Outlander Book 10? A Prequel? Why Diana Gabaldon needs to take verra good care of herself!

Written By: Janet Reynolds



Outlander author Diana Gabaldon spilled a few beans recently for the Herald Scotland and what beans they were! Book nine won't be the last Outlander book! The series will likely end at book 10! She's going to write a prequel about Jamie's parents, Brian and Ellen. And, yes, it's "likely" season three of the show is coming. All of which means we need to put Gabaldon in bubblewrap at least until she's done with book 10. No, I'm not kidding.


As I type this it's been 656 days (or 1.8 years) since book eight in the Outlander series, Written in my Own Heart's Blood aka MOBY, was released in the U.S. and Canada. The book was barely off the press when Outlander fanatics everywhere began counting the minutes until book nine in the epic series would be available. We've been harassing asking Gabaldon about it ever since.

In this latest interview, Gabaldon does not reveal when book nine will actually be released. What she does say is that it likely won't be the last book. Instead the Outlander series will end with book 10. And that means, given her own admission that it takes 2-3 years to research and write each book and assuming book nine makes it into print in 2017 — please god! — that book ten won't likely come out until maybe 2020 — and that's if Gabaldon basically doesn't write a single other thing (no touching that prequel, Missy!) or attend many publicity-related functions, or, you know, have a life. In other words, we're likely talking longer. Sigh.

"I think it will be ten," Gabaldon told the Herald Scotland, "but I don't plan it out, although I have a rough notion — I think there will probably be a book ten."

Now I don't know how you're feeling about that timeline, but as a woman who is only a few years younger than Ms. Gabaldon, all this talk of YEARS in between books makes me just a titch nervous. I consider myself one of the lucky readers. I discovered the series after all eight books were finished. I don't know how you readers who found Outlander in 1991, or the decades in between, did it. I mean there's only so much re-reading a person can do (a limit I'm still exploring, trust me) and not all of the books end calmly. I literally had to have the next book in my hand so I could move right to it without hyperventilating. The only good part about the ending of book eight was that, if book nine never happened, readers could likely live with that ending. I will say no more for those who haven't gotten there yet.

The news about the prequel makes me nervous too. By her own admission, Gabaldon writes all over the place, creating scenes and pieces as they come to her and then putting them together. She is not a linear writer. What if she decides to go down that prequel rabbit hole FIRST before finishing book ten???

I admit the prequel sounds interesting. It will be about the rising of 1715, according to the Herald Scotland story. In addition to telling the story of Brian and Ellen, it will include information about Dougal MacKenzie and Jamie's godfather, Murtagh.

But as much as I would love to know more about these people, I want to hear about them LATER. AFTER OUTLANDER IS FINISHED.

So, Diana, consider this my letter on behalf of all Obsessenachs out there. Please, please, please stay focused on the task at hand — finishing Outlander in its entirety. Also please stay healthy. Take your vitamins. Floss. Get plenty of sleep and exercise. And, you know, if staying in your house until you're finished could happen, that would be nice too. First, the likelihood of something terrible happening is lower, and staying home also lessens all those distractions that keep you away from that computer and all your lovely storytelling.


So how eager are you for book nine? How many times have you read the series so far? When did you read Outlander for the first time?  

12 comments

  1. Hi Janet,very interesting read hope DG will write it,looking forward to it especially book 9.

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    1. Zsuzsip--I can't wait for book nine either. I was happy to read that she says she will be traveling less this year. I hope that means more writing time! I also hope she doesn't end that book with too much of a cliffhanger--that would make waiting three years for the next book very hard indeed!

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  2. I couldn't even begin to imagine the wait for book 10 let alone a prequel involving Brian, Ellen, Murtaugh, and Dougal. I just finished reading book 8 in December. Now I spend a lot of time reading and commenting on CompuServe blog with other Outlander fanatics discussing plot points of books 1-8 and Lord John Grey books.

