Chapter 6

In Which the Fandom Grows Ever Increasingly Insane.

1. Following the New York Comic Con event, the frenzy surrounding the show increased.  Starz began their social media blitz, beginning Instagram and Twitter feeds, as well as becoming a more visible Facebook presence. 2. Immediately regional fan groups started growing.

3. Twitter was the meeting place and the meeting place was Twitter. 4. All those with the #Outlander in their profiles are to be immediately followed (trolls can be unfollowed later). 5. But in the beginning… there weren’t trolls. 6. There were benign nuts who just wanted to “touch” the living and breathing Jamie. 7. There were gentle readers who wanted to connect with the “real life” Claire.

8. Starz, in their infinite wisdom, realized that the fandom was hungry for their stars. 9. To appease the longing, they began to teach lessons on how to “Speak Outlander“. 10. Hearing Sam Heughan as Jamie say “Sassenach” crashed the Internet and a few million brains.

11. The videos also introduced the fandom to the estimable Gàidhlig scholar, Àdhamh Ó Broin, who became a star in his own right because of his delightful personality and willingness to share his love of languages with any and all who ask.

The love of all things Gaelic grows. 

12 Àdhamh was probably one of the most followed #Outlander team members after the core actors & production team. 13. As the Gàidhlig coach for the show, Àdhamh’s responsibility is a large one. 14. As someone who is personally trying to revive an almost-extinct dialect in his home in Scotland, Àdhamh became someone with whom the fans were eager to interact. 15. “Àdhamh, how do you say my name in Gaelic?” “What’s the difference between Scots Gaelic and Irish?” “How do you say ‘Happy Birthday’ in Gaelic?” were some few of the questions Àdhamh graciously fielded in between official “Speak Outlander” lessons.

16. As the holiday season approached, excitement began to build with the announcement of the LA Fan Event in January of 2014. 17. Unlike the New York event, lucky fans would be able to see & possibly meet Caitriona and Sam in their first outing. 18. Participants submitted e-mail entries and were chosen by Starz. 19. E-mail inboxes, junk mail, draft mail were searched frantically as entrants awaited a response. 20. Finally, it appeared that all had been delivered, but not all had been accepted. 21. And there was much moaning and wailing among the fans.

 

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Chapter 5

1 With the arrival of “Our Claire,” Caitriona Balfe, the fan frenzy began anew.  Tobias Menzies had been cast to the dual roles of Claire’s husband, Frank Randall, as well as Jamie’s 18th century nemesis, Jonathan Wolverton Randall (aka “Black Jack”).  The casting of Menzies brought consternation to some because “Tobias is so cute, it’s going to be hard for me to hate Frank as much as I have!”

2 The faithful could also see that having a well-established actor such as Menzies cast as Frank meant that the character they had loved to hate for so long was going to require a second look. An actor as appealing as Menzies could serve to upset the balance of Team Jamie vs. Team Frank for years to come.

3 New York ComicCon took place in October of 2013 and provided fans with their first glimpse of Outlander – behind the scenes (BTS for short). At the STARZ exhibit, dioramas of sets were on display, as were pages from the script of the first episode.  A message went out from STARZ’s Outlander Facebook Page letting fans know that there would be an “Intimate afternoon with series Executive Producer, Ronald D. Moore and author Diana Gabaldon in New York City.”  All fans had to do was send an e-mail to the listed address.  Approximately 200 lucky fans (including your trusty Gospel-author) received invitations to the event.

4 As the day approached, the faithful grew more frantic, “They just started filming, but do you think Cait and Sam might show up?”  While Sam and Cait were not in attendance, the faithful were treated to an hour long talk/q&a by Diana and Ron.  Ron shared a “sizzle” video which showed some glimpses of rehearsals, sets, costumes and props. Clad in a dashing kilt, Ron and Diana shared their excitement for the project and were kind enough to answer fans’ questions.  At the end, the fans were treated to a quick clip of  Sam and Cait who were kind enough to record a video greeting to the fans in which Himself uttered the sacred word: Sassenach. The squeeing and screams could be heard three blocks away. There might also have been a slight earthquake as a few overly excited fans fell out of their seats. Luckily that was right before lunch, to which a bagpiper led the way.

