Thoughts and Updates on Bees, from Diana G. & Me

Photo: Diana G at home, Diana’s SM

I’ve given several updates on the status of Season 6 filming, (the latest:  OutlanderBTS What’s New: Signs of Season 6 ). The other burning question in our minds is, what’s the update on Bees?? Below are my thoughts on the subject, with input from Diana, and she gives us more clues on the when, as well.

Diana has been working on Bees for a very long time now, probably since before Written In My Own Heart’s Blood, or MOBY, was published, on June 10, 2014. (I remember it well, my young family was headed on vacation to Cancún, Mexico, with my mom, on June 12th, and we scrambled to get our copies of the book before the trip. I remember the kids (then 8 and 11), complaining, “Why won’t Grammie come out of her room sometimes???” 😂😂).

Why is Bees taking so dang long? Well, let’s examine this question in some detail… 

Diana doesn’t write in a straight line; she’s told us that many times. She’s also mentioned that she writes scenes that sometimes get moved around within a book, or get moved entirely out of one book and into a future book. It’s possible, maybe even likely, therefore, that parts of Bees existed even before MOBY was published. Diana also works on multiple projects at once, and she never really stops writing between books. My understanding is that for her, Outlander is really one big long story, that comes to her in scenes; she takes great pains to articulate the scenes she “sees” accurately and eloquently, creates the context for them, the bridges between them, and shapes all of that into individual books as she goes.

It’s amazing to me that she was even able to produce Outlander, at all. She started that book, as most of you know, on March 6, 1988, to practice writing a novel. She worked in her garage in the middle of the night, sleep deprived, with two full time jobs, a husband, and three small children, (all under the age of 6!!). But a mind like Diana’s cannot be tethered, clearly.  It took her 18 months to write Outlander, she sold it, and it took another 18 months for it to be published. She published DIA within the next year, and Voyager in less than a year and a half after that, or so it would seem, but looks can be deceiving. When I finished writing this piece, I sent it to Diana for her review, and she sent me back some particulars…

Diana:

“I started Dragonfly pretty much on the heels of selling Outlander  in late 1989—there was no book out yet, no one had any idea who I was, there was no social media (bar my friends on a small private online group on CompuServe) or other promotion to do.  So, basically, I was writing the bulk of Dragonfly  before Outlander was even published.

That’s why Dragonfly was published a year following Outlander.  It actually took me a bit more than two years to write, but I had that eighteen-month buffer of time between the sale of Outlander and its publication.

Likewise, I had six months of that time still in hand, with which to begin working on Voyager.   Again, while writing Voyager—which took nearly three years to finish—nobody was pestering me, there was no promotion to do for the earlier books (nobody knew who I was, and there was no “platform” from which to do solo promotional stuff), etc.

I did have (very nice) fans at this point, and so I started a brief (printed) newsletter, which I distributed at any convention I went to (only one or two), and started asking people to sign up for a mailing list.   I also started my own website—VoyagesoftheArtemis—and I believe that I was the first author ever to have one, as most people a) didn’t understand why a writer would need such a thing, and b) had no idea how to go about getting one.

So all this worked out pretty well—but it did leave readers with the completely mistaken idea that I could write (and was writing) a book a year.   Which, if you look at the size and complexity of the books, is utter nonsense, but after all, people who aren’t writers and aren’t involved in publishing have no idea how it all works.

So Voyager hit the NYT list—my first NYT bestseller!  Very exciting <g>.  But

  1. a) now I was completely out of my original time buffer and was writing in real time, so to speak,
  2. b) the books were becoming longer and
  3. c) much more complex (one thing that readers don’t usually notice, let alone realize consciously, is that when you write a continuing series of books, you have to decide how to handle the fact that it is a series. I.e., do you do a preface in the front of each book, akin to the Outlander TV’s “Previously….”, explaining what-all happened in the last book?   Or do you take the more artistically satisfying (but LOTS more time-consuming) path of picking up strands and mentions of the previous book and weaving them (more or less invisibly, we hope) into the current book?

I chose the second path, because I realized (now that I had an NYT bestseller) that a popular book (including the whole NYT list) shows up in places like airport bookstores, where travelers are rushing in in search of something to buy for their flight, snatch up something that looks substantial and interesting, and don’t have time to finger through the book and discover that this book is, in fact, the third (fourth, fifth, etc.) in a series.   I also didn’t want them finding that out in an airport bookstore, where they might not (at that time) have been able to immediately get Outlander off the shelf.  (Now they can; most airport bookstores keep my books on their regular shelves, but that’s a rare thing.)

