First comes the miracle and then comes the madness. The miracle is the birth of identical triplets, and the madness is all about money, of course. The year is 1916 and the newborn baby girls have become pint-size celebrities. Unfortunately, this small portion of fame soon leads to a much larger portion of greed, and the triplets are split up — parceled out to the highest bidders. Two of the girls go to live in a hilltop mansion. The third girl isn’t so lucky. She ends up with a shady family that lives in an abandoned work camp. That’s how their lives begin: two on top, one on the bottom, and all three in the same small town. And when their worlds collide, as they must, the consequences are extreme.
Timothy, how did you come up with the title for your book? Does it have any special meaning?
This was a battle. Over a period of two years, I came up with 50 titles, all mediocre, and then one day my wife said “Tea Cups & Tiger Claws.” Her first try and she nailed it.
Who was your favorite character and why?
Sarah, because she is the voice of moderation in a world of overindulgence. Also, Ernest, because he is flawed but he has a good heart.
Does your book have any underlying theme, message, or moral?
That people are defined by their actions; we are what we do. Noble thoughts and grand intentions might put a temporary shine on a scoundrel but his or her actions will quickly wipe it away. That’s not to say people can’t change, but it is done with actions not words.
What would/could a reader or reviewer say about this book that shows they “get” you as an author?
The sound of words as they are strung together is important to me. I’m not a poet but I like the words to sound fresh and even elegant. To me this is more important than some of the technical aspects of novel writing.
Give us an excerpted quote from your favorite review of this book:
“…a beautifully written novel, with a sharply satiric style that works to propel the saga of these characters from twisted fairytale to morality play, without ever once getting preachy.”
Where can people learn more about your writing?