Diana Gabaldon

American Author

Diana Gabaldon is an American author who was born in January 1952. She is best known for her Outlander series, which has captivated readers since its first novel was published in 1991.

Gabaldon’s novels all revolve around the world of ‘Outlander.’ They are categorized as historical fiction and romance as well as fantasy due to the time travel element that makes the books possible. The epic tale of time travel, romance, and historical adventure is still a favorite among readers, who are drawn to its imaginative and complex story.


Life Facts

  • Diana Gabaldon was born in Scottsdale, Arizona, in 1952.
  • She studied science at university.
  • Her first book was initially written for practice only.
  • She has so far published 9 books in the Outlander series.
  • Her books have inspired a hit TV series.

Interesting Facts

  • Prior to becoming an author, she was a marine biologist with a Ph.D. from Northern Arizona University.
  • She wrote software reviews for computer publications in the 80s.
  • She took some inspiration for Outlander from Doctor Who.
  • Her father was an Arizona senator.


Famous Books by Diana Gabaldon

Outlander –  First published in 1991, Outlander is the first book in the series of the same name and follows the story of Claire Randall, a doctor who finds herself mysteriously transported back in time to 18th-century Scotland, where she falls in love with an injured Scottish warrior, Jamie Fraser.

Dragonfly in Amber – The second installment in the Outlander series, Dragonfly in Amber continues Claire’s and Jamie’s journey as they move to France.

Voyager – In the third book of the series, Voyager, Jamie, and Claire go on a voyage of personal discovery as they try to find their way back home to each other.

Drums of Autumn – The fourth novel of the Outlander series brings Jamie and Claire to colonial America and into a new set of struggles and adventures.

A Breath of Snow and Ashes – In this novel, Jamie and Claire face fresh challenges and secrets while living in North Carolina in the middle of the Revolutionary War. The book culminates with a heartbreaking yet thrilling finale.


Early Life

Gabaldon was born in Arizona on January 11th, 1952. Her father was an Arizona state senator, and she grew up in the state and attended Northern Arizona University. She received a bachelor’s in science before going on to get her masters in marine biology from the Scripps Institute of Oceanography. Later, she achieved a Ph.D. from Northern Arizona University.
While working at the Center for Environmental Studies, she helped found the Science Software Quarterly. This was one of her first endeavors into the world of writing and editing.

Literary Career

Her writing career began in 1988 when she decided to write a novel. She wanted to practice the process with the hope of perfecting it later and hopefully publishing something. Her first novel was written without the intention of anyone ever reading it.
She took her inspiration for her first novel, which would later be published Outlander, from a 1960s episode of the famous British TV series Doctor Who. She was inspired by the presence of a Scottish character named Jamie. The novel evolved as she added Claire, the protagonist of the book, and decided to introduce time travel into the novel. Her novel was originally titled Cross Stitch before the US publisher changed it to Outlander. In the UK, it’s still possible to buy the first “Outlander” book as Cross Stitch.
This book was an immediate success and launched the series that continues today. She resigned from her job at Arizona State to write full-time.
Since then, Gabaldon has gone on to write eight more books in the ‘Outlander‘ series, as well as other novels, non-fiction books, and short stories. She has won numerous awards for her work, including a Quill Award and the Corine International Book Prize.
Gabaldon’s books have been translated into numerous languages, and she has enjoyed success around the world. In addition to writing books, she has also served as a script consultant for the Starz television adaptation of her novels.
In 2017, Gabaldon was inducted into the Arizona Women’s Hall of Fame in recognition of her literary accomplishments. She continues to write and published the 9th novel in the Outlander series in 2021, titled: Go Tell The Bees That I Am Gone.
Gabaldon also created a spinoff series from Outlander called the Lord John series, which follows one of the popular secondary characters from the novels. It’s believed that the 10th Outlander novel will be the last.

Literature by Diana Gabaldon

Explore literature by Diana Gabaldon below, created by the team at Book Analysis.