This means that a good bit of the effort involved in writing one of these books is the invisible infrastructure (I call it “jacquard”—for the weaving technique where a raised pattern is woven in the same thread as the overall fabric, and thus is only dimly glimpsed until you turn the cloth sideways) that allows someone to pick up, say, MOBY (aka Written in My Own Heart’s Blood.  “My Own Heart’s Blood” = MOHB = MOH-B = MOBY.  Also, it’s big and white…) and enjoy it, even if they haven’t read the previous three million words.”

Courtney: Above is an example of a jacquard pattern.

Diana:

“Most writers don’t do this, because it is difficult and time-consuming—and it grows more so with each volume, for obvious reasons:  I’m juggling the entire 3-4 million words of the previous books, as well as constructing the (rather complex <cough>) structure and content of the current book [Bees].”

Courtney: 😲😲😲😲 

Diana:

“Now, I did retire from my university job, and a good thing, too, or I’d be dead.  But while that removed a large time constraint, my kids were getting older and much more interesting <g>…and my books were getting more popular.  I began having to do book tours, and to keep the website current and to do independent events (outside of book tours, which really only happen during the month or two following publication; I mean, authors really don’t “tour” constantly, though a lot of readers seem to think they do, judging from the mail), and I got more (and more and more and..) fan mail—in itself, a Great Thing, and very much appreciated (it still is!)—but it does in fact take a LOT of time to answer people even in a very cursory fashion.”

Diana does not see the vast majority of messages sent to her on social media. We know she sees and responds to some, but she says,

“…there are so many that if I even started reading them, let alone replying, I’d never write another word of fiction.  So I hope I’m not hurting anyone’s feelings by revealing this, but it’s not personal; it’s vital self-defense.

So, the lag between Voyager and Drums was now roughly the real time it takes to write a book that’s 400K words (bear in mind that a “normal” novel is 100K or less), everything else being equal.”

Courtney: Below is a list of the first 4 big books and their publishing dates. You can see the lag time between Voyager and Drums was almost exactly 3 years. 

  • Outlander (June 1, 1991)
  • Dragonfly in Amber (July 1, 1992)
  • Voyager (Dec 1, 1993)
  • Drums of Autumn (Dec 30, 1996)

Diana:

“But of course, everything isn’t equal.  A writer naturally wants to talk to the readers, see them in person, sign their books, communicate, etc.  This Takes Time.  I had teenagers and young adults.  This Takes Time.  I also have a dearly-loved husband (our anniversary was last week: our 44th, though since we were together for five years before that, we have in fact been with each other for 49 years)—and he takes time, too, but he’s well worth it. <g>”

Courtney:

Now that we understand about this “jacquarding,” we can see why books take progressively longer as the series goes on. The Fiery Cross came out just under 5 years after Drums. ABOSAA, which is the longest book of all (so far), came out just under 4 years after The Fiery Cross, and An Echo In The Bone came out almost exactly 4 years after ABOSAA. MOBY, the last book published in the series, came out almost 5 years after Echo in the Bone.  

Publication list of big books, continued:

  • Drums of Autumn (Dec 30, 1996)
  • The Fiery Cross (Nov 6, 2001)
  • A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Sept 27, 2005)
  • An Echo in the Bone (Sept 22, 2009)
  • Written in My Own Heart’s Blood (June 10, 2014)
  • Go Tell The Bees That I Am Gone (2021 🤞)

The time between the publication of MOBY and that of Bees, will be the longest one yet (at 6 years and 8 months, and counting). But now, understanding Diana’s process, and considering all that’s happened in between these two books, I’d say that’s no surprise. Let’s take a look at what’s happened between 2014 and now, for Diana. But first, she gives a little more insight on her priorities and the demands on her time…

Diana: 

“People often ask, “How do you do it?”  “It” meaning any of a number of things, personal and professional, but generally meaning either writing technique or time management.   This isn’t the place to talk about writing techniques (though I love to do that!), and I do have work to do tonight so I don’t want to go on too long here—but basically, if you want to do a complex, interesting job and you want to have a happy marital/family relationship, you dang well better set your priorities.   Mine are:

  1. Family. First, always.
  2. Writing (or whatever your chosen profession/avocation is)
  3. Secondary profession/avocation (cf., “TV show”)
  4. Cooking
  5. Church, friends, social life, pets, etc.
  6. Maintenance: body (exercise, food), house, travel arrangements, booking pest-control people and window-washers, etc.
  7. Promotion/Fans

I don’t list “Reading” as a separate line item because I do that all the time, everywhere, no matter what else I’m doing.”

