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All fans are waiting for the ninth volume of Diana Gabaldon's saga. Why is it taking so long? Here are some food for thought written by Courtney Williams for the outlanderbts website, commented on by Diana herself.

  

 

Diana has been working on Bees for a very long time now, probably long before the release of Volume 8, MOBY, on June 10, 2014. (I remember it well, my family was on vacation in Cancun, Mexico, with my mom, the June 12, and we went out of our way to get our copies of the book before the trip. I remember the kids (then ages 8 and 11) complaining, "Why Granny never leaves her room ?).
Why Bees puts it so long to come out? well, look at this in detail ...
Diana does not write in a straight line; she told us many times. She also mentioned that she writes scenes that sometimes get out of place within a book or transfer entirely from one book to another. So it's possible, maybe even probable, that parts of Bees existed even before Book 8 was released. Diana also works on multiple projects at once, and she never really stops writing between books. I understand that for her, Outlander is really a long story, which comes to her in stages; she strives to articulate the scenes she "sees" with precision and eloquence, to create the context for them, the bridges between them, and to shape it all into individual books as she goes.

 


I'm amazed that she even managed to create Outlander. She started this book, as most of you know, on March 6, 1988, to practice writing a novel. She was working in her garage in the middle of the night, deprived of sleep, with two full time jobs, a husband and three young children (all under 6 !!). But a mind like Diana's can't be shackled, that's clear. It took her 18 months to write Outlander, she sold it, and then it took another 18 months to get it published. She published the second book in the year that followed, and the third less than a year and a half after that, or so it would seem. Because appearances can be deceptive. When I finished writing this text, I sent it to Diana for

 


Diana: "I started the second book at the end of 1989, just after I sold the first book. No book had yet been released, no one had the slightest idea who I was, there was no book. There was no social media (except my friends from a small private online group on CompuServe) or other promotion to do. So basically I wrote most of Book 2 before I even wrote it down. Volume 1 was not published.
This is why Volume 2 was published a year after the 1. In fact, it took me a little over two years to write it, but I had that ten- eight months between the sale of the first volume and its publication.
Likewise, I still had six months during this time to start working on volume 3. Again, while writing this volume - which lasted almost three years - nobody was pushing me, he there was no promotion to do for the previous books (no one knew who I was, and there was no "platform" from which to promote solo), etc.


I had (very sympathetic) fans at the time, so I started a short (print) newsletter, which I distributed at all the conventions I attended (only one or two), and I started asking people to sign up on a mailing list. I also created my own website - "Voyages of the Artemis" - and I believe I was the first author to have one, because most people a) didn't understand why a writer would need such a site, and b) had no idea how to go about getting one.
So it all worked out pretty well, but it left readers with the completely mistaken idea that I could write (and write) one book a year. Which, considering the size and complexity of the books, is utter nonsense, but after all, people who aren't writers and aren't involved in publishing have no idea how it all comes down to. works.


The Voyage ended up on NYT's list - my first NYT bestseller! Very exciting. But:
a) now I ran out of buffer and had to write in real time, so to speak,
b) the books were getting longer and
c) much more complex (one thing that readers usually don't notice, let alone consciously realize, is that when you're writing an ongoing series of books, you have to decide how to deal with the fact that it's all about it. 'a series. That is, do yourself a preface at the start of each book, much like the Outlander TV show "Previously ....", explaining what happened. in the last book? Or do you take the most artistically satisfying path (but which takes a LOT longer) of taking the threads and mentions from the previous book and weaving them (more or less invisibly, hopefully) in the current book?
I chose the second route because I realized (now that I'm a NYT bestseller) that a popular book (like everything on the NYT list) appears in places like airport bookstores, where travelers rush to buy something for their flight, grab something that looks substantial and interesting, and don't have time to dig through the book and find out that this book is actually the third (fourth , fifth, etc.) in a series. I also didn't want them to find it in an airport bookstore, where they might not (at that time) have been able to get the first tome immediately. (Now they can; most airport bookstores keep my books on their usual shelves, but it's


This means that a good deal of the effort required to write one of these books is the invisible infrastructure (I call it "jacquard" compared to the weaving technique where a raised pattern is woven into the same thread as the whole tissue, and so is only faintly glimpsed until you tilt the tissue to the side) that allows someone to take, say volume 8, MOBY (aka Written in My Own Heart's Blood . "My Own Heart's Blood" = MOHB = MOH-B = MOBY. Also, it's big and white ...) and enjoy it, even if they haven't read the previous three million words.

Why is volume 9 long overdue?

