A Talk With: Rachel Lynn Solomon, on Our Year Of Maybe

Hi friends! I know, today is Thursday and not my usual posting day at all. I have previously hinted in my blogging goals for 2019 post that there were some projects in the works for the blog and I’m thrilled today to kick off one of these projects!

As a reader, I never thought I could have a chance to talk with my favorite authors. As a book blogger, I realized that I could tweet something and an author might like said tweet and even answer to me *insert hyperventilating, screaming, fainting and everything else*. As a 4 years-book-blogger, I realized I could maybe do more for the authors I love within my means and that I wanted to do more, too.

Therefore, today and some upcoming Thursdays in the entire year, I’m going to do more by inviting some incredible authors on my little blogging platform to talk about their books, inspirations, favorite books and so much more, too.

A million thanks to Vicky @ Vicky Who Reads for her work in trying to connect authors and book bloggers. This particular interview would not exist without her and she is overall an incredible member of the community, by the way, so follow her right here.

I really hope you’ll enjoy this new feature I titled “A Talk With” and… since this introduction was probably already way too long, let me get to today’s topic and today’s guest, the very incredible Rachel Lynn Solomon!

I discovered the author last year with her debut, You’ll Miss Me When I Am Gone and, even though I haven’t had a chance to read it just yet, it was on my radar. Her sophomore novel, Our Year of Maybe, jumped into my TBR just as well and I got lucky enough to read it and… well, I ADORED it. So without further ado, let’s talk with this wonderful author!

1. Our Year of Maybe relates the story of two best friends and the aftermath of a kidney transplant between them. Where did this idea come from? What inspired you and compelled you to write such a unique story?

Thank you for having me, Marie! The idea came to me all at once: I was walking my dog when the first scene of the book popped into my head. I pictured a girl comforting her best friend a couple days before donating a kidney to him, and I wondered what emotions they’d be experiencing. What if she’s secretly in love with him, I thought, and she hopes that after the transplant, he’ll love her back? I knew I wanted to show both POVs, since each character would have what I imagined would be a compelling arc. And while that first scene has changed a lot, the central concept and a few lines of dialogue have remained.

2. Our Year Of Maybe is your second published book…I can’t help but wonder, how many works in progress do you have in your drawers? Is there one in particular you’d like to see the light of day, someday?

I have four books that were either queried or on submission before You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone sold as my debut. I tend to have one shelved project in between each viable project, a pattern I’m trying to break. I trunked two manuscripts in between YMMWIG and OYOM revisions, and while I still like some elements, I have trouble opening up old projects! Usually, if I set something aside, it’s because I know it’s not working and don’t know how to make it work — or, probably my number one reason is that I’ve lost interest. Sometimes I can’t find that interest again, which is tough.

I’ve always been a fast drafter, but I’ve been so focused on edits that I haven’t drafted anything since early 2017, and that book is now coming out in 2020. I’m hoping to draft two new projects in 2019, though!

3. Friendship and their complications, as well as codependency, are big themes in your sophomore novel, but that didn’t prevent you from writing about family, too, with Tabby and Sophie’s relationship (which I adored!). How do you manage to tackle different themes in your books? Do you write different outlines?

I’m so thrilled to hear you enjoyed their relationship! I love sister stories and was so glad I could slip a somewhat unique one into OYOM. In this case, it’s that Sophie’s younger sister is a teen mom, and Sophie and Tabby, while not outwardly hostile to each other, have never been close. Tabby tends to act more like the older sister, which frustrates Sophie, and their arc focuses on the two of them getting to know each other for the first time in their lives. Honestly, I would have loved to write an entire book about that relationship!

While I don’t write separate outlines, I section off my outlines by plot point so I can track each thread through the story. That way I can see, for example, that Sophie doesn’t have a scene with her sister for 10 chapters and I should probably fix that. It’s also a great way to make sure each plotline has clear rising and falling actions, and that together, they form a cohesive arc for the main character(s).

4. More often than not, writers leave bits of themselves in their books: can we find bits of yourself in some of the characters in your books so far?

