Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra

Diana Gabaldon Book Signing

andra_1The date is June 23, 2014.  The place is Chapters, Rideau Centre, Ottawa, Ontario Canada. The occasion…getting to meet a favorite author of mine…Diana Gabaldon of The Outlander Series fame.

Approximately 500 – 600 fans gathered at this bookstore for a rare (by Ottawa standards) author book signing.  I was fan number 125 (or so).

At 7:05 pm Ms. Gabaldon took the stage and began telling a tale of how she came to write the first book in the Outlander series.  All was silent in the store…we were all in awe of this petite, 62 year old (that I found amazing!!!) author of numerous books.  We hung on to her every word.  It was interesting to learn that she began as a professor in the Center for Environmental Studies at Arizona State University in the 1980’s, she conducted research, was a scientific computing and database expert, and taught university classes in anatomy and other subjects. She was the founding editor of Science Software Quarterly. She also wrote software reviews and technical articles for computer publications, as well as popular-science articles and comic books for Disney.

We all thought it was funny that she decided to write a novel for “practice, just to learn how”.  She was not certain what genre to write. But given that her skill set was strong in research, she figured why not a historical novel that she could perform the research and then write.  She then regaled us of seeing an episode of Doctor Who at that time (a science fiction TV series).  From there she got the inspiration for Jamie….Ah….Jamie…

I was lucky enough to have been there two hours early, I was one of the last people to get a cardboard replica of Jamie in the upcoming TV Outlander Series!!!  As well, I got a book mark to go with my book!

We also had highland Scottish singers as part of the entertainment:


Now the interesting part of the evening (okay…it ALL was interesting).  Question and answer period.

  • Do you know how a story is going to go when you begin writing it?

No Ms Gabaldon answered.  I just let the characters take me on their journey.

  • How did you come up with the name for Jamie?

Jamie was inspired from the Doctor Who episode where one of the characters was a Scot from around 1745, a young man about 17 years old named Jamie MacCrimmon and it is he who provided the initial inspiration for James Fraser.

We found out through the evening that Ms. Gabaldon has such a great sense of humour.  I must say…I am more in “like” with this author more than ever now that I had the ability to attend this author signing.

And then on to the actual book signing.  I was impressed with the flow and how quickly this all took place.  A well-oiled machine I must say.