Most writers don't, because it's difficult and takes time - and it increases with each volume, for obvious reasons: I'm juggling the 3-4 million words from previous books, and I build the structure (rather complex ) and the contents of the current book [Bees]. ”

Diana: “Now I have retired from my job at university, and that's a good thing, otherwise I would be dead. But even though it removed a big time constraint, my kids were getting older and getting a lot more interesting.... and my books were getting more popular. I started doing promotional tours, keeping the website up to date, and organizing independent events (apart from promotional tours, which only take place during the month or two after publication; I mean, the writers don't really 'tour' constantly, although a lot of readers seem to think they do, judging by the mail), and I've been getting more and more (and more plus and ...) fan mail, which in itself is a great thing, and much appreciated (it still is!) - but in fact it takes a long time to respond to people, even in such a way. very superficial ".

 

Diana doesn't see the vast majority of messages sent to her on social media. We know she sees some of them and answers them, but she says:


Diana: "... there are so many that if I started reading them, let alone answering them, I wouldn't write anymore. never a word of fiction. So I hope I don't hurt anyone by revealing this, but it's not personal, it's vital self-defense.
So the time between the third volume and the fourth Now was about the actual time it takes to write a 400K word book (keep in mind that a "normal" novel is 100K or less), all other things being equal ".
Below is the list of the top 4 ledgers and their publication date. You can see that the time between Book 3 and Book 4 was almost exactly 3 years.


Outlander (Le Chardon et le Tartan) - June 1, 1991
Dragonfly in Amber (Le Talisman) - July 1, 1992
Voyager (Le Voyage) - December 1, 1993
Drums of Autumn - December 30, 1996


Diana: “But of course not everything is equal. A writer naturally wants to talk to readers, see them in person, sign their books, communicate, etc. It takes time. I have had teenagers and young adults . It takes time. I also have a husband who I love very much (our anniversary was last week: our 44th, although we had been together for five years before that, we have actually been together for 49 years) - and it also takes time, but it is worth it. ” 

Most writers don't, because it's difficult and takes time - and it increases with each volume, for obvious reasons: I'm juggling the 3-4 million words from previous books, and I build the structure (rather complex ) and the contents of the current book [Bees]. ”

Diana: “Now I have retired from my job at university, and that's a good thing, otherwise I would be dead. But even though it removed a big time constraint, my kids were getting older and getting a lot more interesting.... Now that we understand this "jacquard", we can understand why the books gradually take longer as the series progresses. La Croix de Feu was released a little less than 5 years after volume 4. The sixth volume, which is the longest book of all (to date), came out a little less than 4 years after the 5, and the seventh was released almost exactly 4 years after 6. MOBY, the last book published in the series, came out almost 5 years after volume 7.


List of major books release, continued:
Drums of Autumn ) - December 30, 1996
The Fiery Cross (La Croix de feu) November 6, 2001
A Breath of Snow and Ashes - September 27, 2005
An Echo in the Bone (L '
Written In My Own Heart's Blood - June 10, 2014
Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone - 2021 🤞
The delay between the publication of volume 8 and that of Bees, will be the longest ever recorded ( 6 years and 8 months, and it's not over). But now, understanding Diana's process, and considering everything that happened between those two books, I'd say it's no surprise. Let's look at what happened between 2014 and now, for Diana. But first, she gives a little more detail about her priorities and the demands of her time ...


Diana: “People often ask, 'How do you get there?” “Y” stands for a number of things, personal and professional, but usually means either writing technique or time management. not the place to talk about writing techniques (although I love doing that!), and I have some work to do tonight so I don't want to drag on. But basically if you want to do a job complex and interesting and want to have a happy marital and family relationship, you had better set your priorities. Mine are:
1. Family. First, always.
2. Writing (or whatever profession that you have chosen)
3. Secondary profession (cf., "television series")
4.Cooked
5. Church, friends, social life, pets, etc.
6. Maintenance: body (exercise, food), house, organization of trips, reservation of pest control people and window cleaners, etc.
7. Promotion / Fans
I don't put "reading" as a separate item because I read all the time, everywhere, whatever else I'm doing. "


Many fans may not be aware that the TV adaptation of Outlander was being negotiated between Diana and the team in 2011 and 2012. It's a pretty complex process. For more details, go to: OUTLANDER TV Series FAQ, on Diana's website. And then, once the negotiations were over and the different levels of the team were in place, the writing took place, the hiring, the costumes, the sets, the additional hiring, the casting, etc. etc. and finally the filming. Diana participated in negotiations and meetings at every stage.
Diana: “The tv series kicked off around the same time as MOBY's release. That means a lot (not the majority,
She and Doug got on the plane and Diana toured the production studio during the preparation of season 1. They stayed there for ten days, during which we took her measurements for her costume, she learned her lines and filmed his cameo for episode 104, The Gathering. and my books were getting more popular. I started doing promotional tours, keeping the website up to date, and organizing independent events (apart from promotional tours, which only take place during the month or two after publication; I mean, the writers don't really "tour" constantly, although a lot of readers seem to think they do, judging by the mail), and I've been getting more and more (and more in addition to and ...) fan mail,
Diana doesn't see the vast majority of messages sent to her on social media. We know she sees some of them and answers them, but she says:
Diana: "... there are so many that if I started reading them, let alone answering them, I wouldn't write anymore. never a word of fiction. So I hope I don't hurt anyone by revealing this, but it's not personal, it's vital self-defense.


