Friday, January 19, 2024

Seeing Double

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: There's a fascinating  publication called Publishers Marketplace, which every day prints the new book deals that have just been made.

 

Category by category, it's an incredibly intriguing way to see what books are coming in the next couple of years. And also to see what trends are developing in titles, for instance. It’s clear the “Girl”  titles have almost vanished, haven't they?

 

And now there are more titles like  "The Something Something of Someone Someone."

 

It’s also fascinating to see the trends in topics and milieu. Suddenly there’ll be SO MANY books about trains, or TV shows, or podcasts, or influencers or secluded scary mansions.  Why?

 

Anyway, the other day in Publishers Marketplace, I saw an entry that stopped me in my tracks.

 

I won't publish the entire listing, but just to just a line from each. First:

Liann Zhang's FOLLOW US, following a young woman who steals her mega-influencer twin's identity after she mysteriously dies, only to discover that her twin's picture-perfect life is more sinister than it appeared on social media…

 

AND. Right after that:

 

Lori Inglis Hall's A WORLD OF OUR MAKING, pitched as having shades of ATONEMENT and A GOD IN RUINS, following British twins, one who accepts a dangerous job as a spy for the SOE in occupied France, and the other, an airman who is wounded in the war, who devotes his life to finding out what happened to his sister behind enemy lines,

 

I thought: WHAT? This is certainly a trend! Or a coincidence. Or a topic so fascinating that there writers find it irresistible

 

And then, into my email, came today’s blog from Otho Eskin. I thought: WHAT?  It’s a sign, it’s certainly a sign. 

 

(And don’t forget to come to the Reds and Readers Facebook page for another question for you—AND a giveaway!

 

 

 

Seeing Double

  By Otho Eskin

 


Some early readers have asked: Why did I use twins?  In my new Firetrap, I make multiples the face of Big Pharma? Why?

 

 For the most part, I was simply following my narrative intuition. I wanted to capture the notion of familial evil, and I invented these two brothers united both by their near-identical DNA and by their capacity for evil.

 

I present the twin brothers, Sabastian and Maximilian Poole, as enigmatic and other-worldly. “They’re twins,” one of their old college classmates tells Zorn, “Although nobody’s actually seen them in public in years, so that may just be an urban legend.”

 

In the past, it was their personalities that distinguished them. One was once “affable and friendly,” the other “withdrawn.” But over time, they became one. They shared a dorm in college, attended classes together, ate together, and seldom mixed with others. Their behavior was abhorrent. When they were finally expelled, rumors swirled that they’d done something truly horrific. “I’m not sure I know what evil means,” the old classmate relates, “but whatever it means, Sabastian and Maximilian were it.”

 

I have come to think that twins captured my literary imagination for the same reason that they captured the literary imaginations of countless writers and storytellers before me: They serve as screens onto which we can project our own fears and desires about human nature.

 

The most famous mythological twins are Romulus and Remus, part of Rome’s founding story. They were supposedly nursed by a she-wolf when the basket containing them washed onto the shore of the Tiber River. One brother, Romulus, killed Remus in a fight over where to place their new city.

 

In Greek and Roman mythology, twins are often the products of adultery. Both Leda and Alcamene become pregnant with twins after sleeping with Zeus and their mortal husbands. Multiples are also depicted as having a superhuman bond. Some versions of Leda’s story have it that, when her mortal son Pollux dies, his immortal brother, Castor, asks to share his fate so the two can be reunited—so intense is their fraternal connection.


For a modern iteration, think of the preternaturally attached Grady Girls of Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 film The Shining. Alexie and Alexa Grady dress alike and speak in unison, stirring the feeling that they embody deeply sinister forces.

 

If intense love is an enduring trope—so much so that “twincest” appears in stories ranging from Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things to George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire—so is its opposite. Sibling resentment characterizes the biblical accounts of Esau and Jacob. In fact, we’re told that Jacob comes into the world grabbing his slightly elder brother’s heel as if to hold him back.

