Nicole Galland’s Blog
15/09/13If you’re in the SF Bay Area on September 27, please come here me talk about my latest novel Godiva, as well as women in history/politics and the creative process in general. I’ll be at Books, Inc. in Alameda; we start at 7 pm. Cheers – Nicole
31/08/13Last weekend, I had the privilege of appearing at Maria’s Italian Kitchen Encino – “the restaurant that reads.” The visionary manager, George Healy, is a literary crusader. I was the inaugural author in an experiment George and his enthusiastic staff had wanted to attempt for some time. Superficially, the event was simply a reading/signing with [...]
24/08/13I’ve been so derelict about writing here, especially to acknowledge the tremendous experience of the women’s writing retreat put on by AROHO… hope to write about it soon… meanwhile… tomorrow, August 25, I will be appearing at Maria’s Italian Kitchen Encino to discuss Godiva, as well as creating historical fiction in general. My favorite part [...]
05/08/13I love interviews that have unexpected questions in them. Here’s a nice example, by Audra, the Unabridged Chick.
25/07/13Melissa and I went to graduate school together, only she stuck with it and went on do the things we dreamed about (creating great, edgy theatre) while I diverged into the dreamier world of historical fiction. We have stayed in touch, which pleases me greatly, and she interviewed me on her wonderful blog, Bitter Gertrude.
17/07/13Here’s another lovely online review for GODIVA, this one from the Nomad Reader blog. So pleased it brought the world to life for her.
15/07/13It’s especially satisfying to get a good review from somebody who is well-versed in one’s topic, and I have the good fortune to be the recipient of approval from Col at Col Reads. My favorite quote: “This novel is a great choice for historical fictionistas, but I’d also see it as a choice for those [...]
05/07/13Always feels nice when a home-town paper takes you seriously… this from Gwyn McAllister of the Martha’s Vineyard Times.
03/07/13start with this one from A Chick Who Reads.
02/07/13…And a few different blogs asked me to talk about it. Here are some links: Library Love Fest (a post about the importance of certain library cards in my life) Book Club Girl (“Damsels in Success”) and A Chick Who Reads (“Femme Fatality”)
04/06/13I find lately that I need inspiration, but I can’t encounter it without weeping. Authors whom I love have said beautiful things about inspiration, creativity, work, purpose, soul’s journey… as thirsty as I am for this succor, I cry as I treat myself to it. Neil Gaimon’s “Make Good Art” speech, for example – one [...]
27/02/13Here’s an interview with Night Owl Reviews about a huge project on which I am a proud co-creator:
14/12/12I haven’t written a blog post for a long time; I’m terrible about posting, promoting, etc. As an experiment, I want to see what happens if I simply write from my heart what my process is as a writer, in rough-draft form. Maybe I’ll just do it the one time, maybe I’ll be embarrassed and [...]
27/09/12I’m on a self-imposed writer’s retreat for 2 months. For the past 3+ weeks, besides the basics (sleep, eat, shower), my life has contained hatha yoga classes and working on the first draft of a new novel. I need that morning yoga so I can sit in front of my keyboard (or pace distractedly) for [...]
01/07/12I have a large family, too large for everyone to be equally engaged with everyone else. Most of us have fairly parallel perceptions of intimacy – for example, Relative A and I feel closer to each other than either of us feel to Relative B, and B knows that and isn’t hurt because they’re closer [...]
26/06/12Last week, my agent’s husband drowned. I did not know him well, but I was extremely fond of him. All the same, his death distressed me to a degree that seems disproportionate to our level of intimacy. Not infrequently, I’ve learned of the unexpected death of somebody I did not know well – and every [...]
05/06/12I’ve been very aware lately of the layers in which I wrap my knowledge of a person. I live in the small community where I grew up. When I (for example) go to Town Meeting (as I happen to be doing this evening) - I don’t just see “the Town Moderator” at the podium. I [...]
29/05/12I just attended my 25th college reunion. Before the Reunion, we all received “the Red Book,” in which we all wrote our biographies for the others to peruse before we met up. There are a lot of damn impressive stories in that Red Book. The larger story (for another setting) is that I almost did [...]
18/05/12Two days ago, for the first time, I saw my book for sale in an airport bookstore. I was so tickled! I always wished my books were deemed mainstream enough to be sold in airports. Voila: my book was being sold in airports! I shyly introduced myself to the attendant, who was delighted; he had [...]
13/05/12I am coming to the conclusion that you can either make a character charismatic to your reader, or charismatic to the other characters in the novel, but not both. This is only true of books – films and especially plays can have it both ways, because if an actor is charismatic, they are charismatic to [...]
