imageBy Beth Wesson

What you’re about to read is my very first blog article.  When a particularly bad winter gave me lots of unexpected time, my nieces encouraged me to start a blog for writing practice.  I had no idea how to start, but they encouraged me to write about my interests.  My then current and so far enduring interest is Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.  So, I wrote about meeting her.  Unbeknownst to me, the little devils sent this to Diana and …she responded.  The rest as they say is history.  Because Diana wrote a book, I found out I’m a writer and I will be forever grateful. 

I recently read a love letter to the Outlander series and it got me to thinking. I love the series. In fact, they have ruined me. I read other things, I just don’t enjoy them as much as Outlander. I’m still surprised at the depth of emotion these characters and their stories wring out of me. My husband often catches me laughing out loud at a Jamie or Claireism. I love the series, but I gotta admit that I’m just as fascinated with the author. This being a fan thing is a new experience for me. I’m really not sure how to act without coming off as well…creepy. It’s a concern, but here I go anyway. I found myself curious about the creator of what have become my favorite books…..I started reading about Herself. I found Compuserve and her sites on Facebook,etc. The woman is just as fascinating as her books! At least, I think so. So, here is my list compiling reasons why Diana Gabaldon might be the coolest woman on the planet:
1. She’s been married for a long time to the same man. And, as far as I can see, she is still in love with him. To me this says a lot about her character.
2. She has passion. She seems to have the ability to chase after those things she wants and get them. She knew she was meant to be an author, so she became one. How much do I respect the fact that she did this without ever being concerned about being published? A lot!
3. She’s really smart; PhDs, college professor, researcher, knows her way around a sentence.
4. She can laugh at herself. In fact, she often cracks herself up. I witnessed this at a book signing to which she wore a clown nose.
5. She writes really hot sex scenes. Really hot sex scenes with characters in their 50’s in a committed relationship.
6. Her writing process. I find her approach fascinating. I’m not sure it could be taught, but wow I wish I could learn to handle ideas and words with her backward forward sideways methods.
7. Despite having fans and being called Herself, she shares her pictures and family/daily life. I’ve seen her hikes in the desert, her office in various states of being, her dogs ( I have a pug and two mini doxies) and her family. Remember the Christmas people played with their remote control life-like shark balloons? Diana shared a picture of the shark moving through her house. I’ve seen her with her very tall children and I’ll never forget how touched I was by her recipe for enchiladas and the reflection about her father. She seems genuine and I don’t believe fame will change her. I think she just adapts to all that it brings, good and bad.
8. She is very patient with her “fans”, but even she has limits. She writes some of the best comeuppances I’ve ever read. When she tells you, you’ve been told!
9. Those flowy caftans, kimonos, shawls and capes she wears. Personally, having watched her speak, I think there is probably a very practical reason for wearing them. However, they lend her some dramatic flair that fits the writer/professor/artist image. My husband had a theater teacher that came to class every day with his giant French poodle while wearing his full length red cape. Memorable.
10. She shared Outlander with the world.
Now, as my grand kids would tell you, I couldn’t be cool if I was sitting on an iceberg, but I think I can recognize someone who is cool. I wrote this in appreciation of the only “famous” person I have ever cared enough to meet. I’d love the chance to talk with her and tell her how delighted I was to find Tuscora Indians, Quakers and Moravians in her books. I grew up in a town called Tuscarawas in Tuscarawas county, attended events in the local Moravian churches and shopped in New Philadelphia the home of the Fighting Quakers (how is that for an oxymoron). I’d like to ask her if she knows about Zoar or the Indian massacre in Gnadenhutten and Schoenbrunn. But, when I had the chance to say something, anything, all I managed was, “it is so nice to meet you”. And even though it was obvious I was a star-struck, book-signing virgin, she smiled and said thank you and wrote me my very first autograph.
Stay cool Diana.



    • Kim Neshan

      I totally agree with your assessment of Diana’s character. She’s timeless, classy, funny and one of a kind. I feel very blessed to be a fan because experience the best series I have ever read.

  1. Eilen Ehrmann

    This is one of the ‘coolest’ things I’ve ever tead sbout Diana who just happens to be my favorite author!
    Thanks for writing this Beth! 👍

  2. Beth, you’ve said everything that I’ve ever thought about Diana. I’ve met her too and she’s signed a couple of my books to me personally AND I was also star struck and all I could think of to say was “Thank you for your wonderful books”. Now I realize that she’s probably heard, and read, it all but she said “you’re welcome” and allowed someone to take my picture with her. She never seems to be in a hurry to move fans along and I waited 3 hours in line to have her sign my books. I also am verra spoiled as far as other books are concerned — she’s a pretty high mark to make for any other authors I read — and I usually go back to her books, I’m currently on my 5th reread!!!

    • I just haven’t been able to find anything that compares! And as you can see I find something new to appreciate about the books all the time! Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment!

  3. Kate

    Beautifully written! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and feelings about Diana. She really is such a special person!

    It’s also neat to know that you’re from the New Philly area! I live just east of Canton and have relatives who live in Boliver and New Philly! 🙂 And I love Schoenbrun…

  4. Mary

    I had all these ideas of what I would say to her at the first signing (and only, but not last!) I went to. So what did I say? “I don’t have too many books, do I?”

  5. Thank you so much, Beth, for your love letter! I consider myself a reasonably intelligent person, but when it comes time to put my thoughts into words, I fail miserably! Thank you for expressing, so beautifully, my exact sentiments!!

  6. Susan Van Hoven

    Beth, you were saying that Outlander has spoiled you. I feel the same way although I do give other books a go due to my membership in a book club. Here’s another reason why Diana is so cool. One of the reasons why I love the books is that I can depend on all the characters to be who they are no matter how many times I read the story and no matter how many books Diana writes about them. They are also not dysfunctional. They are my soul mates. This is quite a feat to my mind because Diana is so consistent with her characters throughout 8 books, countless bulge books and short stories. I feel at home. These are my peeps, and now I have met their extended family, Outlanders.

  7. Jackie Campbell

    I was enchanted by DG’s picture on the back of my Outlander paperback in 1992 and I thought then that she was everything I wanted to be. She is still, and even more so. Definitely the coolest on the planet. Although now I want to be Terry Dresbach as well. And Catriona Balfe. And whoever gets to marry Sam Heughan. Oh well, in my dreams!

  8. Raesha

    What a great post!!! I too adore Diana. I have met her 4 times, and heard her speak twice – every time she has been so amazing! She is a loving, down to earth, beautiful human being!!!!!

  9. Kate

    My older daughter and her husband just bought a house in New Philly. Kind of silly I think since she works in Massillon, but hey, I’m just her mom. LOL! We live east of Canton in Louisville.

    Warmest regards from another Buckeye!

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