November 2001's Author of the Month
Diana Gabaldon
(Chosen by reviewer, Beverly J. Rowe)

Why Di?

Meet Diana

Her Booklist

Rave Reviews

Why Di?

I chose Diana Gabaldon as author of the month for November because she is such a great storyteller. Her first novel, Outlander, was a great success, with each succeeding novel gaining momentum in the publishing world. Her fifth novel in the Outlander Series, The Fiery Cross, will be published this month, and I just can't wait to get my hands on it.

Beverly Rowe


Meet Diana

Diana was born in 1952 and grew up in Arizona. She has degrees in zoology, and marine biology, with a Ph.D in behavioral ecology. After spending 12 years as a scientist and university professor, she started a novel to see just what it might ta ke to be a writer, and to see if this was what she really wanted to do. Many scientists do not have the imagination and flair for storytelling: Diana is the exception. She began posting excerpts with her writing group on Compuserv, who encou raged her to find an agent. She did, and the rest is history...Scottish history, to be more exact. Her novels cover a number of historical periods and events requiring a great deal of research...and her rendition of history is accurate.

Her books have been classified as romance, as fantasy, and as historical novels. They are all of those combined; not easy to classify.

Her critics say that she shows too much anger toward men in general, and Jamie in particular, that her plots are patch-worked, and how could a woman be in love with, (and married to) two different men in two different centuries, anyway? Maybe so, but for me, her novels are engrossing, can't put-down, stay-up-all-night books...and I am in love with that great, red haired Jamie Fraser...lead me to the stone circle.

Diana is branching out into the genre of contemporary mysteries with her upcoming book, White Knight, which will be published in 2002.

Diana Gabaldon Home Page
All Things Outlandish
Bookworm's Lair - Diana Gabaldon
James Thin - Diana Gabaldon Page (the UK version)
Great new contest: Diana Gabaldon Outlander challenge
Chapter Excerpt from The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon



Her Booklist
Outlander Series
Outlander - 1991 (Cross Stitch in UK)
Dragonfly in Amber - 1992
Voyager - 1994
Drums of Autumn - 1997
The Fiery Cross - 2001
Sons of Liberty - (planned 6th installment of Outlander series)
The Outlandish Companion - 1999 (Through the Stones in UK)

White Knight - 2002 (Contemporary mystery)

Collaborative mystery novel: (chapter eleven by Gabaldon)
Naked Came the Phoenix - 2001
Short Stories published in these anthologies:
Mothers and Daughters - 1999 ("Dream a Little Dream for Me" with her daughter, Laura Watkins)
Mothers and Sons - 2000 ("Mirror Image" with her son, Samuel Watkins)
Out of Avalon - 2001 ("The Castellan" with her son, Samuel Watkins)
Fathers and Daughters ("A Stillness at the Heart")

Novella published as an e-book:

(No longer available in English, but here is the link to a previously published excerpt from Hellfire)

Rave Reviews

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Delacorte - 1991
ISBN: 0385302304 - Hardcover
Romance / Fantasy
Explicit Content

Reviewed by Beverly J. Rowe,
Buy a Copy

Gabaldon gives readers adventure, passion and love on a grand scale in this historical novel set at the end of the first World War. Combat nurse Claire Randall and her husband are enjoying a second honeymoon in Scotland while he researches his ancestors. She inadvertently steps between two halves of a split stone in a stone circle, and magical forces sweep her two hundred years into the past. At first she thinks the battle before her is a movie set, but it soon becomes apparent that the warriors aren't play-acting. She is taken to the Castle Leoch with the MacKenzie clan. She is a "Sassenach," or outlander, a British woman suspected of witchcraft. Then her nursing skills gain her respect when she applies these skills to the wounded red-haired Scottish warrior, Jamie Fraser.

Gabaldon's characters are unforgettable and her history is accurate. Writing this book required some serious research. The traditions and ways of life in the Scottish highlands of the 1700s are convincingly rendered with energy and excitement. Claire and Jamie are caught up in the war-torn struggles of the times and face many life-threatening situations. Claire struggles with loyalty to her husband in another century and her desire for another man. Finally, when faced with a possible death sentence, she marries Jamie Fraser.

