til lighting made it possible to not go to bed at sunset.
Q Do you know if @Outlander_Starz will skip the whole Mr. Willoughby storyline? Not heard anything on the matter.
A Mr. Willoughby’s there.
Maril Davis: One more sleep until Outlander holiday time starts!
Sam Heughan: Hooooooooliays and SLEEP!!!
Diana: Three days before Christmas, and you’re intending to sleep? #therewalksasingleman
Q It’s a long wait for next book, please hurry up
A Three days before Christmas possibly not most tactful moment to tell someone to hurry up. #justsayin
Q Are you writing a story about Lord John’s marriage to William’s aunt?
A No, you’ve already seen that #ECHO #MOBY
Q Do you find that you get more pressure to finish books since TV series came out or is it about the same?
A Nah, always the same. No idea why anyone thinks pressuring a writer will do anything other than irritate them, tho. #3daystilXmas
Q Seriously? That was just rude. People need to chill and accept that quality takes time!
A Nah, not meant to be rude, I know. People just eager; no problem.
Q If pressure worked, GRRM (George RR Martin) would have finished (next book) four years ago!
Q I don’t know how you deal with the fan pressure. I hope the holiday season & family time fills you with joy, happiness and rest.
A Just ignore it. As I once said to husband, “What they gonna do – come shoot me in the kneecaps?”
Sam Sykes: Go ahead. Guess.
Diana: You appear to be a hippopotamus in severe need of orthodontia. #andmaybeglasses
Q It’ll be “naw” “galluses” “baffles” & “weans” next! You are an honorary Scot!
A Oh hey – the Frasers and MacKenzies have both formally adopted me.#niceofthem
Diana: Merry Christmas, and Check your Bawballs…
Both of ’em!
Q My ears hurt just looking at you! You are beautiful. Merry Christmas to you.
A You do now that Christmas tree ornaments are hollow glass or plastic, right? That one weighs much less than any of my earrings.
Sam Sykes: Bored? Read a book! They’re like movies or video games, but no one will send you death threats for liking the wrong ones!
Diana: That’s what you think.
Sam Sykes: I have… a cunning plan.
Diana: Watch a different news channel? #soundslikeaplan
Q Says my daughter to my fam about my Outlander obsession, “Outlander isn’t a hobby, it’s a lifestyle.” @ItsAWonderfulLife #ImInGoodCompany
A Works for me…
Q Paused at #4 because that’s as far as show will film (don’t want to read too far ahead like cast!) but can’t resist FC now
A Show is greenlighted through Season Four – doesn’t mean they won’t go further, always supposing people go on liking it.
Q Many people I’ve talked to are taking it for granted that Sony is in for all your books!
A As long as people keep watching it, I’m sure they are!
Q I hope they go all the way to book 10.We need to see the completion of the story on screen.
A Haha! Sam and Caitriona would be as old as Jamie and Claire really are…
Q But would Diana be able to write book 10 by then?
A I’m writing book 9 now for heaven’s sake. I don’t have to wait for the show to catch up with me.
Q So you’re not planning on pulling a GRRM?
A I don’t reckon George planned it, do you?
Steven Cree: A Gift from Santa #KingOfVirgins
Diana: Haha! Hope you enjoy it!
Q Would be cool if “Virgins” could be used as backstory in future eps of Outlander. RonDMoore, please?
A They did use some references/lines from it in Ep. 14 from Season One.
Q Is this a spinoff of Outlander???
A No, it’s part of Jamie and Ian’s backstory.
Q (holding copy of Outlander) Guess what my oldest daughter got me for Christmas? Would love it signed.
A If you want, you can mail it tome (10810 N. Tatum Blvd., #102-321, Phoenix, AZ 85028) w/return postage <g> – and I’ll sign it for you.
Q I’m watching right now.. again! S1 is my favorite.
A Wait’ll you see S3! #fabuloussofar
Q Any chance you can give us a sneak peek? #DroughtlanderisKillingMeSoftly
A Nah, I’m sworn to secrecy, alas…
Q Just curious… have you seen S3 being filmed on set? Do you watch scenes being filmed?
A If I’m there, yeah. But they send me all the daily footage, every day during filming – and the rough cuts of finished episodes, etc.
Q And after that do you think, “Ok, seen it all, that’s that then.” Or can’t you wait to see thefinal cut we get to see?
A Oh, I’m fascinated throughout…
Q Don’t need an answer, but do you have a favourite scene so far?
Q No way 3 2017, 4 2018, 5 2019, 6 2020, 7 2021, 8, 2022, well 9 will prob be finished by then. 10 when you’re finished!
A Guys… it takes the show a minimum of 18 months to prep, film, and post-produce a season. It takes me about 3 years to write a book.
Q Anything good is worth waiting for. To rush an artist is greedy and selfish and will lead to disappointment.
A Only if the artist is weak enough to yield to that kind of behavior.
Q So you’re basically recommending we shouldn’t expect Starz to make the entire book series into a show because of the time factor?
A No. I’m telling you there’s no way they’ll catch me. #dothemath 8×1.5=12 2×3=6
Q Is it close to 3 years yet?
Q I want her to finish peacefully. Taking time instead of rushing because of the seasons on TV.
A No need at all to rush, is what I was saying…
Q But why does the show do 1 book/season? Voyager should be 2. There’s too much important info to fit into 1! #dontcuttoomuch
A Because the actors will die before they finish, if they take 3? years per book?
Q Is it hard/frustrating watching footage where they have deviated from the book?
A Sometimes. Other times it’s great!
Q That’s awesome. Do you have a say on how things are done? What is put into the show? Or is that all up to the producers?
A Well, they do listen to me, which is nice of them. They don’t have to.
Q That’s awesome… do they ever tweak things off your suggestions?
Q What kind of underwear did women use in 18th century?
A None, in terms of underpants. Shift and stays, otherwise.
Q Do you ever wish you could rewrite a part of the books? I don’t know how I could publish something! I always change it.
A No. I did the best I could at the time; I don’t second-guess myself.
Q Do you consider yourself an introvert or extrovert? Do public appearances make you nervous? #Iwoulddie
A Introvert. But I was a university professor for 12 years – public speaking doesn’t bother me at all.
Q I have a public speaking class next semester and I’m so nervous! Any tips?
A 1) It’s just people. 2) have your first sentence clearly in mind. 3) tell them something engaging/funny. After they laugh, you’ve got em.
Q Thank you for always responding to our questions! NOT everyone does so it’s appreciated.
A I have a teacher gene. <g> (Besides, I use SM for distraction while the back of my mind sorts something out.)
Q What word processing software did you use to write Outlander?
A Word Perfect 5.1 through The Fiery Cross. Then they made it just like Word and ruined it, so (reluctantly) use Word. #bleah
Q Have you tried Scrivener?
A Yes, though really haven’t given it a fair trial yet. Theone good thing Word does is let you color docs. Scrivener doesn’t.
Q YES!!!! It thinks IT knows better.
A And it moves the damn cursor every time it refreshes the page…!
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