Why “Outlander”?

The word “outlander” conveys a mystery and strangeness not existing in words like “foreigner” or “outsider.”  It has become increasingly prevalent in our English-speaking culture, even beyond the movies, books, television and computer games that so entertainingly employ it.

The very last thing that I wrote for Johnny Outlander before submitting it for publication was the following:

“For more than a thousand years, in Wales and environs, those who were strangers or without land have been known as ‘outlanders.’   These strangers never quite fit in with the native peoples, never quite belonged, and the appellation followed them wherever they roamed.  In time, it became their identity.”

These words caught the imagination of everyone!  They were picked up on and quoted, at least in part, by all who have written about the book.

Why then Outlander?  Because it speaks to our loneliness, our isolation, our search for ourselves and our place in a world that too often feels without anchor or reason.  In this respect, we share this identity.  We are Outlanders.