Who Would You Cast as Jamie in ‘Outlander’?

Sam Heughan was chosen to play Jamie Fraser in 2014

Sam Heughan was chosen to play Jamie Fraser in 2014

UPDATE, August 2014: This post was originally written in May 2009, nearly five years before Diana Gabaldon had real plans to bring Outlander to the small screen, so this was all simply fun speculation about who should play Jamie Fraser if a movie were ever made. In reality, now, of course, the book is being brought to STARZ with the verra sexy Sam Heughan playing Jamie. (And very well, at that!) But if you want to hear our own musings years ago (the comments are really fun!), read on:

One of the fun things to do when you finish a favorite book is to try to figure out who should play the parts of all the lead characters.

“Casting” came up again for me this week on Twitter. First, we were discussing an actual movie and who would play the roles, but then – since I just finished reading Outlander – I brought up Claire and Jamie. (No, people, calm down — I don’t know of any real plans to be a movie — just having fun thinking of who I would cast if it were.)

I realize I’m not the only one who plays the “who would play Jamie?” game, but Jamie would be a crucial decision, wouldn’t he? He’s named seemingly everywhere as one of the most popular romance heroes of all time, so his role would have to be perfectly cast to appease millions of fans.

I asked my Twitter friends who they thought should play him, and here are some of the votes I got:

  • Gerard Butler apparently comes up a lot (but @doart wondered if he’d be too old for a 20ish virgin?)
  • Simon Woods (“after hitting the gym,” @doart said)
  • Karl Urban, if he dyed his hair red, said @sighWTF
  • Hugh Jackman got a vote from @lisamaccoll (if he dyed his hair)
  • Gabriel Aubry came up as a suggestion from @nanna95.

What about you? Who do you think should play Jamie? Read below our dozens of comments and check out all the cool links people left — then weigh in yourself! We’d love to hear your thoughts!

AAR’s Top 100 Romance List

heart handsWhile I’m getting some writing done on my manuscript, I thought I’d give you a link to AAR’s Top 100 Romance list. As far as I understand, All About Romance does this list every two years by compiling reader votes. Voting usually takes place in even years just before October.

I’m working off an older list, which I’ve typed below. I like my original list because I put it in a Word file and sorted the books by author so I could find them easier in libraries and book stores. The red highlights are the books I’ve already read. (I tend to hover around one author for months — I’ll read almost everything in her backlist if I like her — then I move on to another author on the list.) The newer list had more Suzanne Brockmann, as I recall, and had J.R. Ward as a new contender, but I’m going to work off this older list first.

Anyway, reading off the list is fun! If you don’t know what to read, I recommend starting with this list — you’re sure to get the most beloved romances of all time.

And for those who are already romance fans — how many of these have you read?

1. Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase
2. Flowers From the Storm by Laura Kinsale — Absolutely loved this
3. Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie — Always a Crusie fan
4. As You Desire by Connie Brockway
5. Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie
6. Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas

7. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon — A classic
8. Over the Edge by Suzanne Brockmann
9. All Through the Night by Connie Brockway
10. Sea Swept by Nora Roberts
11. It Had to be You by Susan Elizabeth Phillips — Loved this!! I’m a huge fan of SEP
12. A Summer to Remember by Mary Balogh

13. Morning Glory by LaVyrle Spencer — Very sweet
14. The Proposition by Judith Ivory
15. A Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught
16. Ravished by Amanda Quick
17. Frederica by Georgette Heyer
18. Mrs. Drew Plays Her Hand by Carla Kelly
19. MacKenzie’s Mountain by Linda Howard
20. Mr. Perfect by Linda Howard
21. The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer
22. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
23. The Bride by Julie Garwood — Have this on my nightstand, but haven’t read yet
24. Devil’s Bride by Stephanie Laurens
25. To Have and to Hold by Patricia Gaffney
26. Born in Fire by Nora Roberts
27. Winter Garden by Adele Ashworth
28. Gone Too Far by Suzanne Brockmann
29. The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn
30. Saving Grace by Julie Garwood
31. My Dearest Enemy by Connie Brockway
32. In the Midnight Rain by Barbara Samuel
33. The Windflower by Laura London
34. Naked in Death by J.D. Robb
35. Whitney, My Love by Judith McNaught — Loved this
36. Nobody’s Baby but Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
37. A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux
38. Paradise by Judith McNaught
39. The Shadow and the Star by Laura Kinsale
Loving L.K.
40. Dream Man by Linda Howard
41. Out of Control by Suzanne Brockmann — Loved this
42. Silk and Shadows by Mary Jo Putney
43. See Jane Score by Rachel Gibson
44. Shattered Rainbows by Mary Jo Putney
45. Thunder and Roses by Mary Jo Putney
46. The Duke and I by Julia Quinn
47. Heart Throb by Suzanne Brockmann
48. For My Lady’s Heart by Laura Kinsale

