Tuesday, April 7, 2015

A Warm-Hearted read and an "Oulandish" Memory

By Ludima Gus Burton

Love knows no age limits Kay Holland, a fifty year-old widow, doesn't want to be called a cougar. Although fifteen years separate them, thirty-five year old, Drew Lawrence, isn't her cub! She must, however, overcome her own doubts of the age difference, his son and her daughter's opposition and social prejudice to reach her happy ending.

Diana Gabalton, author of Outlander

For OUTLANDER fans, I will mention this because the second half of the first book started airs on STARZ this week. It's watchathon week, too, so cable people almost everywhere can get a free peek.

I'm sure Diana will not remember me, but I will never forget meeting her in the pouring rain outside a locked dorm at Skidmore College after her Limo Driver had dropped her (and 5 cases of hardback copies of the Just Released!) Outlander in the pouring rain. 

The IWWG Summer Conference was one of the first stops on her very first publicity tour and the start of her visit was not exactly propitious. We all got soaked, but her smile never faltered. I will never forget her. She was kindness and open-hearted  generousity itself. She told us how she got started writing the OUTLANDER series.

After years of wanting to write in the mystery field, Diana decided to do a "practice book," so she could learn the techniques before doing a book to show other people.  Since her field was history, Diana chose a historical about Scotland in the time of Bonnie Prince Charlie. After all, the book was only for practice. The subject didn't matter...

When she had 800 pages written, she posted a chapter on an Internet Writer’s Forum, and the next day she had email from Big Name Writers who recommended that she contact their agent.

She sent him the 800 (known in the industry as a “doorstop”) pages and when he called, admitted it was only the “first third” of the story. He said, “I’ll get back to you,” and hung up.

 Everyone on the Internet forum scolded her for the manuscript being too long, and she figured she’d never hear from him again.

A week later he called back and said they would have to cut the story into manageable chunks and make a series of books from it. And so the Outlander series was sold for $1 million advance.

And now  Diana's working on the last??? book, and meanwhile STARZ is airing the second half of Book One and getting ready for Book Two to begin in the ...fall? I have to say once more how much I admire her for waiting for the right venue and not selling this to the movies when they were clammoring. The cable series is almost as good as the books... Almost....

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