Sassenach Spotlight: Jody Kaiser from Ontario
Sassenach Spotlight is an Outlander Cast blog post highlighting Outlander fans worldwide. This month we shine the Sassenach Spotlight on Jody Kaiser.
In today’s day and age, the globe has come to terms with pop culture’s obsession with fandoms. Whether it be from a movie, television show or comic, many have embraced their love for the characters and stories that have helped transport them to different worlds. Through this acceptance, fans have taken to showing their love through the clothes on their backs or what decorates their rooms. Jody Kaiser is an expert in showing pride for her chosen fandom. Her shrines toward everything Outlander would make the gadgets and gizmos of a certain beloved mermaid pale in comparison.
Jody, a mother of two living in Canada, began her Outlander journey seven years ago when she picked up the first of Diana Gabaldon’s novels. From there, a love for her characters and for Scotland grew. While accompanying her son as he traveled around England playing soccer, she took a side trip to the Highlands, where she picked up a ring from Hamilton & Young that was inspired by the one Jamie gives Claire in the books. Along with this purchase and items representing her family’s clan (Clan MacDonald), her collection truly began to take shape.
Such a treasure trove of Outlander merchandise is worthy of its own space. Luckily, Jody has an entire room in her home dedicated to just that. “It is a loft area,” says Jody, describing her Sassenach space. “And I have to pass the room every time I go upstairs.” In this room, one can find a collection that is not limited only to 20 t-shirts, a multitude of other Outlander-inspired fashion items, countless mugs and glasses, stationary, pillows, themed jewelry, etc. Jody’s love for Outlander truly encompasses the room. The walls are decorated with posters and autographed photos and crests of her own family’s clan. On the shelves, you’ll find the works of Diana Gabaldon, as well as other literature on Outlander and Scotland. Keeping the books company are several Funko Pop figures, signed DVD copies and more signed photos, along with various other pieces of memorabilia. Jody even has her own miniature version of Craigh Na Dun sitting on her side table, ready to transport her back in time whenever she’s ready.
Not only has Outlander been used in Jody’s life as decoration, but also as a source of comfort and inspiration. Over the years, she has been diagnosed with various medical issues, including fibromyalgia and cervical cancer, and has endured several surgeries. “During all my procedures, I would close my eyes and remember my time in Scotland, remember the Outlander filming sites that I visited, remember the feeling I got reading the books and watching the show,” says Jody. “It really helped me escape the fear and the pain.” More procedures are being planned for the future of Jody’s health, but she always stays hopeful of other plans she has to carry on and live her life with take more trips to Scotland. Whether it is through a marathon of the series during long hospital stays, a return to Gabaldon’s books, or thinking of what to add to her collection next, Outlander is there for Jody to bring about hope and happiness
Here’s a little more about Jody and her love for Oulander!
Tell us a little about yourself?: I have been an Outlander fanatic for the past seven years. I live in Ontario, Canada, with my husband of 21 years and our kids. I love travel, history, reading and cooking.
Favorite Outlander character?: So many…Jamie, Murtagh, Lord John Grey, young Ian, Claire…
Favorite Outlander villain?: Black Jack and Stephen Bonnet both have horrible qualities that make great villains!
Favorite Book/Season?: Book: A Breath of Snow and Ashes; TV: Season 1
Are you are book reader and/or show watcher?: BOTH! Have read every single book over and over and watch every single episode over and over!
What was your first experience with Outlander?: Reading Outlander in only a couple of days
In what way has Outlander inspired you, personally and/or creatively?: Again, Outlander has inspired me in so many ways. It has helped me through bad health problems, and has inspired me to research Scottish ancestry and travel for the first time on my own to Scotland. I met friends that I plan to travel to Scotland with, started cooking new Scottish recipes, enjoy sharing Outlander with family members, created my own Outlander room, have created some Outlander crafts, own many Outlander clothes, jewelry, cups, etc. My son even wears our family kilt!
How do you share your love for Outlander?: I love to tell everyone how great it is, in so many ways! My son, mom and stepfather all go to the Highland Games in Fergus each year. I give my family members Outlander gifts, including the books for those who haven’t read them yet. I also enjoy having others experience the Outlander room in my house.
Any special/fun Outlander moments you want to share? My travels in Scotland rank high on this list, including visiting Craig na dun and Lallybroch, taking both private two-day and group Outlander tours in Scotland, a week spent on the Royal mile. I’ve also enjoyed meeting wonderful friends at an Outlander convention and meeting the cast, where drinking whisky with Graham Mctavish, meeting Diana Gabaldon, Graham Mctavish, Stephan Walters, Andrew Gower, Gillebride MacMillan, David Berry, Richard Rankin, Sophie Skelton, Gary Lewis, Cesar Domboy, Lauren Lyle, Scott Kyle were huge highlights!
What are you looking forward to in upcoming books/seasons/events?: I am most looking forward to book 9, Seasons 5 and 6 and, hopefully, all the books. I’d also love to go back to Scotland. We have traced our Scottish-side back to the 1300s, so I want to go back to visit more Outlander locations as well as see the places my ancestors came from.
Are you, or is someone you know, a true Obsessenach?