Saturday, September 15, 2012

Q & A With The Narrator of The Templeton Twins Have An Idea

Hey you over there, pretending to watch your kid's soccer game while surreptitiously checking your Smartphone: if you want to chuckle at anything other than the opposing coach's antics, have I got a nice quick and comic interview for you.

You see, I'm part of a blog tour for this delicious new novel, by a novelist called Ellis Weiner who must, by necessity, be long-suffering. Why do I say this? Because he has to endure the orations and opinions of a narrator who would give Lemony Snicket and Pseudonymous Bosch a run for their money. Later on, I go toe-to-toe with this worrisome wordsmith. But first, a quick description of the book, courtesy of the jacket flap

Suppose there were 12-year-old twins, a boy and girl named John and Abigail Templeton. Let's say John was pragmatic and played the drums, and Abigail was theoretical and solved cryptic crosswords. Now suppose their father was a brilliant, if sometimes confused, inventor. And suppose that another set of twins-adults-named Dean D. Dean and Dan D. Dean, kidnapped the Templeton twins and their ridiculous dog in order to get their father to turn over one of his genius (sort of) inventions. Yes, I said kidnapped. Wouldn't it be fun to read about that? Oh please. It would so. Luckily for you, this is just the first in a series perfect for boys and girls who are smart, clever, and funny (just like the twins), and enjoy reading adventurous stories (who doesn't? ).

And now, let the games begin:

Dear Narrator--or should I say "Insane rant roar"? (c.f. pg. 97)

I thoroughly enjoyed your narration of THE TEMPLETON TWINS HAVE AN IDEA. It appears you are a "rant roar" of the highest caliber. I particularly liked your "Questions for Review" at the end of each chapter, because there are never more than three of them, and this quite fits my attention span. For example:

I have styled my own questions to you accordingly.

1. Which of the following gave you the greatest trouble saying ten times very fast. (I stole this idea from the heading of Chapter 10, in case you haven't gathered.) a) Tick-Tock Tech   b) Nanny Nan Noonan   c) Dean D. Dean   d) Dan D. Dean. Why?

Narrator: In truth, none of them.  They’re mere alliterations, and as such they practically pronounce themselves.  Watch:    
See?  One can essentially sit idly by and listen to them repeat themselves of their own accord.  Somewhere in the narrative I think I remark that “particularly ridiculous” might be challenging to repeat several times very fast—ten is a bit oppressive—so that’s the one I would most like not to have to repeat.

2. If the Templeton Twins had failed in their mission to persuade their father to allow them to have a ridiculous (in your words) dog, what other animal might they have been willing to receive? Would, say, a tenacious, ridiculous lizard have been as effective as Cassie, the smooth-haired fox terrier, in sinking her teeth into Dean D. Dean's lovely trousers? (pg. 193 for the confused.)

Narrator: The idea of a tenacious-yet-ridiculous lizard is an excellent one.  Lizards, in my opinion, have been coasting on their reputation for being either frightening or eerie.  This has been going on for 230 million years, and I think we can all agree that enough is enough. 
However, while we have been led to believe that early lizards (i.e., dinosaurs) made ferocious noises and so forth, there is scant evidence that today’s lizards are capable of barking with anywhere near the volume, duration, and ridiculousness of the modern fox terrier.  That is why I always say, “Find me a lizard that barks, and then we’ll talk.”

3. If the narrator were to invite a reader to dinner, and that reader was not a fan of the narrator's meatloaf (which seems highly unlikely), what other delicacy might the narrator dangle to cause said reader's taste buds to tingle?

Narrator: As you—and the world—will see in Book II, I happen to have a superb recipe for cole slaw.  Yet even I can concede that inviting someone over for dinner, and serving them only cole slaw, could be viewed as an inadequate gesture of hospitality.  I would therefore augment it with, perhaps, Taco Fried Chicken, the recipe for which I would steal borrow from Kenny Shopsin, an eccentric New York chef.  (You coat chicken breasts in crushed tortilla chips and deep fry.)

Bonus Question, because I love to cheat: Will the Templeton Twins have another idea, and if so, when? Will you be employed in its narration? (That's actually three bonus questions. Told you I like to cheat.)

Narrator: Thank you for asking.  Yes.  Above I allude to Book II, the title of which is The Templeton Twins Make a Scene.  I will indeed be its Narrator and, now that I think of it, I am deeply offended that you even need ask.  Oh but never mind.  I’ll “get over it,” as we apparently now say.  Because don’t I always?  It will be published in September of next year, I assume, barring catastrophe.

I thank you profusely (which I looked up in the dictionary) for your time in unraveling some of the knottier mysteries about the Templeton Twins. I look forward to waving your novel in the air and shouting at potential readers while flying my prototype Personal One-Man Helicoptor around my local bookstores and libraries. Thank you for the idea of putting it in a knapsack.

Narrator: No, no, thank YOU.  It was my pleasure.


So there we have it, folks. You can go back to pretending to watch soccer. Oooh... was that a goal?! If so, you can now celebrate by leaving a comment, and I will draw a winner from my fedora next week. 

The Prize: A copy of The Templeton Twins Have An Idea. And, for a further bonus, please head thisaway to enter the Pester the Narrator Contest He's a guy who could do with a good pestering!! 

Alla prossima!


  1. What a delicious interview! Can't wait to get my hands on the book :)

  2. This was such a fun interview and gave us a flavor of the book. Sounds like a really fun book for middle graders. Thanks for sharing it.

  3. What a fun interview, and this sounds like a perfect book for my kids!

    BTW, I am reading this after the soccer game, and my daughter scored 4 goals this morning! :-)

  4. Great interview for a fun book. I already added it to my to-read list. So many good reviews!

  5. Sounds to me like the Templeton Twins are the kind of twins that are likely to have lots of ideas.
    *trots off to pester narrator*

  6. This sounds like a very clever and enjoyable book! Thank you for the chance to win a copy!

  7. the narrator is EPIC at his/her job in these books. I read the 2nd book, and my mom is getting the 1st one for me. Narrator, I HEART YOUR WORK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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