Hi lovelies! It gives me great pleasure today to host D.C. Fergerson and his new book, “The Singer and the Charlatan”! For other stops on his Goddess Fish Promotions Book Tour, please click on the banner above or any of the images in this post.
Be sure to make it to the end of this post to enter to win a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card! Also, come back daily to interact with D.C. and to increase your chances of winning!
Thanks for stopping by! Wishing you lots of luck in this fabulous giveaway!
The Singer and the Charlatan
Book One ofThe Wicked Instruments
by D.C. Fergerson
Leanna Moonbody dreams of playing at the Saul Amphitheater. With just one adventure to fund her trip, she meets up with a priestess that dreams of a massive flock to take on a pilgrimage. Together, Leanna will set up the crowds, and Priestess Trixi will bring them to Our Lord.
With an elf, dwarf, rogue, pixie and a paladin on their side, they set out to realize both their dreams. They just have to maneuver past a lovesick noble, the clergy, a deranged halfling that can’t seem to die, and a plague.
What could possibly go wrong?
“Ooh, this is exciting,” Leanna said with a smile, grabbing up Tear and Jonathan’s hands.
With the circle complete, Trixi looked to the ceiling.
“Lord. Oh, Lord, who is great and true. Take this offering of Form R226 and whatever leftovers we have here from dinner. Commune with me so that I may be a better Fawnspear, walking the path of truth. May it be really, really funny.”
With that, the scroll burned away before their eyes. Then, nothing. The silence became awkward.
“Did it not work?” Jonathan asked.
“Quiet,” Trixi demanded, turning her ear to the table.
The faint sound of terribly boring music filled the space all around the table. Any old ear would think it came from the building next door, but the trained ear of a Thistlite knew better. She listened to the song for a moment with her eyes closed.
Leanna joined in, leaning in to try and make out the tune. Suddenly, a loud voice spoke out, scaring her so bad she almost fell out of her chair.
“Our Lord is currently speaking with another faithful! You are very important to Our Lord! Your prayer shall be heard in the order it was received!”
Leanna broke the circle. “Oh, come on! Why did that have to be the loud part?”
“Leanna, you must be quiet,” Trixi whispered. “I’m sure he’ll be here soon.”
Writing Women in Comedy
The most common advice you’re given as a writer is to ‘write what you know’. That’s easy, right up until you bump into the other half of the population that isn’t your gender. How can I, as a male writer, have two female leads in The Singer and the Charlatan that don’t fall into a male perspective of humor?
Just recently, when I got back my manuscript for the second book, The Princess and the Holy Juggernaut (coming February/March!) from my editor, Michelle Luxembourger, it was fascinating to see where she notated the jokes that really cracked her up. They were always more subtle and born from knowing the characters very well. They were intimate jokes, for lack of a better term. I’ve been able to cultivate a lot of that intimate humor through world building, but I honestly couldn’t have done any better than roleplay.
A nerd to my core, my wife and I were brought into Dungeons and Dragons and other tabletop roleplaying games by my sister and her husband. Two guys, two girls. By assuming the roles of these characters, I was able to see things from such a different perspective, one I can’t really take credit for. The life and complexity of Leanna Moonbody and Priestess Trixi in The Singer and the Charlatan was due entirely to the love my wife and sister had for these characters. They sat down and asked the questions, ‘Where is she from? What makes her tick? What does she want in life?’ I can write them all I want, but these characters, and the depth within, comes from a place I never wrote. I got lucky to watch them unfold as people, to know them like friends, and to be able to put their story to paper.
Early on in the book, the dwarf Cort confronts their employer, Lord Lloyd Demarq, about a bit of dark business the main characters had undertaken for him. Cort believes Lord Demarq is an evil undead that has tasked them with finding his remains for some nefarious purpose.
(From The Singer and the Charlatan)
“Wait,” Leanna said. “Are you guys saying he’s hundreds of years old?”
“I’m saying good old Lloyd here was after this urn because he’s in it,” Cort replied.
“But he’s up there on the stairs, Cort. Have we thought this through?”
These kinds of interactions and banter just aren’t possible exclusively from a male point of view. If there were no women in this scene to bring levity and common sense, it’s a more serious, jump-to-conclusions-and-kill-him action scene. I owe a lot of laughs and a lot of my insight to having my wife and my sister play these characters, reacting as Leanna and Trixi would react, almost cheating to get a genuine female voice when I don’t understand the first thing about being a woman or seeing the world through their eyes.
I’ve been very lucky to have surrounded myself with some of the funniest, greatest women I know. The Singer and the Charlatan is a fantasy story that doesn’t mind poking fun at its own genre, and it does so because of that intimate element of humor and two incredible female leads. Any other writer would have jumped on supporting character Jonathan Twilight - the well-dressed, good looking rogue that is quick with a dagger and full of secrets. Or perhaps they’d find the paladin Sante best to carry the story - fresh from his military training and out on his first mission, leaving his new wife back home so that he can safely escort Leanna Moonbody to the city of Saul. These guys can carry action movies, and that just wasn’t me.
The best thing I can say about writing women in comedy is this - surround yourself with smart, witty women and soak up conversation like a sponge. Nothing can substitute for a woman’s perspective and voice.
An avid reader, fantasy gamer, humorist, husband, and father. I wear a lot of hats, some of them terribly silly, with feathers and such. I’ve channeled years Dungeons and Dragons campaigns and late-night stand-up comics into a series full of wit, charm, magic, and laughs.
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D.C. Fergerson will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.
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This contest is sponsored by a third party. Fabulous and Brunette is a registered host of Goddess Fish Promotions. Prizes are given away by the sponsors and not Fabulous and Brunette. The featured author and Goddess Fish Promotions are solely responsible for the giveaway prize.