'Outlander' Writer Takes Jab at 'Game of Thrones' Scribe George R.R. Martin

"Unlike George [R.R. Martin], I write no matter where I am or what else I’m doing," Diana Gabaldon told reporters Friday at the Television Critics Association winter press tour.
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Diana Gabaldon

Outlander novelist Diana Gabaldon promises she’ll have the next book in her time-travel fantasy series out in a more timely fashion than Game of Thrones’ George R. R. Martin.

Ahead of the Golden Globes this Sunday, where the Starz drama will compete with its three nominations (including one for best drama), series creator Ronald D. Moore, writer Gabaldon and stars Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan hit the Television Critics Association winter press tour to peddle season two. 

When asked by a reporter whether her work on the Starz drama — she penned a season two episode — would interfere with her meeting the deadline for the ninth installment in her saga — in light of Game of Thrones’ George R. R. Martin’s recent announcement that, of course, his next book will be delayed — Gabaldon didn’t miss a beat. "No. Unlike George, I write no matter where I am or what else I’m doing," she said, adding: "He admits it himself that he likes to travel and he can’t write when he travels. That’s just the way he works. Everybody’s got their own writing mechanism. When I began writing, I had two full-time jobs and three small children."

The author went on to explain that she learned to write in any spare minutes that she had — a work ethic she’s kept up over the years. "I do have a couple of hours in the middle of night that I can count on when things are quiet and that’s my main writing time," she continued, "but I will [also] write at intervals during the day and I write when I travel."

As for when fans can expect her upcoming novel to hit the shelves? "About six weeks after I finishing writing it," she said, keeping mum on an actual date and instead noting the amount of time it takes her publisher to print her material after she hands it over to them. "They start calling me when they think the book should be close to getting done, saying, 'Where are you? Do you have an estimate?' And I say, 'I’ll give you an estimate, but keep in mind it’s going to be wrong.' … Do they listen? Never."

The shot comes after Martin revealed that The Winds of Winter, the sixth novel in the fantasy series HBO's Game of Thrones is based on, will not hit shelves before the sixth season of the television adaptation. It has created a mild uproar among Game of Thrones book loyalists who fear they will be spoiled by the events depicted on the HBO series on which Martin is an exec producer. 

As for Outlander's sophomore season, which is based on Gabaldon's second novel, Dragonfly in Amber), Claire (Balfe) and Jamie (Heughan) arrive in France in an attempt to stop the impending war Claire already knows will doom Scotland (she knows exactly how history will play out since she’s from the future). The pair plan to infiltrate the Jacobite rebellion from France, and get thrown into the lavish French society in the process.

"For Claire, it was a very reactionary in season one — she was in survival mode," said Balfe. "The difference with this season is that there has been time to be in one place and things are sitting with her a lot more. … It’s been a really amazing discovery that way, and I feel like in a lot of respects that I’ve gotten to know her much more."

For his part, Heughan added: "I’ve been surprised by season two. It's been about discovering a side of a character that wasn’t there. Jamie is very capable and good at most things, but he is still struggling with what happened to him [last season]. There is a darkness, but there is a side to him that I admire."

Check out the new trailer for the upcoming season, which features a very pregnant Claire: