The STARZ are Lining up for Outlander Fans…

Screenshot from Spartacus, Blood & Sand trailer

Screenshot from Spartacus, Blood & Sand trailer

I have never been more reassured about Outlander the TV series honoring the books than after I read this:

“We’re at pains to really follow the books,” he [Ron Moore] says to assure concerned readers. “One of the great things was Starz said to us early on was, ‘We love the books, we think they are great so let’s make the [show] for the people who love the books. Let’s make it for the fans of the books first and trust that anyone who doesn’t know the material will get swept along in the story like everyone else does.’ Nobody ever says that,” Moore laughs. “Typically studios and networks just say, ‘Yeah, we don’t really care about the book. We bought it for the cover or whatever…’ and then dispense with it very early on [in the process]. This was the rare time when everybody said this is great material and we like the story and these characters so let’s try to get as close to the books as possible in the show and that’s what we are doing.” ~ Ron Moore, via blastr.com

So the powers-that-be at Starz actually love the books too, AND, let me get this straight, care about the fans???

There is a god in heaven!

Recently My Outlander Purgatory shared this Trailer of the Starz original series, “The White Queen;” asking us, “Wondering what STARZ can do?”

I’m adding one of my personal favorites, a trailer from another Starz original series, “Spartacus, Blood and Sand,” featuring Andy Whitfield, one of my early picks to play Jamie…

Roman:  “How many men would you kill to hold your wife again?”

Spartacus:  “I would kill them ALL…”

RIP Andy…♥

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It’s Official: Sam Heughan IS Jamie Fraser!

Photo: April Steele

Photo: April Steele

The speculation is over!

Diana confirmed it via CompuServe:

Well, now…according to the Official Language that was suggested to me yesterday when they told me to go ahead and post the news that Scottish actor Sam Heughan has been chosen to play Jamie Fraser in the new Starz cable-TV series  (it’s not a movie, it’s not a mini-series, it’s regular series television, but on a subscription channel)……

“I can’t confirm if the contracts are signed and he is officially Jamie Fraser but I can say Sam Heughan did audition. He was and is my top choice!”

This was after the Starz_channel Twitter account sent out a cheery little tweet yesterday urging people to “Follow @Heughan, who is to play Jamie Fraser on the new Outlander series!”

Which kind of caused Mass Consternation <cough>, to put it mildly, among all the PR people who had been planning press releases and controlled rollouts, etc.

Enough people saw that tweet–during the half-hour or so it was up –that the news was spreading like hair-oil on a sofa, so Ron Moore told me to go ahead and let the cat all the way out of the bag, via Facebook and Twitter.  (When I looked a moment ago, there had been 350,000 views of the original posting, and about the same (collectively) for the three followups.) ~ Diana Gabaldon

So, it shouldn’t be overlong before we find out who will play Claire to Sam’s Jamie, ken?

It’s Official – Starz Has Ordered 16 Episodes of Outlander!

je suis prest

June 1st, 2013

SO—this morning during the breakfast conference at North American Publishing Expo NYC , Diana Gabaldon said Starz has officially signed on to make the Outlander series; she signed the contract last night! She said they’ve ordered 16 episodes (one season), filming will take place in Scotland, is expected to begin sometime in September and she speculated it would be ready to air in April 2014- That’s less than a year!!!

Just saw this:

I’ve learned that Starz has given a series order to Outlander, a drama based on Diana Gabaldon’s bestselling fantasy/romance/adventure series of books. I hear the project, from Battlestar Galactica developer Ron Moore and Sony Pictures TV, has received a 16-episode order, with production slated to begin in October in Scotland where the books are set. I hear Gabaldon let the news of the greenlight slip at Book Expo America 2013. The news comes a month after Outlander opened a writers room, with Moore hiring four scribes to work with him — Toni Graphia, Matt Roberts, Ira Behr and Anne Kenney. This marks Sony’s first series for Starz. ~ Nellie Andreeva, deadline.com

Can you IMAGINE the casting call? An entire room full of potential JAMMFs— yes please!

(FYI: I keep an updated page of the latest progress here: https://outlanderfan.com/outlander-movieminiseries-news/)

OutlanderFan.com’s Interview with ‘Herself,’ Diana Gabaldon…

Diana Gabaldon’s ‘Outlander’ series, books 1-7

First, I have to say a ginormous THANK YOU to Diana for graciously taking the time to do this interview; not only was she in the midst of writing MOBY (Written in My Own Heart’s Blood/Book 8), she was also gearing up for her daughter’s wedding in Scotland… I found her to be friendly, funny, and generous in her responses, for which I’m verra appreciative.

