Why Are We Fascinated by TWINS?

Cover Undercover Twin - Lena DiazI’m the first to admit when I come across identical twins I am both charmed and freaked. I stare (rudely) as I try to discover even the slightest difference between them. Don’t you wonder what it would be like to have a ‘second you’ walking around on the face of this earth?

Today we celebrate another Intrigue release by our very own Lena Diaz. In UNDERCOVER TWIN, Heather Bannon does the unthinkable. She disposes of a huge amount of cocaine that her identical twin is carting around in a knapsack in a bar! Heather doesn’t stop to think about the ramifications of who owns this much cocaine (i.e., a powerful drug lord?) or that she happens to be in the perfect relationship with DEA agent Nick Morgan. Yeah, DEA. Yikes! All Heather thinks about is saving her sister from a heap of trouble. And in doing so she’s thrust into a world of killers, kidnapping and dangerous undercover ops.

As you probably know, Lena has published 9 books in the two years we’ve hosted this blog, so I was hard-pressed to come up with another fun interview. But because UNDERCOVER TWIN explores the deeply complex dynamic between identical twin sisters the plot twists kept me glued to my seat and the characters triggered my twin-fascination. So (light bulb!) what a great blog topic!

I asked the other K&T members if they enjoyed plots that centered around twins and got a resounding YES, as well as links to novels and stories of real life phenomenon that occur with both fraternal and identical twins. All of their answers are so awesome I copied and pasted as fast as I could. (Let’s just consider this a Group Blog!)

They say ‘blood is thicker than water’ but it seems twins share something  even thicker. Our own SHARON WRAY is the mother of fraternal twin teenagers and has blogged here about them in the past. Here’s an occurrence that astonishes me, but not Sharon:

I got a call from the nurse and one of my daughter’s teachers.

Sharon Wray

Sharon Wray

 Apparently, my son had gone to the nurse because he wasn’t feeling well (he had a low-grade stomach bug which he graciously shared with the rest of us). In the meantime, in another class in another part of the school, my daughter’s teacher told me she just got up in the middle of class and left the room, leaving her books behind and not even asking the teacher’s permission. She literally just walked out of class.
 
Since this was so unusual, the teacher left her class and followed my daughter, wondering if she was sick. The teacher followed her all the way to the nurse’s office where she watched my daughter go in and tell the nurse that they needed to find her brother because he was sick. She had no idea he was already there until the nurse pulled back the privacy curtain and she saw him lying on the bed. Then she said to both the nurse and the teacher to call me because he was about to throw up. Which he did a few moments later.
 
The teacher was freaked out because my daughter was giving orders and expecting them to understand that she had a brother to take care of which meant she didn’t have to follow the rules about asking for a pass, etc.  And when the principal came in, my daughter asked her why I hadn’t been called yet and didn’t understand why she might be in trouble. The principal said she didn’t know what to say because dealing with my daughter was like dealing with a parent.
 
Anyway, I came and got my son and my daughter went back to class. Because the nurse had grown twins, she was able to explain (kind of) to the teacher and the principal that this kind of behavior is normal for twins. Everything stops for one if the other is in distress. 
 
I tried to talk to the kids about it that evening, but they both seemed genuinely confused when I said they couldn’t just break the rules because the other one was sick. Since they only need the approval of each other, they don’t seek ours. As my daughter puts it, our approval is the frosting while her twin’s approval is the cupcake.

Lena DiazLENA absorbed that special connection and made her characters incredibly real. She also said while writing UNDERCOVER TWIN she delved into the annual twin conventions around the country. “I got lost for hours on websites while researching the book because the pictures of twins at the conventions is mesmerizing.” (Clearly a gawker like me.)

When I asked her why she chose twins as main characters she replied: “I immersed myself in watching Ink Master marathons (about tattoos.) Around that time I needed to propose my next Harlequin Intrigue, and the idea of tattoos was stuck in my head. I became fascinated with the idea of a conservative business woman having a sister who was her complete opposite, in both how she dressed and the fact that she had tattoos all over her body. From there my mind took a natural turn to identical twins where the non-tattooed twin would have to pretend to be the tattooed twin, and how much fun that would be, and UNDERCOVER TWIN was born. It’s really more about the “duck out of water” trope than the twin trope that caught me. It was so fun to make the heroine have to act and dress in ways that were totally outside her comfort zone.”

MANDA piped up with: There’s a list of twin books on All About Romance here: http://likesbooks.com/twins.html

Sharon also posted these twin facts:

Both types of twins can have a twinspeak, a language all their own. 
 
Both types of twins can have a “psychic” connection. Mine do and it’s kind of freaky and every year I get an email from one of their teachers about a strange incident in class. They ALWAYS know when the other is sick and will also tell me if one is hungry or sad or angry, etc. 
 
According to my pediatrician (a specialist in multiple births) both a twin-speak and a psychic connection are real and  have a strong link to the type of pregnancy. The worse the pregnancy (more dangerous, preemie birth, etc), it seems the stronger both of these connections are. This is regardless of whether they are fraternal or identical.
 
In a twin relationship, the opinion of the twin is far more important than the opinion or approval of the parent. The parent is always the third wheel, almost unnecessary except for feeding and driving places.
 
Birth order and birth weight is highly important and mentioned to strangers the moment they say “Are you a twin?” My daughter is eleven minutes older, but my son was 1 pound 14 ounces bigger. This is ALWAYS mentioned to complete strangers just so no on is confused as to who is the Alpha twin.
 
Alpha twin. The ongoing battle as to who was conceived first. No idea why this matters but it seems to matter to lots of sets of twins.
Do you have a twin story to share or a favorite novel featuring twins? One commenter will win an eBook of UNDERCOVER TWIN (either Kindle or Nook version). Stop back on Thursday when we post the lucky winner’s name!