 

But twins are not always conceived in negative terms. Think of Lewis Carroll’s beloved “Tweedles” Dum and Dee, Laura Lee Hope’s Bobbsey Twins, and Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield of Francine Pascal’s Sweet Valley series. These multiples represent a more wholesome bond, and many of their readers confess to yearning for an identical other long after turning the last page.

 

Consider, also, the mischievous but adorable heroines of Erich Kastner’s Lottie and Lisa, who encounter each other at summer camp and then, upon realizing they were separated at birth, swap identities to meet their estranged parent. Their charming story was twice adapted for screen as The Parent Trap, the first starring Hayley Mills and the second, Lindsay Lohan. 

 

In the mystery/thriller genre, twins are often depicted as cooperating to solve crimes. Alternatively, one twin will redeem the other or seek justice on their behalf. In Janet Porter’s Free Rider, for instance, a woman goes to extraordinary lengths to save her identical sister from being devoured by the forces of darkness. Tess Gerritsen’s Body Double tells of a medical examiner who sees her own face in that of a murder victim. Realizing that she had an identical twin sister, she vows to learn the truth of her own past and bring her sibling’s killer to justice.  

 

Sometimes it’s a superhuman power that allows one twin to save the other. In Mary Higgins Clark’s suspense novel Two Little Girls in Blue, a three-year-old twin is presumed dead—until her other half uses telepathy to convince her parents she’s still alive and wants to come home. Likewise, in Carolyn Mitchell’s dark, gripping detective thriller The Silent Twin, a nine-year-old twin breaks a mute spell to speak to investigators from the persona of her sibling, who is missing.

 

So, if twins sometimes symbolize depravity, they can also symbolize unbreakable bonds. The icons of platonic love, they allow us to imagine what it means to intimately see and be seen by another.

 

What fictional multiples stand out in your mind? What makes them memorable? 

 

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: Twins are so risky, aren't they? In mysteries, especially. And thinking about this just briefly, the only way to make it fair is that the reader knows, right from the get-go, that there are twins involved. Don't the iconic rules of detection prohibit the surprise use of twins? I think they do.


I know at least some of you are twins :-) ... let us know about it if you feel comfortable with that!


And for everyone else: Reds and readers, what are your favorite twin books and movies?

How do you feel about twins in storytelling?


And we'll see you on the Reds and Readers Facebook Page for our giveaway! Remember, you have to join us to join the fun--so click here and ask to join--and if you are not a bot, we will let you right in!




 


Otho Eskin is the author of the Marko Zorn thriller series. He has also written many plays, which have been professionally produced in Washington, New York, and Europe. Before turning to writing, Eskin served in the U.S. Army and Foreign Service. He is married to writer Therese Keane and lives in Bethesda, MD. 

 

 

 


Firetrap takes D.C. homicide detective Marko Zorn on his most dangerous mission yet. A street drug, more dangerous than fentanyl, is spreading across the country and his search for those responsible leads him to a Big Pharma corporation run by mysterious, psychopathic twin brothers. Anyone who crosses them is dead.

 

Zorn must clear the streets of this deadly opioid and also prevent FDA approval of a new drug similar to Oxycontin to which the Pharma Corporation technicians have secretly added traces of fentanyl. If misused, this new drug is highly addictive and potentially fatal. Zorn must also solve three murders carried out by the corporation to cover up these criminal activities.

 

I was inspired to write Firetrap after learning about the opioid crisis. I was appalled by the predatory promotion, the price fixing, and the misinformation given to the public as well as the coopting of pharmacists and doctors used by Big Pharma, including Purdue Pharma owned by Sackler family. These activities, driven by greed, all showed indifference to human suffering. I considered how I could transform my outrage into narrative fiction. Firetrap is the result.

