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Diana Gabaldon (born January 11, 1952)

Diana J. Gabaldon (born January 11, 1952) is an American author, known for the Outlander series of novels. Her books merge multiple genres, featuring elements of historical fiction, romance, mystery, adventure and science fiction/fantasy.

Gabaldon was born on January 11, 1952, in Arizona, of Mexican and English ancestry. Her father, Tony Gabaldon (1931–1998) was an Arizona state senator from Flagstaff.

Gabaldon grew up in Flagstaff, Arizona. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Zoology from Northern Arizona University, 1970–1973, a Master of Science in Marine biology from the University of California, San Diego, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, 1973–1975, and a PhD in Behavioral ecology from Northern Arizona University, 1975–1978. Gabaldon received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters (DHL) degree from Northern Arizona University in 2007.

As a full-time assistant professor in the Center for Environmental Studies at Arizona State University in the 1980s, Gabaldon did research, was a scientific computing and database expert, and taught university classes in anatomy and other subjects. She was the founding editor of Science Software Quarterly. During the mid-1980s, Gabaldon wrote software reviews and technical articles for computer publications, as well as popular-science articles and comic books for Disney.

In 1988, Gabaldon decided to write a novel for "practice, just to learn how" and with no intention to show it to anyone. As a research professor, she decided that a historical novel would be easiest to research and write, but she had no background in history and initially no particular time period in mind.

Gabaldon happened to see a rerun episode of the Doctor Who science fiction TV series titled "War Games." One of the Doctor's companions was a Scot from around 1745, a young man about 17 years old named Jamie MacCrimmon, who provided the initial inspiration for her main male character, James Fraser, and for her novel's mid-18th century Scotland setting. Gabaldon decided to have "an Englishwoman to play-off all these kilted Scotsmen," but her female character "took over the story and began telling it herself, making smart-ass modern remarks about everything." To explain the character's modern behavior and attitudes, Gabaldon chose to use time travel. Writing the novel at a time "when the World Wide Web didn't exist," she did her research "the old-fashioned way, by herself, through books." Later Gabaldon posted a short excerpt of her novel on the CompuServe Literary Forum, where author John E. Stith introduced her to literary agent Perry Knowlton. Knowlton represented her based on an unfinished first novel, tentatively titled Cross Stitch. Her first book deal was for a trilogy, the first novel plus two then-unwritten sequels. Her U.S. publishers changed the first book's title to Outlander, but the title remained unchanged in the U.K. According to Gabaldon, her British publishers liked the title Cross Stitch, a play on "a stitch in time"; however, the American publisher said it "sounded too much like embroidery" and wanted a more "adventurous" title. When her second book was finished, Gabaldon resigned her faculty position at Arizona State University to become a full-time author.

The Outlander series presently comprises seven published novels, with the eighth installment, Written in My Own Heart's Blood, scheduled to have an official North American release date of June 10, 2014. Gabaldon has also published The Exile (An Outlander Graphic Novel) (2010). The Lord John series is a spin-off from the Outlander books, centering on a secondary character from the original series.

Gabaldon lives in Scottsdale, Arizona with her husband Doug Watkins, with whom she has three adult children: Laura, Jenny, and fantasy author Sam Sykes.

Gabaldon's Outlander won the Romance Writers of America's RITA Award for Best Romance of 1991. A Breath of Snow and Ashes (2005) debuted at #1 on The New York Times Hardcover Fiction Best-Seller List and won the Quill Award for Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror. In 2007, The Montreal Gazette noted that Gabaldon's books "are in demand in 24 countries in 19 languages," and that the author "continues to churn out one bestseller after another." By 2012 her novels had been published in 27 countries and 24 languages.

Lord John and the Private Matter reached #8 on The New York Times Hardcover Fiction Best-Seller List in 2003. In 2007, Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade debuted at #1, and the Hand of Devils collection reached #24 on The New York Times Hardcover Fiction Best-Seller List. The Scottish Prisoner debuted at #6 on The New York Times E-Book Fiction Best-Seller List in 2011, and the novella A Plague of Zombies was nominated for an Edgar Award by the Mystery Writers of America for the “Best Short Mystery Story” the same year. Reviewing the Lord John series, Publishers Weekly said that "Gabaldon's prose is crisply elegant" and that she "brings an effusive joy to her fiction that proves infectious even for readers unfamiliar with her work or the period."

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diana_Gabaldon

Further Readings:

Lord John and the Private Matter by Diana Gabaldon
Series: Lord John Grey
Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Dell; Reprint edition (October 28, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0440241480
ISBN-13: 978-0440241485
Amazon: Lord John and the Private Matter (Lord John Grey)
Amazon Kindle: Lord John and the Private Matter (Lord John Grey)

The year is 1757. On a clear morning in mid-June, Lord John Grey emerges from London’s Beefsteak Club, his mind in turmoil. A nobleman and a high-ranking officer in His Majesty’s army, Grey has just witnessed something shocking. But his efforts to avoid a scandal that might destroy his family are interrupted by something still more urgent: The Crown appoints him to investigate the brutal murder of a comrade-in-arms who may have been a traitor. Obliged to pursue two inquiries at once, Major Grey finds himself ensnared in a web of treachery and betrayal that touches every stratum of English society—and threatens all he holds dear. From the bawdy houses of London’s night world to the stately drawing rooms of the nobility, Lord John pursues the elusive trails of a vanishing footman and a woman in green velvet, who may hold the key to everything—or nothing.

More Spotlights at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Lists/Gay Novels

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Tags: author: diana gabaldon, in the spotlight
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