Meeting Diana Gabaldon

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Yesterday my sisters, mother, and I went to the Fergus Scottish Festival and Highland Games to meet Diana Gabaldon. Growing up we knew Diana Gabaldon was mum's favourite author and Outlander her favourite book and would buy any of her books we saw for Mother's Day, Birthdays and Christmases. When the Outlander show came out two years ago, we were excited to see why our mum loved the story so much. Two words: Jaime Fraser! It has been a nice experience to all be excited about the same series so when my sister Amanda told me Diana Gabaldon would be in a nearby town I knew we all had to go!

Diana was scheduled to speak and sign books twice on Saturday and twice Sunday. We decided to go to the first talk at 8:30 to escape the crowds (man were we wrong!) We got to the sports complex at 8:00 to get seats. To enter the auditorium you had to walk through a stone archway.

Once through the archway you could view the stage, equipped with a painted backdrop depicting the Scottish highlands and surrounded with hand painted Standing Stones!

At 8:30 Diana came on the stage and described how she was inspired to write Outlander. She said  she had always wanted to be a writer and at the age of 35 she thought "Mozart was dead by 36 so I better start writing." Since she was so good at research she decided to write historical fiction. One day she was watching and episode of Doctor Who with a burly Scotsman in a kilt and she decided to write about 18th century Scotland and the Jacobite rebellion (because a good story needs conflict).

She went on to describe the publication process and how she came to be a global phenomenon. She answered some questions from the audience then went to the back of the room to sign books. We rushed to get in line and waited a good two hours but then Diana had to leave because she wasn't feeling well. The volunteers at the event gave us a number and told us to come back in an hour. Luckily for us, outside the auditorium the Highland Games were taking place. We walked around and snacked on shortbread and cornish pasties. Along with food and merchandise vendors the clans each had a booth. The Fraser booth had a Jaime cutout to pose with.

An hour had passed and Diana still hadn't returned. Eventually she came back and started signing books again but sadly she had to leave to do her 2:00 talk. But finally, at 3:30, we finally reached the end of the line and met Diana and had our books signed!

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