So the time between the third volume and the fourth Now was about the actual time it takes to write a 400K word book (keep in mind that a "normal" novel is 100K or less), all other things being equal ".
Below is the list of the top 4 ledgers and their publication date. You can see that the time between Book 3 and Book 4 was almost exactly 3 years.
Outlander (Le Chardon et le Tartan) - June 1, 1991
Dragonfly in Amber (Le Talisman) - July 1, 1992
Voyager (Le Voyage) - December 1, 1993
Drums of Autumn - December 30, 1996


Diana: “But of course not everything is equal. A writer naturally wants to talk to readers, see them in person, sign their books, communicate, etc. It takes time. I have had teenagers and young adults . It takes time. I also have a husband who I love very much (our anniversary was last week: our 44th, although we had been together for five years before that, we have actually been together for 49 years) - and it also takes time, but it is worth it. ” 

Indeed, the TV series adds to Diana's workload, in more than one way, on an ongoing basis. For each new season of Outlander, Diana receives, reviews and adds notes to all the storylines ...


Diana: "I read all the scenarios and all the iterations of all the scenarios. Each scenario goes through several versions (some involve a major rewrite, the latter usually just a few tweaks here and there) - up to seven or eight, in most cases. I also write occasional screenplays, which naturally requires intense writing, but let's see, a screenplay is (normally) around 52 pages, and the pages have LOTS of white space. A screenplay is a different challenge. and a lot of fun, but it falls far short of the level of effort that a novel requires every day. "


At first, Diana also advised the actors on their characters, namely Sam, on Jamie, as well as others by email or phone. In addition, it receives and examines the "dailies" and gives its opinion on them. The "dailies" are the sequences shot each day of production, before editing. The shoot (not counting makeup, hairstyle, costumes, transport, etc.), generally lasts between 5 and 10 hours each day.
Diana: “I watch every new set [of 'dailies'], but most days it takes half an hour; I only watch all the takes if the scene is very intense or detailed (or if it is interesting). ”


As mentioned, when a new book is published, Diana goes on (or did, before Covid-19) a press tour around the world. This can last up to two months after the publication of a new book. His last tour for a book was in 2014, for MOBY. Diana wrote an episode for Season 2: Episode 211, Vengeance Is Mine. As the episode writers do, she traveled to Scotland to be there for the two weeks this episode was being filmed.

She also wrote an episode for Season 5, Ep 511, Journeycake, but she chose not to fly to Scotland to attend this one, so as not to interrupt Bees' writing.


There are also the press inquiries with the accompanying trips that go along with the release of every new season of Outlander - especially the first seasons. In 2014, right after the release of MOBY, Outlander Season 1 premiered two months later on August 9. Diana was approached by many reporters for this premiere, as she was the only famous entity associated with Outlander at the time. For Season 1, there was a mid-season hiatus, and a brand new press tour for Season 1 part 2, in March and April 2015. She did press for each season of Outlander, two times for season 1 - ie 6 major press tours in the last 7 years; 7 tours, if you include his press tours for MOBY in 2014.
Diana wrote and published The Outlandish Companion, Volume 2, which was released on October 27, 2015. She also did interviews on this occasion. And on June 27, 2017, Diana released The Circle of Seven Stones, which includes two original stories written since MOBY's publication. Damn. This woman does a lot of things.


Diana: "Between MOBY and BEES (in fact, while I was writing BEES), I wrote (and had published) FOUR other books: The Outlandish Companion, Volume II, The Outlandish Companion, Volume I (revised edition), Le Cercle des Sept Pierres (a collection of short stories), plus a short story . And while several of these short stories have already been published, one of the short stories written for the anthology (A Fugitive Green) is 75,000 words long - either the length of an average romance novel), and "I Give You My Body ..." (How I write sex scenes). 


(I also edited (i.e. chose stories and wrote a foreword) the 2020 edition of Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories, wrote forewords for Outlander Kitchen (Volume I) and Clanlands, and the Reprint Library edition of Thomas Paine's Common Sense, a strange little historical thing called The Murder of Joaquin Murrieta, plus one that I can't tell you about because the publisher wants to announce my foreword in the part of the general announcement of their book).
And I frequently write articles and #DailyLines for my Facebook and Twitter accounts.
And, as Courtney notes, I'm actually writing bits and pieces of several other books - the Prequel (on Jamie's parents), Master Raymond's book, and a few other things you don't need to know to do it. moment ".


