I resisted. I did! I told myself I’m not a fan of that genre – historical fiction/science fiction/adventure/romance – at least not all in the same story. Plus, my high school students were the ones who told me about Outlander, and they carried one of the series around with them like it was a membership in an exclusive club. Then the TV series was advertised and I realized it was based on the books I had heard so much about, so I watched the first episode. Instantly, I was hooked!! I couldn’t buy Outlander fast enough, and the minute I read the first chapter, I knew I was going to read every single Outlander book. And I did. Sometimes you need to “go through the stones” into another world.
I have always been a fan of books with strong characters over plot. As a writer, I believe if you get the characters right, the story will follow them, and the characters in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series are perfect. James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser and Claire Elizabeth Beauchamp Randall Fraser. From the moment they were introduced on the page, I could see them, hear them, and even smell them. Jamie’s Scotch Highlander accent and Claire’s proper British voice rang in my ears. Not only the main characters, but the books are populated with wondrous figures that walk off the page and into your imagination.
Over the years, I have been disappointed by numerous TV series and movies based on books. It was wonderful to see a book come to life on the screen the way I had envisioned it. The actors were, in my opinion, perfect. As magnificent as the setting was, the characters were more so, proving my belief that if you get the characters right, the rest will fall into place.
Beginning with Outlander, the characters who live, fight, and die in Gabaldon’s imagination create their own world of myth and mystery, a world I enjoyed visiting. The history, romance, and adventure was just a bonus!