Diana Gabaldon

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Diana Gabaldon
Diana Gabaldon (2010).jpg
Diana Gabaldon (2010)
Born (1952-01-11) January 11, 1952 (age 67)
Scottsdale, Arizona, U.S.
OccupationNovelist, Professor
Period1991–present
Genre Speculative fiction, historical fiction, historical romance, historical mystery, historical fantasy, scientific literature
Notable works
SpouseDoug Watkins
Children
Website
www.dianagabaldon.com

Diana J. Gabaldon ( /ˈɡæbəldn/ ; [1] born January 11, 1952) is an American author, known for the Outlander series of novels. Her books merge multiple genres, featuring elements of historical fiction, romance, mystery, adventure and science fiction/fantasy. [2] A television adaptation of the Outlander novels premiered on Starz in 2014. [3] [4]

<i>Outlander</i> (franchise) Series of novels written by Diana Gabaldon

The Outlander franchise is a series of novels, short fiction, and related works. It is composed of the core Outlander novel series, the Lord John novel series spin-off, adaptations in comics, a theatrical musical, and a television series.

Historical fiction is a literary genre in which the plot takes place in a setting located in the past. Although the term is commonly used as a synonym for the historical novel, it can also be applied to other types of narrative, including theatre, opera, cinema and television, as well as video games and graphic novels.

Romance novel literary genre

Although the genre is very old, the romance novel or romantic novel discussed in this article is the mass-market version. Novels of this type of genre fiction place their primary focus on the relationship and romantic love between two people, and must have an "emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending." There are many subgenres of the romance novel, including fantasy, historical romance, paranormal fiction, and science fiction. Romance novels are read primarily by women.

Contents

Early life and education

Gabaldon was born on January 11, 1952, in Scottsdale, Arizona, United States, the daughter of Jacqueline Sykes and Tony Gabaldon (1931–1998), an Arizona state senator from Flagstaff for sixteen years and later a supervisor of Coconino County. [5] [6] [7] Her father was of Mexican ancestry, and her mother was of English descent. [8] [9]

Scottsdale, Arizona City in Arizona, United States

Scottsdale is a city in the eastern part of Maricopa County, Arizona, United States, part of the Greater Phoenix Area. Named Scottsdale in 1894 after its founder Winfield Scott, a retired U.S. Army chaplain, the city was incorporated in 1951 with a population of 2,000. The 2015 population of the city was estimated to be 236,839 according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The New York Times described downtown Scottsdale as "a desert version of Miami's South Beach" and as having "plenty of late night partying and a buzzing hotel scene." Its slogan is "The West's Most Western Town."

Antonio Alfonso "Tony" Gabaldon was a teacher and principal, who became a politician and was elected as Arizona state senator. His Mexican-American family has lived in Belen, New Mexico for hundreds of years. Senator Gabaldon represented citizens of District 2 in Arizona, which includes Flagstaff, the largest city in northern Arizona, and Navajo and Apache counties. He is the father of marine scientist-turned-best-selling time-travel author, Diana Gabaldon.

Gabaldon grew up in Flagstaff, Arizona. [8] She earned a bachelor of science in zoology from Northern Arizona University, 1970–1973; a master of science in marine biology from the University of California, San Diego, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, 1973–1975; and a PhD in behavioral ecology from Northern Arizona University, 1975–1978. [8] [10]

Flagstaff, Arizona City in Arizona

Flagstaff is a city in and the county seat of Coconino County in northern Arizona, in the southwestern United States. In 2015, the city's estimated population was 70,320. Flagstaff's combined metropolitan area has an estimated population of 139,097. The city is named after a ponderosa pine flagpole made by a scouting party from Boston to celebrate the United States Centennial on July 4, 1876.

Zoology is the branch of biology that studies the animal kingdom, including the structure, embryology, evolution, classification, habits, and distribution of all animals, both living and extinct, and how they interact with their ecosystems. The term is derived from Ancient Greek ζῷον, zōion, i.e. "animal" and λόγος, logos, i.e. "knowledge, study".

