Diana Gabaldon: biography
The American novelist Diana Gabaldon is famous for The Outlander book series and the screen project based on it. The writer dreamed passionately about literature and started her career as a zoologist, biologist, and ecologist. After 30, the woman found the way to express herself in texts, and the whole world has been watching Claire Randall, Jamie Fraser, and other characters since that time.
Childhood and youth
Diana was born in Scottsdale, Arizona. Her Mexican father, Tony Gabaldon, worked as a school teacher and headmaster and then took up politics as an Arizona senator. The man worked for 16 years and became a Coconino supervisor. The mother, Jacqueline Sykes, was the mayor’s daughter and the offspring of the city founders.
The girl was born on January 11, 1952. According to the family legend, it was the coldest and, perhaps, the scariest day in Jacqueline’s and Tony’s lives. The doctor lived several miles away from them; when childbirth began, the 21-year-old young people had to ride an iced mountain road. They could fall down every second.
Everything went out well: the parents were on time, and the doctor helped the baby be born. Diana mentioned in her interviews that she was born on Friday, when Catholics did not eat meat. Her father, a religious man, forgot about everything and ordered bacon and eggs in a nearby bistro.
Gabaldon spent her childhood among pine forests and snow-covered peaks of Flagstaff. Today, she feels good only in that atmosphere; her best novels are written there.
The girl dreamed of writing, but the parents believed it was necessary to have substantial education and be confident about the future. Diana graduated from school and entered Northern Arizona University to study zoology; she finished her studies as a Bachelor in 1973. Besides, she has degrees in marine biology and ecology.
Before Gabaldon began to write for herself, she worked as a chief editor of Science Software Quarterly; the woman reviewed software and computer articles, as well as sci-fi materials and comics for Walt Disney.
Diana created her first book in 1988.
“I wrote a book to learn how; essentially, just for practice <…> Obviously, the only way to write a book is to write a book. Nobody has ever shown me how to write any of the other stuff. I just looked at a few examples and tried it; and if it didn’t look right, I poked it until it did”, the writer told journalists.
Thus, the novel Outlander appeared; it was published in 1991. Surprisingly, it got the first fans and recognition six months before the release: Diana posted a part of the unfinished text on an Internet forum to provide some evidence for her thought. People noticed the extract; one of them offered the writer to introduce her to a literary agent. Thus, early promotion began.
The main character, Jamie Fraser, came to existence thanks to the series Doctor Who. The episode “The War Games” portrayed a Scottish man living in 1745. Diana’s story was set in Scotland in the 18th century; the main female character, the former military nurse Claire Randall, was a present-day English woman.
Outlander is about time-traveling; its twisted plot interprets historical themes and makes readers go deeper and deeper into the magic world. People liked the first book, and other novels followed. The series includes Dragonfly in Amber, Drums of Autumn, The Fiery Cross, and so on. The third book, Voyager (1993), became the New York Times bestseller.
The novel An Echo in the Bone from the same series and shows new details of the familiar characters. In 1777, Claire and Jamie find themselves in the center of the war for independence in America. At the same time, the daughter Brianna and her husband, Roger, study old documents in the modern century and try to solve the complicated family problem.
Four years before that, the seventh book, A Breath of Snow and Ashes, was presented. The author devoted the novel to Charles Dickens, Robert Louis Stevenson, Dorothy L. Sayers, John Dann MacDonald, and Pelham Wodehouse.
“Time is, of course, all-healing. Give anything enough time, and everything is taken care of: all pain encompassed, all hardship erased, all loss subsumed. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Remember, man, that thou art dust, and unto dust thou shalt return. And if Time is anything akin to God, I suppose that Memory must be the Devil”, Diana wrote in the prologue.
The work on the screen adaptation began in 2013; the premiere of the series Outlander took place in 2014. Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, Tobias Menzies, and Gary Lewis played the main characters. Diana worked as a consultant; producers listen to her opinion, especially when it touches upon the key ideas and plot twists.
Thanks to the popular series, the new cycle Lord John appeared. This secondary character proved to be an interesting figure and received his own literary universe. The first book was released in 1998; both critics and the audience welcomed it enthusiastically.
Apart from long book series, Gabaldon presented several collections of short stories.
Diana Gabaldon is married; her husband’s name is Doug Watkins.
The couple has three children: Sam, Jenny, and Laura. The son has followed in his mother’s footsteps: he is a fantasy writer known as Sam Sykes.
Today, the woman lives in Scottsdale, Arizona. She has two dachshunds, cats, and parrots. Wild animals live near the house and sometimes go close to find some food.
The writer has Facebook and Twitter accounts; she communicates with fans, shares photos, and provides the latest news about her life and literature. Gabaldon has no Instagram page.
The new book Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone is expected soon; some extracts of the upcoming novel have been published on the official website.
Diana Gabaldon’s net worth is unknown; it is estimated at $100 000-1 million in 2019.
- 1991 – Outlander
- 1992 - Dragonfly in Amber
- 1993 – Voyager
- 1996 – Drums of Autumn
- 2000 - The Fiery Cross
- 2003 - Lord John and the Private Matter
- 2005 - A Breath of Snow and Ashes
- 2007 - Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade
- 2007 - Lord John and the Hand of Devils
- 2009 - An Echo in the Bone
- 2011 - The Scottish Prisoner
- 2011 - Lord John and the Plague of Zombies
- 2014 - Written in My Own Heart’s Blood