 




Publisher page: https://www.oceanviewpub.com/books/firetrap

https://othoeskin.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/othoeskinauthor/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/othoeskin/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/OthoEskin

89 comments:

  1. Oh, dear . . . for the most part, I am always disappointed/frustrated/annoyed by mystery/thriller twin stories. The good twin/bad twin is so over-used [and irritating]. On the other hand, I find the stories with twins as young children [Mary Higgins Clark's "Two Little Girls in Blue" and Carolyn Mitchell's "The Silent Twin"] are much more enjoyable. The Bobbsey twin books were favorites when Jean and I were growing up. The original "Parent Trap" was also a favorite . . . .

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    1. Agreed! LOVE The Parent Trap! And now I am singing the TV show theme song……they walk alike they talk alike—!

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    2. I read the book LISA AND LOTTIE when I was a pre-teen and the story stuck with me. The original movie The Parent Trap was also a favorite.

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    3. Joan, thanks for your comments. If you haven't already seen it, you and the other Parent Trap fans on here maybe interested in a recent Today Show segment on real-life girls getting their parents back together. What a story! https://www.today.com/parents/family/daughters-get-divorced-parents-back-together-parent-trap-rcna132037

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    4. The Bobbsey Twins weren't identical, though. Two pairs of opposite sex fraternal twins, so no mix-ups happened. I also loved those books. Flossie and Freddie and Bert and Nan, such wholesome children.

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    5. Isn't that tune from the Patty Duke show, Hank?

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    6. I also agree. The original Parent Trap was one of my favorite twin stories/movies.

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  2. Congrats on the new book.

    Years ago, there was a series written by twins and starring twins as the amateur sleuths. There were only five books (starting with DOUBLE Murder), but I really enjoyed them.

    And, Hank, your opening gave me an idea for a sure to be best selling title. The Girl Who Almost Vanished. I'll let one of the awesome writers on the blog (or in the comments) run with it for a large percentage of the royalties. ;)

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    1. Thanks, Mark. I had not heard about that series, but I've just found it and will add to my list. Maybe someday that list will also include The Girl Who Almost Vanished. ;)

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  3. Congratulations on the new novel, Otho Eskin. Such a interesting premise.

    Speaking of twins, I thought of Viola and Sebastian in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. I have friends who are "Irish twins", meaning that they are less than two years apart. The brother and sister looked so similar that I was reminded of Viola and Sebastian.

    In Alexander McCall Smith's 44 Scotland Street series, there is a young couple who have TRIPLETS. Trying to recall if they look alike or not.

    Question: Is Publishing Marketplace accessible to the public or only to authors and publishers?

    Diana

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    1. Diana, thanks for your congratulations! Twelfth Night was in an earlier draft of this piece, but 44 Scotland Street is a new one. Thanks for the mention!

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    2. Diana, Publishers Marketplace is a subscription.

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    3. Diana, as Lucy says… Anyone can have access, but I think it is $25 a month.

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    4. Hank, thank you. I wonder if that is part of the package when a new author signs with a publisher?

      Diana

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    5. Hmmm... not that I've ever heard of!

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  4. I love the original Parent Trap with Haley Mills. I still watch it every now and then. I am also the grandmother of 9 year old twin girls that are so identical looking that I have to talk to them for a minute or two to tell them apart. Last year I read a psychological thriller about twins. I don't remember the title of the book but it was strange and took place in NYC and the dad didn't want the twin living in NYC talking to her twin sister. It had a surprise ending.

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    1. Did the reader know there were twins from the beginning?

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  5. I did want a twin sister when I was a child and fantasized about it. I have twin cousins on both sides of my family but was never close enough to either set to really understand the dynamics.
    The film THE OTHER was about as disturbing a story about twins as you can get. The book THE UNHONEYMOONERS by Christina Lauren is a fun rom-com. I am currently listening to the sequel, THE HONEYMOON CRASHERS. A delightful follow-up!