09/05/12Like most people, I want to be liked. Over the past 2 weeks, however, since I, Iago has been getting attention in the blogosphere, I learned something surprising about myself. When a novel is reviewed on a blog, readers post comments. Per my publisher’s request, I read them. It’s gratifying to hear that someone is [...]
05/05/12Pleased to have contributed to Historical Tapestry’s Books of a Lifetime blog. Teddy Rose, one of the collaborators of the collective, is also hosting a give-away of a couple of copies of my book.
04/05/12What’s the tipping point between successful and overbearingly dominating? It’s human nature to cheer on the former, but to resent and resist the latter… where does one stop and the next start? Somebody opens a hamburger stand or convenience store in their hometown and the locals are proud of that success… but once it’s McDonalds [...]
30/04/12I just defriended someone for the first time on Facebook. It was incredibly liberating. I was protesting this FB-only-friend’s disrespecting a REAL friend in a comment thread that started on my page. I’d posted an image showing my political leanings (left of center). This person’s views are different (I respect that) and they expressed themselves [...]
27/04/12I, IAGO came out on Tuesday, and something wonderfully unexpected has happened. I was invited to write a bunch of “guest posts” on various literary blogs…and people read them… and posted comments… and I got to respond to the comments… and they got to respond to my response to the comments… …and it wasn’t at [...]
27/04/12Here is proof that it ain’t just the east coast liberal elite who know their Shakespeare
25/04/12Feeling blessed to have all these positive online reviews in the first 24 hours of publication! Here’s the latest.
24/04/12Greetings! I, IAGO comes out today at bookstores near you (and Amazon, and other online places… but please support your local bookstores if you can!) Here’s the first online review from Elle Lit.This being my first pub-date-ish on-line review, I appreciate what intelligent, thoughtful commentary she provides. Here‘s a nice online review from the blog [...]
23/04/12In honor of Shakespeare’s birthday, the Huffington Post invited me to write about the Bard’s relevance in today’s world. I decided to talk about what a good thief he is. Here’s the link!
22/04/12Last Thursday night I got an email from my publicist, the lovely and talented Kaitlyn Kennedy at HarperCollins, that the Huffington Post had invited me to write about Shakespeare’s relevance in today’s world, to celebrate his birthday, which is (supposedly) tomorrow, April 23. Have just finished this assignment, enjoying the cerebral exercise of trying to [...]
19/04/12Here’s a nice review from one of my home-town papers, the Martha’s Vineyard Times
18/04/12Today I sent my first “guest post” to somebody else’s blog. The somebody else is C W Gortner, who amazingly manages to both write historical fiction and review other people’s historical fiction. His blog is Historical Boys. (The blog will “air” next week, when the book comes out.) Here’s the odd thing about this experience: [...]
15/04/12I’m starting to “guest blog” – the modern means of promoting one’s book. So I’m visiting sites that are dedicated to historical fiction. Which is wonderful – except for the majority of the novels’ cover-art, which features headless women. (I don’t mean they’ve been decapitated.) Two of my own earlier novels feature nearly-headless women on [...]
03/04/12My cousin Hannah started a Facebook group called First World Problems. I’m a member. The reality-check it provides serves as both therapy and entertainment. When you “suffer” from First-World Problems (“my latte wasn’t frothy enough” “my laptop battery is so expensive” “I can’t decide what brand of holistic kibbles to feed my dog”) it helps [...]
30/03/12My new website is up! (nicolegalland.com, of course.) And my author photo, by the handsome and talented Eli Dagostino, has a metaphorical quality to if that I’m not sure even Eli has noticed. My husband Billy delightedly pointed this out: The two halves of my face look completely different: if you cover one half and [...]
30/03/12A continuing experiment to combat writer’s block: If I put into public space (by blogging) a promise to myself to write Thing X by Deadline Y, will I then do it? It helped the other day with a 6-page scene from my current project. (Caveat: it was set in a brothel, which made it fun [...]
23/03/12If I am in a bad mood, and give off bad-mood vibes, I will be treated like the kind of person who gives off bad-mood vibes, and who wants to be treated like that when they’re in a bad mood? I don’t care about keeping up appearances. Or sparing others the embarrassment of seeing me [...]
18/03/12…including the people who drive you nuts. They are doing a perfect job at driving you nuts. Good for them! Without ‘em, how would you know what drives you nuts? How would you know what nuttiness you are capable of surviving? This recent epiphany has allowed me to stay sane. I was trying to cope [...]
