HarperCollins Speakers Bureau

Nicole Galland

Novelist Moonlighting in Alternative Universes


  • Historical Fiction, Specifically Celtic, Medieval, and Renaissance Europe
  • Using Shakespeare to Motivate and Keep Students Interested
  • Writing Across Multiple Genres and Outside of Your Brand
  • Women in History
  • Religion in History
  • Theatre and Drama
  • The Creative Process: Constructing a Narrative
  • The Collaborative Process: Bringing Multiple Voices Together as One



Nicole Galland is an award-winning performer and screenwriter who swore off the performing arts to pursue writing historical fiction full-time. Though she remains a bit addicted to theater, Galland has managed to publish an impressive collection of books, including Godiva (William Morrow), Crossed (Harper), Revenge of the Rose (William Morrow), The Fool's Tale (William Morrow), Stepdog (William Morrow) and the widely acclaimed novel, I, Iago (William Morrow), a brilliant retelling of Shakespeare's Othello. She is the co-author of the New York Times bestselling novel The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O (William Morrow), which she wrote with Neal Stephenson.

Born in New York and raised on Martha's Vineyard, Galland graduated with an honors degree in comparative religion from Harvard University. During her undergraduate years she also studied theatre and performed in or directed more than two dozen shows. Galland has worn many different hats over the years, including working as a freelance editor, script doctor, and writing mentor, while continuing to pursue her literary and theatrical interests.

Galland’s presentations are rooted in her passion for storytelling and performing. From historical societies to literary festivals, Galland is the perfect speaker to delve into the role of history in writing and the creative process.

Currently, Galland resides in Massachusetts.

Praise for The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O:

“[An] immense and immensely entertaining genre-hopping yarn. . . . A departure for both authors and a pleasing combination of much appeal to fans of speculative fiction.”
- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Quantum physics, witchcraft, and multiple groups with conflicting agendas, playfully mixed with vernacular from several centuries and a dizzying number of acronyms, create a fascinating experiment in speculation and metafiction that never loses sight of the human foibles and affections of its cast.”
- Publishers Weekly

“[An] enticing speculative thriller . . . a complex and engaging what-if tale that blends technology and history.”
- Booklist (starred review)

“There’s a lot going on here—stylistic flourishes, comedic pratfalls, romance and science—but it’s handled deftly. Those familiar with Stephenson will recognize his humor and ideas, while Galland (author of StepdogCrossedRevenge of the Rose and others) brings a fresh and irresistible voice to this ambitious novel.”
- Washington Post

- Cory Doctorow, Prometheus Award winning author of Homeland

The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. reflects the familiarity of authors comfortable in their respective genres and who trust the change of style the other brings. The book is more than the sum of its authors’ parts.”
- The Straits Times

“Stephenson and Galland, full of zest and brio, have expertly assembled…a delicious soufflé of adventure, laughter, hubris, and mind-twisting diachronic paradoxes.”
- Locus

“[The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O.] explores the boundary between magic and science with wit, intellectual intensity and panache.”
- Financial Times

“Whimscial and chaotic. . . .Crack the covers and time will seem to slip away.”
- Toronto Star

The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. is a high-stakes techno-farce with brains and heart.”
- San Francisco Chronicle

“An intoxicating and worthy read . . . the collaboration provides both Stephenson and Galland a freeing atmosphere where ideas are explored and abandoned, measured and scattered, inflated and sent sputtering into the sky – an exhilarating place for a reader.”
- Winnipeg Free Press

Praise for Stepdog:

“Romantic comedies may be Galland’s new specialty. Readers who have furry best friends will totally gravitate to this tale of a woman’s love for her dog.”
- RT Book Reviews

“Nicole Galland has written the most delightful rollicking comedy of a book....Stepdog is pure genius.”
- Susan Wilson, New York Times bestselling author of The Dog Who Saved Me and One Good Dog

Stepdog is an exciting, very funny, and uncommonly kind book. It’s a ‘curl up with a good book’ book and, like Albert Payson Terhune’s classic tales, Nicole Galland’s Stepdog puts the dog exactly where she belongs: at the center of the human heart.”
- Donal McCaig, author of Nop's Trials and Eminent Dogs, Dangerous Men

“A lovely, funny novel about a typical romance, complete with immigration bureaucrats, psychopathic exes, fiddle music, moonshine, articulate biker gangs, rat poison, cross-country chases, literal cliffhangers, and the most adorable dog since Benji. You know, just like your relationship.”
- Peter Sagal, Host, NPR's Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!