TO READ AN EXCERPT: http://lenadiaz.com/UndercoverTwin.html

ONE LAST NOTE BEFORE WE GO….HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GWEN!!!

toast

About Sarah Andre

Romantic Suspense Writer

Posted on December 3, 2013, in Author Interview, Author Spotlight, Lena Diaz, Sarah Andre and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 42 Comments.

  1. Sarah, this is such a fun post today! Thanks so much. My favorite Twins book (well, other than UNDERCOVER TWIN of course, ahem) is COME LOVE A STRANGER by Kathleen Woodiwiss. Then again, ANYTHING by Kathleen Woodiwiss is awesome, so this is no surprise. What I loved most about the story is that she had me as the reader doubting all along whether the heroine really was the hero’s wife or her identical twin. Tons of tension in that book and a very satisfying ending.

    • I could have sworn I read EVERYTHING by KW but that plot escapes me. (Just sayin’…if any of you are looking for Christmas ideas for me.) ;)

      THRILLED for this chance to host you and tout your talent, Lena! Let’s have fun today!

    • One of the great things about COME LOVE A STRANGER is she weaves together two tropes: twins and amnesia.

  2. Lena, I LOVED Come Love a Stranger. The tension in that book is unbelievable. I wish I knew how she did that!
    I am halfway done with Undercover Twin and yesterday I got Tennessee Takedown in the mail. I can’t wait to finish the first (which I’m loving) and get to the second. I am so happy for all of you success. :)

  3. I found the twin discussion we had so fascinating. It made me want to ask every twin I know if they have this kind of connection with their sibling. I really enjoyed UNDERCOVER TWIN, Lena! the only other twin book I can think of is THE SWITCH by Sandra Brown, which I read many years ago.

    I’m still in awe that you’ve put out nine books in two years. Wow!

    And thanks for the birthday wishes! You totally caught me by surprise. :-D My boys wrote “À: La meilleure mère du monde” on my birthday card envelope, which totally made my day (once they translated it for me: To the best mother in the world). *sniff*

  4. I can’t recall the title, but Kristan Higgins has a book where her heroine is a twin. I love ALL her work. Super gushy-gush.

  5. Happy release day, Lena!! Can’t wait to read UNDERCOVER TWIN!!

  6. Happy release day to one of my favorite authors, Lena Diaz! Congratulations sweetie!

    XO

  7. Reblogged this on DIANA BELCHASE and commented:

    I’m sure you’ll love this book by one of my favorite authors, Lena Diaz!

  8. I work with an identical twin. What is a bit strange to me is the total opposite parts of them. My co-worker is unable to have children, her sister had four. She is out going and opinionated, her sister shy and laid back. The list goes on.

    Love Lena’s books… and I’m sure this one will be no different!

    Happy Birthday Gwen! I hope it is a wonderful one. I hit the big 5-0 tomorrow. :(

    • Thanks Julie. I’m so glad you enjoy my books.

    • Hi Julie!
      Both sides of my family featured twins (2 fraternal sets, 1 identical.) In fact my Dad’s a twin and you’re right: his sister was older by a few minutes and they’re almost the exact opposite in personalities.

      Happy early BD. 50′s are the 36′s. I ain’t lyin’. :)

  9. Justin and Philippe from Lisa Kleypas’ books

  10. East of Eden is one of my favorite books featuring twins–Caleb and Aron Trask.

    Happy release day, Lena! Six or nine books–still amazing :-)

    Happy birthday, Gwen! And an early happy birthday to Julie!

    • Thanks Krista! East of Eden. Wow. Haven’t heard that title in a while. Barely remember it. But I remember loving it.

    • Awesome blog, Sarah!
      Oh yes! East of Eden. Good call Krista.
      Happy Birthday Gwen! And congratulations to Lena on Undercover Twin and all the other amazing books she’s written!
      Am I the only one who thinks Twins=Parent Trap? Geez I”m mature!

  11. Great blog, Sarah and Lena! I love twin stories. I think there’s just something innately fascinating about that bond. It’s the closest thing to ESP I think most of us come.

    My favorite twin one is a bit obscure. It was a chick-lit Regency historical by Jessica Benson called THE ACCIDENTAL DUCHESS. The heroine marries at the beginning of the book, only to learn that instead of the charming, happy go lucky twin as was planned, she’s married the stodgy, serious twin instead. It’s a hoot. And of course they fall in love. I guess this is an example of the good twin/evil twin trope. Though the other twin in this one is more feckless than evil IIRC.

    Congratulations on the book, Lena! Can’t wait to dive into it!

  12. I just remembered twin books I loved in the mid-80s – Jude Devereaux’s TWIN OF ICE and TWIN OF FIRE.

  13. This twin stuff is just fascinating! Like Carey, twins always makes me think of Parent Trap. Was fascinated by that movie growing up! And I love fish out of water stories! Can’t wait to read it, Lena! Best!

    • Thanks for commenting Jenna! I watched The Parent Trap as a kid. Perhaps this is where my staring rudely aspect began. Joke was on me because Haley Mills played both parts!

  14. This looks fabulous, Lena! The research sounded awesome. And, Sharon, the story about the nurse’s office is AMAZING! LOVE the frosting and cupcake analogy!!!

  15. Hi Heather!
    Thanks for visiting. I agree and predict Sharon’s daughter will end up being a writer.

  16. Thank you for allowing me to host you Lena, always an honor! And to Sharon and Manda for providing me all the fascinating twin info. You guys are the greatest!

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