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.
Q&A with David Garner
What inspired you to write this book?
I was reading an article about dying languages and was astonished to learn that, of the 6,000-to-7,000 languages in the world, they are dying out at the rate of about once every two weeks. That means that at least half the world’s languages will have disappeared by the end of this century, taking with them their songs, traditional stories and communal memory.
What was the biggest challenge in writing this book?
I somehow got it into my head that I needed to make up the Skalwegian language, at least a few hundred words and a simple syntax. This turned into an enormous task.
Give us a glimpse of the research that went into this book.
I read about dying languages, but mostly I winged it.
How did you come up with the title?
I thought that “The Last Speaker of Skalwegian” would make people curious. Looking back, I wish I’d have come up with a word that’s easier to pronounce than ‘Skalwegian.’ In my head, it rhymes with ‘Norwegian,’ but I don’t care how others pronounce the word, just as long as they buy the book. Better, a copy and a spare.
Your routine in writing? Any idiosyncrasies?
I either write or outline every day. By noon, I’m exhausted. I worked as a technical writer for a number of years and got used to just sitting down and writing.
Tell us why we should read your book?
I’ll feel really awful if you don’t. Seriously—or not so seriously—I hope you’ll get some laughs and enjoy the plot, setting and quirky characters.
Are you working on your next novel? If so, can you tell us a little bit about it?
I’ve started writing a sequel to “The Last Speaker of Skalwegian” and am taking copious notes for the third of the trilogy.
Your novel will be a movie. You would you cast?
I’d cast Emma Stone as the love interest and Adam Driver as the protagonist, but only if he’d promise to smile. (A movie/tv agency has in fact approached my publisher for the manuscript. Fingers crossed. Very long shot.)
Favorite leisure activities/hobbies?
I bike and hike, fool around with astrophotography and play the keyboard with no discernable talent whatsoever.
Blueberry shortcake (much better than strawberry, and blueberries are a super food). Also, anything with cheese in it (I grew up on a Wisconsin dairy farm). As a joke, my wife Nancy once bought me a Green Bay Packers cheese head, which, it turned out, didn’t taste a bit like cheese.
Catch Up With David:
Instagram – @davidagardner07
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