Northern Arizona University public research university located in Flagstaff, Arizona, USA

Northern Arizona University (NAU) is a public research university with its main campus in Flagstaff, Arizona. Governed by the Arizona Board of Regents and accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, the university offers 158 baccalaureate and graduate degree programs.

Career

Gabaldon was the founding editor of Science Software Quarterly in 1984 while employed at the Center for Environmental Studies at Arizona State University. [11] During the mid-1980s, Gabaldon wrote software reviews and technical articles for computer publications, as well as popular-science articles and comic books for the Walt Disney Company. [10] She was a professor with an expertise in scientific computation at ASU for 12 years before leaving to write full-time. [10] [12]

<i>Science Software Quarterly</i> scientific journal

The Science Software Quarterly (SSQ) was a scientific journal for scientists of all disciplines who used computers in the 1980s, particularly desktop platforms such as the IBM-PC, the Apple Macintosh, and the Apple II. The journal featured reviews of scientific applications and other software that were available at the time for many different disciplines and branches of science. Each issue also contained articles about scientific computing, and regular features. Available by individual subscription, SSQ was published quarterly, or four times per year. Each issue contained about 110 pages.

Arizona State University Public university located in the Phoenix metropolitan area, Arizona, United States

Arizona State University is a public metropolitan research university on five campuses across the Phoenix metropolitan area, and four regional learning centers throughout Arizona.

The Walt Disney Company American mass media corporation

The Walt Disney Company, commonly known as Walt Disney or simply Disney, is an American diversified multinational mass media and entertainment conglomerate headquartered at the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California. It is the world's largest media conglomerate in terms of revenue, ahead of NBCUniversal and WarnerMedia, which are owned by telecommunications giants Comcast and AT&T respectively.

Novels

Gabaldon signing books at the 2017 Phoenix Comicon Diana Gabaldon by Gage Skidmore 2.jpg
Gabaldon signing books at the 2017 Phoenix Comicon

In 1988, Gabaldon decided to write a novel for "practice, just to learn how" and with no intention to show it to anyone. [13] As a research professor, she decided that a historical novel would be easiest to research and write, [13] but she had no background in history and initially no particular time period in mind. [8] Gabaldon happened to see a rerun episode of the Doctor Who science fiction TV series titled "The War Games." [14] One of the Doctor's companions was a Scot from around 1745, a young man about 17 years old named Jamie McCrimmon, who provided the initial inspiration for her main male character, James Fraser, and for her novel's mid-18th century Scotland setting. [8] [13] [14] Gabaldon decided to have "an Englishwoman to play-off all these kilted Scotsmen," but her female character "took over the story and began telling it herself, making smart-ass modern remarks about everything." [13]

<i>Doctor Who</i> British science fiction TV series

Doctor Who is a British science fiction television programme produced by the BBC since 1963. The programme depicts the adventures of a Time Lord called "the Doctor", an extraterrestrial being, to all appearances human, from the planet Gallifrey. The Doctor explores the universe in a time-travelling space ship called the TARDIS. Its exterior appears as a blue British police box, which was a common sight in Britain in 1963 when the series first aired. Accompanied by a number of companions, the Doctor combats a variety of foes while working to save civilisations and help people in need.

<i>The War Games</i> Doctor Who serial

The War Games is the seventh and final serial of the sixth season of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which originally aired in ten weekly parts from 19 April to 21 June 1969.

Jamie McCrimmon fictional character in Doctor Who

James Robert McCrimmon, usually simply called Jamie, is a fictional character played by Frazer Hines in the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. A piper of the Clan McLaren who lived in 18th-century Scotland, he was a companion of the Second Doctor and a regular in the programme from 1966 to 1969. The spelling of his surname varies from one script to another; it is alternately rendered as Macrimmon and McCrimmond.

