Impressive bards

My friend and fellow author Gemma Juliana is having her blog day at Romance Books ‘4’ Us today and she’s talking about two well-known authors who wrote just one story and were made famous by them.  *See link below. 

dianagabaldon_lkp_002You don’t have to go far to see the broad success of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander story. It’s a sweeping and hefty tale that recently made a successful transformation from page to film. I have to say this longtime fan of the series is enjoying the heck out of it.

J.K.Rowling’s Harry Potter saga is a chimera of literature that begins as a children’s book and two books in morphs into a darker and heavier reading experience any adult would appreciate.  I regularly feast on both works. 

Being a fast reader, absorbing J.K. Rowling’s books takes me hp_rowling_wideweb__470x379,0about a day and a half per book. As it’s a series, I generally plow through them all in about eight days.  Conversely, Diana’s densely-worded saga takes a larger block of time to go through. In the midst of life’s necessities (family, dinner, grocery shopping, pets, laundry etc), I can knock out one of her 1000-page masterpieces in a little under a week. I’m a binge fiction reader and when I binge, I do so in the truest sense — non-stop. 

Binging on fiction?

popular_diet_booksIn a book store such as Barnes & Noble, the information section is where I go. Non-fiction always pulls me in because I love to learn and I never mix fiction and nonfiction. It’s always either or for me. On rare occasion, a work of fiction will grab my attention and sets off a cascade of fiction binging.  In a binge I could end up reading 20-30  novels depending on size. Fiction binging usually lasts a month or so and when it’s done, I may not pick up another work of fiction for a year. 

When I first stumbled upon the Outlander story, I experienced a shift unlike any other in my life as a reader.  Let’s just say the earth stood still until I’d finished all 4000 or so pages, giver or take, in four novels written up to that point. Why was I held in such a grip? Excellent storytelling.

Both of these authors wrote deeply complex stories. Both built worlds packed with detail and rich in interrelationships. I love stories like that. But by far what put them head and shoulders above others, in my opinion, was the depth these authors gave their characters. Both Harry and Jamie are the quintessential hero on par with heroes taken from classic literature, and both take on their own version of the hero’s quest. Their female counterparts have brains and bravery in abundance.  In Outlander we have the juicy benefit of experiencing the story through the heroine Claire’s emotion as she tells the reader her adventure first hand. Compelling characters all.

So what makes a literary character memorable and who still stands the test of time? I have some thoughts on that and I’ll write more tomorrow. 🙂


For 100 days, I’ll post something from my chosen topic: Clichés.
There are 45 entries to come.

Here’s a cliché for today:

Read between the lines


4 Us iconToday is Author Gemma Juliana’s blog day.

Romance Books ‘4’ Us ~ The September contest is on, this time two winners!


Fall into Love Party copyAnd speaking of prizes…

I’m participating in Fall Into Romance — a month-long event hosted by The Romance Reviews. Hundreds of authors and industry people are participating and that means hundreds of prizes. Find my bit on my satellite blog:


avatar-purple<– This is not a lag. It’s a statement. The internet was created to be a free system with access to knowledge and level opportunity for all. Right now several large telecommunications corporations want to make you pay them for the privilege you’ve have for free since the internet began. Learn how you can help stop the pending internet takeover by these heavy-hitting, well-funded Washington lobbyists. The FCC is taking comments now and wants to know what YOU think. If Comcast and Verizon win, this lagging icon is what we’ll see every time we try to use the internet.
Learn what’s at stake and how you can give your opinion to the FCC.


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About ~RoseAnderson

Rose Anderson is an award-winning author and dilettante who loves great conversation and delights in discovering interesting things to weave into stories. Rose also writes under the pen name Madeline Archer.
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7 Responses to Impressive bards

  1. rosgemmell says:

    Really enjoyed this post, Rose. I devoured the Harry Potter books but have yet to experience Outlander, although I have the original British version of the first book called Cross Stitch which I’ll read one of these days!

    • Once it grabs you it won’t let go. I’ve never been so thoroughly caught by a fictional story before. There are some disturbing parts, things I’d normally pass over. Even those held me.

  2. treknray says:

    I enjoyed your friend’s blog. I like your post today on the subject. My reading speed varies. It took me three weeks to read War and Peace the first time. The second time the translation was more user friendly and contained a guide with all the names of each character with a description along with the names.

    I read an 1800 page Clancy book in three days. Every ship in the book was either one I had been on or refueled or resupplied. On one of those days we refueled thirteen ships usually two at a time. I couldn’t read then, but not having any distractions during my reading time made it particularly easy to read fast. When I read ebooks I get easily distracted. I am doing email now, because I came to a point where it was time to do something else. Reading print books doesn’t do that. I also have the TV on. After being aboard ship so many years silence means something is wrong. Shipboard TV was in the lounges. I had my own, but it was a small screen and was only on if there was a movie I wanted to see.

    • How fun to recognize the ships in Clancy’s books. 🙂 I too have enjoyed fiction for the familiar elements authors put in. Books with primitive camping skills described in detail always hit home, as did books with medicinal plant uses. That connection is what draws me to storytelling. I like feeling books were written for me.

  3. Hi Rose, I was riveted in exactly the same way with the Outlander books, and am so glad there will be at least another one yet to come. The Starz episodes are fantastic, and I’m pulled into them in the same way.

    An observation I didn’t make in my blog post — I find the timing interesting — the Outlander series comes to the small screen as Scotland undertakes a vote for Independence. I read that J.K. Rowling has made it clear she will vote NO in that referendum.

    • That’s interesting about J.K.Rowling’s vote. I recently read the country is 50/50 on it. They have the oil fields so there’s potential for income.

      The Outlander series on Starz is very well done. Fans can recognize where they combined several unrelated instances into one scene, but so far none of that has detracted from the story. Not to this fan, anyway. I’m glad she waited. There was a concept on the table many years ago to make it into a “made for TV” mini series. It wouldn’t have done it justice.

    • treknray says:

      I heard on BBC in America via NPR that The PM and the heads of parties in England are in Scotland. The reporter said he thinks they are running scared. If Scotland votes yes England loses.

      After listening to stories about the referendum for months I think it would be in the interest of all parties if Scotland were given more autonomy than it already has then to go it alone. I heard the pound has dropped in value and that major banks threatened to move out of Scotland.

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