Friday, August 31, 2012


I'll be participating in this years GUTGAA (Gearing Up To Get An Agent) Blogfest/Pitch Contest hosted by Deana Barnhart. There will be six weeks of festivities, starting with Week 1 on Sept. 3. Deana's definition of GUTGAA:

What is GUTGAA?
GUTGAA stands for Gearing Up to Get an Agent. It is a blogfest I started last year in the hopes that those of us striving to reach "agented" status could come together, polish those pitches and have fun at the same time. It ended with agent Kathleen Rushall judging a pitch contest. Quite a few of us who joined in the fun did get an agent (including me) and as I've said over the last few weeks I want to take my victory and pay it forward.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Templeton Twins Have an Idea by Ellis Weiner

Book 1 of an intended middle grade series stars a set of 12-year old twins, Abigail and John Templeton, and their inventor/scientist father. And, of course, their ridiculous dog, Cassie. Then there is the narrator who tells the story in a funny, though somewhat reluctant manner, as he speaks directly to the reader:

“I am being forced to tell the story of the Templeton Twins. Why am I being forced, and who is forcing me? Well, perhaps I will tell you later. Or I may decide not to tell you at all.”

Having the narrator be a character himself is a good device to impart information to the young reader in a funny way. Sometimes he even gets annoyed at the imagined too-many-questions from the reader and just brusquely states, “Let’s move on.” Weiner can have a lot of fun with the narrator in future books, and I can see him maybe becoming more important or even part of the plot! Good stuff.

I won’t recap the entire plot in this review (you can get that in the product description), so I’ll just sum it up by saying the story revolves around a disgruntled former student (Dean D. Dean) of Mr. Templeton’s who shows up and causes trouble for the Templeton family when he claims he was the true inventor of one of the father’s best inventions. Abigail and John have to use their brains and ingenuity to save themselves, their father, and the invention.

The novel is thoroughly enjoyable, the characters are wacky and the writing is silly. I like silly! I read an advance copy, so the illustrations (by Jeremy Holmes) were still only in sketch form, but they look good and fit the style of writing well and add to the overall fun of the book.

I enjoyed the “voice” of the narrator so much that I went out and got an earlier (adult) novel written by Ellis Weiner (Drop Dead, My Lovely). The Templeton Twins looks like it will be a successful, fun series of books for both boys and girls (not to mention their parents).