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Outlander author Diana Gabaldon delights Highland fans with audience at Eden Court, Inverness

By Rachel Smart

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Diana Gabaldon. Picture: Ian Duncan
Diana Gabaldon. Picture: Ian Duncan

Outlander fans were in their element on Saturday as the creator of the popular series provided a special event at Eden Court.

In an ‘Audience with Diana Gabaldon’, the world-renown author explained what led her to begin writing in the first place, and provided eager followers with a snippet of the book she is currently writing.

Organised by Inverness Outlanders, the event was opened by 2022 Slam Poetry winner Hamish MacDonald, followed by a sing-a-long in both English and Gaelic, of the popular theme tune of the TV series version of the books.

Compere Sarah Fraser interviewed Mrs Gabaldon, which was then followed by a Q&A session from the audience.

Mrs Gabaldon, explained that when writing the books, it was important for her to include references to Gaelic in the novel. Coming from Phoenix, Arizona, there were not much Gaelic speakers about and she had to lean on Gaelic-English dictionary’s before the age of the internet.

She said: “I used a dictionary when writing the first Outlanders in 1991, and when writing the second book I came to Scotland and got a more comprehenzive dictionary.

“I then got a letter from a man named Ian MacKinnon Taylor, who was born on the Isle of Harris. He told me he had been reading my books, but there was one problem – he knew I was getting my Gaelic from a dictionary as I wasn’t using them in the way a Gaelic speaker would.

“He then offered me help and I told him ‘Where have you been all my life!?’”

With book ten currently in the works, the audience was treated to two readings by Mrs Gabaldon, where they all listened in awe.

She received a standing ovation at the end of the night due to the time-travel world she has created for many over the planet.

The historical novel series is set in and around Inverness, with many scenes taking place at Culloden Battlefield.

According to VisitScotland’s 2022 report on the ‘Impact of Outlander on Visitor Attraction Performance’, Culloden Visitor Centre has seen an increase of over 111 per cent in visitor numbers between 2014 and 2019.

Inverness City Pipe Band closed the main event, before fans gathered to get their books signed by Mrs Gabaldon.

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