Courtney:

Many fans may not know that the screen adaptation of Outlander was being negotiated by Diana and team back in 2011 and 2012. It’s a pretty complex process. For more details, go to: OUTLANDER TV Series FAQ, on Diana’s website. And then after the negotiations were complete and the multi pronged team was in place, the writing happened, the hiring, costumes, sets, more hiring, casting, etc. etc. and eventually filming. Diana was involved with negotiations and meetings every step of the way.

Diana: 

“The TV show did get underway pretty much simultaneously with the publication of MOBY.  That means that a lot (not the majority, but a lot) of my work time was directed there.”

Courtney: She and Doug flew out and  Diana toured the production studio during Season 1 gear up. They were there for about 10 days, during which she was fitted for her costume, learned her lines, and filmed her cameo for Episode 104, The Gathering.          

 

Indeed, the show does add to Diana’s workload, in more than one way, on a continuing basis. For each new season of Outlander, Diana receives, reviews, and adds notes to all scripts…

Diana:

“I do read all the scripts—and all the iterations of all the scripts.  Each script goes through multiple versions (some involve major rewriting, the later ones usually just tweaks here and there)—up to seven or eight, in most cases.   I also write the occasional script, and those naturally take some intense writing, but come on—a script is (normally) about 52 pages, and the pages have a LOT of white space.  A script is a different challenge, and a lot of fun, but it’s nowhere near the level of effort that a novel requires on a daily basis.”

Courtney: Early on, Diana also advised actors on their characters, namely, Sam, on Jamie, as well as others via email or phone. In addition, she receives and reviews and gives her feedback on the “dailies.” Dailies are the footage shot on each production day, prior to editing. Filming (not including makeup, hair, costumes, transportation, etc.), is generally between 5 and 10 hours long each day.

Diana:

I do look at each new set [of dailies], but most days, this takes maybe half an hour; only if it’s a very intense or detailed (or otherwise interesting) scene do I watch all the takes.

Courtney: As mentioned, when a new book gets published, Diana does (or did, pre-Covid-19), extensive press touring around the world. This takes up to two months following the publication of a new book. Her last book tour was in 2014, for MOBY. Diana did write an episode for Season 2: Episode 211, Vengeance Is Mine. As episode writers do, she traveled to Scotland to be on location for the two weeks this episode was being filmed.

Photo: Starz, Diana on location for Ep 211, Vengeance Is Mine

She also wrote an episode for Season 5, Ep 511, Journeycake, but she chose not to fly to Scotland to assist with that one, so as not to disrupt writing Bees

There are also the press demands with accompanying travel that go along with the release of every new season of Outlander – especially the early seasons. In 2014, just after MOBY was released, Season 1 of Outlander premiered just two months later, on August 9th. Diana was required for a lot of press for that premiere, as the only known entity associated with Outlander at the time. For Season 1, there was a mid season break, and a whole new round of press for Season 1 Part 2, in March and April of 2015.  She has done press for every season of Outlander, with twice for Season 1 – that’s 6 significant press tours over the last 7 years; 7 tours, if you include her press rounds for MOBY in 2014. These are all things she did not do before the advent of Outlander, the show.

Diana wrote and published The Outlandish Companion, Volume 2, which came out on October 27, 2015. She would’ve also done interviews for that. And on June 27, 2017, Diana’s Seven Stones To Stand Or Fall was published, including two original stories written since MOBY was published.  Dang. This woman does a lot. 

Diana:

“Between MOBY and BEES (actually, while writing BEES), I wrote (and had published) FOUR other books:  The Outlandish Companion, Volume II, The Outlandish Companion, Volume I (Revised Edition), Seven Stones to Stand or Fall (a collection of novellas, plus one actual short story <g>.  And while several of the stories were previously published, one of the new ones written for the anthology (A Fugitive Green) is 75,000 words—i.e., the length of your average romance novel), and “I Give You My Body…”  (How I Write Sex Scenes).