03/03/12Fictional Cities Nicole Galland I, Iago In which we read of the life of the villain of Shakespeare’s Othello. Growing up in Venice, the unfavoured third son, his tendency to honesty and deception is established early on and in no time we’re taken with him into the Arsenale as he is trained in the ways [...]
17/02/12Look how important perseverance is. DUNE (Frank Herbert) was rejected 23 times before it found a publisher. A WRINKLE IN TIME (Madeleine L’Engle) was rejected 26 times before it was published. GONE WITH THE WIND (Margaret Mitchell) was rejected 38 times before it was published. THE DUBLINERS (James JOYCE, for Pete’s sake!) was rejected 22 [...]
27/01/12Sometimes we are tested by the natural phenomenon, like earthquakes, tidal waves, and blizzards. Sometimes we are tested by family members. Sometimes we are tested by our own inner demons. Sometimes we are tested by the vagaries of national or international politics. Today, I am being tested by Facebook. So far, I am failing the [...]
10/01/12As of this past weekend, I have finished the first half of my current novel (working title: Green-Eyed Monster). The first half being everything that happens in Iago’s life before the play -known-as-Othello begins, I now face the unnerving scenario of novelizing one of Shakespeare’s greatest hits, with a bias. I am, a confess, a [...]
09/06/11I just got word today that my (as-yet-untitled) novel about Iago will be published April 24, 2012. This is the week of Shakespeare’s birthday and attendant birthday celebrations, and I am delighted by the opportunity to celebrate the Bard’s birthday with a tribute to one of his greatest masterpieces.
31/05/11Many thanks to all of you who participated in the Blog Tour de Troops for Memorial Day weekend. The response was so overwhelming that the Indie Book Collective will be donating 10,000 books to American troops. Amber Scott was the wunderkind organizing the Blog Tour, and Carolyn McCray is the enterprising writer who created the [...]
30/05/11http://indiebookcollective.wordpress.com I’m honored to be a part of the Blog Tour de Troops, the Indie Book Collective’s original and heartfelt way to say thank you to American men and women in uniform. Throughout Memorial Day weekend, if you leave a comment on the blog of any participating author (there are 30 of us), not only [...]
29/05/11I am about to plagiarize myself: what is written below is based on a post I just made to the lively, entertianing blog http://www.neptunuslex.com/ I was invited to be involved in something cool this weekend called the Blog Tour de Troops. It offers free ebooks, and even free Kindles, to troops. There’s about 30 writers [...]
21/03/11Today was the funeral of Jon Lipsky, an extraordinary man: teacher, writer, director, father, husband, community member. His service at the Martha’s VIneyard Hebrew Center was possibly the most moving I’ve ever attended. Everyone who knew Jon has a story, or many stories, about him. My story is not about Jon directly, but about an [...]
17/03/11Writing this blog does not make me an author. What makes me an author is that I write books, which are published – bound in paper, at least at first – and my publishing house distributes them to the world at large. I can live with that model; it’s been working for authors for a [...]
15/03/11I have always been freaked out and scared of modern “transmedia” interactive stuff, I consider it artificial and awkward and alien – not to mention ignoble and embarrassing. I approached one panel here at South by Southwest, “The Future of Storytelling,” with that fear/bias. And immediately the moderator (I wish I could remember his name) [...]
15/09/10As of this past weekend, I have finished the first half of my current novel (working title: Green-Eyed Monster). The first half being everything that happens in Iago’s life before the play -known-as-Othello begins, I now face the unnerving scenario of novelizing one of Shakespeare’s greatest hits, with a bias. I am, a confess, a [...]
07/08/10That’s where I am with the story. It’s all downhill from here! Not really.
06/08/10As hard as it is for me to believe this, I have managed to stick to a fairly insane writing schedule, churning out words and scenes hour after hour, day fter day. It is all first draft, and the writing itself is probably atrocious (although my friend Jeremy Bornstein, who is reading it for me [...]
04/08/10I am proud, relieved and honestly astonished to report that on Monday, I wrote the first of the seven scenes I’d sworn to write this week (a bad first draft, but still…) and on Tuesday I wrote the second scene (even worse). Today will be harder to reach the goal, however. Besides my editing a [...]
02/08/10I had a great day writing yesterday (or rather, a great half-day – the wonderful serendipity of the Vineyard in summer called me away for an unexpected lunch date that lasted until 10 pm and included a tango lesson). Best of all, I was able to outline the first unit of my novel, specifying and [...]
