October 18, 2017

Looking for Jamie Fraser

By Marilyn Baron

My daughter and I went on a TAUCK tour, labeled A Week in Scotland, this past summer. I was already in love with Jamie Fraser, hero of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. Then I fell in love with Scotland. My daughter was interested in seeing the country. I was looking for Jamie Fraser. After talking with many of the women on the tour, from millennials to women of a certain age, it turns out we were all after the same thing. Jamie Fraser.

Did we really think we would find him? Yes, I think we did. When I suggested to my traveling companions that, maybe we would see Claire, they said, “Who cares?”

I came closest to a sighting three times.

Once, in Inverness, gateway to the Highlands, when I tried to go through the stones at the ancient burial site at Clava Cairns. I placed my hands on a center stone and hoped to be whisked away. But, alas, I had left my good jewelry at home and anyone who’s read Outlander knows you can’t travel through time without a jewel. What made me think I could do it? Maybe the visit to Glenturret Distillery the day before where we had lunch and a whisky tasting. 

Second, at Culloden House, a majestic Palladian mansion, where we tasted Highland hospitality with Afternoon Tea, a selection of finger sandwiches, freshly homemade scones served with whipped cream & jam, macaroons, Chocolate Tiffin, a selection of pastries,  Ham & Cheese Panier and a Proven├žale Tart. Originally a Jacobean Castle, where in 1746, Bonnie Prince Charlie requisitioned the building as his headquarters prior to the tragic battle of 1746 that divided families and clans. It is now a hotel. I asked the receptionist if she’d ever seen Diana Gabaldon and she said, yes, that the author stays in one of the 28 charming bedrooms when she’s in town and as a matter of fact, had just been there two weeks before we arrived. Missed her by that much!

And the author’s (and Jamie’s) presence was everywhere when we visited the Culloden Battlefield and Visitor Centre. Diana Gabaldon had an impressive display in the gift shop. I bought my daughter a copy of Outlander to try to get her hooked on the series. 

Third, a young French man, who was traveling with his mother and aunt on the tour, was so enthralled with Scottish tradition, he turned into a highlander, literally, complete with kilt and bagpipes. I have a picture of him with my daughter. He’s not Jamie, but he would do in a pinch.

Though I tried everything—I even ate haggis—alas, I never saw Jamie.

I have written historical fiction and I plan to set my next book in Scotland because of the natural beauty and allure of the place, probably on peaceful Loch Lomond, inspired by its breathtaking views from my window at Cameron House, where the sun never seemed to set.

My hat is off to any author, like Diana Gabaldon, who can create a character as memorable as Jamie. Such an author can build worlds in a trendsetting genre and make a fictional character come alive.

That’s my goal and I imagine the goal of many writers. So, we plod on, at our computers, doing our research, making our magic. And maybe one day, we will find Jamie, in one of our own characters or people will travel to distant lands in search of the character of our own creation.
Marilyn Baron writes in a variety of genres, from humorous coming-of-middle age women’s fiction to historical romantic thrillers and romantic suspense to paranormal/fantasy. She’s received writing awards in Single Title, Suspense Romance, Novel With Strong Romantic Elements and Paranormal//Fantasy Romance and most recently was The Finalist in the 2017 Georgia Author of the Year Awards in the Romance Category for her novel, Stumble Stones. Her latest novel, The Alibi, a romantic suspense, is her 13th novel with The Wild Rose Press (her 21st work of fiction), and was released September 13, 2017. She’s published five humorous, paranormal short stories with TWB Press and self-published two books and a musical with her sister, Sharon Goldman. AmazonEncore republished her book Sixth Sense in September 2015. She serves on the Roswell Reads Steering Committee and was selected as a featured author in the 2015 and 2016 Atlanta Authors Series. She’s a PAN member of Romance Writers of America and Georgia Romance Writers (GRW) and winner of the GRW 2009 Chapter Service Award. Marilyn graduated with a BS in Journalism and a minor in Creative Writing from the University of Florida. She worked in Public Relations for AT&T in Atlanta for 13 years before starting her own PR firm. To find out more about Marilyn’s books, please visit her Web site at Social Media: Facebook: Twitter: Goodreads: and Amazon Author Page.                                  

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