Outlander author Diana Gabaldon has teased fans with an extraction of her ‘eventual’ new book titled ‘What Frank Knew’.
The award-winning author alluded to her 847,000 Facebook followers that she could eventually write another book, but made sure to confirm that she is “NOT actively working on this book yet”.
She wrote: “Just for fun….I’m NOT (repeat, not) actively working on this book yet, but when pieces of something bubble up, I write them down.
“So this is just a fragment of the eventual book, WHAT FRANK KNEW…
“[Excerpt from WHAT FRANK KNEW, Copyright 2023 Diana Gabaldon] (NB: “copyright” means that I have written it down and the rights belong to me as of this point in time. It doesn’t mean the eventual book exists yet.)
“‘Never put anything in writing.’ That’s the first thing the instructor at [ ] said to us. Everyone laughed—including the instructor—as all of us were sitting there, pens in hands poised over our clean new notebooks, ready to scribble down the rudiments of withstanding interrogation.
“Heady stuff, that. At the time.
“Ironic, in retrospect. I was a historian when the war started. And a historian’s chief job is to write things down. Save things from being forgotten. Rescue things that were forgotten, when possible. See, save, rescue—and most importantly, pass them on. Within a simple but elegant setting of your own perceptions and interpretations. You hope.
“Both history and intelligence work give you a unique appreciation for truth; I’ll say that much.
“So does being married.”
Fans were delighted at the hint and jumped to the comments to praise the 71-year-old author.
One wrote: “What Frank knew…this is gonna be a great story!
“I remember when Claire said “thank you Frank” because he had taught Brianna so many things.
“I can’t wait for this story.
“Last night was my last shift at the hospital. I am now retired. Now I can finally read all of these books again. Thank you for writing these amazing stories.”
Another added: “I love the complexity that is Frank and he’s one of my favorite characters. I’m so excited and here for this when it comes. Frank might not have been Jamie, but he was a decent, kind, good man. Claire tells us this time and again, and I believe her. He deserves his story told too.”
A third wrote: “I have been hoping to learn more about Frank, since I discovered them in 2000. He always seemed to be the forgotten hero. I feel he knew about Jamie and Claire and was part of shaping their story all along. He wasn’t perfect but he was a wonderful father and he stood by Claire and continued to love her, even though she loved another. He had the opportunity to dig into the past and learn more about their story in a way Claire never could. I think he deserves an adventure too.”
Who was Frank Randall?
In the Outlander stories, Frank Randall was an English-born historian, who was married to Claire Randall (played by Caitriona Balfe). The couple married in 1937 and raised Claire’s daughter, Brianna Randall (Sophie Skelton), together.
The pair were separated for most of the Second World War. Frank served as an officer in the British army and Claire as a nurse. After the war, Claire and Frank decided to have a second honeymoon in the Scottish Highlands to rekindle their marriage.
They stayed in Inverness, close to the stone circle, Craigh na Dun, which would later see Claire travel back in time and meet Highlander Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan). Frank traced his lineage back to Jonathan ‘Black Jack’ Randall, an English officer who fought in the Jacobite Rising of 1745.
His ancestor was also involved with Mary Hawkins, who he married in 1746.
In the present day, Claire returned to the stone circle at Craig na Dun, pregnant and dressed in rags. She told Frank the truth about travelling to 1743 and her romance with Jamie Fraser but he refused to believe it.
Claire eventually gave birth to her and Jamie’s daughter Brianna, who Frank raised as his own. However, after several years together their marriage grew further and further apart and Frank had affairs with at least six other women.
After a huge argument, Frank announced he was moving to England without Claire and would be taking Brianna with him. Sadly, Frank died in a car accident before he could return to England for a fresh start.
Claire discovered her husband had died the following day whilst at work when his body was brought into the hospital in an ambulance.
Frank’s car had slid on ice and he had crashed, dying instantly.
Frank died knowing Jamie Fraser had not died at the battle of Culloden and even asked the Reverend Wakefield to place a fake headstone with Fraser’s full name in the kirkyard of St Kilda.
The headstone was placed near his ancestor Jonathan Randall’s grave, in the hope, Claire and Brianna one day would find it.
Frank Randall was played by The Crown star, Tobias Menzies.