02/08/10I just managed to slip in a minor Merchant of Venice character into my Othello story. I got such a ridiculous kick out of it, I think I will end up doing more of it. I really am a geek.
22/07/10Now this must qualify as a quality problem: I’m on Martha’s Vineyard and it’ summertime, so I can’t access the necessary libraries for obscure tomes I require for my research. Rescue comes from unlikely sources. Peter Kramer (famous for writing Listening to Prozac and Against Depression) responds to my Facebook plea for help – he [...]
22/07/10A continuing experiment to combat writer’s block: If I put into public space (by blogging) a promise to myself to write Thing X by Deadline Y, will I then do it? It helped the other day with a 6-page scene from my current project. (Caveat: it was set in a brothel, which made it fun [...]
20/07/10Two days ago, I declared that I’d combat writer’s block and stick to my writing schedule by committing to a daily “I will do this!” on my blog (which is public, even though I’m sure nobody ever reads it). I am pleased, and relieved, to announce this worked on its inaugural try. I reached my [...]
19/07/10I have had a really ghastly case of writer’s block for weeks now, no doubt made worse by the challenge of recovering from a divorce. I have no structure in my life, no daily tribe, so to speak, and this is difficult for me. I envy the writers who thrive on solitude. But in truth, [...]
22/05/10That’s the clever tag line under the title, but I can’t figure out how to size the image so it fits in the space…
20/05/10Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your eyes… I am honored and excited to be part of a groundbreaking project that combines literature, technology and a bunch of other things. Please read the description below (which I did not write), or if you happen to have an iphone or the like, check out the free sample [...]
31/03/10…but it’s Passover, so it seemed vaguely appropriate. The star of David is actually on the SECOND floor of the synagogue – the first floor of the building is completely pancaked beneath it. I just spent a week there, volunteering at a medical clinic. Still not quite ready to talk about it. But wanted to [...]
06/02/09Heading to Florida. Blog may hibernate for awhile. However, you can now find me on Facebook, which has becoming alarmingly comfortable to me…
16/01/09If you happen to be a New Yorker, and you’re seeking free entertainment Sunday evening, please come to the Metropolitan Playhouse, 220 East 4th street between Avenues A &B, at 7 pm. I will be performing segments of my on-going serialized novel MOBY RICH as part of the Playhouse’s MELVILLAPALOOZA, a celebration of the work [...]
26/12/08I want to share my extracurricular life here a moment. My friend Chelsea McCarthy and I began a project this fall called “Shakespeare for the Masses” (I wanted to call it “The Free and Easy Shakespeare Company”). We take Shakespeare plays, edit them down to about 80 minutes, and add a rather sarcastic narrator (usually [...]
24/12/08Tonight in our house we had my menorah blazing with 4 candles, close to my in-laws’ Christmas tree full of white lights and ornaments that all have special meaning ( sort of a charm bracelet in the form of a tree), as we all watched Addams Family Values together. It was lovely. Tomorrow we’ll open [...]
24/11/08This is the Harvest Ferry. She flies around the United States on Thanksgiving Eve, landing on rooftops and leaving mash potatoes and gravy on everyone’s stovetops. At the end of her trip, her beloved magic turkeys sacrifice themselves that others might feast, in a ritual of selflessness that many religion scholars believe the Catholic Church [...]
22/09/08Until October 20, I am working for the Martha’s Vineyard Museum (formerly the Dukes County Historical Society) as assistant lighthouse keeper to the Edgartown Light. Since I’m the only one there, I am not sure to whom I am assistant, unless it is to the lighthouse itself, but that would make me an assistant lighthouse, [...]
08/08/08This is my excuse for falling behind in blogging. I’ve been directing Shakespeare’s As You Like It, with an amazingly talented and dedicated cast… and since it opened, I’ve been a besotted fan, attending as many performances as I can. This is my first directing gig in 10 years, and the first one ever I’ve [...]
11/07/08Tragedy struck Main Street, Vineyard Haven, the morning of the Fourth of July. Shortly after a morning visit and champagne toast at my grandmother’s grave with friends and family (her birthday is 4th of July), I learned that a terrible fire had erupted from Cafe Moxie on the little one-way strip of Main Street in [...]
04/07/08I haven’t kept this blog up as actively as I’d hoped to (life is gleefully crazy, and in a few days I start directing a Shakespeare play, having not directed at all in more than a decade), but I do have a few tidbits today…. First and most thrilling: the Vineyard’s very own, supremely talented [...]