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    1. Ohhhhhh THE OTHER was so incredibly scary! I really remember reading the book and being terrified…

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  6. I had no idea twins were a new theme in fiction when I created them for my new Cece Barton series. I even gave Cece's sister Allie twin sons, age ten. Both sets are fraternal, and there's no good-evil dynamic, but I use their differences for tension in certain places.

    Just yesterday I got sucked into an online story about septuplets and learned there's a word for special language some multiples develop: cryptophasia.

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    1. Edith, I will have to check out your CeCe Barton series. I agree that twin language is fascinating. Have you heard of "the silent twins," June and Jennifer Gibbons? They only communicated via their special language. There is much more to that story. I believe one has written a book.

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    2. I haven't - but as a former linguist, I find all things language fascinating. (My Cece Barton series is written as Maddie Day, FYI.) Looking forward to reading your latest!

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    3. Well, that’s the fascinating thing about trends, you cannot predict them or plan for them. It’s just something in the zeitgeist , I think.

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  8. My most favourite creepy movie with twins is DEAD RINGERS starring Jeremy Irons and directed by the brilliant David Cronenberg. Irons play the dual role of twin gynecologists. I see there is a new remake with Rachel Weisz. Has anyone seen that one?

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    1. Grace, that is such a disturbing movie! Oh, my golly, so creepy. And no, I have not seen the remake. And I have to say… I probably won’t :-). Will you?

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    2. HANK: It looks like the remake was released on Amazon Prime in April 2023 in the US. Don't know if I can get it in Canada. We don't always get access to the same shows.

      Agreed, the original movie is so creepy. I fell in love with Jeremy Irons as Charles Ryder in Brideshead Revisited in the early 1980s, so seeing him in this dual role was memorable. And then he continued to play the bad guys in more movies until maybe Alfred the Butler in Batman & Justice League movies.

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    3. Dead Ringers is available from Hoopla, good for those of us who have no streaming services.

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    5. Thanks for the tip but I don't have access to Hoopla. We use Libby at the Ottawa public library.

      UPDATE: Ok, I logged onto Amazon Prime (Canada) and we have access to the 2023 Dead Ringers remake. It is a 6-part mini-series. Winter time is when I binge watch shows, so I bookmarked it.

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  9. Wonderful topic! For reasons I do not understand I have always been fascinated by the idea of twins. In the one book that I have completed but never had published (because I gave up.) The main character's best friends are a set of twins, boy and girl. The fact that they are twins has nothing to do with the plot, but I wanted them there.

    Then I like to think about twins with different birthdays! Last year it made the news when a pair of twins were born in different years!

    As for books I can only think of the Bobbsey twins and Parent Trap is the only movie I recall with twins. But I'm looking forward to reading your book, Otho!

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    1. Thank you, Judi. Hope you enjoy the book. Yes, twins have long fascinated me too. I was always fond of the ones I knew.

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    2. I love the idea that the main character has twins as friends! Keep writing!

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    3. This year there’s the possibility of one twin being born on 2/28 and the other on 2/29.

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    4. Oh, that February thing is brilliant! Ooooo.

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  10. Twins! Always fun, if overused. I love the fact that identical twins usually have the same DNA but different fingerprints and retinal scans. And then there's the whole ancestry.com issue. Cincinnati recently had its own "parent trap" scenario, when divorced parents remarried with the help of their daughters.

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    1. Cool, I did not know that fingerprints & retinal scans are different in identical twins. Thanks for that fact.

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    2. DId I know that? Hmm. I don't think so!

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  11. Margaret, I don't follow about Ancestry.com. Can you clarify? I'm intrigued. I did see the news about a "parent trap" in Ohio. Great story!

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    1. Genetic genealogy searches measure matching between two individual genomes. The larger the degree of match (length of matched region in centimorgans), the closer the relationship, distant to close cousin, to sibling, to identical twin. The length measured is real, but the estimate of degree of relationship is statistical. Source: My scientist husband is home on a snow day.

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  12. I suppose my kids fit Diana's definition of "Irish twins" as they are just slightly less than two years apart. But they are completely different in appearance and personality!

