Message From The Author

Diana Gabaldon

Book Title: DRUMS OF AUTUMN
Genre: Time Travel, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance

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Author's Message

Drums of Autumn

"Well," I said to my editor a year or so ago. "Guess what? There are five of them." To which my editor (psychic that she is) replied, "Why am I not surprised to hear this?"

'Them,' of course, are the books of the Outlander series: Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber, Voyager-and now the fourth book, a January release from Delacorte, Drums of Autumn.

Now, when I started writing Outlander, I was doing it solely in order to learn how to write a book. I had no notion even of showing it to anyone, let alone ever trying to publish it. All I wanted to do was to see if I could get from one end of a novel to the other. Turned out I could.

While I'd begun Outlander with no goals beyond finishing it, by the time I did finish it, I realized that there was more to the story-but I thought I'd better stop while I could still lift the manuscript. Still, I told my agent that there was more to this story, if anyone was interested. Turned out someone was.

We were offered a three-book contract, and I settled down peacefully to the next 900-page installment only to realize-toward the conclusion of Dragonfly in Amber-that there was no way on earth I could get from the end of the Jacobite Rising of 1745 to the American Revolution in 1776 in the space of one more book.

"Er...I think there are really four books," I said to my agent.

"Well, don't tell anybody," he said. "At least not until we see how the first ones do." Turned out they did all right-luckily, enough people seemed to like the first three books that when the Awful Truth was revealed, Delacorte not only wanted the fourth one, but a small 'prequel' volume as well, dealing with the love affair between the parents of Jamie Fraser, hero of the Outlander series.

So I settled down to the next phase of development-only to discover after a year or so that I was pouring five pounds of sugar into a one pound bag. Hence my phone call to the editor-and a contract for the fifth book in the Outlander series, titled The Fiery Cross.

"Are you sure you really have that much story?" asked my husband, giving me a fishy eyeball. "You're not just padding this stuff, are you?"

"Ha!" I said, "I spent two and a half books dealing with the Jacobite Rising, which was a six-month war with one central figure (Bonnie Prince Charlie) and three battles-and you expect me to get the whole American Revolution into one more book?"

Actually...I think there are six. But don't tell anybody yet.

Write to Diana at P.O. Box 584, Scottsdale, AZ 85252-0584. An SASE is appreciated.


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