The Children’s Book Review | August 7, 2017
We had a chat with Aunt Gladys Tulving from David Neilsen’s Beyond the Doors, a dark and creepy, humor-laced tale about four siblings who discover a mysterious world where secrets hide around every corner.
The Children’s Book Review: What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Aunt Gladys Tulving: Oh! Well, my doors. Not my doors, that’s silly. The doors. Not directly, of course. Doors don’t talk. Sometimes Dimitri, if I’ve overslept. He’ll ring. He does that. Ring. With doors. I like that. What was the question?
I see you have a bag with you. Will you tell us what you keep inside of it?
My bag? You can’t have my bag. Inside is my knob. Never go anywhere without my knob. And gloves. Knob and gloves. Of course, I wear them. The gloves, not the knob. Can you wear a knob?
Are you hungry right now? Can we fix you anything to eat? Maybe we could make you your favorite dish?
Yes! Yes, I’d love a bowl of Honey-Nut-Oat-Blast-Ring-a-Dings. There’s milk in the fridge. And boxes of Honey-Nut-Oat-Blast-Ring-a-Dings in the cabinet. That cabinet. Or that one. Both, actually. And that one over there.
Do you like to read?
Read? Who has time to read? Do you? I don’t. Too busy. Important things to do. My doors! I need to… but that’s none of your business. Who are you? No snooping around! And don’t touch the doors!
Do you have a favorite song?
Yes. I don’t recall what it is at the moment. But it’s my favorite. I can’t remember how it goes. But I love it.
Are you a rule follower or rule breaker?
I have rules. Important rules. Don’t touch the doors. No screaming. I don’t like screaming. If you have to go, use a potty. Bring a knob. Always bring a knob. That’s very important. And don’t touch the doors!
When was the last time you felt embarrassed?
No time to be embarrassed! Too busy! Plus, I’m usually alone. Hard to be embarrassed alone. Unless you embarrass yourself. In front of yourself. But I try not to judge.
If you weren’t answering the questions in this interview right now, what would you be doing?
This is an interview? Good heavens! I didn’t know. Did I? I don’t remember. I was busy with my doors. Don’t touch them! I’m always with my doors. Not my doors, of course. That would be dangerous. Other doors. My work. Searching. I will find him.
Do you have any secrets you would like to share with us before you go?
No. Absolutely not. No secrets. I don’t do secrets. Are you going? Good. Not that I don’t like you. You seem nice. Sort of. It’s just better. If you go. And don’t touch the doors! No reason. No reason at all. Nothing secret about them. They’re just doors, right? But you were leaving. Yes? Yes. I’ll get the drawbridge.
Beyond the Doors
Written by David Neilsen
Publisher’s Synopsis: Fans of A Series of Unfortunate Events and Coraline will devour this dark and creepy, humor-laced tale about four siblings who discover a mysterious world where secrets hide around every corner.
When a family disaster forces the four Rothbaum children to live with their aunt Gladys, they immediately know there is something strange about their new home. The crazy, circular house looks like it stepped out of a scary movie. The front entrance is a four-story-tall drawbridge. And the only food in Aunt Gladys’s kitchen is an endless supply of Honey Nut Oat Blast Ring-a-Dings cereal.
Strangest of all are the doors—there are none. Every doorway is a wide-open passageway—even the bathroom! Who lives in a house with no doors?
Their unease only grows when Aunt Gladys disappears for long stretches of time, leaving them alone to explore the strange house. When they discover just what Aunt Gladys has been doing with all her doors, the shocked siblings embark on an adventure that changes everything they believe about their family and the world.
Ages 8-12 | Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers | 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1101935828
About David Neilsen
David Neilsen is the author of Dr. Fell and the Playground of Doom. He is also a classically trained actor and storyteller, a journalist, and a theater and improvisation teacher. During the Halloween season, David can be found telling spooky tales to audiences of all ages or performing his one-man shows based on the horror author H. P. Lovecraft. David lives in New York’s Hudson Valley with his family and cats. Visit him at david-neilsen.com.
This interview with Aunt Gladys Tulving, a character in David Neilsen’s Beyond the Doors, was conducted between David Neilsen and Bianca Schulze. For similar books and articles, follow along with our content tagged with Adventure, Dark Humor Books, David Neilsen, and Middle Grade Books.