They Got Claire Right

Outlander-blue-cover-198x300When I heard that Diana Gabaldon’s OUTLANDER novels were being made into a series for the Starz TV network, I was worried.

I’m a self-declared expert on all things OUTLANDER.  I recommend the series to every single woman I’ve ever met.  I’m even a bit of a bully about it:  “You must read these books!”

I’ve read the first few books in the series more than once, and I’ve listened to the first one on audio more times than I can count.  What if the filmmakers ruin this terrific story?  What if they miscast the characters or the filming comes off cheap and campy and cheesy?  What if Claire Randall, the main character and unreliable narrator, is all wrong?!

I need not have worried.

At all.

The premiere is tomorrow (Saturday) night, but if you have On Demand you can watch it now.  Like … RIGHT NOW.  I’ve already seen Episode One — “Sassenach” — three times.  And I. Love. It.

Here’s what Diana Gabaldon had to say about her initial project:  I didn’t intend that anyone should ever see this book.  I wrote it for practice, as a means of learning to write a novel, and chose historical fiction because I was a research professor — I knew how to look things up.  But after all … if no one was going to see it ….

Of course I had no idea this incredible saga started out as “practice.”  That she never intended to publish the book, for anyone to see a single word of it.  From a writer’s perspective, this is such a lesson.  As hard as it is, I believe we should always write our books as if no one will ever see them —- it’s the only way to be totally free of inhibition and expectation.  (all of you who write books, or even essays or short stories, know exactly what I mean)

If you’ve never read the OUTLANDER series, beware, it’s addictive.  There’s history and mystery and lust and adventure and graphic sex and time travel and the Scottish Highlands of 1743 and the powerful, very real and extraordinary Claire Randall. The producers got Claire just right for the Starz series.  Perfection at work.

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