30/05/08Rebecca Gilbert, who runs Native Earth Teaching Farm on the Vineyard and has offered to be a consultant for “Becca’s” knowledge base in Moby Rich, sent me the following e-mail earlier this week: “greetings – I am really enjoying the nettle tops before they flower, also the lamb’s quarters which is so prolific as a [...]
29/05/08The fabulously talented Steve Durkee of the Martha’s Vineyard Gazette designed this cool “logo” for the weekly installments of my novel Moby Rich in that paper. My extreme techno-ignorance means I’m not sure it’s going to fit on the site. Let’s see…
24/05/08Here’s my feeble attempt to display the outline of Martha’s Vineyard Island, off the coast of Massachusetts. The Vineyard is the setting of MOBY RICH, a story I’m writing that is now appearing in serialized form in the Vineyard Gazette, in “real time” (each chapter appears the day the events of the chapter take place). [...]
19/05/08My in-laws (Lobdells) and I recently planted 135 baby trees. Planting a baby bare-root tree requires digging a hole, then putting most of the dirt back in and stomping on it… and THEN you plant the tree. After several hours of this activity, I made up a song, to the tune of the Mexican Hat [...]
07/05/08Delighted to report we’ve returned to Martha’s Vineyard, where my husband and I both grew up. In true Vineyard style, it’s not really spring yet, but there are good things coming along (like our house, still in skeleton form, although no longer as skeletal as depicted). In a few weeks, the Vineyard Gazette will begin [...]
07/04/08A wonderful quote from Taylor Branch (“At Canaan’s Edge”) in today’s New York Times, adapted from a speech he just gave at the National Cathedral about Dr. Martin Luther King: “There is no more salient or neglected field of study than the relationship between power and violence. We recoil from nonviolence at our peril. Dr. [...]
05/04/08(Photo credit: © Patricia Ternahan 2008) This is Sarah Mayhew, the photographer who takes my official author-photos. Check out Sarah’s website! sarahmayhew.com. The photo was taken by her friend Trish when they came to visit in Florida recently. Other Sarah-related trivia: I’ve known Sarah since I was 5, when she was my babysitter; she also [...]
03/04/08I had a very unusual experience this morning. I was scheduled by the excellent PR folks at HarperCollins for an hour-long interview on a radio show to talk about CROSSED. Only after I was on the air, live, did I realize it was a conservative Christian call-in show based in an unnamed Southern state, pictured [...]
10/02/08CROSSED:A Tale of the Fourth Crusade, just got reviewed in the New York Post, leading the list of books considered, “Required Reading.” As with the CCT interview, I’m pleased that they’ve reference modern parallels. Here’s a quote: ” …The result is a funny (really!) look at this disastrous Crusade through the eyes of a wacky [...]
08/02/08Hello everyone – CROSSED: A Tale of the Fourth Crusade is now available on your local bookshelves. It’s in paperback from the get-go (first two books came out in hardcover first, but historical fiction tends to sell better in paperback, so they cut to the chase this time). Please read and enjoy, and if you [...]
08/02/08And while I’m on-line… Laurie Higgins interviewed me for the Cape Cod Times, in an article I especially appreciate because it emphasized the parallels between history (i.e., the Fourth Crusade) and current events. Thank you, Laurie Higgins! I’m too much of a Luddite to know how to imbed a URL into this blog, but here’s [...]
12/01/08It means “an excessive love of knowledge.” A blessing? Or a curse? Talk amongst yourselves.
01/01/08Some wise person said a poem is never finished, only abandoned. I think the same is true of any creative work. And so at 5:30 am yesterday, December 31, I abandoned my newest novel, and sent a copy of it to my agent. (The novel begins in an abbey, hence the photo.) Not a bad [...]
25/12/07If you’ve read my novel, The Fool’s Tale, you know about Wigmore Castle, home base of the powerful Mortimer family for centuries. As castles go, on the historical-political map of Britain, it’s a biggie, although it is in ruins. It’s also – yes, really – for sale! Maureen and Alan Crumpler, the English couple who [...]
18/11/07I just learned that Nancy Whiting, former librarian of my hometown library, passed away two nights ago. She was already a senior citizen thirty-five years ago, when she was introducing us (the 25 or so students of West Tisbury Elementary School) to the wonders of reading. The library then was a small but elegant old [...]
11/11/07Yesterday, at the Miami Book Fair International, I spoke about Revenge of the Rose. I did this in the company of two lovely and talented fellow writers, Gina Nahai and Ellis Avery. Ellis discussed her debut novel, and Gina her fourth – and each was very on the ball. I wasn’t (if you’ve read Revenge [...]