Updated: Dec 5, 2021
Pat and Patty Flaugherty (think flair-tee) were birthed when I was a teenager, although they were older than I was at only 15. I liked the idea of twin detectives because then both boys and girls could read the books and not feel too weird like I sometimes did when I read the Nancy Drew books my sister brought home from the library. And I have always been fascinated by the concept of twins—the whole concept of same DNA, but different personalities, and the idea of a special psychic connection. I know that applies more to identical twins than to fraternal twins, but I still thought I could use it to make some interesting story lines.
In the twins’ first adventure, identical twins also play a role in the mystery. In this case, they are identical twins dolls, made to look like two sisters who are only a part of the back story. But the identical dolls play a key role. I thought about using the twin motif in each story, but none other of the first four books has twins, other than the main characters. I do plan to use the twin concept again in later stories, but I think I’ll keep it sporadic just so as not to make it too old too fast.
I also wanted the twins to reflect my Irish-American heritage. In the melting pot that is America, Irish culture is not that widely known, except once a year in March, so I wanted to give a little taste of that to the story lines as well.
As I continue to write their stories, I feel the need to make them chronological and building a little more back story into each of the subsequent stories. In the first novel, their friend Bob mentions that he spent time in Florida with relatives, during Spring break. It isn’t until Book 4 that we meet his oldest sister, who lives in Florida with her husband. Book 2 mentions another of Bob’s sisters, but we don’t meet her until Book 3, along with his third sister, to round out the immediate family. In later books, we will meet more of the extended family of both Bob and the twins, which will continue to fill in more of their back story. I want them to be as three-dimensional as possible, so that we understand why they think and act the way they do.
I also feel strongly that they need to be flawed. Reading the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew growing up, I always felt they were to be admired, but they did not seem to be approachable. If they had gone to my high school, I would not have been in their circle of friends.
My kids are basically good kids, but they have plenty of flaws. Pat is headstrong and often acts without thinking. Patty is practical, but her head can be turned by her heart. Bob is insecure and sometimes predicts worst-case scenarios. But they are all brave and they know right from wrong, and they understand responsibility and obligation.
The twins are not seekers after mystery, nor do they plan to become detectives when they are older. These situations simply fall into their laps and they run with them. They will never be professional crime solvers, but we will learn with them some valuable insights into recognizing criminal activity and preventing harm to ourselves or our loved ones.
Here’s to the next mystery, wherever it takes them.
For more information on the Flaugherty Twins, check out this website: https://pauldavidmcdonald.wixsite.com/flaugherty-twins
Illustration by Jeffrey B. McKeever, www.screamingceltstudio.com