Last night I saw Diana Gabaldon speak at her last MOBY book tour appearance. She was a little hoarse but still delightful, and told a few stories I’d heard before and a lot that I hadn’t. I almost got to ask her a question at the end (do you find it’s easier to write in third person than in first…?), but the session closed with me next-in-line. Alas.
I stood in line to have her autograph a copy of the original Outlander book, and had this picture taken. She was in full robotic survival mode at that point, but still managed the perfect smile for every picture.
Hercule Poirot said that he could believe in one coincidence, but not two. Well, I’m not sure that that’s a maxim to live by, because there have been far too many strange coincidences in my life–too many times when too many unlikely things lined up all at once. My husband calls these situations “cracks in the Matrix”. Well, Diana Gabaldon is a Ph.D., credentialed in biology, who always knew she ought to be writing novels but didn’t get around to it until her thirties. Me, too.
In her case, the drive to write eventually overtook her–in my case, after having read her Outlander series straight through twice, I simply couldn’t find anything else I wanted to read, so I had to start writing my own fiction. She gave me the tone, the genre, the themes–whatever you want to call them. She gave me the zeitgeist.
And for that, I want to say, thank you Diana. You’ve been an inspiration.