To explain the character's modern behavior and attitudes, Gabaldon chose to use time travel. [13] Writing the novel at a time "when the World Wide Web didn't exist," she did her research "the old-fashioned way, by herself, through books." [8] Later Gabaldon posted a short excerpt of her novel on the CompuServe Literary Forum, where author John E. Stith introduced her to literary agent Perry Knowlton. [13] [15] Knowlton represented her based on an unfinished first novel, tentatively titled Cross Stitch. Her first book deal was for a trilogy, the first novel plus two then-unwritten sequels. Her U.S. publishers changed the first book's title to Outlander , but the title remained unchanged in the U.K. According to Gabaldon, her British publishers liked the title Cross Stitch, a play on "a stitch in time"; however, the American publisher said it "sounded too much like embroidery" and wanted a more "adventurous" title. [13] When her second book was finished, Gabaldon resigned her faculty position at Arizona State University to become a full-time author. [10]

Time travel is the concept of movement between certain points in time, analogous to movement between different points in space by an object or a person, typically using a hypothetical device known as a time machine. Time travel is a widely-recognized concept in philosophy and fiction. The idea of a time machine was popularized by H. G. Wells' 1895 novel The Time Machine.

CompuServe was the first major commercial online service provider in the United States. It dominated the field during the 1980s and remained a major influence through the mid-1990s. At its peak in the early 1990s, CIS was known for its online chat system, message forums covering a variety of topics, extensive software libraries for most computer platforms, and a series of popular online games, notably MegaWars III and Island of Kesmai. It also was known for its introduction of the GIF format for pictures, and as a GIF exchange mechanism.

John E. Stith American writer

John E. Stith is an American science fiction and mystery author, known for the scientific rigor he brings to adventure and mystery stories.

As of 2014, the Outlander series comprises eight published novels. The eighth installment, Written in My Own Heart's Blood , was released on June 10, 2014. Gabaldon has also published The Exile (An Outlander Graphic Novel) (2010). The Lord John series is a spin-off from the Outlander books, centering on a secondary character from the original series.

Personal life

Gabaldon lives in Scottsdale, Arizona with her husband Doug Watkins, with whom she has three adult children: [9] [12]

Gabaldon is a Roman Catholic. [16] [17]

Bibliography

Outlander series

The Outlander series focuses on 20th-century nurse Claire Randall, who time travels to 18th-century Scotland and finds adventure and romance with the dashing James Fraser. [2] Set in Scotland, France, the West Indies, England and North America, the novels merge multiple genres, featuring elements of historical fiction, romance, mystery, adventure and science fiction/fantasy. [2]

Main series

Short works

Lord John series

The Lord John series is a sequence of novels and shorter works that center on Lord John Grey, a recurring secondary character in Gabaldon's Outlander series. The spin-off series currently consists of five novellas and three novels, which all take place between 1756 and 1761, during the events of Gabaldon's Voyager. [35] [36] They can be generally categorized as historical mysteries, and the three novels are shorter and focus on fewer plot threads than the main Outlander books. [36]

Other works

Adaptations

The Outlander series has been released in unabridged (read by Davina Porter) and abridged (read by Geraldine James) audiobooks. Several of the Lord John books have been released in audiobook form, read by Jeff Woodman.

A television adaptation of the Outlander series premiered on Starz in the US on August 9, 2014. [3] Gabaldon made a cameo appearance as Iona MacTavish in the August 2014 episode "The Gathering". [37] Gabaldon is a paid consultant for the show, [38] and wrote the screenplay for the 2016 season 2 episode "Vengeance Is Mine". [34]

In 2010 Gabaldon adapted the first third of Outlander into The Exile: An Outlander Graphic Novel , illustrated by Hoang Nguyen. [39] [40] [41] The same year, a 14-song cycle based on Outlander was released under the title Outlander: The Musical . [42] [43] [44]

Reception and awards

Gabaldon's Outlander won the Romance Writers of America's RITA Award for Best Romance of 1991. [45] A Breath of Snow and Ashes (2005) debuted at #1 on The New York Times Hardcover Fiction Best-Seller List [46] [47] and won the Quill Award for Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror. [48] In 2007, The Montreal Gazette noted that Gabaldon's books "are in demand in 24 countries in 19 languages," and that the author "continues to churn out one bestseller after another." [10] By 2012 her novels had been published in 27 countries and 24 languages. [5]

