Outlander Fan Tales – Rovena

Rovena has lived all over the world and now resides in Thailand. She has only very recently discovered Outlander.  But she has certainly made up for lost time! Read her Outlander story here.

Rovena is very active and gets out there working up a sweat between viewings of Outlander!

I was two when my parents packed up and left Italy for Montenegro. My father was one of a handful of Nuclear Engineers in the 80s and very much in demand. We kept migrating south, moving to Nigeria, then Saudi Arabia and finally my parents settled in Malaysia. By then I was studying in University, juggling a job tapping phones for the Italian Homicide Department in all my acquired 4 languages and meeting the love of my life, at 3 am in a pub. No we were not drinking The Sassenach, but whatever it was, it was strong!

We shortly combined our strengths and followed circumstantial signs of destiny which brought us to Thailand where we set up an Interior Design and Architecture firm which has since grown to be an Award Winning endeavour. It’s always been a rush, my whole life has been in 5th gear, jumping on and off planes, managing studio, construction sites worldwide and high-profile clients.

Then – silence. COVID_19  just ground my whole life to a halt and suddenly I had time! Time to watch a movie, time to do sports, time to be a “Woman of leisure” in Fergus’s words.

During this God gifted time, a friend of mine suggested I watch Outlander. I brushed it off quickly and said: “I will only watch a series if the lead actor is hot to trot and I will fall madly in love with him for the whole duration”. She guaranteed I would and threw in the steamy sex scenes and male testosterone moments of battle.

The first half hour of episode one left me questioning her judgment, right up to that Heaven-sent moment when Claire fixes Jamie’s shoulder. I was caught, hook, line and sinker!

50 hours of binge watching ensued, followed by another 50 re-watching it all over with my husband and another 50 re-watching it all on my own. I spent the last couple of years craving a sabbatical, I finally get the time and I spend it watching a series! Yes, of course I ordered all the books!

Yes, of course I’ve looked up hotels in Scotland to travel to Lallybroch and yes, I have consumed conspicuous amounts of G&T to keep up with all the bloody drinking they do on set. Whiskey is just a bit too hot to drink in the tropics!

Rowena and her husband prepare for a session of Outlander. Gin for her, vodka for him. Party time!

So here I am now, obsessing over the narrative of this perfect man: impulsive yet understanding; powerful yet gentle; funny yet deep; handsome and fragile. Let’s face it, only a woman could have concocted the perfect man and Diana did just that.

There are heartaches! I would never have left that perfect man behind, and would not have waited 20 years to get him back! The scenes with Frank are like a dagger to my heart. I find particularly disturbing the fact that such a sweet, family man of pure values was robbed of the chance to be a father repeatedly.

And then the funny part: this perfect man we all dream about is as immoral as they come! He is an outlaw, he frees prisoners from jail, helps Bonnet escape from his death row, kills, steals, smuggles, is bigamous (ok, he didn’t expect Claire to come back!), offers his body as payment to one and all, he lives in a brothel and plays his wife’s wedding bands at cards – yet he is the most romantic character ever!

Continue Reading

Outlander Fan Tales – Sherry

Sherry was introduced to Outlander by her husband – so that’s an unusual start to her story right there. And it doesn’t stop there. What started out as a fan experience led to her developing a keen interest in Scottish history and then writing her own book!

Read on for Sherry’s story.

Sherry has visited Scotland 5 times from her home in America. Here she is visiting Edinburgh Castle

I had never heard of ‘Outlander’ until my husband started to watch the first season in August 2014. We don’t usually watch the same shows, but this one looked interesting. I sat down to watch and continued the next few episodes. I was hooked. That led me to the books because I wanted to know more.

Sherry progressed from the show, to the books, to interacting with Diana Gabaldon in her literary forum

Season One ended, but I kept reading. And I couldn’t stop. I found the story addicting. Then I read about Diana Gabaldon in her ‘Outlandish Companion’ books and her website. I also joined her writing group – The Literary Forum. (Although she probably doesn’t remember me, I have talked to her and she has given me some help with my book.) I learned how she got into writing and found we had much in common especially a love for reading. I thought, I can do what she did.

My first book, my practice book, came from a handwritten manuscript – my mother’s memoir. I worked on that for 1 1/2 years and published it in 2016. But in the back of my mind, I had an idea for an historical novel that would take place in Scotland.

Sherry had the idea of a book about Scottish history in the back of her mind
Outlander certainly brings many elements of Scottish history to life on our screens, including the every day life of the people.

In researching for my novel, I have visited Scotland 5 times in the last 5 years. Going to Scotland is like going home.

Sherry visited Dunnottar Castle, which plays a prominent role in the sequel she is currently writing.
Editors Note – I wonder if these researchers used similar methods to Sherry?