 As an Outlander fan, I’m curious about what goes on in Herself’s head when she writes/goes about her daily life. I want to know: 

  • Is the connection between Jamie & Claire a reflection of  Diana’s own sense of self?
  • What is she like to be around while she’s writing?
  • Is there a particular book/author that affected her life as much as Outlander has ours? 
  • Is she ever reluctant to turn over her stories/characters to us, the readers?
  • Does she think about Jamie as much as we do, lol?

I think you’ll find her responses enlightening as well as entertaining…

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{She answered this first question in true DG form, and left me laughing out loud…}

Not to sound cliché, but the dynamic between Jamie & Claire awakened my ‘inner-goddess;’ something about their connection  moved me to embrace my  femininity & literally view the ‘male species’ in a different light (much to my husband’s great delight, lol). Who/what awakened yours, or did you perhaps always have a sense of being comfortable in your own skin?                  

 Dear Jennifer- I just like men.

 

 {Don’t you just love that?  Her response just smacks of  Jamie or Lord John Grey, lol}

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{I did gain a lot of insight into her writing process from her response to this question…}

Whenever inspiration to write something hits me, it feels like I will literally burst; hopefully I’m at home when this happens- the kids can be running around screaming their heads off  like little barbarians in their underwear and it doesn’t matter, as long as I’m able to get it ‘out of my system’ and into the computer. However, if I’m not at home or near a computer it’s unfortunate for anyone around me as I’m rather edgy, and unable to focus on anything (hmmm, maybe I should get a tablet, lol). What are you like to be around when you write? Have you ever been inspired to write at an inoppurtune moment?

When I began to write my first novel, I had 1) two full-time jobs, 2) three children under the age of 6, and 3) a husband who would have begged me to wait until I had “more time” before trying to write a novel (out of fear that I would die of exhaustion), if I’d been incautious enough to tell him what I was doing, which I wasn’t. Consequently, I usually didn’t have a lot of uninterrupted time to write the novel. (I did have time to write; both my jobs involved tremendous amounts of writing, so I was often at a computer.)

The other thing, though, has to do with how I write. Which is to say—I don’t write with an outline, and I don’t write in a straight line. I don’t decide what I’m going to write and then sit down and work on it. What I need to begin working is what I call a “kernel”: a line of dialogue, a vivid image, an emotional ambiance…anything I can sense concretely enough to write a line or two describing it. Once I have that on paper, I stare at it, and I fiddle; put words in, take them out, add clauses, shuffles sentences—so the top of my mind is concerned with the craft of the thing, looking for maximum euphony and clarity and accuracy. That kind of frees up the stuff on the bottom to wander around kicking at the compost piles down there and asking random questions: What time of day is it? How is the light falling? Is it lighting someone’s face? Who just spoke? Are my hands cold? Etc., etc., etc. (as the King of Siam might remark).

The end result of all this is that I learned almost immediately to crystallize a kernel when I got one; to visualize whatever it was as a mental image attached to a few words. Then I could just carry that around in my head until I got to my computer. Once there, I could drop my kernel onscreen like one of those Japanese gel capsules that you drop in boiling water and get Godzilla made out of pink sponge.
 
I can write anywhere, under just about any conditions, except for someone talking directly to me and insisting that I pay attention to them. <g>
 
As to what I’m like when I’m writing, I’m told I make faces.
 
{So she started writing Outlander on the ‘down-low;’ how intimate! And I love that she doesn’t write with an outline or in a straight line. The characters and plots are complex and fragmented, and don’t really conform to a given outline; they deserve to emerge at their own pace, in their own way… In the end, they are all cohesive. That’s one of the things I love most about Outlander, how the characters & plots are so diverse; they branch out on so many different levels and yet stay rooted, like a tree… Their secrets are revealed to us in each piece of bark, each knot and leaf, and flow together hypnotically like a weeping willow swaying in the breeze…
Also I will never look at my kids’ gel capsule/animal sponges in the same light again, lol.}
 
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{I hope my husband takes no offense by this next question, lol!}
 

I always say that if I’d read Outlander 20 years ago I’d probably be living in Scotland/married to a Scotsman right now, lol; is there one book/author in particular that has ever moved you to consider a lifestyle change?