    I'm kind of with Joan on twins - they are so cliche in some ways. The "evil twin," etc. Even the mysterious psychological connection that helps solve the mystery. I think I like it best when the twins just "are," like in Maddie Day's MURDER UNCORKED.

    But I love "The Parent Trap" - both versions.

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    1. I always thought "Irish twins" were children born within the same 12 months. My sister is 22 months younger and we were always dressed alike (under protest) as children, but no one considered us Irish twins.

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    2. My understanding of the term "Irish twins" was the same, Karen. Not less than 2 years apart but less than 1 year apart.

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    3. Karen & Susan, so did I, which is why I was surprised when Diana said 2.

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  13. My father had uncles who were identical twins – nobody could tell them apart including their mother. In those days, because the mother had ‘spells’, one twin was assigned to each of the two older girls. How they told them apart, I don’t know, because also they were great pranksters.
    One day in the ‘70’s when the twins were well into their 60’s, there was an affair for my grandparents 50th anniversary. Of course, all the family was there, and noise was everywhere. There was a lull in the party, when some went to lay down (one, brother of the twins went in for a nap on the spare divan and they measured him out for a coffin while he was sleeping – he woke up!), and some went to the kitchen to tidy up.
    I was home from university and sitting on the chesterfield in the living room having a quiet chat with Gran. The twins came in and joined us on the couch. Aunt Frank, who would have been at least 80 at the time, came over and went to sit down between the two boys. They instantly both goosed her. She flew into the air, her giant knickers flapping in the breeze, and landed her arms going everywhere, as she said – ohhh, you naughty, naughty boys.
    Cracked us all up!

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  14. I’ve always been interested in twins. My sister and I are 16 months apart, often dressed alike when we young and were often mistaken for twins. My best friends in early elementary school were twins. My husband has identical twin nieces. So much alike! Had their own language even. Sadly one died by suicide at age 35. It has been a concern that the other one might follow suit ever since.
    I’m a huge fan of the Hayley Mills Parent Trap and the Lindsay Lohan remake is pretty good too.
    I’ve read Two Little Girls in Blue by Mary Higgins Clark and The Bobbsey Twins. Other books featuring twins are not coming to mind. Will have to look into the ones talked about here on the blog.

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    1. This is all making me want to see The Parent Trap again.

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  15. Our family has lots of twins, going back to my own parents, but all opposite sex fraternal. My 94-year old mother is starting to think about the afterlife, and hoping she will finally meet her twin, John, who died at birth. (My dad's twin sister also did not live, and for most of his life he had not known he was a twin.) I've always thought my parents were both searching for that "other" part of themselves.

    I agree with Hank, there's an issue with fairness in a novel using identical twins as a device, and it behooves an author to let the reader in on the secret sooner rather than later. Otherwise it's a bit too soap opera-y for credibility. Otho, the fentanyl issue is scary enough without evil twins manipulating the situation! Sounds decidedly creepy.

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    1. Karen, you are spot-on about the fentanyl issue. Creepy indeed. How interesting that you had not one but two parents longing for their other halves.

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    2. That is really poignant, Karen...xoxo

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  16. There do seem to be a lot of books about twins lately!

    As an identical twin, I would say that for us the unbreakable bond is closer to reality than any good or evil stereotypes. I am glad you made both your twins evil, Otho--it's way better than the "one is good, one is bad" trope. Over the years, I have been asked many times if I am the evil twin.

    Being a twin is way fun. I've had a playmate (wombmate) from the very beginning. At family gatherings, we frequently start to say the same thing at the same time. With shared genes and shared experience, our minds work in very similar fashion. Since our other sister gives us twin clothes, frequently, without planning, we wear the same outfits. When we were kids and would play whist with our parents, dad finally made a rule that we couldn't be partners because there was too much telepathy going on.

