And to close out the amazing Today, Tonight, Tomorrow content we have the amazing Rachel back for an interview. I love doing these author interviews directly after finishing the book so we can dive into themes and characters! Keep reading this interview to find out all my burning questions!
Today, Tonight, Tomorrow
Today, she hates him.
It’s the last day of senior year. Rowan Roth and Neil McNair have been bitter rivals for all of high school, clashing on test scores, student council elections, and even gym class pull-up contests. While Rowan, who secretly wants to write romance novels, is anxious about the future, she’d love to beat her infuriating nemesis one last time.
Tonight, she puts up with him.
When Neil is named valedictorian, Rowan has only one chance at victory: Howl, a senior class game that takes them all over Seattle, a farewell tour of the city she loves. But after learning a group of seniors is out to get them, she and Neil reluctantly decide to team up until they’re the last players left—and then they’ll destroy each other.
As Rowan spends more time with Neil, she realizes he’s much more than the awkward linguistics nerd she’s sparred with for the past four years. And, perhaps, this boy she claims to despise might actually be the boy of her dreams.
Tomorrow…maybe she’s already fallen for him.
Your characters are so unique, quirky, and so detailed. Can you talk about how you create a character? Do you consciously think about how their narrative voice comes across?
Thank you so much! This might be one of my favorite compliments because I think about the details quite a bit. My main characters evolve from draft to draft, and one of my favorite parts of revising is adding layers to their personalities. Every time I go through the book, a character gains something new. There are the big things, like their passions and their fears and their hopes for the future, which I brainstorm before I start drafting but always morph once they hit the page. Then there are the smaller things, like their taste in clothing and music. All of those details influence the way a character sounds, so it’s often not until the end of a second draft, once I’ve figured out all those details, that their voice starts to take shape for me. It’s exciting every time!
Neil’s opinions about the romance genre is a point of conflict with Rowan. Can you talk about your inspiration for this conflict? Why did you choose romance books?
Rowan’s love of romance novels is a great example of a detail that wasn’t in my first draft. In the earliest version of the book, she actually wanted to be a politician, and something just wasn’t connecting for me. Rowan’s parents had always been children’s book authors, so I thought, what if she also wanted to be an author, but it was a source of conflict? I’ll forever be drawn to artistic characters, so Rowan as an aspiring romance author made her click for me in a way she hadn’t in my first draft.
I landed on romance novels because I was starting to fall in love with them after a lifetime of brushing them off. That was what I’d always seen people around me do, and unfortunately, I jumped on that bandwagon. I couldn’t believe there was this whole genre I’d barely explored, except for a Sophie Kinsella addiction I had as a teen. So writing Rowan was cathartic in that sense because I was able to undo a lot of the ways I’d been conditioned to think something was “lesser” simply because it was marketed to women. Rowan deals with that judgment in the book, particularly in her conflict with Neil—though she gradually learns that his thoughts about romance novels have evolved since they first clashed about them.
What are some of your favorite places in Seattle?
I’m a fan of a few of our big tourist spots: Pike Place Market, the gum wall, the Fremont Troll. I love finding a new favorite hole-in-the-wall restaurant. I love seeing local theater in a tiny venue that only holds a few dozen people. I love watching the sunset at Golden Goldens in the summer. I love the cherry blossoms at the University of Washington in the spring. I love renting a kayak and paddling around the arboretum. I love dipping my toes into Lake Washington in Madison Park, ideally with an ice cream cone in my hand. And I love writing in coffee shops, though I’m the rare Seattleite who doesn’t drink coffee.
Are there any locations in the scavenger hunt that you had to take out?
So many! Mostly because it took me forever to figure out the rules of the game myself, so some earlier locations had to be cut because they didn’t match up with where I needed the characters to be, geographically. One of them was the Black Sun sculpture in Volunteer Park that inspired the Soundgarden song “Black Hole Sun.” The sculpture is a black circle with a hole in the middle, and if you stand right in front of it, looking through the hole gives you a view of the Space Needle. It’s pretty amazing.
Do you have any other YA favorites of characters who are about to go to college?
The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour is an all-time favorite, along with When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon!
I adore the title, can you walk me through the title evolution? Was it always Today, Tonight, Tomorrow?
It actually always was, and it’s the first of my books to keep its title all the way to publication! Initially, it was a placeholder so I didn’t have to call my Word document “24-hour book,” but the more time I spent with it, the more I loved it. I’m so glad my publisher agreed!
Did you have to do research for Today, Tonight, Tomorrow?
I went on a few Seattle field trips of my own! I haven’t played out the entire game, but there were some places I wanted to more clearly describe, like the red room at the Seattle Public Library. I also read tons of romance novels, which I was doing anyway, but I tried to view them through Rowan’s eyes, especially as I was deciding which book to make her favorite. I decided on Vision in White by Nora Roberts, the first in a series about a group of best friends who run a wedding planning business together. The hero in that book is so delightfully awkward—how could Rowan read and love that book and not realize she’s into Neil?!
About the Author
Rachel Lynn Solomon writes, tap dances, and collects red lipstick in Seattle, Washington. She is the author of the YA novels You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone, Our Year of Maybe, and the forthcoming Today Tonight Tomorrow. Her debut adult romantic comedy, The Ex Talk, will be published in spring 2021.
In high school, Rachel sang and played keyboard in an all-girl band, and she was once part of a group of people who broke a Guinness World Record for the most natural redheads in one place.
She has written for newspapers, produced a radio show that aired in the middle of the night, and worked for NPR. Currently she works as a freelance editor. Rachel has been a Pitch Wars mentor since 2014 and currently serves on the Pitch Wars leadership committee.
These days, she writes books about ambitious, messy, sometimes unlikable girls and women who are trying their best and often falling in love along the way.
Representation: Laura Bradford of the Bradford Literary Agency