 

Sure. All the wonderful books I’ve read since childhood convinced me that I was meant to be a writer. <g>

 

{Alrighty then… next question!}
 
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{*Sniff, don’t hurt my baby!  Who else can relate to this next one?}
 

As crazy as this sounds, whenever I loan out any copy of the Outlander series, I feel both happy to be turning on someone new to the series and also a little protective, lol, like I’m trusting them with a family member. As the author/creator, do you ever have protective feelings of the characters? Is there ever even a tiny grain of reluctance to share or ‘entrust’ the characters/story with us ‘perfect strangers,’ lol?

No, I don’t have a reluctance to trust the story to readers. That’s what I wrote it for, after all. <g> That said, I do occasionally roll my eyes when obliged to listen to some of the less thoughtfully considered reactions people sometimes have to the story or characters.

Now, everyone brings his or her own background, perceptions, experience, and expectations to a book—that’s why each re-read of a complex book is different; you’re a different person each time you come to it. But that also means that some readers with a limited world-view, or who have had a very strong life experience of some kind, will read a book with a personal bias that, um, I don’t share. <cough>
 
The deeply moving, maternal letter of farewell that Claire writes to her daughter before departing into the past? Two letters from women upset that this tender physician put a P.S. on the letter saying, “P.S. Stand up straight and don’t get fat.” Distorted Body Image! How dare I cause young women to worry about their bodies?!? How could I do such a thing?
 
Having been through stuff like that before, I wrote back with a polite letter, asking whether perhaps each reader had had someone in her life with an eating disorder or other serious emotional issue connected with body image? Both of them admitted that, well, yes, in fact they did. I sympathized, but pointed out that no one else had had that reaction to the letter, and while their reaction was of course valid, it didn’t mean that it was universal, or correct.
 
Then there are the very young men and women who have grown up in a post-feminist world with not much exposure to history—not any history in particular, but just the notion that historical periods were different from the present, and not just different in terms of not having electric waffle-makers or tampons, but different in terms of how people thought, and the conditions and concerns that shaped that thought. You know…the concept of a frame of reference.
 
Lacking that concept, they tend to get seriously bent over events in the books that would <be> Unacceptable (that ultimate word of power <cough>) to Modern Enlightened Thought. Older readers almost never respond that way to the same events, but are inclined to find them moving, funny, or sexually arousing.
 
{How true, everyone brings their own frame of reference/life experience/perceptions to the story. I personally was not offended by the passage in Outlander where Jamie ‘disciplined’ Claire for almost getting them all (Jamie, Murtagh, Dougal, Rupert etc) killed upon her rescue from Captain Randall/Fort William. While such an act seems unreasonable in 2012,  I understand that in 1743, things were a little different; Jamie had his reasons which I won’t go into here, but relative to his upbringing in the Scottish Highlands in that time period, he did what he believed was necessary, for Claire’s own good.  However, I am aware of other Outlander fans who were indeed offended, and while I completely understand and sympathize why someone would be, I just personally don’t see the two as the same.  (At the risk of sounding callous, I did find it a little funny, and it led to one of my favorite scenes ever in the series, you can see it on the Need a Jamie Fix? page, it’s #2.)}
 
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{I’ve been dying to ask this last question, ever since I became a true Outlander fan.}

Throughout my daily life, I find (as do many of my fellow Outlander friends) that I often notice things/people that remind me of something from the books (a dragonfly, mortar and pestle, etc.) Is it like that for you? For example, if you were to see a tall redhead say, at the grocery store, would your mind go automatically to Jamie? Or is it maybe something you try to turn off when you’re about your daily life/with your family?

This is a corollary to the “where do you get your ideas?” question. <g> The answer being, “everywhere. All the time.” Stuff just washes through me all the time—sights, sounds, smells, thoughts, visions, conversations, figures of speech, you name it—and some of it crystallizes into kernels and some of it doesn’t.

The automatic sifting of Stuff naturally stops (or retreats so far into the subconscious that I don’t notice it) if I’m concentrating on something, but otherwise, it’s just there all the time, like breathing.
 
{So it’s not just us, she thinks about it all the time too! That’s reassuring, especially when you consider that MOBY is in the works :)}
 
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Well, this experience was truly a pleasure for me, and one that I’ll always be thankful for!  I want to thank Diana again for taking the time to share with us her insights into her creative process.  I had so much fun doing this, and I hope you enjoyed reading it! What do YOU guys think of  Herself’s insights? ♥

I Love Ron Moore for ‘Faithfully’ Adapting Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander to a Cable TV Series…

“Jamie Fraser” by Captivated2 @ deviantart.com (http://captivated2.deviantart.com/#/d56lung)

Think I’m putting the cart before the horse?

