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Saturday, 9 August 2014

Because ... Outlander

I read Outlander in 1991, just after it was published. I'd wandered into a bookstore after reading Jack Finney's Time and Again, and asked the girl behind the counter about time travel books. She'd heard great things about Outlander, so I bought it. I was just out of college then, so buying a new paperback instead of trolling the used bookstores was a big deal. My bookshelves were full of mysteries and spy novels, fantasies with dragons and white gold rings, all with beaten spines and dog-eared pages.

So I took my sparkly new red paperback and I went home to read.

I didn't leave the couch. I read. I didn't answer the phone. I read. I didn't eat or sleep or sometimes even breathe. I read Outlander.

And then I recommended the book to anyone who would listen. Anyone looking for something to read. Never mind if they only read non-fiction, or espionage, or picture books, this book - THIS BOOK was amazing.

Impeccably researched. Beautifully written. Characters to love and hate and want to be friends with. Characters who inspire rage and joy and anguish.

And, you know, Jamie.

This book had everything that makes a person wonder, years later, if they read the book or saw the movie. The mental pictures are that clear, the scents and sounds are that vivid. Except, you know, Jamie.

Who could they possibly cast as Jamie? What living, breathing human man could ever be so full of life, so full of breath as to take yours away with a look or a smile.

Fast forward 23 years. Now I'm an author of two time travel books - the down payment on a five-book series. My fascination with time travel turned into a passion along the way, and just like my passion for passion, was fed and fostered by my love of Outlander.

So to stumble across this, to find Tempting Fate keeping company with Diana Gabaldon's amazing books on the day Outlander finally comes to visual life for the millions of readers who fell in love with it like I did - this takes my breath away.

Because ... Outlander.