Once I was done with the Outlander series, my interest in Scottish history continued. I read two books: ‘The History of the Scots’ and ‘How The Scots Invented The Modern World’. I learned about a peculiar event that occurred from 1698-1700 called The Dairen Scheme. That is when the Kingdom of Scotland wanted to be like other nations and carve out a colony in the New World. They chose an area in southern Panama, in Central America, and sent out 1200 colonists on 5 ships.

For many reasons, 75% of the colonists would die and the colony would collapse in less than a year. Scotland tried again and the expedition failed even more quickly.  By the way, this failure will lead to the union between England and Scotland and create the United Kingdom in 1707. That will lead to the Jacobite uprisings and the battle on Culloden Moor in 1746. It’s all connected.

The Outlander depiction of the Battle of Culloden

When I asked history teachers and history buffs if they had ever heard of The Darien Scheme – no one did. And so there it was – the basis for my novel. Something that few knew about. My novel is called ‘Caledonia’ (Latin for Scotland and the name of the colony). It was published in March, 2019. I am now working on the sequel and I am about 80% finished to be released mid 2021. It’s title is – ‘On The Edge of a Precipice’.

‘Caledonia’ and the sequel are historical, inter-generational novels. That means there are two parallel stories and characters who tell the tale. One is from the 21st century; the other is an ancient character. They are connected but do not know it. This is not fantasy and it is not time travel. The story is filled with adventure, mystery and romance. ‘Caledonia’ has won a first place award in fiction.

Sherry’s book signing event

So from TV series to Outlander books to my published work, Outlander was the catalyst that changed my life and thrust me into the world of writing.

 

 

 

Continue Reading

Outlander Fan Tales – Don

Don’s Outlander fan story is one of emotional upheaval and life changes.

Don has Asperger’s Syndrome and had been on medication to lower his anxiety.  The aim of the medication was to stop him from ‘getting upset’.  He was under a lot of stress running a business with his wife, and for 20 or so years he literally felt ‘numb’. Even when his mother died he did not feel or express strong emotions.

Then Outlander came along.

During ‘A Malcolm’ in Season 3 he experienced a catharsis that ‘broke everything open’. Many of us also felt strong emotions for these long awaited scenes where Jamie and Claire were reunited after 20 years.

But for Don, the experience was life-changing.
Claire going back in time to find her love.  Their reunion scenes in the privacy of Jamie’s room.  The emotional scene when the estranged lovers ask each other ‘Why did you come back?’ and , ‘Do you want me to leave?’ left Don in an intense emotional state. He was so emotional, and this was so unusual, that Don’s wife thought he was having a stroke.

He re-watched  that show for a week straight, each time weeping uncontrollably. He had not experienced any strong feelings for years.

Don then made a big decision about his own health care. He decided he was missing something. He gradually reduced the medications he was taking until he was finally ready to stop them all together. He felt like ‘Data’ in Star Trek when he got his emotion chip.

He felt alive again. And he was even inspired to make some movies of his own.

So, Outlander literally changed his life.

Many say that Outlander, the books and/or the show has been life-changing for them. Do you share this kind of experience? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Continue Reading

Outlander Fan Tales – Cynthia

Cynthia’s Outlander tale is one of loss, grief, faith, and learning.

When her mother died in 2014, Cynthia and her brother were mourning her loss.

Cynthia decided that she wanted to turn her loss and grief into some kind of positive action. She decided to learn a language to follow in the footsteps of her late father. He could speak thirteen languages. The family is from Argentina and has always loved languages.

Unfortunately, her first attempt was not successful. It was too soon after her mothers death and she found she was unable to concentrate so she stopped trying.

Then later that year in August 2014 she watched Outlander and loved it. Cynthia saw and listened to Sam Heughan speaking Gaelic and was so moved she said to herself, ‘this is it’.

She felt she was being given a spiritual message. At first she did it on her own and learned with programs online, then in 2018 she got a tutor. She now has a tutor who learned the language in Scotland.

She loved the learning and it was great. And she felt very thankful for the influence of Outlander and Sam Heughan to help her move in this direction. Cynthia met Sam Heughan in person last year, and thanked him for inspiring her to learn Gaelic. He was impressed with her efforts and that meant a lot to her.

There was also another very important personal experience that influenced and touched her deeply. The important moment was in Season 3, Episode 10 ‘Heaven and Earth’ when Claire says farewell to Elias Pound. This scene had a profound effect on Cynthia and she felt she was finally able to say farewell to her own mother, she spoke the farewell in Spanish.   Last year Cynthia met Caitriona Balfe in person and told her this story. She was moved to hear about it.

Many people have reported having very moving personal experiences through watching and reading Outlander. Has this happened to you?

Continue Reading