My brain is exploding!
Let's see, what else. Oh, Diana became a grandmother in July 2017, and went to help with the birth of the baby 👶🏼 😊 (Santiago Douglas MacLeod Briongos), and returned there several times since.

During the second half of December 2018, she cared for her longtime close canine companion, JJ, and lost him on January 2, 2019. 😢
She wrote,
Diana: "My best wishes for the New Year to everyone.
I'm sorry to have to start the year myself with some bad news; my adorable dog JJ died this afternoon (complications from a serious accident he suffered two weeks ago) and we buried him next to my garden, where he enjoyed hunting rabbits and toads with his brother, Homer.
Homer is in mourning and so are we. "

Santi's little brother arrived in August 2019 ... (LeÓn), other air travel to help.

A global pandemic hit the United States in February 2020, changing our lives, taking lives and increasing general stress levels for all of us. I've seen comments online about how the pandemic shouldn't impact Diana's writing productivity. I know these statements really mean, "I'm going through a rough time during this pandemic, and I need Outlander's next book ASAP!"
Diana has a daughter who works as a nurse in the operating room, which is very stressful during a pandemic, I imagine, because for her family comes first, always.

All of these Outlander books come from his unique mind, and everyone is touched by what is going on in our world. I imagine she is no exception. Not to mention the slowdowns that printing and editing can experience due to Covid-19 (see below).


In March 2020, Diana and Doug had a new puppy, Lucie (new puppies are a lot of work!)

And then (!!), in an accident linked to Lucie and Homer, Diana fell and broke her shoulder in April 2020, making her unable to type on the keyboard! (I don't remember if she had to have an operation 🤔) ...

I didn't even mention the many live appearances Diana has made since June 2014 unrelated to the tv series. She's done lots and lots of book signings, talks, Comic Cons, talks, charity events, interviews, etc. including the baptism of a ship in France (March 25, 2015),  

and trained for the first pitch at the Yankees game on September 14, 2018 (Diana dreamed of playing for the Yankees as a child 😌).

I'm sure there are a lot of other things that have happened and continue to happen backstage for Diana Gabaldon, with her marriage, her three children and her 2 grandchildren, church, social life. , friends, etc. On top of all that, the tv series and everything that goes with it, she constantly promotes the work of others ...

and the list goes on ... it's just the last year or so. Considering all of this, I would say she would be ahead if she was close to releasing this book!
In a May 2020 interview with Town and Country, Diana said:
Diana: “As my husband often says, 'To a writer, finished is a relative term. And it really is. It's finished - you type the end - but you reread it, and you find things that you want to add or remove, etc. ”
It is this process, which fortunately for us, will not influence her, even with the added pressure of the tired readers of the Covid, which makes Diana's books works of art; that's why we go back and dive into it again and again. One thing I'm sure of is
Now, I think we've answered the original question, "Why is Bees taking so long to develop?" But, I know you, because I'm one of you, so the real question is, "When will Bees be finished and on the shelves?"
In a recent interview with Diana, conducted by the Writers' Conference and the San Miguel Literary Festival, Diana gave a few more clues (in fact, she doesn't really know it herself).
Diana, February 13, 2021:
Diana said that Bees is finished at 7/8, and that "... this [time] is a very intense step forward, but at the same time I keep pausing and going through the lyrics to make sure everything Hangs on properly, so we don't really know when that will be over, hopefully in the next two or three weeks.
But the point is that once I'm done, everything goes to the publisher, which has its own very complex production system and so on: editing, proofreading, corrections, etc. But another thing is that the pandemic has hit publishing as much as any other industry, people are being made redundant and so on. There were only a few printing houses that could handle print runs, mostly large books, and I think there are only two now. Which means all the publishers are trying to find space - press time for their books, so there's a lot of scrambling and so on, and if you try to put something in, a little bit outside of it's own. point in the queue you have to pay a lot, and they don't want to either.
So with all of these things in mind, I can't tell you when the release will take place. You know, I guess, I'm not sure, that it will be sometime in the year, because like I said, the book itself is almost entirely out there already, so we'll have to wait and see how the other things are happening. But you know, once it's written, I'm out of control. Once I give it to them, I help with production and so on, because it has to be, but when it comes to scheduling press time, bookstores and distribution, space warehousing and shipping and all that sort of thing, I can't get in at all. So yes, let's keep our fingers crossed, let's hope all will be well. But it's a good book,