    Hey, do you think we will finally learn what Ellen said to that young laird in the rose garden before slipping away with Brian Dub?

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    1. Joanna I am SOOOOO with you on the idea of waiting for book 10. I'm intrigued by the prequel and will certainly read it but it's the culmination of the Outlander series that has me all in a bother. She can't leave us hanging! We have to know about Jamie's ghost and what her theories are about how this whole time travel thing works--are they in a continuous loop together (one theory I've read) or what? Either way it has to end with resolution. That's one thing that was good about book 8. I could live with that if it was the end. But if 9 ends on a cliffhanger we're all going to need valium!

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  3. I'm eager as hell!! I had 7 of the books at my disposal (or should I say, devourment) when I came upon the Outlander series. Rereads have been too many to count, with the exception of the one that I've only read ONE time, and that is Dragonfly in Amber, soon to be season 2 of Outlander on Starz. For those who have already read it, you may know why. Thank god I had Voyager at the ready and I have a feeling that non readers will have a hard wait for S 3. Thanks, Janet!

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    1. Teddie I've read DIA three times--the last one in prep for season two....which is going to be an emotional rollercoaster. The wait until season 3 and Voyager and resolution is going to feel like a lifetime for sure.

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  4. I have been a fan since '91. So I had to wait between all the books. It's hard but you get used to it. Plus I need a break since they are pretty intense books. I tend to get a life in between them so it fills the time. Plus Book 5 took me a couple of years to get through it. I had to keep putting it down and then pick it up again. The first 200 or pages are all in one morning. I kept thinking get on with it. Finally I skipped ahead and then I found out why and went back and reread what I skipped. DG can get a bit in the weeds about her plants. He he he. Life has gotten in the way and I am very behind. I still need to read MOBY. All in all it is to our benefit for DG to get what she likes. She can take her time. I love the Lord Grey series and I am really looking forward to the prequel. I want to hear about Murtaugh and Ellen. Plus the 1715 Rising is very interesting as well.

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    1. Sharon I'm intrigued by the prequel as well and am sure it will be historically interesting. It will also be fun to learn Jamie's backstory with his parents. I could see, for instance, more about young Jamie in that prequel at some point (it's likely it will be more than one book because DG seems to have an endless number of words in her head). I just don't want her to start it until she finishes Outlander for good. HAHA on your getting a life in between the books....I just discovered Outlander about 18 months ago and I have been shocked how it has taken over my world. I've read the series once and books 1-3 twice and book 2 a third time.....and I can't even tell you how many times I've watched the show....and then there's this blog and--well you get the picture. :)

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  5. Great article Janet! I started the books once DIA had been released, so as each book came out, I'd re-read the previous books so they were fresh in my mind! All in all, I've read the series a grand total of 10 times! DIA & Voyager are my favorites & while I wish they could use the 'framing device' I love so well in DIA, I understand how massively confusing it could be! Saturday can't come quickly enough for me!! Can't wait for the next book!

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  6. I've first read book 1 bc I seen the series, season 1, then the mid season finale happened and I just HAD to find out what happened next. So I read all 8 books within 3 months and been waiting with eagerness and anticipation ever since. Between the series and the show, it can't get here fast enough. And then she's going to write a prequel about his parents?! That's AMAZING!

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  7. Janet, if you think you worry about waiting for books nine and ten. I will be 77 in a few days. So Diana,Hurry hurry!! I just have to read them all. These are the only books I have ever read more than once.

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  8. I found the books in August of 2015 and they literally saved my life. I have been patiently (well, not so much) waiting for book 9. I have literally read the entire series about 11 times since. Sure, I read other stuff in between, but every other book stinks! Ok, so I haven't read every other book in the world, but after having 21- 29th birthdays, I can honestly say these are the only books I would take to a desert island, or, you know, my grave. Whichever comes first. My paperback copies started falling apart so I downloaded them onto my Kindle...for emergencies!

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