In May 2015 I wrote about the Starz TV extravaganza Outlander, having discovered this time-travel/romance/historical adventure toward the end of Season One. Talk about hooked, I could not get enough of Outlander, which, of course, then extended to the entire book collection written by Diana Gabaldon, starting in 1992 with her original Outlander.
After reading the first seven books in the series in digital format, (Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber, Voyager, Drums in Autumn, The Fiery Cross, A Breath of Snow and Ashes, and Echo in the Bone), I switched to the audio version for Book 8, Written in My Own Heart’s Blood. I enjoyed Davina Porter’s narration so much, I decided to listen to the eBooks I’d already read. It’s amazing what I missed the first go-around on my Kindle and then heard with renewed enthusiasm. What’s more, I find myself having now developed an incredibly lazy attitude toward the audiobooks, having gone from turning the pages of a print book to the press of my thumb with eBooks to sitting back with earplugs for audiobooks and doing absolutely nothing but listen to the story evolve in a variety of voices from one very talented voice actor.
Hmm, what’s next on the technical horizon for literature? Perhaps a listening—better yet, visual device—planted in the brain, one that would be capable of providing entertainment with little effort, other than being the recipient of endless enjoyment.
I should mention the Outlander series books are really Big Books—anywhere from first Outlander’s 560 pages to Drums in Autumn’s whopping 1,456 pages, the equivalent of three decent-sized books. Each time I closed in on the final chapters of my current book in the series, I found myself torn between wanting that book to go on and on, yet looking forward to starting the next one.
After finishing Diana Gabaldon’s eight Outlander books, I turned to her Lord John series, an on-going pivotal character from the Outlander series starting with Dragonfly in Amber. This time it was back to the print paperbacks and in the order I preferred, starting with The Scottish Prisoner and now Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade. Ah-h, yes there still is something about the smell of a new book, the printed words on cream-colored paper, the turning of … oops, almost forgot to turn the next page.
With all this reading of someone else’s books, one has to wonder how I find time to write my own books, and yet since discovering Diana Gabaldon’s books, I have managed to finish my second book in the Savino Sisters Mystery Series, Regrets To Die For. Currently, I am well-immersed in Book 3 (working title Not Worth Dying For), which brings Ellen and Margo Savino back to St. Louis after a long summer’s vacation in Italy. The creative side of my brain is also conjuring up ideas for a sequel to one or more of my historical novels, a chance to bring back some of the characters that still live inside my head.
And how do my historical books compare to those by Diana Gabaldon? In no way whatsoever—different period in time, different country, different culture, different politics, and life style. But when it comes to Diana Gabaldon, there is one thing I must admit we have in common: when I grow up, I would be quite happy to become half the writer she is.
As for Outlander’s Season Two on Starz, don’t get me started—I’ll save that for a future blog.