Diana Gabaldon recently shared her opinion on the differences between love stories and romance. Outlander is commonly wrongly put into the romance category, but can it be put into one genre?
When bookstores put books out, they like to do things by genre. After all, that’s how their shoppers search. The “Outlander” series is commonly put into the romance category, which author Diana Gabaldon understandably doesn’t like. The series isn’t purely romance. In fact, she shared reasons why it’s not romance at all.
Putting the books in romance means a large target audience misses out. Men don’t often read romance and the books are full of history, action, drama, and so much more.
“Outlander” isn’t romance
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The series does include a love story, but it’s much more than that. A cover from 15 years ago points out everything you’ll find in the series of books, covering so many genres.
For me, it’s the history and fantasy elements that pull me in. I love Scottish history and enjoy delving further into the details, especially of the Jacobite rebellion and the aftermath; something I never did in school. The idea of time travel has always fascinated me and I’m a huge Doctor Who fan, so the stones of Craig na Dun were an instant hit for me.
I’m one of those that doesn’t venture into the romance aisle that much. I enjoy a good love story, but I don’t want that to be the focus on a series of books. This is why I love delving into the side characters (and wish that happened more in the earlier books) and learning more about the time, the place, and history.
“Outlander” isn’t one genre
When I started reading the first book, I realized that there was more to it than history and fantasy. There’s a beautiful love story there, but also a focus on very real problems of the 18th century. Okay, sometimes the “dangers” may be taken too far and there are some far-stretched events and storylines, but for the most part, it’s an interesting story and one that has elements of multiple genres.
I’m glad that a friend recommended it to me for the history. I’m glad that I gave the show a chance when I found it on Netflix. Without those two things happening, I probably wouldn’t have found the series and that’s a very sad thing.
Of course, it’s hard for bookstores. Where do you put the series?
My opinion is that it belongs in historical fiction if it had to be put in any genre. Historical fiction covers so much, including love stories and romances set in history, traveling to the past, and stories revolving around past wars and events. This would capture the attention of so many readers.
Where would you put the “Outlander” series? Does it fit into one genre for you? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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