Here is how I came up with the name “Outmander”, which was first published on twitter in January 2014 as:
“The Story of the OutMander”
It happened about 200 years ago…well, really, it happened a little over 200 hours ago. During some twitter activity on January 4, 2014, an Outlander fan (MMN) was tweeting about just having finished Outlander and wanted to know if there any other fans “out there with penises.” I suggested he try tweeting with Donas the Horse (that is a completely different story as told by Donas). I welcomed him as a newbie OutMander and so it began. He then asked if I just made that up, but as I was not sure who or what he was speaking to/about, so my response was “made what up”? At that point, I went to the computer and started the OutMander.
That is how it started, but why? His question sparked what I felt was a need to recruit more men to the readership. Frankly, the majority of readers on the sites are women, including me. It is my firm belief that Outlander (and all the books written by Herself, Diana Gabaldon) are for both sexes. There are many social media groups out there that really are lacking in the male voice. The books are for both and the television series will also be for both. My hope was to gather more male fans and to start social media group or groups that were tailored for males to discuss different aspect of the books without being hounded by estrogen. Men interpret and absorb literature differently and by pitching the books with a slightly different spin, i.e., fighting, sex, hunting, warfare, guns and swords, etc., then more husbands, boyfriends, uncles would read Outlander and the rest of the series and love it just as much. I decided to become a facilitator of a safe zone for males to chat about the books Diana has written. I would like to see more men at the signing and fan events. One does not have to possess an XY chromosome pair to do that.
Furthermore, since the story is written in the first person, it is an interesting way to get into the head of a very intelligent woman, Claire Elizabeth Beauchamp Randall Fraser. Diana takes us through the thought process very well and for men to read more of how a woman’s brain works through fiction, then who knows where it may lead for the reader.
What interests me the most is how Diana writes about medicinal botany and the medical procedures throughout the series. Having spent more than 10 years as an x-ray technologist, I then went onto a research university to study plant physiological ecology. I ended up being a plant/soil geek and was hooked on ecology. It was shortly after I finished college that I discovered Dragonfly in Amber, ironically, while I was in Turkey. When I learned Herself was a scientist, I was even more hooked. Blood, guts, gore – none of that bothers me, I’ve seen it all in the various emergency and operating rooms that required x-ray techs.
Let’s face it, guys digest material differently. The OutMander is a way to bring more male fans on board and to see just what they think of the books while increasing the fan base. Social media is flooded with what women think; let’s find out what the men think. Become an OutMander, a male fan of the Outlander series and all things Jamie and Claire.
Most of the time I can be found living simply and quietly in Seattle, Washington. I first met Diana in Canada just about one year ago. Since starting Outmander, I’ve been to multiple fan events, including the event in Los Angeles, I ran the Outlander Fan Retreat Facebook Group (along with two dinners and a charity raffle), I met Diana again in Seattle in July 2014, I went to SDCC 2014 and the Outlander World Premiere in San Diego. Right now I’m working on Outlandish Vancouver – a weekend event for fans, which will include a short window during which we will meet Diana again and have a book signed.
Outlander has brought great joy to my life, I hope it does for you as well.