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.

 

 

 

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Outlander Season 5 Update #1 – preparing for filming

(first  posted at outlandercast in March 2019)
Even though #Droughtlander has set in, we can still enjoy some of Outlandish goings-on. Here are a few little somethings to tide us over — with a little help from my friends.

While Outlander fans everywhere were anxiously awaiting the announcement that Outlander Season 5 has finally started filming, keen fans on the ground in Scotland took to scouting around to see what’s afoot.

At Fraser’s Ridge, Claire and Jamie’s Outlander Season 4 cabin got an outer coating to face the rigors of the Scottish winter. But now, the covers are off and the cabin looks ready again to be used as a location.

outlander updates, fraser's ridge in Outlander season 5
First a framework was built to cover the cabin …. and then it was completely hidden in a ‘winter coat’.

outlander updates, getting fraser's ridge ready for outlander season 5

outlander updates, getting fraser's ridge ready for outlander season 5
As of last weekend, the covers are off and the cabin is ready for action.

outlander updates, getting fraser's ridge ready for outlander season 5

At “Wilmington” new building works have taken place, and the town has been expanded. Looks as if they will have a couple of new streets and buildings to use for different townscapes in Outlander Season 5.

outlander updates, getting wilmington ready for outlander season 5

Also, River Run was looking pretty sparse on a frosty winter morning compared to her summer look.

outlander updates, getting river run ready for outlander season 5

outlander updates, getting river run ready for outlander season 5

No intel on the location of the Big House yet. The suspense!

A New Outlander Tour Site to Add to Your Scotland Itinerary

Hunterston House in Ayrshire is now open for tours. You might remember that I visited there some time ago and wrote a post about it. At that stage tours were not available and I made special arrangements with the owner. But now, you can arrange private tours for a minimum of 4 people at a very reasonable £20 per person.

Sam Thomson of Edinburgh Tour Guides went there recently and shared these pictures.

outlander updates, hunterston house in outlander

outlander updates, hunterston house in outlander, rev wakefield's house

outlander updates, hunterston house in outlander, rev wakefield's house

outlander updates, hunterston house in outlander, rev wakefield's house

outlander updates, hunterston house in outlander, rev wakefield's house
Wee Roger hoping for a biscuit in the library of Hunterston House aka the Rev. Wakefield’s house.

Diana Gabaldon in Scotland

By now everyone knows that Diana Gabaldon has been gallivanting around Scotland basking in the glory of receiving a Thistle Award from Visit Scotland, the Scottish Tourism authority. The “Outlander Effect” is going strong. While it was a thing before the TV show started, it has blossomed and burgeoned with the advent of Outlander, the TV series. Tourism to Outlanderfilming sites is flourishing, with a corresponding impact on the Scottish economy.

outlander update, Diana Gabaldon on winning Thistle Award

The award presented to Diana was a spectacular work of art. For those who haven’t seen, it here it is, commissioned by Visit Scotland and created by Scottish book sculptor, Thomas Wightman.

outlander updates, thistle award by Thomas Wightman

outlander update, thistle award by thomas wightman

While in Scotland Diana held an intimate gathering at Hopetoun House– one of those very well known Outlander locations. Hopetoun House is a stately home on a magnificent estate which includes Midhope Castle (Lallybroch) and is very close to Blackness Castle (Fort William). Hopetoun House has been used in seasons 1, 2 and 3 of Outlander. The temporary home of the Duke of Sandringham, Jamie’s swordfight with the MacDonalds on the lawn, the stables area of Helwater where Geneva propostioned/blackmailed Jamie, and various outdoor scenes have been shot on the grounds.

outlander updates, hopetoun house and Diana Gabaldon event

outlander updates, hopetoun house and Diana Gabaldon event
Claire goes head to head with the Duke
outlander updates, hopetoun house and Diana Gabaldon event, Jamie and Murtagh brush past the MacDonalds on the rear steps of Hopetoun House
Jamie and Murtagh brush past the MacDonalds on the rear steps of Hopetoun House
outlander update, jamie and willie in the stables at the rear of Hopetoun House
Jamie and Willie in the stables area at the rear of Hopetoun House

The evening with Diana Gabaldon was hosted by James Crawford broadcaster and chair of Publishing Scotland. The event was held in the very room where Claire, Jamie and Murtagh had their conversations/confrontations with the Duke of Sandringham. Angela Gourlay of Parkhead House and Sam Thomson of Edinburgh Tour Guides snapped up their tickets (which sold like the proverbial hotcakes) early, and here they are meeting Diana Gabaldon with their respective husbands.

outlander updates, diana gabaldon with fans at Thistle award

outlander updates, diana gabaldon with fans at Thistle award

Superfan Graham Malcolm was on the spot too, and snapped these videos of the event where, among other things, Diana shares a bit about where she’s up to with “The Bees” — squeee! That’s gonna help a lot with the woes of #Droughtlander. Graham and his twin bother Stewart are well known in the Outlander world for their tireless efforts to help fans get autographs and other Outlander memorabilia.

Diana Gabaldon on the Final Frenzy for Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone:

Diana Gabaldon on the question about keeping somebody alive who should’ve been killed off!:

Diana Gabaldon on casting Outlander:

Diana Gabaldon on the writing for Outlander:

Thanks to Graham Malcolm, Matthew Fairley, Morag Wright, Angela Gourlay, Sam Thomson and Papa Bob for their contributions to OutlanderUpdates

Such a well deserved award for Diana Gabaldon, who created this world which has us all hooked. 

 

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