24 November 2015

Authors at the Castle

Outlander author Diana Gabaldon joined historian Neil Oliver at Stirling Castle for a Q & A event which kicked off Book Week Scotland

Sitting at the head of the packed Great Hall, next to a Christmas tree and in front of the large fireplace, this was the perfect venue for an intimate chat between two extraordinary writers of historic fiction.

Right at the start Neil Oliver managed to capture our hearts when admitting that Stirling Castle is his favourite castle (although rumour has it he says that about every place he visits).

And Diana Gabaldon drew us in with her tales of her characters not only coming to life in her head, but on film.

images by Rob McDougall

As both of the authors’ novels are set in the past, an obvious question was how they manage to find the right balance between fact and fiction.

‘You’re not trying to teach people with your novels, your trying to enthuse them about a time in history,’ Neil Oliver said.

We captured Diana Gabaldon’s response on video:

One of the highlights of the evening was Neil Oliver announcing that he is more than halfway through writing his next book – the sequel to Master of Shadows – and hopes to have it published by September 2016!

images by Rob McDougall

At the end of the evening, the audience was able to pose their own questions which resulted in some fascinating answers. For example, did you know that Neil Oliver is especially intrigued by the Neolithic period, stone circles and the mysteries that surround them? That he doesn’t like to read feedback and comments about his work? Or that Diana Gabaldon’s children have never read her books nor watched the Outlander series?

It was a fantastic evening, and we’re sure the authors will agree that the Great Hall was the perfect location for this literary trip into the past.

Are you planning an event? Stirling Castle is a great venue for both small and large events, whether it’s a wedding, medieval banquet or corporate function. Get in touch to see how we can make your event a success.

Find out about all the other events taking place for Book Week Scotland on the Scottish Book Trust website.

Images by Rob McDougall