A few months ago, due to an overload of ideas and feelings regarding Outlander (both book and tv series), I wrote my first blog. I heard back from Beth Wesson who told me she had written a very similar blog. I found her blog and sure enough, they were close enough that I ventured a guess we might’ve been separated at birth. In fact, we wrote several blogs that were so much alike that I began to wonder if we were experiencing a long-distance ‘Freaky Friday’ type situation. I read very few blogs for the duration of the first half of Outlander for fear I might subconsciously be influenced by other people’s ideas. I did check with Beth a couple of times to ask her to take a peek at my latest blog entry and see if it was anything like hers. The funniest reaction she had was the time she e-mailed me and said, “Wow! This time yours is NOTHING like mine” and somehow I felt assured we weren’t actually sharing a brain.
I was delighted when she asked me if we could interview each other for this challenge from Nymerias at outlanderdreaming.wordpress.com/. It’s such a fun idea and a neat way to learn about fellow bloggers during our downtime as we wait and wait and wait for April! I found Beth to be verrrrrry interesting, kind, warm and an all around good person. Now I just wish she lived nearby, so she could stop by and visit on a regular basis and share a cup of tea. You can read her entire blog at bethwesson.wordpress.com/ Here’s her half of our interview:
Have you always been a writer? What kind of things have you written?
First, thank you for calling me a writer! No, I have not always been a writer. I’ve felt I should write, but never really tried until recently. I have written things in the past that received some attention in my little world. My college published a couple of my poems, some educational research I wrote was very positively received and I’ve written some children’s stories for my grand kids that folks tell me I should publish. But, I never really took writing seriously until last February.
You hear fans say, “Because Diana wrote a book”. Well, because Diana wrote a book, I began a blog. We had a particularly bad winter last year and the school I work for had a lot of snow days. I had a lot of free time. My nieces are word nerds like me and have always urged me to begin writing. I told them I’d love it, but I didn’t know how to start. My niece suggested a blog, ” they are free and easy to set up. It might be good place for you to practice”. Knowing the only people who would probably read me were my nieces, I set up an account in WordPress. It was easy. Now, what would I write about? Diana had just responded to someone on Twitter who had asked for her advice to aspiring writers. She responded by saying,”read, write and don’t stop”. So, I started writing….about Outlander. To my amazement, people liked it!
I’ve been so encouraged by the response, I’ve begun writing other things besides the blog. It’s been a great adventure!
How did you find out about Outlander and are there any books you like just as well?
About five years ago, I was searching for new reading material. I googled, “best book you’ve ever read”. Outlander was in the top five of several peoples’ lists. So, then I googled “best historical fiction you’ve ever read”. Once again, Outlander was in the top of lists. In fact, Outlander was in the top of the “best books ever read” in five different genres. Intrigued, I downloaded the first book on my Kindle. I have to admit, I wasn’t too sure I was going to like the book. I thought the first 100 pages or so were a bit slow. I’m sooooooo glad I stuck it out because the answer to your second question is “NO”. The Outlander series has completely ruined me for other books. I read other books. I just don’t enjoy them as much. I read and reread and never fail to find something new to appreciate. I don’t know how I hadn’t found them sooner!
What has your family’s reaction been to your Outlander addiction? Have any of them joined you in watching?
They roll their eyes and generally think I’m crazy. I wrote about it of course! http://bethwesson.wordpress.com ” My family staged an Outlander intervention”. My husband watches the show with me and very patiently listens to me rant and rave. He’s a good one. My Outlander recruits are my nieces and sister-in-laws! In fact, one of my nieces drove eight hours to Columbus, Ohio to go to a reception with Diana! She was very excited and I was happy to have someone to share it with!
Who is your favorite character in the book and why?
Arrrrgh! That is so hard! I love so many of the characters. I love Claire! She is a woman to admire and emulate. I love her passion and kindness. I love her lack of guile and pretension. She is a woman comfortable in her own skin and sure of her values. She’s a good person. But, I have to say that Jamie is my favorite. He is a man who cares. He has integrity. He is a man of faith. He’s trustworthy and loyal. He’s funny and romantic. And, he could teach us all a lesson in how to love.
If you could spend one uninterrupted hour, sipping tea and munching scones with Diana (after the fawning subsided) what would the conversation be like?
I’m not sure I would fawn, but I can’t guarantee I wouldn’t be dumbstruck! Outlander confession ….DG kinda of scares me! I’ve seen people “Gabaldoned” when they say stupid things! It would be pretty to think I would have the presence of mind to speak clearly and cleverly enough to intrigue her or at least peak her interest! But, I’d settle for telling her how delighted I was to see Moravians, Quakers and Tuscarora Indians in her books. These things are part of my life and I’d love to know how and why she chose them. I would of course love to ask her about writing. It is my dream to have a “blue pencil” session with her. I can think of no one else I would trust more to tell me the truth about my writing. She has read some of my blogs and responded…positively! LOL! After I got through the shock of her commenting (and retweeting, squeeee), I quickly took a picture of my screen! I would definitely thank her for all that her books have brought into my life!
Finally, has Outlander changed your life? If yes, how has it changed?
I think I’ve probably already answered this question! But, I’ll add that one of the most unexpected things her books have brought me is the chance to meet lovely people like yourself. Some of the people I’ve “met” through the blog and social media have truly become friends. In addition, I’ve networked and found mentors. I’m writing because of Outlander and that makes me very happy!
Thank you Beth, this has been so much fun! (Note: I couldn’t find a recent photo of you from your blog, so I pulled one from the internet. Hope you don’t mind 🙂
And since I began with a Beth, I’d like to pass this along to another Beth. I’m challenging the smartest, funniest woman I know with a vocabulary filled with SAT words and a brain that puts us all (well, me at least) to shame……my idol and object of my adoration and fawning Beth from @Thats_Normal