Diana Gabaldon Biography

(Author Known for Her 'Outlander' Series of Novels)

Birthday: January 11, 1952 (Capricorn)

Born In: Williams, Arizona, United States

Diana Gabaldon is an American author who won critical and popular acclaim for the Outlander series of novels. The first novel of the series (ten volumes) came out in 1991 and the eighth one was released in 2014. Gabaldon is currently working on the ninth volume. The popularity of the series, which is a combination of historical fiction, romance, mystery, adventure and science fiction/fantasy, can be judged from the fact that it is now published in 26 countries and 23 languages. They are frequently on the New York Times best sellers list too. The series has been adapted into an award-winning television series, a graphic novel, an audiobook series and a musical. It has also inspired a spinoff with another series of novels and novellas centred on a secondary character ‘Lord John Grey’ from the original series. She has also authored other short stories and novellas as well as two volumes of a nonfiction, The Outlandish Companion.

Quick Facts

Also Known As: Diana J. Gabaldon

Age: 71 Years, 71 Year Old Females


Spouse/Ex-: Doug Watkins

father: Tony Gabaldon

mother: Jacqueline Sykes

children: Jenny Gabaldon, Laura Gabaldon, Sam Sykes

Born Country: United States

Novelists Short Story Writers

Ancestry: British American

Notable Alumni: Northern Arizona University

U.S. State: Arizona

More Facts

education: Northern Arizona University, University of California San Diego, University Of California, San Diego


In the 1980s, Diana Gabaldon worked as a professor for the Center for Environmental Studies at Arizona State University where she became an expert in the whole new field of scientific computation. Very few people in the world then had this scientific and technical software knowledge, so she started writing software reviews and technical articles for computer publications. She also wrote popular science articles and Disney comics. During this time, in 1984, she became the founding editor of a scientific journal ‘Science Software Quarterly’.

In 1988, she began writing a novel just for the sake of practice and absolutely no plan to show it to anyone. However, she later posted a short excerpt of her novel on the CompuServe Literary Forum where she was noticed by the science fiction and mystery author, John E. Stith. He introduced her to literary agent, Perry Knowlton, and she ended up signing her first book deal – a trilogy called Cross Stitch. The first book came out in 1991. In the US, it was renamed Outlander as the publisher wanted it to sound more adventurous. For the book, she won the Romance Writers of America's ‘RITA Award’ for Best Romance of 1991.

Since then, she has released seven more books in the Outlander series. These include: Dragonfly in Amber (1992), Voyager (1993), Drums of Autumn (1996), The Fiery Cross (2001), A Breath of Snow and Ashes (2005), An Echo in the Bone (2009) and Written in My Own Heart's Blood (2014). The ninth book, Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone, is still in process and will be released once completed. A Breath of Snow and Ashes won the ‘Quill Award’ for Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror in 2006.

The Outlander series has been released in an audiobook form, both in complete and abridged version. Additionally, a television adaption of the series, with Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan, in the main lead, began airing in 2014. The series, which won the ‘Critics’ Choice Most Exciting New Series Award for 2014’, has been renewed for a sixth season. Gabaldon works as a paid consultant for the show and has also made a quick appearance in an episode The Gathering. She also did the screenplay for an episode Vengeance Is Mine.

The year 2010 saw her adapting the first third of Outlander into a graphic novel illustrated by Hoang Nguyen. In the same year Outlander: The Musical with fourteen songs penned by Mike Gibb and composed by Kevin Walsh came out.

The Outlander series also inspired a spinoff in the form of Lord John series where a secondary recurring character in the former became the lead in the latter. The series comprised five novellas and three novels.

In 2017, an anthology of seven novellas described as Collection of Outlander Fiction, came out under the name of Seven Stones to Stand or Fall. Out of these, five were originally part of different anthologies and had even been released individually as ebooks in US/Canada. These five novellas include The Custom of the Army, The Space Between, A Plague of Zombies, A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows and Virgins. The last two novellas, A Fugitive Green and Besieged, were published for the first time.

She has also authored The Outlandish Companion, Volumes One and Two, which are nonfiction elaborating on the setting, background, characters, etc., of the Outlander novels. Her other works include Naked Came the Phoenix, Humane Killer and Dirty Scottsdale.

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Family & Personal Life

Diana Gabaldon was born on 11th January 1952 to Jacqueline Sykes and Tony Gabaldon. She was born in Scottsdale, Arizona, United States and raised in Flagstaff, Arizona. Her father, a Mexican by descent, served as the Arizona state senator from Flagstaff for sixteen years after which he took up the charge of Coconino County. Her mother had an English lineage.

As for her qualification, she holds three degrees in science. She completed her bachelor of science in zoology in 1973 from Northern Arizona University and went on to earn her masters in marine biology in 1975 from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California. Three years later, in 1975, she achieved her a PhD degree in behavioural ecology from Northern Arizona University.

She is married to Doug Watkins and has three children with him. Her son, Sam Watkins, is also an author who writes epic fantasy fiction, under the name of Sam Sykes.

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