My fascination with twins led me to do extensive research on the subject, and then to use that information to form the basis for the two main characters in my book, Despicable Lies. Darcy and Danielle Coulter are identical twin sisters who share common physical traits and similar characteristics. Although their genetic makeup is the same, they have separate and distinctive personalities. Understanding and maintaining their own personal identities is a major problem for them.
Twins often exhibit similar behaviors and make the same choices, such as selecting identical outfits to wear or answering test questions in the same way with the same words and even finishing each other’s sentences. Their identical genes predispose them to prefer the same foods, going to the same places and enjoying the same activities. I became intrigued with the idea of the twin sisters trading places and what the consequences could be. I know twins are not interchangeable; however, they can knowingly switch places with each other and the change will go undetected. This is both a blessing and a curse, and at the root of Darcy and Danielle’s dilemma.
It is difficult and almost impossible to distinguish between identical twins. Even their husbands and wives have difficulty doing it. According to Huffpost.com, the safest way to distinguish between them is through fingerprints. The fingerprints of twins are very similar, but there are small differences. Prints are not based solely on DNA. When identical twins are conceived, they start out with the same fingerprint. During the first thirteen weeks of pregnancy, as the babies start to move, they each touch the amniotic sac and consequently unique lines and ridges are formed on each twin’s hand that result in different fingerprints. That’s why plot lines where one twin tries to frame the other by leaving his/her own fingerprints behind at the crime scene is not viable, A good detective and/or lab will pick up on the variances. The other place that identical twins differ is on their belly buttons. After the babies are delivered, obstetricians are the culprit here, not genetics.
The twin connection is very real. There is lots of evidence that suggests that when one twin is sick, the other feels ill and some researchers believe they have their own special language, a sort of gibberish that only they understand. This made up discourse usually disappears soon after childhood, once the twins have learned a real language. But as twins grow older most continue to have a special and exceptionally close relationship unless outside forces intervene…as is the case in Despicable Lies.
Hopefully my readers will enjoy following the paths of Darcy and Danielle and seeing how their special “twin connection” impacts their lives and those around them.
Here are some fun twin facts taken from HuffPost.com that have nothing to do with my book, but that I find interesting.
- Massachusetts has the most twin births of any state in America.
- New Mexico had the lowest rate of twin births in America.
- Tall women are more likely to have twins.
- Women who eat a lot of dairy are more prone to conceiving twins.
- More twins are being born now because women are taking fertility treatments. One in three doing so may become pregnant with twins.
Until my next inspiration…ciao.
***PLEASE NOTE: The girls, Darcy and Danielle are about to embark on a “MOCK” (imaginary) book tour throughout the country and abroad. I will be posting the book’s cover on different sites and pretending the girls are there for book signing events. It will be a fun fake time. Go to my Facebook page at Peggy Chernow Books to follow along.
The first stop on the tour is New York City. Because it’s a fictional tour, they don’t have to worry about travel restrictions or the Coronavirus. Think Nathan’s hot dogs and soft pretzels.