Steve Berry discusses The Omega Factor with special guest host, Diana Gabaldon.

Barbara Peters, founder of The Poisoned Pen, hosted a riveting session between bestselling authors Steve Berry and Diana Gabaldon in which they discussed the writing process, historical fiction, and inspiration behind Steve’s book, The Omega Factor.

During the session, Berry revealed the inspiration behind his book’s cover: “I adapted the image of a monastery from a friend’s house near Venice. The old and new pictures were perfect for the story.”

Diana Gabaldon, legendary author of the Outlander series, praised Berry’s ability to immerse readers in history. She remarked, “Steve does very well to concentrate everything into the viewpoint of his main character, making you feel like you’re living along with them.

In the session, the authors delved into mysteries and thrillers, the importance of specificity in historical fiction, and their own experiences as authors. Steve mentioned his inspiration behing The Omega Factor and the historical significance of the Ghent Altarpiece, prominently featured in his novel, while Diana discussed her writing process and the interplay between different genres.

They also touched on the idea of expanding their series and writing books set in different locations. The conversation offered insights into their creative process and the joys and challenges of writing novels. They talked about the process of writing thrillers and the difference between a mystery and a thriller, with Berry explaining that while a mystery is about what happened, a thriller is about what’s going to happen.

Diana, with her vast experience writing historical fiction highlighted the importance of being specific in descriptions, mentioning author Sharon K. Penman as an example.

The event offered a fascinating glimpse into the minds of two acclaimed authors and their approach to storytelling and showcases the passion and dedication they bring to their craft. If you enjoyed the conversation between Steve Berry and Diana Gabaldon about The Omega Factor, share your thoughts on social media to spread the book-love. And if you want to stay updated on the latest book news and events, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter.

Susanna Kearsley and Diana Gabaldon at The Poisoned Pen

In this captivating virtual event hosted by The Poisoned Pen’s Barbara Peters, renowned authors Susanna Kearsley and Diana Gabaldon share their insights on Kearsley’s The Vanished Days, in an insightful discussion that delves deep into the world of historical fiction. 

The authors discuss various aspects of their writing process – Diana’s kaleidoscope approach and Susanna’s puzzle-like method, that allows her to “find inspiration in the hidden corners of history”. Her words echo the charm that permeates The Vanished Days, a tale that bridges time and imagination and can be considered a prequel or companion book to Kearsley’s The Winter Sea.

They both agree that characters drive the plot, and they often let them dictate where the story goes. Kearsley emphasizes how historical characters can present challenges since there are gaps in their stories, but highlights that research helps fill in those gaps. They both acknowledge the need for historical accuracy and the importance of crafting a cohesive narrative, where each character and plot point fit together to create a compelling story.

Best-selling author Diana Gabaldon, renowned for the ‘Outlander’ series underscored “Susanna’s ability to blend history with emotion” which she described as “unparalleled.” As the conversation unfolds, they discuss the characters who navigate through history’s twists and turns. “Books like ‘The Vanished Days’ ensure that history lives on,” Susanna emphasizes, while Diana adds, “It’s like whispering to the past and the future simultaneously.”

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And if you’re eager to explore more literary wonders and connect with fellow historical fiction and mystery enthusiasts,  join The Poisoned Pen’s Historical Fiction book club to discover great books curated by our founder Barbara Peters.