After all, “Essential Entertainment” toyed with Outlander fans for years; EE optioned the books for a movie or tv series back in 2008.  They worked with “Randall Wallace” (who wrote the movie “Braveheart”), and “Ann Peacock” (screenwriter for ‘The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ 2005 ) who actually  wrote a screenplay for a feature film.

We waited, and waited, and EE did nothing.

Part of me was hoping it was taking so long because they were deciding to do a cable tv series vs. a feature film, but I had doubts as to whether any project would be completed in my lifetime, or ever.  (Granted, there is a camp of Outlander fans who would just as soon not see the books translated to film, believing no actor could ever do ‘James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser’ justice.  And while I’m the first to admit that Jamie is a complex character with many, many layers of emotion, I believe it can be done.)

Plus it was so  frustrating to see a cable series like HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones’ which I ADORE (based on “George R. R. Martin’s”  ‘A Song of Ice & Fire’ books) have so much success, knowing with every fiber of my being that Outlander could achieve that same level of success and more, if only EE  would DO something!  In the end, they did nothing, ‘Essentially’ depriving the world of Jamie & Claire and there was no help for it.  UNTIL that is, Ron Moore took an interest in it…

It was the ‘squeal’ heard round the world:

Diana Gabaldon posted on facebook July 17th, 2012:

“WELL, ALRIGHTY, THEN…
Yes! It _is_ true; while final contracts aren’t yet signed, we do have a deal with Sony Pictures for development of a cable-TV (as in HBO, Netflix, Starz, Showtime, whatever…that kind of thing) series.”

And when it was announced on July 17th, 2012 that Ron Moore closed a deal for the rights to Outlander and would be pitching it  to cable networks the following week, I was EXCITED!   I mean REALLY excited, ESPECIALLY when he tweeted this:

“Big fan of  Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander books for many years, excited for the opportunity to do a FAITHFUL interpretation!”  

Big fan?  Faithful interpretation?  Tell me more!

“Ronald D. Moore” is best known for his Emmy nominated work on ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ (a show close to my heart- I wanted Jean-Luc Picard to be my father, had a crush on “Number One” William Riker & wanted to BE the empath-counselor Deanna Troi) & most recently ‘Battle Star Galactica,’ where he did get an Emmy in 2008 while serving as Executive Producer (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0601822/bio)

Star Trek: The Next Generation?  Battlestar Galactica?  EMMY?  I mean, really- could this get any better?  You bet your kilt it could!  Diana Gabaldon said THIS later that week on the Compuserve forum:

“Actually, Ron and his chief production assistant came out and spent a weekend (not an hour, not a day <g>) with me last month, discussing the books, the characters, various approaches, structural principles–i.e., where it might be best to break the content of a book for a season, an episode, etc.–the background from which I wrote the books, asked if I had any out-takes or background material written for any of the minor characters that might be useful, etc., etc. He’d read everything, including THE EXILE. <g>.”

Well I’m sold.  Am I putting the cart before the horse?  Maybe, but I don’t think so;  Ron is backing up his words with action- that shows integrity, and Outlander deserves no less. I have complete faith in him.  He’s obviously committed to making this happen and has proven to be MORE than qualified to handle the task of adapting our beloved Outlander books to a cable tv series.
And Ron, if you’re reading this, THANK YOU.  I know that you’ll do the best you can and I can’t WAIT to see your handiwork.  ♥

Celtic Cowgirl is Having a Giveaway!

 Who doesn’t love a little Celtic bling?  Can’t you just picture any one of the Outlander characters wearing these?  If you havena been to their website,  Celtic Cowgirl makes “…Handcrafted Fashion Jewelry Inspired By The Celtic Influence Of  My Scot/Irish Heritage And A Wee Bit By My Favorite Book Series Outlander.”   AND they are having their first ever giveaway- all you have to do is “Like” their Facebook page, ken?  Verra simple!   When the goal of 500 “Likes” is reached they’ll be giving away one of these bonny Celtic Knot Tribal Cuff Bracelets (pewter, featuring a satin-finish celtic interweave pattern slightly raised against a textured antiqued background, pictured above).   The winner will be picked with the help of a random number generator.  

The sooner you go like their page at http://www.celticcowgirl.com the sooner they can pick a winner.  I think you’ll find lots of Outlander-inspired pieces to fall in love with.  Dinna fash, their jewelry is affordable as well as beautiful (and remember to tell yer friends, aye?)

Warning: Reading/Discussing Outlander Series May Cause Involuntary Use of Scottish Accent (but it’s ok w/Mrs Fitz!)

