11th December 2015
You can't question an international bestseller, because it is obviously touching on something important. So I don't question Harry Potter and I don't question anything these days that emenates from the pen of Dan Brown. And I'm not questioning Diana Gabaldon, either, except to reiterate what readers have already observed: my book is not like hers. Much. It's enough like hers to have the folks over at Simon and Schuster marketing my book on that comparison: Time travel romance. Scotland. How different can it be?
Except I never saw my book as that. Just for the record, I don't write Romance of any stamp, Veil Of Time included. The relationship between Maggie and Fergus doesn't follow the time travel romance formula, and I'm tired of pretending that it does.
(Trust me, I have known a few lairds in my time, and they never look like this!)
As the Veil Of Time series continues, this is going to become even more evident. I am asking the reader to entertain the possibility that people didn't always think according to the morals and mores that govern our modern sensibility. Most time travel takes a modern mentality and just transplants it. But if you go back to the eighth century to people whose priests were druidesses and whose God was the Goddess, they are going to be looking at the world in a wholly different light.
For one, the earth is going to be regarded as female and sacred. So, out goes man's dominance over every living creature. For another, the idea of what passes for a marriage will be different. You don't have to go very far back in history to see how different that can be. But before my book had even hit the shelves, I came across a group of Goodreads trolls collectively grimacing at Fergus for not living up to their (relatively modern) projection of love. They said, Gabaldon's Jamie would never, as one commentator graphically put it, dry-hump the goddess incarnate. Yeah, but McDougall's Fergus did. It's what high-ranking royals did in those days. Sorry.
I'm not asking the reader to condone any of this, just asking that for a moment they angle their sights a little differently, something, in the interests of tolerance - and especially in these days - it is always wise to do.