(I also edited (i.e., chose stories and wrote a Foreword) the 2020 edition of Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories, wrote Forewords for Outlander Kitchen (Volume I) and Clanlands, and the Reprint Library edition of Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, a strange little historical thing called The Murder of Joaquin Murrieta, plus one that I can’t tell you about because the publisher wants to announce my Foreword as part of their general book announcement.)

And I write frequent pieces and #Daily Lines for my Facebook and Twitter accounts.

And, as Courtney notes, I am in fact writing bits and pieces of several other books—the Prequel (about Jamie’s parents), Master Raymond’s book, and a couple of other things you don’t need to know about right now.” 

Courtney: My brain is exploding! 

Let’s see, what else. Oh, Diana became a grandmother, in July of 2017, and went to help with the new baby 👶🏼 😊 (Santiago Douglas MacLeod Briongos), and has been back many times since.

Photo: Diana G, Twitter

Over the second half of December, 2018,  she cared for her close canine companion of many years, JJ, and lost him on January 2nd, 2019. 😢

She wrote,

“My best wishes for a good New Year to everybody.
I’m sorry that I have to begin the year myself with bad news; my lovely dog JJ died this afternoon (complications from a freak accident he suffered two weeks ago) and we buried him next to my garden, where he loved to hunt rabbits and toads with his brother, Homer.
Homer is bereft and so are we.”

Photo: JJ and Homer curled up together

Santi’s little brother arrived in August of 2019… (LeÓn), more flying out to help. 

A global pandemic hit the US in February of 2020, changing our lives, taking lives, and upping the general stress level for all of us. I’ve seen some comments online about how the pandemic should not be impacting Diana’s writing productivity. I know these statements really mean, “I’m having a rough time during this pandemic, and I need the next Outlander book ASAP!”

Diana has one daughter who is a working OR nurse, very stressful during a pandemic, I would imagine, as family comes first for her, always.

Photo: Diana’s Twitter, her elder daughter, an OR nurse working during Covid-19

All of these Outlander books come from her one mind, and everyone is impacted by what’s going on in our world. I would imagine she is no exception. And that’s not to mention what slow downs there may be with printing and publishing due to Covid-19 (more on that below).

In March of 2020, Diana and Doug got a new puppy, Lucie (new puppies are lots of work!)

And then(!!), in a Lucie and Homer related accident, Diana fell and broke her shoulder in April of 2020, rendering her unable to type!! (I can’t remember if she had to have surgery 🤔)…

Photo: Diana does the End of Summer Series with Maril with her broken shoulder, Aug 23, 2020

I haven’t even mentioned the numerous live appearances Diana has made since June of 2014, unrelated to the show. She has done many, many book signings, speaking engagements, Comic Cons, conferences, charity events, interviews, etc. including christening a ship in France (March 25, 2015),

and practicing and throwing out the first pitch at the Yankees game, September 14, 2018. (Diana dreamed of playing for the Yankees as a child 😌).

Photo: Diana’s Twitter

I’m sure there’s lots more that has gone on, and continues to go on BTS for Diana Gabaldon, with her marriage, her three kids, and 2 grandkids, church, social life, friends, etc., the woman is a giver. In addition to these, the show and all that comes with it, she is constantly promoting other people’s work…

and the list goes on… this is just the last year or so.

*I was reminded by several people that Diana also has mentored and continues to mentor many up-and-coming writers, along with promoting people’s work.

Considering all of this, I’d say she’s ahead of schedule if she’s anywhere close to getting this book out!! 

In a May, 2020 Town and Country interview, Diana said,

“As my husband often says, ‘To a writer, finished is a relative term.’ And it really is. There’s finished—we type the end—but then you read it over again, and you find things that you want to add or take out, and so forth.”

Courtney:

This process, which thankfully for us, she will not be swayed from, even with the added pressure of clamoring Covid- weary readers, is what makes Diana’s books the works of art they are; it’s why we return to them, and immerse ourselves, over and over again. One thing I know for sure, is that Bees will be worth the wait.

Now, I believe we’ve answered the original question, “Why is Bees taking so dang long?” But, I know you guys, ’cause I’m one of you, so the real question is, “When will Bees be finished and on the shelves?”

In a recent interview with Diana by the San Miguel Writers’ Conference & Literary Festival, Diana gave some more clues, (as the reality is, she does not really know, herself). 

