Diana Jean Gabaldon born on January 11, 1952 in Arizona, (U.S.A.). Her father was from New Mexico and her mother's family from Yorkshire (England); her great-grandfather immigrated to Arizona from England in the 1860s.
Gabaldon grew up in Flagstaff, Arizona. She has received three degrees from two different institutions: B.S. in Zoology from Northern Arizona University, 1970-1973; M.S. in Marine Biology from the University of California, San Diego, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, 1973-1975. Her research topic was, "Agonistic Interactions of Hermit Crabs." and Ph.D in Ecology from Northern Arizona University, 1975-1978. Dissertation: "Nest Site Selection in Pinyon Jays, Gymnorhynchus cyanocephalus)." She has also received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Northern Arizona University, in 2007. In addition, Gabaldon Hall, a dormitory on the campus of Northern Arizona University, is named after her father, Tony Gabaldon. Gabaldon currently lives in Scottsdale, Arizona with her husband, Doug Watkins; they have three adult children.
Gabaldon's first fiction efforts were posted on the CompuServe literary forum, a hangout for people who like books (the forum is still extant, but now called The Compuserve Books and Writers Community www.community.compuserve.com/Books. She was an active member of this book-discussion community, and posted parts of her unfinished novel, Outlander, to strengthen her points in an argument with another poster regarding what it feels like to be pregnant. One of the people who read her post was a science fiction writer. He was impressed, and introduced her to his agent.<1> The agent, Perry Knowlton, took her on, on the basis of an unfinished first novel. When it was finished, he sent it to five editors, and within four days, three of them had made offers on it. There are presently seven novels in the main OUTLANDER series, including AN ECHO IN THE BONE, released on Sept. 22, 2009. The stories center around a time-travelling 20th-century English nurse (Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser) and her 18th-century Scottish husband (James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser), and are located in Scotland, France, the West Indies, England, and America. The Lord John Series is a spin-off from the Outlander books, as it centers on a secondary character from the original series, but is also part of the main series.
Note: Diana did not take her husband's name after they married, "My husband was mildly put out that I refused to take his name when we got married. I told him, though, that I'd been spelling "Gabaldon" for people for twenty-five years, and I was attached to it."