Monday, September 17, 2012

The Blog Tour That Keeps On Giving


Hello. I'm hoping that scads of MMGMers will fly in today to comment on the interview I posted on Saturday with the natty Narrator of THE TEMPLETON TWINS HAVE AN IDEA. Fab and funny book--and, if you comment on this post, you have the chance to win a copy of it. (I will add your entry to the four dauntless souls who read the blog post over the weekend!)

For ease of reading, I'm repeating the interview in this very post. Here goes:

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. Leave 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. Since it's "perfect for boys and girls who are smart, clever, and funny," and since that perfecty describes me and my boys, I cannot help but enter! Thanks for the giveaway!

  2. The artwork is fabulous. I'm really in love with the voices and the premise of the story.

  3. I've heard so much great buzz about this book! Love the interview! :D

  4. Fun interview. I'd love to read this one.

  5. You had me at Cassie, the non-Jack Russel. My boys would love this!

  6. Thanks for such a fun interview! I have heard some very good things about this book and would love to read it : )

  7. Oh, so there is a blog tour going on. I've seen this book quite often on the blogosphere lately.
    Fun interview. I especially enjoyed how you borrowed the voice of the book to ask your questions.

  8. Sounds like a fun read! (And I await your recipe for superb coleslaw...)

  9. I've wanted to read this since I saw the cover, but now I'm really dying to. I do love a humorous intrusive narrator. :)

  10. This is hilarious, Michael. "Write your answer in the form of an opera." That's great!

    Hey, I totally have an excuse why I wasn't on the internet all weekend. It's not even particularly ridiculous (which IS hard to say!). So thanks for running the interview again. And thanks for the chance to win.


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