I'm happy to welcome David Gardner back to Cozy Up With Kathy. David's latest release is the humorous thriller The Last Speaker of Skalwegian.
Kathy: In The Last Speaker of Skalwegian we meet Professor Lenny Thorson who teaches linguistics at a fourth-rate college. I love languages and studied several, although I can really only speak English. Do you love linguistics and language?
DG: I liked languages so much that I got a Ph.D. in French. I’ve never studied linguistics, however, and I’m not obsessed with word derivations like my plucky and distracted hero.
Kathy: How did you come up with the idea of the Skalwegian language?
DG: I was reading an article about how, of the 6-7,000 world languages, the last speaker of one of them dies every couple of weeks and takes with them a people’s culture, music and traditional stories.
Kathy: Having worked on a college campus for many years, I know the intrigue and drama that can be found there. Have you had similar experiences and did they influence this story?
DG: The conflict and competition among the faculty is genuine, but certainly not to the extent found in “The Last Speaker of Skalwegian.” But novelists have to exaggerate. However, the worries about job loss are just as real.
Kathy: I adore the idea of a gerbil mascot! Have you ever had a pet gerbil?
DG: I’ve never had a pet gerbil, but I did have a pet goose when I was a kid on the family dairy farm. Does that count?
Kathy: Lenny was a boxer in his youth and as a little girl I was a huge boxing fan. Are you a fan of the sport?
DG: I was for a while as a kid but became turned off by the brutality.
Kathy: Was there a specific inspiration for this story?
DG: When I read about disappearing languages, my mind turned to a way for someone to fake a dying language and get rich. I’ve never faked something and gotten rich, however. Writing novels is fakery, but most of us don’t get rich.
Kathy: When it comes to writing I understand there are 2 general camps-plotters, who diligently plot their stories, and pansters, who fly by the seat of their pants. Are you a plotter, a panster, or do you fall somewhere in between?
DG: Somewhere in between. I take maybe fifty pages of notes and outlines before I begin, but most of it goes out the window as I progress. Both methods have their strengths and weaknesses. Pansters in my writing groups sometimes write chapters that have little content. On the other hand, plotters have to be careful that their characters are staying true to their nature and not just following an outline.
Kathy: Will you share any other upcoming books?
DG: Thanks for asking. Yes, my third novel, The Accidental Spy is coming out in November 2022 (also with Encircle Publications). In addition, I’m a third of the way through the sequel to The Last Speaker of Skalwegian, which will eventually be a trilogy. Writing a sequel is a new experience and a challenge. One has to add at least one new and important character, and at the same time drop some from the earlier book. Also, it’s hard to decide how much the reader should be told about the previous novel. Too much information is boring, and too little can leave the reader confused.
The Last Speaker of Skalwegian
by David Gardner
November 1-30, 2021 Virtual Book Tour
Professor Lenny Thorson lives in a defunct revolving restaurant, obsesses over word derivations, and teaches linguistics at a fourth-rate college with a gerbil for a mascot. Lenny's thirty-four years have not been easy—he grew up in a junkyard with his widowed father and lives under a cloud of guilt for having killed another boxer as a teenager.
Desperate to save his teaching career, Lenny seizes the opportunity to document the Skalwegian language with its last living speaker, Charlie Fox. Life appears to have finally taken a turn for the better...
Unfortunately for Lenny, it hasn't. He soon finds himself at war with Charlie, his dean, a ruthless mobster, and his own conscience.
A genial protagonist will keep readers enticed throughout this amusing romp.
~ Kirkus Reviews
Genre: Humorous Thriller, Academic Setting
Published by: Encircle Publications, LLC
Publication Date: September 8th 2021
Number of Pages: 308
ISBN: 164599239X (ISBN13: 9781645992394)
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads
Read an excerpt:
David Gardner grew up on a Wisconsin dairy farm, served in Army Special Forces and earned a Ph.D. in French from the University of Wisconsin. He has taught college and worked as a reporter and in the computer industry. He coauthored three programming books for Prentice Hall, wrote dozens of travel articles as well as too many mind-numbing computer manuals before happily turning to fiction: "The Journalist: A Paranormal Thriller" and "The Last Speaker of Skalwegian" (both with Encircle Publications, LLC). He lives in Massachusetts with his wife, Nancy, also a writer. He hikes, bikes, messes with astrophotography and plays the keyboard with no discernible talent whatsoever.
Catch Up With David:
Instagram - @davidagardner07
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ENTER FOR A CHANCE TO WIN:
This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for David Gardner. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card (U.S. ONLY). The giveaway runs November 1 through December 5, 2021. Void where prohibited.