Praise for I, Iago:

"This is an astonishing work of imaginative empathy, buttressed by deep research and enriched by lively storytelling. In I, Iago, Galland takes one of Shakespeare's most enigmatic characters and creates a full life for him, sweeping the reader into the vibrant world of Venetian intrigue and the carrying us, also, to the deep places of the human heart."
— Geraldine Brooks, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of March

"In this extended demonstration of narrative sorcery, Nicole Galland takes one of the most celebrated, hated and inexplicable villains in literature, and makes him a living, sympathetic human being -- moral, upright, even admirable. She places Iago in his time and place and makes us see how wronged he was, and even -- God help us -- allows us to root for him as he seeks his vengeance. This is a wonderful historical novel that proves that all people see themselves as the hero of their own lives."
— Peter Sagal, host of NPR's Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!

"The delights of this book, lushly set in Renaissance Venice, lie in Galland's ability to take a series of tiny mistakes, deceptions and wrong turns and roll them into a juggernaut."
— More magazine

"A convincing portrayal of a tormented, delusional man whose complacted web of deceit destroys everyone around him."
— Library Journal

Praise for Crossed:

"At once an idiot's guide to the tangled geopolitical landscape of the 13th century and a clear and stern indictment of contemporary events... Thick with delectable historical details, the book also offers a broad view of the period likely to upend some of the received notions of our time... At the heart of the tale is (a) journey from nihilism to moral meaning."
— Sofi Thanhauser, Martha's Vineyard Times

"The details... deeply enrich the novel with sensory detail, historical accuracy and a sense that the reader is right there. In addition, Galland renders finely drawn characters, both real and fictional, plenty of political intrigue and double-crosses, romance and even some ribald humor that keep the pages turning quickly."
— Laurie Higgins, Cape Cod Times

"...an act of considerable creative genius...a must-read."
— Ilysa Magnus, Historical Novels Review

"Witty and observant...Nicole Galland is exceptionally well versed in the fine nuances of storytelling and illustrating the combustible nature of mixing religion, commerce and war."
— St. Petersburg Times

"REQUIRED READING... A funny (really!) look at this disastrous Crusade... It's a raucous road trip set in the 13th century."
The New York Post

"This epic historical adventure...succeeds in being a true guilty pleasure, a rousing shout-out to those past masters of bestselling historical fiction, Frank Yerby, Samuel Shellabarger and Lawrence Schoonover."
— Publisher's Weekly

Praise for The Fool's Tale:

"A great yarn... Galland has an exceptional gift for characters and relationships. Readers of all kinds of fiction should find The Fool's Tale very rewarding."
— Neal Stephenson, author of The Baroque Cycle: Quicksilver

"In The Fool's Tale Nicole Galland has created an absolutely engaging historical novel with a charmingly modern sensibility. It is a pleasure to read."
— David Liss, author of A Spectacle of Corruption

"Nicole Galland's The Fool's Tale creates a vivid twelfth-century world and three unforgettable characters whose lives entwine with war and politics, and climax in an ending as haunting as it is powerful."
— William Dietrich, author of Hadrian's Wall

"Not being a medieval historical fiction buff, I came to The Fool's Tale with certain preconceived and not terribly sanguine notions -- there would probably, I thought, be lords, ladies and humor that, though intended to be "bawdy," instead would end up just being corny. This novel, by Bay Area writer Nicole Galland, however, challenged and mostly foiled my expectations, proving itself a wallop of a first novel that manages to remain entertaining and engaging..."
— San Francisco Chronicle

"Compulsively readable...highly entertaining."
— Kirkus Reviews