• on sex and Jamie’s rape: Gabaldon was asked about Jamie’s rape and offered this insightful and personal commentary about sex in general in her books and this rape in particular. “One of the underlying themes of the book is what sex is. What sex is, is communication. It can be positive and there are negative forms.” She listed rape and other examples. “It’s not about the rape,” she said of what happens with Jamie and Black Jack Randall. “It’s about what happens to the people afterwards. It’s done for a reason — how do they recover from this or become who they were or a stronger version of who they are.
“I never like to hear people described as victims,” she continued. “I don’t think they have to be permanently ruined. A lot of people put their lives together and go on.” Gabaldon then noted that over the years she has heard from a number of people who’ve been raped who’ve read the books. “I have never gotten a letter from person saying, ‘Why did you write this”‘” she said. “I have had people say ‘Your book gave me hope.'” And then she stopped, tears in her eyes, unable to speak for a moment.
• on Claire’s parents and time travel: Maybe you all had thought of this but this was a “Doh!” moment for me. Gabaldon revealed that at least one of Claire’s parents had to be a time traveler too because it is, after all, a genetic ability. Which then had me thinking — and maybe Gabaldon? — what if Claire meets her parents at some point? Gabaldon also noted that it remains to be seen if Fergus is a time traveler. Hmmmm.
Gabaldon also works on multiple projects simultaneously. (If you’re reading this DG, see note re. focus, please). Gabaldon said she’s working on two novellas at the moment and has written half a modern murder mystery. “I write in airplanes, at airports,” she said, as just two examples of how she writes everywhere. “I have twice finished a book on an airplane,” which enabled her to send it to her agent with this note: “To you from 30,000 feet.” One of these, by the way, was Echo in the Bone.
And Gabaldon writes and researches simultaneously. “You’ve never done enough research,” she said.