Thursday, 8 January 2009

On the Eleventh Day of Christmas my True Love Gave to me...Eleven Pipers Piping.

When I attended the book launch of Diana Gabaldon's most recently published book in her Highlander series, "A Breath of Snow and Ashes", held in Munich, she was piped in by at least eleven pipers, with bagpipes and drums, attired in full Scottish dress.

It was September 12th, 2005. Barbara Schnell, her German translator (coincidentally whose last name translates as 'quick') had worked so well with her, the German version was in print before the English one - it was a German worldwide premiere event!

Thankfully it was a large venue. It was quite appropriate to be accompanied by pipers, since the books are based around the adventures of Claire and her Highlander Jamie, and some plots are set in Scotland. I was delightedly in the third row, my lucky number. Coincidentally, one of the pipers in the band had played at my wedding. It was a sign, I was sure. I could follow my dream and become a writer too.

The next book 'An Echo in the Bone' is one that I am most looking forward to of 2009. It is expected to be completed by the end of 2008 and released in late summer 2009, published by ORION in the UK . Excerpts are available on her website, (see the excerpts tab). She has also just released the UK proof cover on her blog.

A toast to Diana Gabaldon who lives on the other side of the Atlantic from my birthland of Scotland, may your laughter be as deep as the ocean, and your troubles be as light as foam. Happy New Year!

About the author:
Diana Gabaldon is the author of the award-winning, NYT-bestselling Outlander novels, described by Salon magazine as "the smartest historical sci-fi adventure-romance story ever written by a science Ph.D. with a background in scripting "Scrooge McDuck" comics."

Her books are difficult to classify by genre, since they contain elements of romantic fiction, historical fiction, and science fiction (in the form of time travel). Her books have so far been sold in 23 countries, and translated into 19 languages besides English.

The adventure began in 1991 with the classic Outlander ("historical fiction with a Moebius twist"), continued through five more New York Times-bestselling novels--Dragonfly in Amber, Voyager, Drums of Autumn, The Fiery Cross, and A Breath of Snow and Ashes--and a nonfiction (well, relatively) companion volume, The Outlandish Companion, which provides copious details on the settings, background, characters, research, and writing of the novels. Gabaldon (it's pronounced "GAH-bull-dohn"-rhymes with "stone") has also written two historical mysteries, Lord John and the Private Matter, and Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade, as well as several novellas featuring Lord John Grey.

A Breath of Snow and Ashes, the most recent novel in the main Outlander series, opened simultaneously at #1 on the bestseller lists of four countries, and won both a Quill Award and the Corine interntational literary prize for fiction.

Dr. Gabaldon holds three degrees in science: Zoology, Marine Biology, and Quantitative Behavioral Ecology, (plus an honorary degree as Doctor of Humane Letters (though no one has yet explained to her just what a humane letter is) and spent a dozen years as a university professor with an expertise in scientific computation before beginning to write fiction. She has written scientific articles and textbooks, worked as an editor on the MacMillan Encyclopedia of Computers, founded the scientific-computation journal Science Software Quarterly, and has written numerous comic-book scripts for Walt Disney.

The Outlander Series
Outlander (Cross Stitch in UK) (1991)
Dragonfly in Amber (1992)
Voyager (1994)
Drums of Autumn (1997)
The Fiery Cross (2001)
A Breath of Snow and Ashes (2005)
An Echo in the Bone (Release date TBC)

Lord John Series
Lord John and the Hellfire Club (novella) (1998, initially an audio only release)
Lord John and the Private Matter (novel) (September 2003)
Lord John and the Succubus (novella) in Legends II (book), edited by Robert Silverberg (September 2003)
Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade (novel) (August 2007)
Lord John and the Haunted Soldier (novella) (November 2007)
Lord John and the Hand of Devils (collection) (November 2007, a collection of three novellas)
Lord John and the Hellfire Club (novella)
Lord John and the Succubus (novella)
Lord John and the Haunted Soldier (novella)
Lord John and the Scottish Prisoner (novel) (Forthcoming)

Other Books:

The Outlandish Companion (Through The Stones in the UK.) (1999), A guide to the Outlander series containing synopses, a character guide, and other notes and information.
Naked Came the Phoenix (2001), a collaboration with twelve other authors.


Paul said...

Oh to have a book piped in! What a great idea. Was there a dry eye in the house?

the Amateur Book Blogger said...

Paul - it was pretty impressive - I wonder if then you really feel you've 'made it' - when you have a full piped band play at your book launch. It was certainly rousing and fitted the books so well. Looking forward to this next one in later 2009, very much.