Diana, Feb 13, 2021:

Diana said that Bees is 7/8th done, and that “…this [time] is a very intense forward push, but at the same time, I keep pausing and going through the lines to make sure everything hooks up properly. So, there’s really no telling exactly when it’ll be done, but you know, within the next two or three weeks, I hope.

But the thing is, once I’m done with it, then it goes to publisher, who have their own very complex system of production and so forth: copy editing, proof reading, galley proofs, etc etc., which takes them some amount of time. The other thing though, is that the pandemic has affected publishing as much as any other industry, people are laid off, etc. There were only a few printing companies that could handle book runs, especially of large books, and at the moment, I think there are only two back in business. Which means all of the publishers are trying to get room – press time for their books, so there’s a lot of jostling and so forth, and if you’re trying to put something in, a bit out of its proper point in the queue, you have to pay a lot, and they don’t want to do that, either.

So, with all these things in mind, I just can’t tell you when the actually pub date will be. You know, I would guess, I’m not sure, that it will be sometime this year, because as I say, the book itself, is just about fully in existence, so we’ll just have to wait and see how all the other things work out. But you know, once it’s written, it’s actually not in my control anymore. Once I’ve given it to them, I help out with the production and so forth, because I have to, but as far as scheduling press time, libraries, and distribution, warehouse space, and shipping and all that kind of stuff, I can’t contribute at all. So yeah, cross your fingers, hope for the best. It’s a good book though, I think you’ll enjoy it.”  

 

Catch up on all my Season 6 posts in the new Featured Favorites Section, which I’ve just updated, and currently features posts about Diana. 😊

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*Update, post publishing

Source: Correspondence with Herself.

Source: Diana G’s website

Source: T&C 

Source: ComprehensiveMedia.com

 

41 comments on “Thoughts and Updates on Bees, from Diana G. & Me

  1. I picked up OUTLANDER not too long after it was published. Of course I was hooked! And the books kept coming in a reasonable time frame (mostly).

    Now, though? I just hope I’m alive long enough to be able to read book 10! 🙂 I’ll be 67 in 5 days. It’s a good thing the women in my family tend to live long lives. Grandmothers were 89 and my great-grandmother was 93!

    Kate

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  2. Thank you so much Courtney for this informative and
    interesting column on Diana, her writing process, books and schedule. Every impatient Outlander fan should read it and understand that Bees will be published when it is done! In the meantime, we have the comfort of reading all her other books and re-watching all 5 seasons! I will be the first person in line at the book store, the day that Bees is released and will put out a “Do Not Disturb” sign until I have have finished it!

    • I truly agree with everything you said, Joan & Courtney! I will also be in line for a copy as soon as it’s released. And I’ve already pre-ordered a signed edition from The Poisoned Pen (in Dec 2019 when there was speculation that the book was being published in early 2020)! I’ve waited this long, I’m fine with waiting longer still. It’s going to be a marvelous read & well worth the wait! Herself is very much a force of nature -I don’t think I’d survive if I were in her shoes! In Awe…

  3. Thank you so much Courtney. A comprehensive summary! I am so looking forward to BEE’s. I shared with A Dram of Outlander FB group.

  4. OMG, Courtney, this article is a beaut!!! During the pandemic, Outlander – the books , the series and the friends I made because of them have kept me sane. Diana’s words are filled with love and hope and knowing that Bees is (are) coming, fills me with joy! At today’s Hudson Highlanders meeting we chatted for a mere three hours. It was icing on the the cake to see a perfectly fitting Outlander BTS waiting for me when I signed off with the group. Thanks you.

  5. Thanks for putting this together Courtney. I will be sharing to the Outlander Cast Book Club (filled with anxious book readers). I quite agree with you… have patience… I am sure it will be worth the wait.

  6. Courtney;
    Thank you for your in-depth article. This explanation helps calm my over-eager desire for Bees.
    Diana is so amazingly talented!

  7. I’m pretty sure the fabric example you show is not a jacquard. Rather, it’s a brocade or a damask. The jacquard that Diana writes about is only one color. But the fabric appearance changes when you shift the direction of the fabric, making a subtle difference, which, I think, was the point Diana was making. Brocade and damask can be multicolored, like the example you show.

  8. Great review of the Outlander+ journey! I enjoyed reading and remembering. I have to say that I’m impatient, but know it will be more than worth the wait. Diana is an amazing woman!

