I used to be a normal person - or, at least I could keep up a *semblance* of normalcy. Yes, that was until the summer of 1996. When I first heard the name Diana Gabaldon. My life hasn't been the same since!
I first heard of Diana from a Compuserve friend of mine who knew her, and who mentioned Diana was (and still is) a section leader in one of their literary forums, and that she was a writer. I happened to check out the forum because of a "Trainspotting" thread that was in progress, and ended up exchanging messages with Diana. It was then I realized she actually was a *published* writer, and so I decided to ask her about these *books* she had written - having no idea that she was ... well, *famous*! When I asked her what *sort* of books they were, she said they were categorized differently in different books stores - sometimes in fantasy, or romance, or sci-fi! At that point I felt it only polite to tell her I'd give one a try, although I was a bit skeptical at first because when I heard "fantasy" and "sci-fi" I really had my doubts, since neither genre appealed to me. In fact, I remember distinctly at that point thinking, "Ohmigod, what will I say if I don't like her book? Oh, yes, Diana, that book was ..... [gulp] *great*!" But, having committed myself, I decided to go for it, and reserved all three of them at the public library.
I must point out that at this point I *still* had NO COMPREHENSION of how well known she was and how loved her books were!!!
On reflection, I have a vague recollection of some mention of them being a series, but that obviously went in one ear and out the other, and as it happened DRAGONFLY IN AMBER was the first one I read. I was a bit confused, coming into the story half-way, as it were, but once the story moved back to the 1700s in France, I was so intrigued with this couple Jamie and Claire Fraser, that I couldn't put it down!!! I was hooked - a total addict! Only to have my heart torn to shreds when they parted, not to mention nearly having an aneurysm when I finished the book and found out that Jamie in fact had never been killed in Culloden!!!! After that ending, I was SO livid, I was going around the house fuming "That is the STUPIDEST ending for a book I've ever read! I am SO sick of reading books that are great all the way through, then the ending sucks big time!" I ranted to myself like this for about five or ten minutes, until something in my obviously pea-brained mind snapped, and I ran to the book, and and read the jacket flap where it mentioned that Diana was in the process of writing the NEXT book in the continuing story! I was so happy and relieved, I couldn't believe it!
So, I read VOYAGER next, finally getting around to OUTLANDER third. All I can say is - "PEOPLE, if you haven't read the books yet, PLEASE START WITH OUTLANDER!!!!" It lays all the ground work for the rest of the series, and the books make MUCH MORE SENSE if you read them in order! I am just glad that Diana is such a great writer she had me hooked despite reading them out of sequence.
Thus started what, for me, will be a life-long love of Diana's books, and a particularly sexy and lovable man, one Jamie Fraser! My life has taken on a whole new dimension thanks to Diana and her wonderful books. "I LOVE JAMIE FRASER!!!" is a battlecry I scream proudly.
Over the past year, I have been actively seeking out the most HARD CORE Jamie/Claire/Diana fanatics on the internet! I had this idea for a group of ELITE Gabaldon fanatics - because I truly believe Gabaldon fanatics are an elite group of people. I found true kindred spirits in six other ladies who, with me, are the founding members of the Ladies of Lallybroch. They are Val, Laurie, Tamara, Kimberly, Stephanie, and Lorri. Lorri also deserves the credit for our fabulous name!
Our original plan was to set up our web site and fill it with tons of
information about Diana, her books and characters - especially Jamie!!!
And, here we all are! :-)
One of these days, when I get myself sorted out, we'll have our HUGE and hopefully very comprehensive and interesting web page. In the meantime, I would like to thank Val profusely for suggesting this newsletter, and for getting it off the ground and keeping us entertained while I get my arse in gear!
I would like to extend a hearty welcome to all Gabaldon fanatics world-wide, and encourage you to feel free to post messages on our message board.