49. Honor’s Splendor by Julie Garwood
50. Lord Carew’s Bride by Mary Balogh
51. Untie my Heart by Judith Ivory
52. Dream a Little Dream by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
53. The Secret by Julie Garwood
54. This is All I Ask by Lynn Kurland
55. Slightly Dangerous by Mary Balogh
56. One Perfect Rose by Mary Jo Putney
57. To Love and to Cherish by Patricia Gaffney
58. Kiss an Angel by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
59. Heaven, Texas by Susan Elizabeth Phillips — Loved this
60. Venetia by Georgette Heyer
61. Daughter of the Game by Tracy Grant
62. The Prize by Julie Garwood
63. Reforming Lord Ragsdale by Carla Kelly
64. Prince Joe by Suzanne Brockmann
65. The Notorious Rake by Mary Balogh
66. Heartless by Mary Balogh
67. Son of the Morning by Linda Howard
68. Sleeping Beauty by Judith Ivory
69. Where Dreams Begin by Lisa Kleypas
70. The Devil’s Cub by Georgette Heyer
71. The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons
72. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegar — Loved, loved, loved this!
73. With This Ring by Carla Kelly
74. The Lion’s Lady by Julie Garwood
75. The Rake by Mary Jo Putney
76. Fallen from Grace by Laura Leone
77. Always to Remember by Lorraine Heath
78. Castles by Julie Garwood
79. One Good Turn by Carla Kelly
80. Chesapeake Blue by Nora Roberts
81. By Arrangement by Madeline Hunter
82. Perfect by Judith McNaught
83. My Darling Caroline by Adele Ashworth
84. The Defiant Hero by Suzanne Brockmann
85. The Unsung Hero by Suzanne Brockmann
86. Guilty Pleasures by Laura Lee Guhrke
87. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
88. Kill and Tell by Linda Howard
89. After the Night by Linda Howard
90. More than a Mistress by Mary Balogh
91. Born in Ice by Nora Roberts
92. Miss Wonderful by Loretta Chase
93. The Charm School by Susan Wiggs — One of my mom’s faves
94. Scoundrel by Elizabeth Elliott
95. How to Marry a Marquis by Julia Quinn
96. Angel Rogue by Mary Jo Putney
97. Trust Me by Jayne Ann Krentz
98. Dancing on the Wind by Mary Jo Putney
99. Once and Always by Judith McNaught
100. This Heart of Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Why I Write Romance Novels

heartWhen I first started to tell my friends and family that I was writing romance novels, they were a bit surprised. I was always one of those literary readers – bordering on literary snob, I suppose – who spent the college years lugging around my volumes of Keats and Shelley. I took classes called “The American Literary Experience,” and “American Literature in the 20th Century” and talked late at night in the college coffeehouses with my friends about Saul Bellow and Willa Cather. We never even spoke the names of genre writers, let alone took them seriously. Many English majors did take a class called “The Popular Novel,” in which we read two books in five genres (romance, western, sci-fi, mystery and horror), but the object of that class was to explore the “formulas” of those genres, not to extol their virtues. We rolled our eyes at the clichéd phrases and acted like we had to read them at gunpoint. We were impressed that the writers made so much money, but we didn’t think they were writing “real books.”

When I moved into the real world, then, I continued reading literary, going through my Margaret Atwood phase with a good friend from work and desperately searching for a book club so I could discuss Toni Morrison and Milan Kundera. I started writing my own “great American novel” – a literary novel, of course – focused on manipulating language to tell a story in a different way.

But then a funny thing happened:

I kept thinking about that pop novel class. …

And I kept thinking about the romance novels. …

And I kept thinking about writing one. Continue reading