Outlander Author Diana Gabaldon Says Her Next Book Is "Not Quite Finished"

Caroline Hallemann
·5 min read
Photo credit: Courtesy of Starz
Photo credit: Courtesy of Starz

From Town & Country

Fans of the Outlander television show will be pleased to find out that there's plenty more of Claire and Jamie's love story to come.

While the show's most recent season is based on Diana Gabaldon's books The Fiery Cross, the fifth in the Outlander series and A Breath of Snow and Ashes, the sixth, the author says that her ninth book about Jamie and Claire, titled Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone, will be finished "soon."

Last year, a fan of the series asked Gabaldon, "Are there more books planned?!" To which the author replied, "Yes! Book 9 (Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone) will be out in 2019, God willing and the Creek don't rise..."

She later clarified that she doesn't control the publishing schedule, only her writing schedule.

"Well, it will certainly be _finished_ before the end of the year. When it's published doesn't depend on me, though--pub dates are decided by the publisher, and depend on all kinds of arcane stuff, including availability of press-time, paper, warehouse space and shipping."

On her official website, she writes that book 9 will be finished "soon," but "no, I don’t have a specific date."

And in an interview with T&C in February 2020, she shared that "It will be finished within the next couple of months, assuming I don't fall down and break something else." [Gabaldon recently fell and broke her shoulder.] But don't expect a publication date over the summer.

"As my husband often says, 'To a writer, finished is a relative term.' And it really is. There's finished—we type the end—but then you read it over again, and you find things that you want to add or take out, and so forth." And that's not even considering how the ongoing coronavirus crisis will impact the publishing industry, and potentially the publication date of Bees.

On her website, she also assures fans that when a publication date is set, she will share it publicly. And on Twitter, she recently noted that it is "not quite finished" but "getting closer."

Additionally, Gabaldon has hinted that yet another book is also in the works after that. "Book 10 will be along summat later...." she said.

Gabaldon has shared several excerpts from the new book.

In early March of last year, Gabaldon posted the the titles of the first seven chapters of the novel, names which include "The MacKenzies are Here!" "A Blue Wine Day," and the ominous "Dead or Alive."

See the full list in the post here:

And back in May, she shared an excerpt from the text featuring a conversation between Roger and Brianna:

In late June, she posted another set of chapter titles. See that post here:

And in August, she shared two additional sets of lines. The first specifically focused on Jamie's faith.

The second was about William and his life in Savannah. With that post, Gabaldon also confirmed that the book was still not quite ready yet.

In September, she uploaded another update, posting an excerpt about names and virtues.

And in February, she posted more lines about a shopping trip of Jamie's, and an intriguing conversation that happened during his time in Salisbury.

Most recently in October, she shared a conversation between Claire and John Quincy about bees.

She also hinted at a tragedy in the story.

During a video with the show's producer Maril Davis, Gabaldon opened up about the writing process.

"I'm now in the final phases, so I know what it is," she said. "And I can’t say there isn’t any tragedy. But it’s not Jamie." Davis noted that Gabaldon didn't say that Claire was safe from tragedy. Gabaldon confirmed: "I didn’t. We’ll have to see."

Even though the book is not yet finished, she's clearly made progress on the book since she last spoke with T&C in late 2018.

At the time, she shared that the writing process was going well, and she also revealed a one word summary for her new novel.

"I’ve been able to [summarize] each of my books, and the fact that I know what this novel's word is, is also an indication of how far we are with it. This one is 'responsibility,'” she said.

Her website also shares the origin of the book's unusual name. "Talking to your bees is a very old Celtic custom (known in other parts of Europe, too) that made it to the Appalachians," she writes.

"You always tell the bees when someone is born, dies, comes or goes—because if you don’t keep them informed, they’ll fly away."

We can't wait to find out what that has to do with the story.

While you can't pre-order the book just yet, for those who need to catch up, Diana's full catalog is available for purchase on Amazon.

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