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An Evening with Diana Gabaldon and Neil Oliver

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Written by Catriona Stevenson

I was so lucky to have had the opportunity to attend the “Evening with Diana Galbadon and Neil Oliver” event at Stirling Castle on Monday night (23rd November 2015) and I managed to get a few snap shots and had my book signed by the lovely Diana herself.  

I thought that I would list a few anecdotes from the event and I can honestly say that she was the wittiest, smartest and most charismatic lady I have ever had the opportunity to meet. She is also very beautiful and makes you believe that you really can have it all.

If you ever get the opportunity to meet her, go! You will not be disappointed.

So the evening started with an introduction to both authors; Neil Oliver and Diana Gabaldon. It was a very surreal experience to see them in the Great Hall at Stirling Castle, a place I frequent so often on our tours. The hall was splendid, already decorated with a stunning Christmas tree, it was both warm and atmospheric.

The event was sold out!

Look at the magnificent Stirling Castle Roof!

Diana was asked to explain “Outlander” to which she replied I cannot compress that into 60 seconds and am yet to find anyone who can. But she did explain it to the best of her ability and as eloquently as ever I might add. She is a fascinating woman.

My favourite anecdotes of the evening were regarding her character developments including the facts that Claire created herself and that Captain Jack Randall is an “18th century sadistic bi-sexual pervert”. She had the crowd in fits of laughter throughout.

I was also intrigued to find out that she writes in a “network” fashion, basically she writes something that comes to her and at the end will fit them together, opposed to writing in a chronological, linear way.

Neil Oliver was also superb. He was at the event promoting his novel “Master of Shadows“. I have to be honest that I have yet to read it but from his explanation, I have added it to my Christmas wish list (and so should you). He advised that he writes in order of the way things happen(ed) and it was wonderful to have 2 great minds to inspire the audience and hopeful writers to just “Get on with it”, even if you don’t feel like it. Just keep it up and fix it later, which Diana Confessed she doesn’t need to do (really).

The night ended with a book signing and a chance to get a photo for those who wished it. I jumped at the opportunity, it is not often you get to meet one of your heroes in the flesh. The only problem was that I was so nervous and excited that I kind of shouted at Diana in the end. She saw my name and said “Oh Catriona (katrina) to which I replied (out of habit and nerves) IT’S CAT REE OH NA. Talk about a red face but she seemed to be used to this kind of response and was as gracious as ever. (Sorry Diana if you ever read this, it was just the nerves hehe).

Another lovely fan waiting with me in the queue posed with Wee Jamie – How gorgeous is her dress?

The piece de resistance – Me and Diana 🙂

I could go on but I would really recommend going and visiting these 2 wonderful people in the flesh. They often do events and signings and there will be more opportunities.

Till next time Sassenachs 🙂