5 The faithful were then allowed to meet both Ron & Diana, posing for photos & getting signatures. Parting gifts were signed paperback copies of Outlander and a tee shirt with the phrase “Real Men Wear Kilts” and “Outlander” on them.  The pictures and videos from this event lasted the faithful through the next few weeks. And then LA was announced

 

Chapter 2

Chapter 2

1 Months and weeks went by and the words spread. They reached the farthest corners of the earth and were met with great joy. Herself met with her agent and editors. They had determined that she would write three books. The news of this was met with great rejoicing among Herself’s followers.

2 For there were those who still communicated with Herself via Compuserve. There was still a community of writers and readers who had fallen in love with the words and taken them into their hearts.  The first group to formally align in honor and solidarity with Herself’s words became known as The Ladies of Lallybroch (http://www.lallybroch.com/).

3 The Ladies were known to embrace Herself’s wit and sense of humor, supporting Her in hours of need or at that ultimate time of need known as “Final Frenzy.” From a plethora of toilet paper to feedback to words of encouragement, the Ladies were there to provide pillars of devotion upon which Herself could take her ease when the frenzy became too much.

4 Dragonfly in Amber and then Voyager followed quickly upon the heels of Outlander providing readers with almost 2000 pages of Herself’s magical words. Herself’s followers broke out into other sites and media to try to spread the word about the words.

5 The key phrase came when Herself’s editors realized that her story was incomplete at the end of Voyager. “I said I had more to tell. I didn’t say it would take me three books to tell it,” she said, her sweevil smile causing thrills to run down their backs.

Drums of Autumn, The Fiery Cross, and A Breath of Snow and Ashes kept readers waiting with baited breath through the end of the century and into the dawn of the new.  Their favorite characters had moved from the romantic Scottish Highlands to the wilderness of the southern Colonies.

7 As the readers grew, so too did the characters, aging and marrying; having children and grandchildren. Readers could see idealized images of themselves or their loved ones in the characters created by Herself.

8 Again critics sought to undermine Herself’s already diminutive stature. “Why are there so many rapes in this series? I can’t read this.”  “Claire just wanted to get out of her marriage.” “How is this Jamie guy a Colonel? He’s a criminal.”

9 Again, she smiled and tossed her long, lustrous locks back over her shoulders. “Well, when you’ve done as many hours of research as I have, then you can complain,” she said, the soft, Southwest timbre of her voice belying the message.

10 “But when will we get to see this in the movies?” The question followed her everywhere.

“I’d like to read from my new book,” she would begin.

“But when is the movie coming out?” She would be interrupted.

“Welcome to the Highland Games. I’m honored to be here,” she would announce.

“But where’s the movie?” Would come the call.

“Congratulations on winning yet another award for your writing. When’s the movie coming out?”

11 And then the day arrived when Herself shared not only one, but two major announcements. It was June of 2013 at a trade conference’s fan event when she shared a sneak preview of her new novel Written in My Own Heart’s Blood with those in attendance, and announced: Sony Pictures, in conjunction with Tall Ship Productions and Starz will be releasing Outlander as a series in 2014.

12 Twitter exploded. And it was so very good.

Chapter 1

*Please note, this is NOT fan fiction.  This is a comical account of historical events leading up to the airing of the Sony Productions TV series Outlander based on Diana Gabaldon’s best-selling novels.  No copyright or other infringement is intended.  

The Gospel of Outlander

By Jeannie Hurley

Chapter 1

1 In the beginning was a conversation. And that conversation was about pregnancy.  Herself was a member of Compuserve, an electronic bulletin-board website begun early in the era of what is now known as “The ‘80’s.” 2 Herself, being a scientist and mother of three, knew very well what pregnancy felt like, so she proceeded to describe the scene vividly.  3 Encouraged by the warm reception and feedback she received after writing the scene, Herself began writing what would become her first novel. 4 The novel was named Outlander (translated as Cross Stitch in non-American speaking countries).  And it was good.