Lord John and the Private Matter reached #8 on The New York Times Hardcover Fiction Best-Seller List in 2003. [49] In 2007, Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade debuted at #1, [50] and the Hand of Devils collection reached #24 on The New York Times Hardcover Fiction Best-Seller List. [51] The Scottish Prisoner debuted at #6 on The New York Times E-Book Fiction Best-Seller List in 2011, [52] and the novella A Plague of Zombies was nominated for an Edgar Award by the Mystery Writers of America for the “Best Short Mystery Story” the same year. [53] Reviewing the Lord John series, Publishers Weekly said that "Gabaldon's prose is crisply elegant" [54] and that she "brings an effusive joy to her fiction that proves infectious even for readers unfamiliar with her work or the period." [55]

Related Research Articles

Historical mystery subgenre of historical fiction and mystery fiction

The historical mystery or historical whodunit is a subgenre of two literary genres, historical fiction and mystery fiction. These works are set in a time period considered historical from the author's perspective, and the central plot involves the solving of a mystery or crime. Though works combining these genres have existed since at least the early 20th century, many credit Ellis Peters's Cadfael Chronicles (1977–1994) for popularizing what would become known as the historical mystery. The increasing popularity and prevalence of this type of fiction in subsequent decades has spawned a distinct subgenre recognized by the publishing industry and libraries. Publishers Weekly noted in 2010 of the genre, "The past decade has seen an explosion in both quantity and quality. Never before have so many historical mysteries been published, by so many gifted writers, and covering such a wide range of times and places." Editor Keith Kahla concurs, "From a small group of writers with a very specialized audience, the historical mystery has become a critically acclaimed, award-winning genre with a toehold on the New York Times bestseller list."

<i>Legends II</i> (book) collection of 11 short stories

Legends II: New Short Novels by the Masters of Modern Fantasy is a 2003 collection of 11 short stories by a number of fantasy authors, edited by Robert Silverberg. All the stories were original to the collection, and set in the authors' established fictional worlds. The first Legends was published in 1998.

<i>Outlander</i> (novel) first in a series of eight historical multi-genre novels by Diana Gabaldon

Outlander is the first in a series of eight historical multi-genre novels by Diana Gabaldon. Published in 1991, it focuses on the Second World War-era nurse Claire Randall, who travels through time to 18th century Scotland and finds adventure and romance with the dashing Jamie Fraser. A mix of several genres, the Outlander series has elements of historical fiction, romance, adventure and science fiction/fantasy. Outlander won the Romance Writers of America's RITA Award for Best Romance of 1991. A television adaptation of the Outlander series premiered on Starz in the US on August 9, 2014.

<i>Drums of Autumn</i> book by Diana Gabaldon

Drums of Autumn is the fourth book in the Outlander series of novels by Diana Gabaldon. Centered on time travelling 20th century doctor Claire Randall and her 18th century Scottish Highlander warrior husband Jamie Fraser, the books contain elements of historical fiction, romance, adventure, science fiction, and fantasy.

<i>The Fiery Cross</i> (novel) book by Diana Gabaldon

The Fiery Cross is the fifth book in the Outlander series of novels by Diana Gabaldon. Centered on time travelling 20th century doctor Claire Randall and her 18th century Scottish Highlander warrior husband Jamie Fraser, the books contain elements of historical fiction, romance, adventure and science fiction/fantasy.

<i>A Breath of Snow and Ashes</i> book by Diana Gabaldon

A Breath of Snow and Ashes is the sixth book in the Outlander series of novels by Diana Gabaldon. Centered on time travelling 20th century doctor Claire Randall and her 18th century Scottish Highlander warrior husband Jamie Fraser, the books contain elements of historical fiction, romance, adventure and science fiction/fantasy.

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Lord John Grey (character) fictional character

Lord John William Grey is a fictional character created by Diana Gabaldon. He is a recurring secondary character in Gabaldon's Outlander series of novels, and the main character of the Lord John series of historical mystery novels and novellas. Secretly homosexual "in a time when that particular predilection could get one hanged", the character has been called "one of the most complex and interesting" of the hundreds of characters in Gabaldon's Outlander novels.