  9. This is why we love Diana Gabaldon so much – a very down-to-earth, intelligent and brilliant woman. I love her humour. What Diana is saying is that quality takes time and loving attention – which is why we love the Outlander books so much. Every one of her books is worth the wait – because in the end when we read them we can’t put them down till we finish them and then read them over and over again. Thank you Courtney for sharing the “Thoughts and Updates on Bees, from Diana G. & Me”. This is a treasure for sure.

  10. Thanks so much, Courtney for all this information. Diana is truly brilliant and as we all know, a master of her craft! I enjoyed reading about her list of priorities and how it all works out. I must say that I was exhausted just reading about her very full life! I can’t wait for Bees either, but it will definitely be worth the wait!

  11. Whew! I’m exhausted just reading about Diana’s life! So glad she has family and a life beyond her professional commitments.
    Truly she is an amazing woman. Creative, imaginative and intelligent. What I call a Universal Woman.
    This is a personal reference to any individual who is capable and willing to experience and contribute to all aspects of human endeavor. The Arts, Science, Humanity. In university (Arizona State, Tempe) in a Humanities course, we learned of the concept, as with the Renaissance man, Leonardo da Vinci. Amazing, in that Diana Gabaldon is the epitome of the concept in our time.
    As for “Bees”. It will arrive when, like fine wine, well fermented and melded, ready to savor and enjoy, making it well worth the wait!

    • Hi Alma+Lou+Annab: Beautifully said – as I reread my Outlander books 1-8, it is like a very fine wine. Delicious fine wine is savoured and enjoyed – just as each page of the Outlander books are savoured and enjoyed – and the best of all – we go back for more.

  12. you’ve outdone yourself yet again, Courtney, thank you! I, for one, want Diana to have a healthy happy life outside of her writing so she can keep writing many many more years for all the generations to come who will appreciate everything she has done with that amazing brain and talent. Thanks for helping us understand a bit more about what goes into her writing process.

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  13. Wow Courtney, just you and Diana writing this and putting together this piece was a lot of time and work, but it was sure interesting seeing her lay out all that goes into writing, proofing, publicizing, editing and all that is entailed in getting a book out to the population is intense and time consuming, not to mention the rest of her life going on. Thanks for this detailed description of why we can’t expect Bees too soon. We all need it, especially now. But now we understand a bit better.

    Suzie xo

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    • Wonder why I got two thumbs down for my comment. Maybe it wasn’t well written, but certainly not anything confrontational.

  14. Hi Courtney, big thanks for this terrific article. Lovely to have an OutlanderBTS piece in the inbox when I woke to grey skies in London (UK). Like everyone, I’m so looking forward to BEES and to series 6. When do you think we might hear if Outlander will have a 7th season on TV? fingers crossed for that!

    Mandy x

  15. Apart from extra grandchildren, I have read nothing but SPINN. Problems are just things we all have to deal with and resolve. Fans were led to believe we would get the book in December 2019 BUT ONLY 7/8 written HAS DIANA HIT THE WRITERS BLOCK. It’s come to the stage that I WILL NOT RUSH TO BUY THE BEES BECAUSE I could be dead before it’s finished BUT it must be comforting that ‘AT THE MOMENT FANS WANT THE BOOK’ nothing lasts forever. I will wait and buy mine in a CHARITY BASKET. Sorry but really for a dedicated Fan I have all your books and the DVD’s ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

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  16. Diana’s Outlander series books are a gift to us, and I will not gripe about the timeline she and her publisher take to bring one to us, the readers, except to say that this past year would have been the ideal time for us to have been able to allay some of the fear and anxiety life with Covid has burdened us with, with Bees to read. I am not saying this with any blame assigned to anyone….just stating a fact. I, also, worry about being around to complete reading Jamie and Claire’s story, as I am in my 70s. I am hoping that, as before, Diana has made a start on book 10, which is supposedly the final book of the series, and that the time between Bees and book 10’s publication is not as long as book 8 to book 9; not only for reading purposes, but also for tv production/televising purposes. If not, then the Outlander tv show would need to either break books into two seasons per book (not a bad thing, imo), or take a hiatus before filming and airing book 10.

  17. Great article Court! Your research as well as Diana’s words give us all a bit of perspective. BEES will happen in it’s own time….just like most of life. :-}

  18. Thanks for that comment, Rebecca! The textile historian in me said um, not jacquard when I looked at the sample (I believe it’s brocade)!

