Galland, Nicole 1965-
Galland, Nicole 1965-
Born 1965; married Darren Lobdell, 2007. Education: Harvard University, graduated with honors.
Has worked as an actor, director, producer, theater teacher, lighting designer, magazine editor, screenwriter, theater director, literary manager, riding instructor, environmental activist, and personal assistant.
Massachusetts Film Office Screenwriting Prize.
The Fool's Tale, William Morrow (New York, NY), 2005.
Revenge of the Rose, William Morrow (New York, NY), 2006.
Nicole Galland began her first novel, The Fool's Tale, when she was an undergrad studying comparative religion at Harvard University. Fascinated by the historical role that jesters or fools have played in the king's court, Galland set her novel in medieval Wales at a time of conflict along the Welsh-English border. She was unsatisfied with the first draft, and over six years went by before Galland rescued the manuscript from her computer's trash bin and began work on it in earnest. She found a way to incorporate her extensive theater background into her writing process, as she explained in an interview with HarperCollins that was reprinted on her Web site: "I started studying acting when I was 14. I think that hardwired me to write novels the way an actor experiences a rehearsal process…. For all I know, this is exactly the process every novelist goes through, but writing this first book I was struck by all the parallels between putting on a play and writing a novel."
The novel's main characters are a Welsh king, his lifelong friend turned court jester, and his newly crowned queen. When the castle is invaded and the jester and queen are taken hostage, their initially contentious relationship takes a new turn and they begin to fall in love—with potentially disastrous results. Galland's work received much critical praise. San Francisco Chronicle writer Kim Hedges, for example, described A Fool's Tale as "a wallop of a first novel that manages to remain entertaining and engaging in spite of its distant setting and great length." A reviewer for Publishers Weekly predicted that "readers will relish the energetic emotional back-and-forth of the protagonists' ceaseless trysting." Mary K. Bird-Guilliams wrote of the novel's "deft, dramatic dialog and pacing" in a review for Library Journal.
Galland's follow-up novel, Revenge of the Rose, was inspired by a thirteenth-century poem about medieval life. Set in the Holy Roman Empire, the book features a young knight named Willem who is summoned to the court of the emperor at the encouragement of his friend, the court minstrel. When the knight's sister Lienor catches the eye of the emperor, the two fall victim to scheming courtiers and politicians who have everything to lose by the siblings' rise to power. Booklist critic Ellen Loughran likened the work to "tasty fictional stew, mixing elements of twelfth-century culture together skillfully to produce a veritable reading feast." "This court romp entertains with a flourish," wrote a reviewer for Publishers Weekly.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, July 1, 2006, Ellen Loughran, review of Revenge of the Rose, p. 29.
Library Journal, December 1, 2004, Mary K. Bird-Guilliams, review of The Fool's Tale, p. 100.
Publishers Weekly, December 13, 2004, review of The Fool's Tale, p. 45; May 22, 2006, review of Revenge of the Rose, p. 28.
Nicole Galland Home Page,http://www.nicolegalland.com (June 21, 2007).