2018 Florida Authors and Publishers Association (FAPA) President’s Award in Humor and Chic Lit! ‘Speaking in Tungs’, the entertaining first novel set in rural Pennsylvania, a young woman from San Francisco searches for her birthparents while beginning her first job as a home-health speech pathologist. She soon learns how hard one job can be as she navigates the backwoods of Tungston, (“Tungs”) trying to comply with the needs of her quirky patients, all the while being stalked by a violent fugitive, and finding herself unexpectedly falling for the charms of a small-town, including one hot fireman. Through no fault of her own, she exposes a criminal who has been safely hidden in the thick forest, and now as he tries to stop her from exposing him, her patients’ lives, as well as her own are in jeopardy.
Will she survive Tungs? To guide us through both the backwoods of Tungston and it’s vibrant life, Karla M. Jay, author of ‘Speaking in Tungs’ has dropped into ItsWriteNow.com for a chat. Karla, I love the idea of exploring the rural Pennsylvania landscape through the eyes of a speech pathologist. Do you have personal experiences in this field, or Pennsylvania itself?
Yes, I have been a speech pathologist in a suburban area for 35 years and before that lived in rural Pennsylvania.
Since you were really living in this world in your own life, I imagine that it would be easier to develop your characters. How did you find that they developed? Where did you start?
I imagined a city girl in a fish-out-of-water situation. Then I needed a reason to have Marleigh take a job in such a rural place she discovers her birthparents are from this area, as well. She needed a friend so I created Elyk, the quirky shop owner and quite the opposite of Marleigh. Throw in a hot foreman and peculiar patients and unpredictable situations and her life was about to change forever.
It feels like you had a really interesting mixing pot of characters and places to work with here. With so many interesting pieces of the story in play, what do you try to focus on as you write?
I see the scenes as movies so I just have to report what is happening.
Reporting on the ins and outs of your story makes it sound like your writing journey was writing, which I find is an interesting way to approach fiction. Looking back, what was the greatest thing that you learnt while documenting this tale?
Write, rewrite, let readers have a look at it and rewrite some more.
Writing and rewriting, the keys to getting that book out there! Do you think your writing has improved as you’ve kept in this pattern of writing, rewriting, reviewing and rewriting some more?
I’ve become a much better writer, of course, and I no longer care what my mother might think about language or scenes! They say write something that entertains you as a reader so I’ve learned to do that.
*Laughs* Mothers do have good advice, but sometimes it’s worth having a scene or two that they wouldn’t approve of! With this writing experience under your belt, I hope that you’ve caught the writing bug! Has this bug led you to a new writing project?
Yes, the third book in this Speaking in Tungs series and I’m publishing an historical fiction WWII book late this fall.
Oh, that’s so exciting that you have so many stories to share! But before you return to your fictional fun, can you spare a few moments for some fun fictional questions (and answers), with some of my favourite questions like, if you could breed two animals together to defy the laws of nature what new animal would you create?:
A soft fuzzy frog- a fritten, frog+kitten?
Frittens sound so cute! I really hope that they have green fur, that would be so cute! You know I love cute questions, but do you have a cute question you can share with us?
I have a speech therapy joke to go with my book’s plot. What’s a Wok?
Something you thwow at a wabbit.
*Laughs* I love a little injection of speech therapy humour! Even if it’s at the expense of a poor wabbit! Karla, thanks for sharing some therapy giggles and a glimpse into ‘Speaking in Tungs’ today, and both myself and readers hope to hear more about the Tungs series soon!
Excited to read the book we discussed today? Find it here on Amazon: ‘Speaking in Tungs ( ASIN: B07FZBWJ2W )‘.
Want to find out more about Karla M. Jay? Connect here!