    One more thing--when we turned 50, my brother-in-law wrote a rhyme to celebrate us. The memorable line was, "Margaret came first, all wet and glossy. That extra minute's why she's so bossy."

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    1. Gillian, I love that rhyme. I hope your twin is able to laugh at it like the rest of the family probably is. You must have some great stories about being a twin!

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    2. Judy, we still laugh about it.. she loved it.

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  17. I love, love, love twin stories - always have. Maybe because my brother and I are Irish twins and always seemed to have a mind meld much like my cousins who actually are identical twins. I am all in, Otho! Can't wait to read FIRETRAP.

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    1. My best friend in school was a twin - both girls but not identical. Surprisingly (not) they had a brother of the same age but not birthday. Irish twins - no, son of their sister, not mentioned but brought up by their mother. How times change!

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    2. Margo, I am a little confused about the “son of their sister”. Was this a much older sister and the parents/grandparents decided to raise the boy as their own? — Pat S

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    3. Yes, but everyone pretended that he had the same mother as the twins. When old enough to do the math, things just didn't work our correctly.

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  18. Literary twins -- Bobsy twins and the Weasley brothers come to mind. Perhaps we're seeing more in fiction because there are more twins IRL from fertility treatments.
    I taught a Vietnamese student who was accused of switching classes with his twin. I asked him, and he assured me that they had only done that when they were little, and that they no longer looked much alike (though they did šŸ˜‰
    Another student loved to tell new acquaintances that she and her sister were born on the same day but they weren't twins -- because their brother's birth made them triplets. <3

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    1. It is interesting how schools sometimes treat multiples. In my daughter's child's class, triplets were split between 3 teachers - there were 3 Grade 1's. I wonder what the logic was?

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    2. Susan Nelson-HolmdahlJanuary 19, 2024 at 11:10 AM

      The old fashioned idea in education was that twins should be separated, and often it was a strict policy. My children fraternal twins, a boy and gurl were actually asked each year if they wanted to be in the same class the following school year. Some years they separated and others they wanted to be together. It was a fun and fascinating experience raising them.

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    3. Susan, I just retired two years ago from elementary education and it seems that the parents got to choose whether their twins would be in the same class or separated. I think when they are very young (kindergarten or 1st), the parents want them to be together. As they age, I believe the thinking is that it’s better for them to start to establish a little independence from each other. — Pat S

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    4. OHHHH do you think that's why there are more multiples? Wait--ARE there more multiples these days?

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  19. I was a big fan of both the Bobbsey Twins and the Hayley Mills version of The Parent Trap, but I can't say I've read many books with twin characters in adulthood.

    Interestingly, though, my real life features a surprising number of twins. Some are the result of treatments for infertility, but I have neighbors who have two sets of twins absolutely naturally. Their case is also interesting in that the older boys are fraternal and the younger boys are identical, but the fraternal pair looks identical and the younger pair looks like younger clones of them. Their personalities are as varied as any other four brothers, though. In contrast, another friend whose twins were the result of infertility treatment has fraternal boys who look completely different and have extremely different personalities. There were two sets of twins (both identical) in my son's Scout troop. I have also known identical twins whose personalities were so divergent that just by a glance at their body language one could easily tell them apart. I guess the point of all this is that almost any presentation of twins might be credible, as there is no one pattern that I have observed for how twins look or act.

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  20. This is so interesting as Clare and I have just finished a Molly Murphy story involving ( real) twin brothers, movie makers!

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  21. I have a dim memory of an (Agatha christie?) short story about a guy who walks INTO a barber shop when at that moment a man who looks exactly like him is walking OUT. (And doesn't that turn out to be the twin brother he didn't know he had? The EVIL twin, of course.) Coincidence piled atop trope. And yet and yet...

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    1. Remember this Christie story as well, as as dimly. Think it was in the Hickory Dickory Dock collection or the ABC Murders. Elisabeth

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  22. I particularly love Tana French's The Likeness where she plays with the notion of identical twins who never met.

