An Open Letter to Diana Gabaldon

Standing Stones at Callanish 

(WARNING: This post contains Spoilers for Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander Series)

Dear Diana,

I must admit it, you had me at Sassenach.


In Outlander you’ve given us one of the greatest romantic heroes in the history of all romantic heroes: Jamie Fraser.  And for him I shall always be grateful.  Any woman with blood flowing in her veins cannot resist Jamie Fraser. I can’t count the times I’ve been at a party where all it took was for Outlander and Jamie to get mentioned and the entire conversation devolved into breathless sighs and knowing nods.

What woman doesn’t fancy herself as Jamie’s Claire?  After reading the wedding night scene you made even me seriously wonder for a moment, “Where can I get myself a 23-year old red-headed, Scottish virgin?”

And I think aging them was a perfect stroke of genius.  I loved that part.  As your readers grow older they want to see older characters still getting it up and getting it on.  I love that Jamie and Claire are still as hot for each other now as they were when they were in their 20s.  It gives me hope and inspiration. Thank you for writing this epic story of these two people truly in love with one another throughout all time and history.

That said, Diana, please hear me. I’m a fan.  A real fan. I might not be your #1 Fan, or even your #2 Fan, and I might not own any Outlander jewelry, but I’m a real fan nonetheless. And as a real fan, I feel it is my obligation to tell you the truth.  I’ve followed the tale of Claire and Jamie down all your many twisty-turny, timey-wimey paths, but you’re trying my patience and, Diana, I must warn you, you are now on my very last nerve.

Risking the vengeful wrath of the powerful Ladies of Lallybroch, I’m going to say it out loud, “Echo in the Bone was purely frustrating and somewhat of a disappointment.

My best guess is that you’ve gotten a little big for your breeches and your editors aren’t as quick to rein you in, but rein you in they should have done. There was simply too much William. Chapters and chapters of William wandering out in the fog was BORING and it is against the law for your books to be boring.

Sadly, the children have not lived up to the promise of the parents, Diana. It happens. It really isn’t your fault. Jamie and Claire are so big, who can possibly fill their shoes? Sadly, it will neither be Bree nor William.  Bree’s not so bad and I really like Roger, even if he is no Jamie Fraser, but at least they are moderately interesting. But William is flat and one-dimensional. I find myself wondering if he even can be Jamie’s son. What is up with that? My best suggestion: he needs to get laid.  Please. Diana, give him a girlfriend. Because if you give him a boyfriend I’ll never forgive you.

And while we’re on the topic of boyfriends, Diana, I can’t speak for the rest of your readers, who apparently are ponying up the bucks and buying Lord John books, but I don’t want to read about gay romance.  Even if it is the saintly Lord John.

Yes, he’s a nice enough fellow; I don’t begrudge him his love life.  BUT I absolutely do not want to read about it. Haven’t you made enough amends now to all the homosexuals of the world when you created a nice gay character after that evil sadomasochistic pervert, Black Jack Randall? Can you please stop now and focus on the main thing–finishing Outlander? Because even if all Lord John does is get a twinkle in his eye for the guy across the room, I’m not going to read about it. I’m just not. I don’t want to read about gay sex. I don’t want to read fantasies about gay sex. I don’t want to read about preludes or afterludes to gay sex.  Period. I’m a straight woman who just isn’t into gay male sex. Sue me. That’s just the way it is.

And what in the name of everything that is good and holy did you mean to do by marrying Claire to Lord John? Honey, I’m afeared you have jumped the shark.

No. I just thought you’d jumped the shark when you married the very gay Lord John to Claire, AND HAD THEM HAVE SEX WITH EACH OTHER, leading to one of the world’s greatest WTF?s in literary history. But as if that wasn’t bad enough, then you came out with this:

A comic book?  Really? You wrote a comic book? You, who can make words dance on a page, wasted your time and talents on putting out a comic book? Er, forgive me, “Graphic Novel.” Which is just a fancy name for a COMIC BOOK.

You’ve Got to be Kidding Me.

Please, Diana, STOP! Put down the Lord John, stop writing comic books, quit traveling around the world doing book signings, or reviewing musicals based on Outlander. (I’m sorry, your story is wonderful, but I just get all sick to my stomach and squeegy inside even thinking about being trapped in a theatre audience and forced to listen to Jamie and Black Jack singing to each other in Wentworth Prison. BLECH!)

So this is my final and plaintive plea: Diana, please finish the Outlander Series and finish it well. I’m not exactly sure how you’re going to be able to do that now with the mess you’ve created in Echo, but somehow you have to do it. Redeem it all. End it as it should, with Jamie standing as the ghost under Claire’s window in Inverness in 1945 and all will be forgiven.

Love,

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27 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Diana Gabaldon

  1. Ha, ha!! I agree my dear, TO IT ALL! I listen on audiobook or I'm not sure I'd have the time or patience to have gotten through it all. I do love Jamie and Claire though and will endure to that sweet, intriguing end that you mentioned.

  2. And Amen. If we can't have World Peace and sustainable energy then at least we could have a good ending to a great story.Diana, please stop mucking around!

  3. I'm one of those heretics who sometimes skims the end of a book first, to see if I want to read the whole thing. The ending of Outlander, and the earlier incident to which it refers, pegged the "Ewww" meter for me and made me pass on reading the series. I've started to reconsider, but now your post has me re-reconsidering. I don't want to get mired in a series that has a disappointing finale, no matter now appealing the male lead.

  4. Oh.My.Word. YES!! I wanted to like Echo, I really really did – after waiting eons for it to be released. It was pretty darn horrible. Maybe you can send her this post. Couldn’t hurt.

  5. I have actually worried about the same thing when I have been heavily invested in series – "What if I DIE before I find out what happens????" Very distressing :p

  6. Awesome letter, Chloe! I just hit her website a week or so ago, looking for an update. My trips to the library have been unexciting lately.I believe book eight is due out in 2012. I haven't been able to bring myself to read the Lord John books either, but I may make an exception for The Scottish Prisoner. There's and excerpt of it on her website. Can you begin a book that way???

  7. Reading this makes me remember all the time we've spent talking about this, so all I have to add is YES! In fact, I've stopped reading the series.

  8. Yes! I just finally couldn't take it anymore. I hope she reads this letter. I hope the Ladies of Lallybroch don't find me and force me to eat my own liver.

  9. I think book eight is going to be called "Bloody Men" or something. I've read a couple of excerpts and I have no idea. I want Diana to know I pray for her to live every day. I would be willing to read a book on the character of Raymond and I think she's supposed to be working on that.

  10. Ahhh, I wondered if you'd see this and how you felt. I just can't imagine anyone was satisfied by her last book. So long and draggy for the first ten thousand pages and then suddenly four cliff-hangers in the span of a paragraph or two? WTHeck?

  11. I must admit that the end of Outlander was shocking for me. I can't take much of that sort of thing without feeling queasy. But in the end I felt it was totally worth it and it made Jamie a fully-fleshed out character instead of the usual sort of simple romance hero we usually get.

  12. I'm so sorry about you having trouble. I'm not tech savvy enough to trouble-shoot much yet. I think disqus is sometimes fickle.I can't listen to audio books. I wish I could. BTW, love your blog.

  13. It is a concern. Somebody the other day said to me, "I hope Jesus comes back soon" and I thought, "Not before Diana Galbaldon finishes Outlander I hope."

  14. It must be tough to keep all those characters and their convoluted stories straight. I hope she hasn't forgotten. If not Jamie then who was the ghost?

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