Kickstarter Spotlight: Bard City Blues

As part of a new focus on supporting the community, ev0ke has chosen to do a monthly column which spotlights a Kickstarter focused on magic, a branch of Paganism, or witchcraft.

This month we’re taking a look at a soon-to-launch Kickstarter for Bard City Blues, a cozy fantasy novel. We reached out to creator Nathaniel Webb with a few questions and were delighted to quickly receive a response!

Ev0ke: Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Nathaniel Webb: I’m a writer and musician from Maine. I originally planned to make a living as a guitarist and songwriter, which went about as well as you’d expect, but I had some amazing experiences along the way, like recording and touring with Grammy-nominated singers and a South American pop star. I also spent years touring the east coast in a broken-down van with my own band, so I know what life is like at the bottom of the industry.

Eventually I settled down and had a kid, and, needing a new outlet for my creative drive, started writing. I published a few novels with indie presses, and a music biography that did well, but my interest in cozy fantasy didn’t kick off until late 2020. I was recovering from a major surgery and feeling dire about the pandemic, and I started looking for fantasy stories that wouldn’t make me feel even worse. There was no community hub for cozy fantasy, and no magazine printing it, so I started one: a little mag called Wyngraf. I’m pleased to say we just wrapped up our third issue!

ev0ke: What was your inspiration behind Bard City Blues?

NW: Being an indie author sometimes feels like yelling into the wind: you write a book, put it out, and wonder if anyone even noticed. When I released the first issue of Wyngraf, I immediately knew it was different. Not only were people excited to read it, it launched right as there was this growing sense of a cozy fantasy scene, of something really happening. And the magazine’s done far better than I dared to hope.

So I wanted to celebrate this experience of risking failure and rejection, only to have the community rally around and lift me up. That felt like the right theme to finally write about music — I have plenty of stories of failure and rejection! — so of course I made my protagonist a bard. Other than that, Bard City Blues includes all my favorite things: a mystery, a romance, lots of magic, and a gelatinous cube who’s everyone’s favorite character.

ev0ke: Are there any parts of the book that are especially meaningful for you?

NW: Am I allowed to say all of it? There’s a lot of me in Bard City Blues. Gally, the protagonist, is closer to me than any of my other heroes (though she’s more disciplined than I am!). I loved writing all the scenes where someone plays music, of course. I got to draw on a lot of my own experiences, good and bad, to try to capture those moments.

As far as the themes of the book, a big part of Gally’s character is that she’s level-headed about the trade-offs she’s had to make to become a bard. Years ago, someone told me that for everything you want to achieve, you have to decide what you’re willing to sacrifice. That advice has helped me stick with things like music and writing, even when they seem like a lot of effort for no reward. Gally’s already made some tough choices when the book begins, but she has a few left to go!

ev0ke: We’d love to have a short teaser to share, if that’s alright!

NW: Gally Chaparral is a highland girl with a dream: move to Lackmore, join the Bardic Guild, and get a gig at a fancy tavern on Symphony Hill. Unfortunately, becoming a bard isn’t so easy. None of the good taverns will hire a non-Guild musician, music lessons are too expensive, Gally is sleeping in a stable, and worst of all, the only job she can find is washing dishes at a bar that seems to have recently been a dungeon.

When Alix, a beautiful but obnoxious postal rider, tricks Gally into auditioning as her tavern’s new bard, things start looking up. But Gally’s first show is a disaster, and she’s only saved when a fight breaks out and the owner accuses Alix of destroying a valuable painting. Now, to keep the gig, Gally must prove Alix’s innocence. But there’s more to the mystery than the loss of a painting, and being forced to work with Alix has Gally wondering if this brassy delivery girl is really as bad as she seems ….

Bard City Blues will go live on Kickstarter on 2 May 2023. In the meantime, if you want to enjoy some of Webb’s writing and get a feel for what’s in store for you, head over to his website.

Got a Kickstarter you want to promote? Seen one that you think the community should back? Reach out to us at

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