New Release: Gemini Sister Sleuths

Amorette Anderson

Hey, sleuthers! As I mentioned over in our Sleuthing Women Facebook group, today I have a new book out, The Man Who Vanished: Gemini Sister Sleuths (Book #1). This is the start to a brand new paranormal cozy series… and I’m super excited about it. 

I’ve been dreaming up this series for a while, so it feels freaking fantastic to finally publish book 1! The series features identical twins, Maggie and Belinda. They’re turning forty and life’s about to change in some big ways. Even though they don’t yet know it, witchcraft runs in the family and they’re about to learn about it. I don’t want to give away too much here, but I WILL share some of the books, television shows, and ideas that influenced this series in general. 

The Inspiration behind this series

I think all artists, from musicians to painters to writers, are influenced by other people’s work as well as ideas swirling around in culture. Here are some factors that stirred in my heart and whirled around in my head while I was brainstorming a concept for this series. 

Hercule Poirot and the Captain Hastings

Of all the cozy mysteries I’ve ever read (and there have been many! Soooo many) the dynamic between Hercule Poirot and Captain Arthur J.M. Hastings might just be my favorite. These characters, dreamed up by Agatha Christie, star in many stories. Hercule Poirot is a Private Investigator. He’s a weird guy with an excitable personality, sharp mind, and playful nature. Well, that’s how I’d describe him anyway. He’s excellent at solving even the most challenging cases and he knows it. His friend, Captain Hastings, often tags along during the investigations.

While Hastings admires and respects the skill of investigating, he’s not very good at it. He wants to be, but he just isn’t. He sometimes makes terrible mistakes. He doesn’t connect the dots like Poirot can. His pride, vanity, or romantic emotions might get in his way. So, in the stories, we see Poirot hot on the trail of a break-through in the case, while Hastings goes crazy trying to guess what Poirot knows. Poirot seems to love being the one with all the answers. 

poirot and hastings New Release: Gemini Sister Sleuths

It’s a fun dynamic to read about. When I decided to create a series featuring twins, I also knew that they’d have to be very different (just like Elizabeth and Jessica were different in the Sweet Valley High books, but I’ll get to that later). I felt that the contrast would make for excitement in the series, and seeing as I love the Hercule Poirot/Captain Hastings dynamic I decided to use some of that same flavor in the interactions between the twins as they try to solve crimes. One twin gets to a possible answer quickly, based on intellect. The other wishes with all her might that she knew what her sister was thinking. 

TV: The Big Bang Theory show

I’ve watched a lot of The Big Bang Theory episodes. Not all of them, but plenty. It’s an easy, relaxing show. There’s something about sitcoms that just soothes me, lol. Probably goes back to childhood. Anyway, if you’ve seen the show than you probably know that it centers around a group of nerdy physicists. I really like that about the show, because I happen to love physics! So, I’ve let my enjoyment of that show and my secret love for physics seep into this series. One of the twins is passionate about math and science. In particular, she enjoys studying quantum gravity. And… like Sheldon, she also has a favorite spot on the couch! 

Sweet Valley High books

Oh… how I loved the Sweet Valley High books, featuring identical twins Elizabeth and Jessica! As a teenager, my older sister and I owned quite a few. The ones we didn’t own as paperbacks, we’d borrow from the library. I remember how exciting it was to get my hands on a new one. Fun fact about the Sweet Valley High books: there are 181 books in the original series. Can you believe that? Anyway, my nostalgia for this series of books was on my mind when I decided to write about identical twins. I remembered how I loved picking up a Sweet Valley High book. I’d know that in the story, I would get to catch up with not only Elizabeth, but Jessica, too. It was like getting a two for one deal! I’ve tried to bring that into my writing. I want readers to care about both twins and feel excited to know what each sister is up to as the series progresses. 

Enneagram Personality Types

Okay, this might be a little bit out there, but one of the things I’ve been thinking about a lot lately is the enneagram. It’s an ancient concept about the movement in a system, and it’s having an upsurge in our current culture as a way of thinking about personality types. Within the enneagram of personalities, there are nine types. They are numbered, one through nine. I’ve realized that I’m a type four.

Each personality type also has access to the traits used on either side of their number. These are called “wings.” For example, a type four like me might dip into type three traits, or type five traits. Usually people lean heavily one way or the other during any given time in their lives. Using myself as an example again, I think I mostly use my five wing. I can feel when I have to lean on three traits, though!

That being said, I’m really interested in personality types. I chose to make one twin a type three personality, according to the enneagram, and the other a type five. My research on both types has influenced my writing considerably. 

Zodiac Signs

I’ve always loved looking up at the stars. I know a few names of constellations and it’s fun to find them in the sky. The zodiac is a name given for a line-up of specific constellations. Gemini is one of those. This constellation represents twins. 

gemini New Release: Gemini Sister Sleuths

In my series, the twins were born with the last name “Aster.” This surname has Greek origins and relates to stars (think of the word asteroid). When one twin married, she was encouraged by her grandmother to keep her last name, and she did. I’m going to share more about the Aster family lineage as the series goes on. Both twins have the middle name “Gemini.”  As you can see, my love for the stars and zodiac symbols worked into the story! 

We live in a big melting pot of ideas, right? It’s so neat to pull at the threads of a story and see where individual ideas came from. Thanks for letting me share with you. If you want to know more about the Gemini Sister Sleuths, grab book one, The Man Who Vanished, and give it a read! And, before you go, share your thoughts with me and other Sleuthers in the comments. Do you love the The Big Bang Theory as much as I do? Were you a fan of the Sweet Valley High books? Do you know your enneagram type? Drop a note below. Looking forward to hearing from you.

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