OUTLANDER author Diana Gabaldon has revealed she is surprised that Scottish tourism has been boosted by the success of her stories.
Fans of the time-travelling caper have flocked to Scotland from around the world since her novels were turned in to a top TV series starring Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe.
But the multi-million selling author had never set foot in Scotland when she began writing the books.
Gabaldon, who penned the stories at her home in Arizona, is surprised, but thrilled, at the positive effect they have had.
She said: “I love Scotland and I feel it’s given me a great deal so I’m very happy if I can give something back, but it was never my intent to raise Scottish tourism.
“It is part of what we call the Outlander effect, which is very strange and certainly nothing I ever expected.
“It has this very odd effect. People who like the book want to extend their experience.”
Outlander’s central character and heroine is a World War Two nurse who visits Scotland on honeymoon, only to transported back in time to 1743 and the series of events that would eventually lead to the Battle of Culloden.
Gabaldon researched books to find out about Scotland’s history, landscape and folklore.
The author has since visited the Culloden battlefield where Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Jacobite army was massacred, and she is convinced it is “haunted”.
She added: “Without being metaphysical at all, I can feel the people there.
“I can’t talk about them or I’ll cry. You develop a sense of emotional attachment to the people and places that you write about.”