<i>The Exile: An Outlander Graphic Novel</i> 2010 graphic novel

The Exile: An Outlander Graphic Novel is a 2010 graphic novel based on Diana Gabaldon's 1991 novel Outlander. Written by Gabaldon with artwork by Hoang Nguyen, the work adapts the first third of Outlander. The Outlander series incorporates elements of historical fiction, romance, mystery, adventure and science fiction/fantasy.

Carolyn Crane American writer

Carolyn Crane is an American author of the Disillusionists urban fantasy trilogy, as well as the Associates romantic suspense series. Her novel Off the Edge won a Romance Writers of America RITA Award in 2014 for Best Romantic Suspense, making this the first self-published novel to win a RITA.

<i>A Discovery of Witches</i> 2011 historical-fantasy novel, book by Deborah Harkness

A Discovery of Witches is a 2011 historical-fantasy novel and the debut novel by American scholar Deborah Harkness. It follows the story of Diana Bishop, a history of science professor at Yale University who, after accidentally finding an elusive, long-thought-lost manuscript, is compelled to embrace the magic in her blood that she has sought to keep out of her life and engage in a forbidden romance with charming vampire Matthew Clairmont.

Sam Sykes American writer

Sam Watkins is an American epic fantasy writer who publishes fiction as Sam Sykes.

<i>Outlander</i> (TV series) British-American television drama series

Outlander is a drama television series based upon author Diana Gabaldon's historical time travel book series of the same name. Developed by Ronald D. Moore and produced by Sony Pictures Television and Left Bank Pictures for Starz, the show premiered on August 9, 2014. It stars Caitriona Balfe as Claire Randall, a married World War II nurse who in 1945 finds herself transported back to 1743 Scotland, where she encounters the dashing Highland warrior Jamie Fraser and becomes embroiled in the Jacobite risings.

<i>Lord John</i> series sequence of historical mystery novels and shorter works

The Lord John series is a sequence of historical mystery novels and shorter works written by Diana Gabaldon that center on Lord John Grey, a recurring secondary character in the author's Outlander series. Secretly homosexual "in a time when that particular predilection could get one hanged," the character has been called "one of the most complex and interesting" of the hundreds of characters in Gabaldon's Outlander novels. Starting with the 1998 novella Lord John and the Hellfire Club, the Lord John spin-off series currently consists of six novellas and three novels.

<i>Written in My Own Hearts Blood</i> book by Diana Gabaldon

Written in My Own Heart's Blood is the eighth book in the Outlander series of novels by Diana Gabaldon. Centered on time travelling 20th century doctor Claire Randall and her 18th century Scottish Highlander warrior husband Jamie Fraser, the books contain elements of historical fiction, romance, adventure and science fiction/fantasy.

<i>Dangerous Women</i> (anthology) book by George R.R. Martin

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<i>Past Poisons</i>

Past Poisons: An Ellis Peters Memorial Anthology of Historical Crime is a 1998 British anthology of historical mystery short stories and novellas, edited by Maxim Jakubowski. The collection is named for novelist Ellis Peters, whose Cadfael Chronicles (1977-1994) are generally credited for popularizing the combined genre of historical fiction and mystery fiction that would become known as historical mystery.

Claire Fraser (character) fictional character in the Outlander series

Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser is a fictional character in the Outlander series of multi-genre novels by American author Diana Gabaldon, and its television adaptation. In the series, Claire is a married World War II nurse visiting Scotland who finds herself transported from 1945 back to 1743. There she finds adventure, war and romance with the dashing Highland warrior Jamie Fraser. Smart, stubborn and willful, Claire uses her wits, practical medical skills and knowledge of the future to survive in the 18th century.

Jamie Fraser (character) fictional character in Outlander series

James "Jamie" Alexander Malcom MacKenzie Fraser is a fictional character in the Outlander series of multi-genre novels by American author Diana Gabaldon, and its television adaptation. In the series, married World War II nurse Claire Randall is visiting Scotland when she finds herself transported from 1945 back to 1743. There she finds adventure, war and romance with the dashing Highland warrior Jamie Fraser. Jamie also appears in two novels in the Lord John series of historical mysteries, and in the 2013 novella Virgins.

References

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