Thursday, June 4, 2015

Diana Gabaldon: "No Two People Read The Same Book"

“You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time."  ~John Lydgate

THIS is a FANTASTIC interview with Diana Gabaldon by Alicia Lutes over at Nerdist.  Diana talks about her feelings on the Outlander series on Starz, her writing style, and how she feels about fan reaction.  I positively LOVE this commentary:

"In terms of popular culture and media and entertainment and so forth, everybody says “Who is the audience for this?” I didn’t really care who the audience was. The audience was me. And since that worked, I’ve always proceeded on that assumption: I don’t care what the audience thinks. Basically, it’s going to be the way I think it should be written. But the other thing is that there is no audience, there is no reader. If you’re going to have more than one person read your book, they’re going to have totally different opinions and responses. No person — no two people — read the same book. It’s always based on their perceptions, their background, their experiences, their expectations of the moment. You know, what side of the bed they got up on that day. I read some books and I thought, “This is better than sliced bread!” and a month later I couldn’t remember thinking about it. And I’ve read others that were kind of a slog and I’ve put them down and come back six months later thinking, “Wow, this is great.” So, you know, things change all the time."

This is exactly how I feel.  We're are never all going to agree...and why would we want to?  What a boring place the world would be.

This is also what I love about Diana Gabaldon; she gives interviewers and audiences insight into her writing, and what goes on inside her head about this situation or that.  When I've seen her speak at various events, I've loved hearing her talk about Outlander, but the info she shares about her writing experiences is what has had me on the edge of my seat.  If you've never seen Herself speak live, I highly recommend you do so at the next available opportunity.


  1. Thank you for posting this....YOU and Diana are so right. All I know is that I have loved the books and the Starz production equally....each for their own form of entertainment. I hope I haven't come across as nitpicking on this site....was never my intention. Both forms of media have been wonderful entertainment for me....each in their own way. I jumped on board to DG's books late in the game....I did read Outlander before it the middle of Voyager now. I find it interesting that it is named Cross Stitch in Europe...because I feel like this is exactly how I am reading her books. I keep going back to reference sections of the books I had previously cross stitching...and each time I get more out of it. It is also this way for me while re-watching the Starz episodes. I love each episode more and more....including all the most difficult scenes to watch....the acting!! My God....

  2. She earns a lot of money with this series too... Why she would speak ill about it? I respect her on some issues, but she's forgetting that the series and all the success only exists because of book readers. These readers, that she said to "leave the book aside" ... a lack of respect for readers, a lack of respect for her work as well. She should have more respect for her fans. What was that conversation with Terry on twitter? A lack of respect for those who bought their books for years. I'll understand if you don't post my comment, after all, everyone who speaks against Diana today, don't deserve respect, right?

    1. It isn't your disagreeing or speaking against Diana that tends to tick people off Andrea - it's HOW you go about it. That whiney comment you closed with made me and probably 90% of anyone reading it throw out what you had previous to that as a childish tantrum.

      You say Diana is disrespecting the readers of the books. If you want to take it that way it is your prerogative. I (and many, many others) took it that Diana was asking people to see the series as a separate entity based on her books. Can she come across arrogant? Yep. Does she care that her personality can rub people the wrong way? Doesn't seem to. Does this bother ME? Not a bit..... why? Because I don't take her suggestion I put the book aside to enjoy the show on its own merits as a personal attack and because she doesn't owe me anything. She wrote a book - I chose to buy and read it. Contract over.

  3. The books and the television show are equally awesome! If you don't want to read the books or watch the show, it's a personal choice. All this drama & angst on social media is getting old! Get a life people.......It's just entertainment! Not rocket science, life threatening or earth ending...

  4. Beth: I thought your comment: "Because I don't take her suggestion I put the book aside to enjoy the show on its own merits as a personal attack and because she doesn't owe me anything. She wrote a book - I chose to buy and read it. Contract over." .... is BRILLIANT. So well stated. Thank you.

  5. BrigAdoon @brigitte_jean on TW: I've been reading Diana's books for more than 20 years, loving books and show equally. To me the show gives me insights between the book pages that might have been there we just didn't know.
    And of course by now Diana probably has become rich over them. Good for her. Do I care? No I don't bc what I always liked about her and it hasn't changed from the beginning is her no nonsense attitude. It's her book take it or leave it. Her story. She's authentic not bowing down to someone else's view on her drama. If she wants to put in flying monkeys it's her choice as it is our choice to roll with it or not.
    In my case I can relate to that and I think she stands up pretty well for herself in a business that is as overwhelming and probably hard to see through as the entertainment business.