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    1. Oh that was a really good book! (As are all of Tana French's in my opinion)...

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  23. Twins are fascinating, although I can't say I've ever known any particularly well, or have any in my family. Interesting that there seems to be a genetic predisposition in some families. I don't think I've ever had twins in any of my novels, either, so I'm now thinking that would be fun. But not the good twin/evil twin trope!

    Otho, your twins sound chillingly creepy!

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  24. I’ve never been fascinated by twins, though I thought my sister or I might have a set. My grandmother’s sisters were twins and we were told that twins skip a generation if they run in the family. I don’t know if that’s true and neither my sister nor I had twins (and would it make a difference if the twins were my great aunts rather than my grandmother?) so it was moot. I, too, loved the Hayley Mills’ Parent Trap and The Bobbsey Twins. The earliest exposure to the good/bad (don’t want to say “evil”) twins for me was on TV shows: Bewitched had Samantha and Serena and I Dream of Jeannie had Jeannie I and Jeannie II. (I had to go down the rabbit hole of IMDB to find out Jeannie’s sister’s name and then it turned out to be “II”?!)

    Otto, your book sounds intriguing. Congratulations! — Pat S

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  25. I have twin brothers.You always had to buy them the same presents because they would always compare them. My favorite twin story is the original Parent Trap movie with Hayley Mills. I loved it, probably because they were trying to get their parents back together and I could relate.

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    1. Oh, yes, I bet that was a constant struggle--EVERYTHING is a comparison, right?

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  26. I always wanted to be a twin - it seems like it would have been so nice to always have a confidant, friend, whom you share so much.

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  27. I had older boy cousins who were twins. They were very quiet. They went to the same college, majored in engineering but different fields. Their lives separated with different jobs. They each married a widow or divorcee with kids later in life. Never had any of their own. Last year, in their 80s, one died at home of illness. The other died within days in a traffic accident. Pat D

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  28. Congratulations on the publication of FIRETRAP, Otho! My first adult romance was with a twin. He and his brother were very tight, but were attending two different colleges. It was relatively easy to tell them apart because my bf, Ken, was an inch or two taller - apparently one twin can "steal" some of the nutrients in utero and emerge larger than the other!

    I agree that twins can be a projection screen for all sorts of wishes and fears. In the benign, who hasn't thought, as a child, how wonderful it would be to have a perfectly-matched best friend with you always? And in the sinister, what's going on with those two people, who are essentially (if identical) clones?

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  29. I can’t think of too many twin books or movies offhand, other than ones already mentioned. I loved the original Parent Trap! I am not a twin and there are none in our family. I have a sister 20 months older than me and we looked almost identical so people thought we were twins. I guess that’s why I have always been fascinated by twins (well, that and the Bobbsey Twins books!) The first middle-grade novel I wrote had identical twin girls as the protagonists so I did a lot of research before and as I was writing. It really is an interesting subject! Firetrap sounds great—it’s going on my list!

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    1. Oh, that sounds fun--how did you handle the points of view?

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  30. When I was a kid, I read The Page Twins as well as the Bobbsey Twins. Two adult female twins switched lives for a lark, but it looked as if one got killed. I think this was by Judith Michael, and a TV movie was made, maybe with Stefanie Powers.

    There are tons of twins on my soap operas. Besides the evil ones, it's a great way to undo the mistake of killing off a character. Teenage actor played Cassie and wanted a regular life. Adult actor comes back as Mariah.

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    1. Oh, yes, yes, thats so funny--and the perfect way to bring an actor "back"!

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  31. I have lost all interest in stories with female twins after reading The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand. It was too close to the Haley Mills twins story. So, if a story focuses on a twins story, I avoid it. If two characters happen to be twins, then that is OK. I just finished reading Hannah McKinnon’s The Darlings where Tish Darling, the grandmother, was the key player. Using twins feel like the author is lost for storylines and uses this as an easy vehicle. Alicia Kullas

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