What did Diana Gabaldon do to us?

I KNOW I’m not the only one, and you know you do it too!  How many times have you caught yourself thinking or even facebooking (yes that’s a verb) with a Scottish accent/using Scottish terminology from the Outlander series?  Mayhap verra often?  Why do we do it?  Yes, it’s fun; personally I blame Herself- I like imagining Jamie’s voice in my head as I type the words (and his chest, and his strong arms, sigh)…  I wondered what a real live Scottish person would think about it, so I asked my Scottish friend and fellow Outlander fan “Nik MacKechnie” what she thinks:

“As a Scot, how does that make you feel when you see it?  Does it bother you or do you think it’s funny?”

No, I don’t mind, I do think it’s funny and I don’t think you can help it to be honest!  But I would to hear how y’all pronounce some of the  words, like ‘ceilidh? Or ‘sgian dubh’ !!”

Ok Nik, these Gaelic pronunciations are for you (sorry in advance for murdering them!):

  • ceilidh = Saylick? (no effing clue Nik, sorry LOL)
  • sgian dubh = sagin doo?

And here’s some Scottish terminology from Outlander that I think is fun:

  • don’t worry = dinna fash
  • married = marrit (maddit)
  • worried = worrit (woodit)
  • did not = didna
  • cannot = canna
  • do you = d’ye
  • you = ye
  • does not = doesna
  • have not = havena
  • no = nae
  • well = weel
  • maybe/perhaps = mayhap
  • ken = know
  • wee = little
  • och! = och! ☺

And case in point- just today,  Glenna Fitzgibbons (Mrs Fitz, ye ken?) posted this video on how to speak with a Scottish accent on her facebook page (which by the way is awesome/you should definitely go check out Mrs Fitz/’Like’  her page here).

So, evidently there’s nothing wrong with us, we’re just obsessed Outlander Fans.  Go ahead, use a Scottish accent, it’s ok- Nik & Mrs Fitz approve!  ☺

But Who Does DIANA Think Jamie Looks Like?

Well, I was working on part II of “How I See the Characters” when the admins-that-be decided to start all the ‘virtual casting’ brew-ha-ha still going on Diana Gabaldon’s facebook page(btw- have you been over there lately? They should rename her page “Outlander Casting Wars” lol). Needless to say I decided to put it on hold for the time being.  Instead I thought it would be nice for us to get inside Herself’s head & see which man she thinks Jamie Fraser most looks like. Here’s what she said on her blog “Voyages of the Artemis,” Sept 10 2008:

“…Among these was a photo of Gabriel Aubrey, and I’d mentioned in re this photo that Mr. A. did in fact have a strong resemblance to Mr. Fraser, in terms of facial physiognomy. So yesterday, an enterprising person named Grace who inhabits one of the “Outlander” discussion boards evidently came across my idle remarks and decided to see if she could make something of them. So she dragged Mr. Aubrey into her PhotoShop for a little revision, and….OK. Yeah. That’s very much what he looks like. In case you were wondering. [g]”

 

I found another photoshopped pic of Gabriel Aubry w/red hair. I think this one’s sexier:

The truth is, no matter what we may think or how we envision him, Jamie Fraser was created by Diana. And I don’t know about you, but I think she has good taste (I certainly wouldn’t kick Gabriel Aubry out of my bed for eating crackers, would you?) ☺

My Outlander-Appreciating Husband

My husband Craig SO gets my Outlander obsession.  Here’s my proof-  lookie what he got me for Christmas!

The wine glass charms are my favorite.  On the front are the American book releases and on the back are the UK versions!  That’s GENIUS, and duly appreciated by this Outlander fan.  Plus, they combine 2 of my favorite hobbies,  Outlander & vino  = )

The coffee mug is awesome, it just doesn’t get much better than starting off your day with a little Outlander java- am I right?

The T-shirt says it all:  “Jamie and Claire make Edward and Bella look like casual acquaintances.”  In your face twihards! (just kidding, I love Twilight too lol)

I hope Outlander fans everywhere had happy holidays too.  Happy New Year everyone!

Enter to win a SIGNED, GIFT-WRAPPED Outlander 20th Anniversary Edition!

Don’t forget to enter the OUTLANDER 20th Anniversary holiday giveaway!  And best of all it’s signed by Herslef, Diana Gabaldon.

Here’s the link:  https://apps.facebook.com/dianagabaldon/Giveaways/Enter/2145

They”ll be announcing winners on Friday/Dec 15th, so you have until the end of the day tomorrow to enter. Good luck to the lot of ye!

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