There were some scenes in which I was upset with the characters and wanted them to behave differently than the author dictated...still, I couldn't put the book down, and did not hold a grudge against the author for not doing it my way. It was a very satisfying read ending with an unexpected but satisfying conclusion. I can't wait for the next book by Diana Gabaldon.


Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon
Delacorte - August 1992
ISBN: 0385302312 - Hardcover
Romance / Fantasy
Explicit Content

Reviewed by Beverly J. Rowe,
Buy a Copy

This second book in the Outlander series begins in 1968 when Claire Beauchamp Randall returns to Scotland. Her husband, Frank, is now dead, and her beautiful red-haired daughter, Brianna, accompanies her as Claire plans to tell Brianna the secrets of her birth. She also hopes to find out what happened to the great love of her life, Jamie Fraser.

Claire again chances a trip back in time to 18th century Scotland. Claire and Jamie flee to France, to the court of Charles Stuart and an ongoing, volatile feud with "Black Jack Randall." (Ancestor to Claire's 20th century husband Frank Randall?) "Black Jack" is a real stinker, cruel and vindictive.

Gabaldon's vivid imagination makes the battle of Culloden overwhelmingly, devastatingly realistic. She is able to convincingly portray the customs, fashions, laws and traditions of the times and the places where the story takes place. The French court is an exciting place and the characters introduced there will stay in readers' memories. Her historical facts are well researched.

She gives us yet another surprise ending. I wish it wasn't so long between books; I am always anxious to read the next one.


Voyager by Diana Gabaldon
Delacorte - January 1994
ISBN: 0385302320 - Hardcover
Romance / Fantasy
Explicit Content

Reviewed by Beverly J. Rowe,
Buy a Copy

This third installment of the Outlander series tells us of Claire's reunion with Frank Randall, her 20th century husband, and the birth of her daughter Brianna, who is Jamie Fraser's daughter. Claire has raised her daughter and become a doctor.

Claire discovers that Jamie Fraser survived the Battle of Culloden, and she is driven to try to find the love of her life again. Risking death and the possibility of never seeing her daughter again, she steps through the stones. This time her reunion with Jamie takes them on a flight for their lives to the West Indies and the American Colonies. The excitement escalates as they are thrown from one adventure to another. There are smugglers and pirates, voodoo and political intrigue. Gabaldon's remarkable imagination never seems to run out of ideas to keep me up all night. I found myself chastising the characters aloud when I thought they should have behaved differently. There are twists and turns in the plot that keeps you guessing.

The time travel aspect of this series is fascinating, and there are hints throughout that maybe some of the other characters have come from other times. I wonder if I could find a magic Druid stone circle...and if I did find one, would I dare to try it?

Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon
Delacorte - January 1997
ISBN: 0385311400 - Hardcover
Romance / Fantasy
Explicit Content

Reviewed by Beverly J. Rowe,
Buy a Copy

This fourth book in the Outlander series is set in pre-Revolutionary War America. The Frasers are faced with the choice of returning to Scotland, where there is extreme poverty and famine, or making a life in the New World. Claire, of course, knows that the Revolutionary War is about to start, and they both know their daughter is safe in the future. They choose the American wilderness, where they confront hardship, Indians and wild animals.

Brianna sees the future and is driven to try to warn Claire and Jamie in order to avert the disaster she foresees. She steps through the stones and transcends the time barrier. She's soon followed by Roger, the man who loves her and who can't stay in the future without her.

The book is a wonderful mix of history, romance and heart-pounding adventure. The Claire Randall Fraser/Jamie Fraser romance continues, but new characters are introduced or old characters are given a larger share of the plot.

Brianna seems like a bit of a spoiled brat and could use some "fetching up." Her 20th century ideas outrage her father. Gabaldon wrings every bit of emotion out of her characters and her readers as Claire sees history in the making and wants to change it.

After four very large volumes, I still can't get enough of this marvelous series. What great entertainment!

2001's Honorary List


All Rights Reserved.