Diana Gabaldon Biography & Facts
Diana J. Gabaldon (; 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. A television adaptation of the Outlander novels premiered on Starz in 2014.
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. Her father was of Mexican ancestry, and her mother was of English descent.Gabaldon grew up in Flagstaff, Arizona. 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.
Gabaldon was the founding editor of Science Software Quarterly in 1984 while employed at the Center for Environmental Studies at Arizona State University. During the mid-1980s, Gabaldon wrote software reviews and technical articles for computer publications, as well as popular-science articles and Disney comics. She was a professor with an expertise in scientific computation at ASU for 12 years before leaving to write full-time.
In 1988, Gabaldon decided to write a novel for "practice, just to learn how", and with no intention to show it to anyone. As a research professor, she decided that a historical novel would be easiest to research and write, but she had no background in history and initially no particular time period in mind. Gabaldon happened to see a rerun episode of the Doctor Who science fiction TV series titled "The War Games." 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. 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."To explain the character's modern behavior and attitudes, Gabaldon chose to use time travel. 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."
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. 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. When her second book was finished, Gabaldon resigned her faculty position at Arizona State University to become a full-time author.As of 2014, the Outlander series comprises eight published novels. The ninth installment, Go Tell the Bees That I am Gone, will be published on November 23, 2021. Gabaldon also published The Exile (An Outlander Graphic Novel) in 2010. The Lord John series is a spin-off from the Outlander books, centering on a secondary character from the original series.
Gabaldon lives in Scottsdale, Arizona with her husband Doug Watkins, with whom she has three adult children. Her son, Sam Sykes, is also a fantasy writer.
Gabaldon is a Roman Catholic.
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. 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.
Outlander (1991) (published in the UK and Australia as Cross Stitch)
Dragonfly in Amber (1992)
Drums of Autumn (1996)
The Fiery Cross (2001)
A Breath of Snow and Ashes (2005)
An Echo in the Bone (2009)
Written in My Own Heart's Blood (2014)
Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone (forthcoming, to be published on November 23, 2021)Short works
"A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows" (2010), a short story in the anthology Songs of Love and Death. Later collected in A Trail of Fire (2012), and Seven Stones to Stand or Fall (2017).
The Space Between (2013), a novella in the anthology The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Domination. Later collected in A Trail of Fire (2012), and Seven Stones to Stand or Fall (2017).
Virgins (2013), a novella in the anthology Dangerous Women, later collected in Seven Stones to Stand or Fall (2017).
"Past Prologue" (2017), a short story written with Steve Berry and published in the anthology MatchUp. The story acts as a crossover between the Outlander franchise and Berry's Cotton Malone series, featuring the characters Cotton Malone and Jamie Fraser.
A Fugitive Green (2017), a novella published in the Gabaldon collection Seven Stones to Stand or Fall.Related
The Outlandish Companion (1999), a guide to the Outlander series containing synopses, a character guide, and other notes and information; revised and updated as The Outlandish Companion (Volume One) (2015)
The Exile: An Outlander Graphic Novel (2010)
The Outlandish Companion (Volume Two) (2015)
"Vengeance Is Mine", Outlander season 2 episode (June 18, 2016)
"Journeycake", Outlander season 5 episode (May 3, 2020)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. 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.
Lord John and the Private Matter (2003), novel
Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade (2007), novel
The Scottish Prisoner (2011), novelNovellas
Lord John and the Hellfire Club (1998), novella first published in the anthology Past Poisons, edited by Maxim Jakubowski
Lord John and the Succubus (2003), novella published in Legends II, edited by Robert Silverberg
Lord John and the Haunted Soldier (2007), novella published in Lord John and the Hand of Devils
Lord John and the Hand of Devils (2007), collection of three novellas (Lord John and .... Discover the Diana Gabaldon popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Diana Gabaldon books.