  19. I’ll wait patiently until is done. I’m amazed that she ranked fans number 7 in her priorities! I mean she’s attending us very often so she really has a great capacity to do many things together.

    Thanks for this post Courtney. It’s very nice.

  20. Thank you for your brilliant blogs. Your article about ‘Bees’ was amazing, so informative. It certainly help me in my impatience to be read book 9. So far I have spent the last two hours reading your blog…so much info to get through, well done!
    PS.. on reading the description of the fabric, I had in mind damask, but I’m most likely wrong 🥴

    • You are very welcome, Susie, thank you for reading, and for the compliment. 😌 I need to do some more reading on the fabric, I am getting a lot of input, some conflicting. Now I’m curious! (I doubt you’re wrong). xo

  21. Hi Courtney..

    What a great informative post.

    We as Fans have plenty to keep us occupied in the Outlander World while we wait for “Bees”. Diana has given us such rich and incredible writing in all her books. She has a great gift and I so appreciate that she shares it with us. Thank you Diana. I am in awe.

    • Thank you Theresa, I’m glad you enjoyed it. She is pretty awe inspiring!

      Yes, and there _are_ other books and authors too, while we wait (blasphemy!) 😉, not to mention all the things Sam H. gets up to! I recently read “Shuggie Bain” which I enjoyed very much and can highly recommend. xo

  22. Thanks for all this info. I can see why Bees would be complicated to write. As the books go on they are so detailed to read and complicated with expanding characters .

    • Exactly. Diana’s response to me was very educational for me. Juggling 3-4 million words to weave into the current book! Daunting, unless you take it very very slowly, over a long period of time…

  23. Thank you for all the detail about Diana G and all things Outlander that she has been involved with. Well done. I understand the writing process more than many. ( I’m in year eight of a historical memoir with a writing partner. We have a lot written, edited and reviewed, but have taken a long-needed break this winter for life.) Whenever Bees is done, I’ll close my life down until I can finish reading it.

    • Wonderful Jean! Life does come first, and there is beauty in allowing things to happen in their own time (in my opinion). Best of everything to you with your memoir. xo

  24. Courtney,
    Thank you so much for this in-depth account of the creative and technical sides of Diana’s work. Your alternating voices detailed the many aspects of the writing and the publishing; the juggling of work, self and family; and the expansion of Outlander to STARZ and beyond. Diana’s matter-of-fact descriptions of her process contrast with the volume of material she creates. And that content is filled with multiple layers and nuanced storylines. While I wait, I’ve decided to re-visit Diana’s writings by reading random chapters from the books and from her collected novellas. It will be somewhat like examining photos from the family album; each selection is a snapshot with it’s accompanying memories and emotions. As I read, I will reminisce and anticipate my reunion with the Frasers, knowing that it will be as sweet as the honey from the Bees.
    Very Much Appreciate all that you do!

    • What a lovely poetic thought, Ann Marie, thank you for sharing it. You’re very welcome. Diana doesn’t need me to advocate for her, but I wanted to, as her friend and her admirer. Have a beautiful day. xo

  25. Thanks, Courtney and Diana. I would like to think readers would be more understanding that a book is completed in its own time. No doubt the undercurrent of the stress of the pandemic has moved a certain people a few notches away from civility. Well wishes to both of you. I look forward to purchasing “Bees” when it is available.

  26. Thank you so much Courtney! This article was just amazing in the information and details that make up the busy and amazing world of Diana and the Outlander Universe! It is an incredible thing. I have been a forever fan. I can’t believe that there can be such an immense talent as Diana. I am and will forever be her passionate fan. Like everyone else, I am dying to get my hands on “Bees”….it’s been a very long time! I know it will be worth the wait. I truly enjoyed every bit of this in depth article and Diana’s input and openness that she always gives to all interviews, etc. which she gives to the never ending marketing and promotions involved with her world. You did good! Thank you again! xo #OutlanderForever

  27. Thank you for the great article and the filling in of some of the family delights of Herself. I am excited for the release of Bees, unlike many others who are bored and tired of being home from the pandemic. We who were not paying attention to the news bought a new house two days before they closed the state down. No more hired movers, and as seniors we both had to move our entire home two hours away with our pick up trucks. It was the worst and longest move of my life. So I am actually ready for some sit down and pay attention to my favorite books time, every time I carried another box in I said “I wish I had nothing to do and was bored”. LOL Two grandbabies Diana your heart must be so full of joy.

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