Diana Gabaldon’s New OUTLANDER Fanboy – 100 Days to Forever


Day 67: Book Signing at the 2014 Willamette Writers Conference

Diana Gabaldon, with nerd

I’m going to give you a full confession…

Until this past weekend, I was not familiar with Diana Gabaldon and her Outlander series. Not the books. Not the musical. Not the new TV show that’s about to premier on Starz.

But holy crap, I am now.

As you may or may not know, I’m about to step down from 3 years as the co-chair of the Mid-Valley Chapter of Willamette Writers. This past weekend we held our annual Willamette Writers Conference in Portland, and Diana was the keynote speaker at our Saturday Gala Awards Banquet.

I was a total live-tweeting fanboy, btw:

As if the keynoting wasn’t enough, the gods—or Amazon, if there is a difference anymore—are telling me there’s an affinity between my wee Rucksack Universe and Diana’s books. Her name and titles keep appearing in Amazon recommendations.

I figured I’d better take the hint. Now rather motivated to learn more about Diana and her books, I spent some time on her website. The Outlander premise is fascinating, and I felt into the story without having even opened one of the books yet.

Then, listening to her keynote, I was constantly nodding and fist-pumping as she talked about her work ethic, related how she got part of the idea for Outlander from a be-kilted Doctor Who companion, and shared some bawdy, hilarious one-liners, jokes, and anecdotes.

Diana Gabaldon was the keynote speaker at the Awards Banquet for the 2014 Willamette Writers Conference in Portland, Oregon.

When she was done speaking, the audience gave a standing ovation. I snuck out, bought the first Outlander book, and was fourth in line to get an autograph—and it turned out to be a very, very long line.

Despite getting back to my room at something like 12:30 in the morning, I still read the first chapter of Outlander. And watched the series trailer again:

Now I’m hooked.

I’ve just about got the shakes. I’m actually typing this in the back of a colleague’s Subaru Outback as we return to Eugene after the conference. My copy of Outlander is in my backpack, which is in the cargo area, completely out of arm’s reach.


Meeting Diana and hearing her speak was a big reminder of what I’m looking forward to in my own author journey: seeing where my work goes, where it takes me, who I meet along the way, and how amazed I’ll wind up being at what happens next.

Thanks, Diana.

You definitely gained a new fanboy this weekend. Even though I’m only just starting the first Outlander book, I already can’t wait for the ninth installment.

From the Book

“Merit does not always play into the world’s decisions. The greatest loves and choices often come from the unlikeliest people. One day they find themselves on a path they didn’t know they were taking, and they simply do the best they can. Sometimes life’s best hope is the most improbable chance.”
Forever the Road

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Forever the Road by Anthony St. Clair

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Tune in Next for…

  • Fri., Aug. 8, Day 70: How It Will Look on Your Shelf
  • Sat., Aug. 9, Day 71: 1 Month Till Forever the Road

100 Days to Forever

On Sept. 8, 2014, Forever the Road, the third Rucksack Universe book, will be released as an e-book and trade paperback worldwide.

During our 100 Days to Forever lead-up, you can follow all the adventure on the blog via the 100 Days to Forever category, on my email list, and at the #100DaysToForever hashtag on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest.


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