THE author of the best-selling Outlander series has responded to reports that her books were “banned” from a school district in America, warning that “evil has a tendency to backfire”.

Diana Gabaldon told The National that Florida’s Walton County’s school district pulling her books from their libraries was likely to only increase interest in the novels - not stop people from reading them.

The Outlander books have sold more than 20 million copies worldwide, been translated into more than 20 languages and inspired the hit TV series of the same name.

Gabaldon was among a number of popular authors on the list, including Sally Rooney with her smash-hit Normal People and Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why.

Of the 58 books pulled from the school libraries, many included LGBT characters and discussed issues around sexuality and gender.

READ MORE: 'Stress and nerves': What Outlander's stars had to say at the season six premiere

The Outlander series follows an English nurse who time travels back to 17th-century Scotland during the Jacobite revolution as she falls in love with a Highland warrior.

Gabaldon said she had never had a book banned before, joking that it made her feel “distinguished” that the school district would feel the need to pull her novels, which aren’t targeted at children.

She told The National: “I believe no book should be banned. A) people, even children, who are people-in-training, should be allowed to make their own informed choices, and how will they be informed, if you deprive them of choice?

“And B) once you allow the ‘banning’ of anything, you run smack into the problem with all censorship: Who, exactly, gets to choose what's banned?

“If you censor someone else's reading, political choices, etc, you're ipso facto giving someone else the right to censor you.”

Gabaldon said that her books are intended for adults, but added that as teenagers get older they should be allowed to make their own decisions on what they read.

She said: “Educating children is a matter of giving them things of the mind, not keeping such things from them.

“When I was 11 or 12, I was reading Boys and Girls Together, which I'd acquired from an elementary-school book sale.

“All the books were donated by the students' parents, and they were singularly undiscriminating in what they gave away. I tell you, I quickly learned that you wanted to pick up the ones with the front covers torn off, and a visiting friend of my mother's saw me and was shocked.

The National: The Outlander books were adapted into the hit Starz TV programme of the same nameThe Outlander books were adapted into the hit Starz TV programme of the same name

“My mother imperturbably replied that she let me read anything I wanted. ‘If she understands what she's reading, she's old enough to read it. And if she doesn't understand, it will just go over her head.’

“Frankly, I think that banning a book probably increases interest in it, because almost everyone is interested in the possibility of naughty bits.

READ MORE: Outlander books 'banned' by American school district to protect 'welfare' of students

“Human beings are hard-wired to be interested in sex, and there's no point in fighting nature.

“So perhaps the [Florida] School District is merely giving their students (and perhaps their librarians) a reading list for the future.

“Evil has a tendency to backfire, which is a fortunate thing for civilisation, I think.”

While the school district didn’t give specific reasons for pulling each book, official said it was to protect the “welfare” of pupils.

The “banning” of literature follows similar incidents across the American state, with officials recently rejecting 54 maths textbooks for discussing “prohibited topics” such as critical race theory and other concepts the Republican Party regards as a gateway to left-wing ideology.