Oh, definitely — probably more than I’m even aware of! There are pieces of me in all my characters, though I think Sophie is probably the character most similar to who I was in high school. (Although it took me until my mid-twenties to realize some of the things she ultimately figures out in the book.) I played piano like Peter, was a type-A overachiever like Tovah in YMMWIG, and kept a lot of the Adina-esque thoughts I had a teen to myself. And then…the protagonist in my 2020 book is an aspiring romance author 🙂

Fun questions!

1. What has been your favorite book of 2018 so far? (This is a cruel question, so you can mention two!)

A Heart in a Body in the World by Deb Caletti absolutely destroyed me. And Always Never Yours by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka was lovely and romantic and wonderful.

   

(I also ADORED Always Never Yours, in case you’re interested, you can read my review here!)

2. Music is a big part of both of your published works, so I have to ask: what’s your favorite song at the moment?

“Crush” by Tessa Violet, which is also kind of a perfect YA song.

3. If money, time, life, everything weren’t a problem: what’s one thing you’d dream of doing?

I would love to have so many dogs that I would need a separate house just for them, where they could each have their own room. For something non-dog-related, if I had significantly more musical talent, I’d love to play in a symphony.

4. Lastly, can you share one line of one of your books you are particularly proud of?

I really love both the first and last line of Our Year of Maybe. The first line:

“Peter and the piano belonged to each other the way I always wanted him to belong to me.

I tend to labor over getting a first line exactly right for the tone of the book. It took me a while to land on this, but once I did, I just knew. It encompasses so much of Sophie’s longing for Peter, which at the beginning is the primary way she defines herself — so in love with him that she would do anything to make him feel the same way. (Which she gradually learns is not how healthy relationships work.)

The last line is a huge spoiler, of course, but it’s by far my favorite ending I’ve ever written 😉

Thank you so much, Rachel, for taking the time to answer my questions, chatting with you was an immense honor!

📖 More about Our Year Of Maybe

Aspiring choreographer Sophie Orenstein would do anything for Peter Rosenthal-Porter, who’s been on the kidney transplant list as long as she’s known him. Peter, a gifted pianist, is everything to Sophie: best friend, musical collaborator, secret crush. When she learns she’s a match, donating a kidney is an easy, obvious choice. She can’t help wondering if after the transplant, he’ll love her back the way she’s always wanted.

But Peter’s life post-transplant isn’t what either of them expected. Though he once had feelings for Sophie, too, he’s now drawn to Chase, the guitarist in a band that happens to be looking for a keyboardist. And while neglected parts of Sophie’s world are calling to her—dance opportunities, new friends, a sister and niece she barely knows—she longs for a now-distant Peter more than ever, growing increasingly bitter he doesn’t seem to feel the same connection.

Peter fears he’ll forever be indebted to her. Sophie isn’t sure who she is without him. Then one heartbreaking night twists their relationship into something neither of them recognizes, leading them to question their past, their future, and whether their friendship is even worth fighting for.

📖 More about the author

Photography by Sabreen Lakhani.

Rachel Lynn Solomon writes, tap dances, and collects red lipstick in Seattle, Washington. She is the author of two young adult novels, You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone and Our Year of Maybe, both of which were named to the Kids’ Indie Next List.  Once she helped set a Guinness World Record for the most natural redheads in one place. You can find her online at rachelsolomonbooks.com and on Twitter @rlynn_solomon.

Stay tuned, tomorrow my full review of Our Year Of Maybe will be online and you shouldn’t miss my gushing!

 

 

Do you want to read Our Year Of Maybe? Did you know the author? If you’re writing, do you also leave parts of yourself in your stories? Let me know in comments!

I’d also love to know if you like this feature so far, so… let me know! Thank you x!

 

 

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Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. 📚 |🌍 | 💞 Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

35 thoughts on “A Talk With: Rachel Lynn Solomon, on Our Year Of Maybe

  1. This is such a wonderful interview, Marie! I wish I was as talented at interviewing people as you are, whenever I try to think of questions my mind always goes blank, wanting to know everything, haha.

    This was so interesting to read, and I can’t wait for OYOM to be released. ☺️💛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhhh Lily I don’t deserve your sweet words, you’re too sweet 😭 I’m so happy you liked reading this interview and I hope you’ll continue enjoying this new feature! ❤
      I can't wait for you to read this wonderful book as well! Thank you so much ❤

      Like

  2. This is such an awwsome interview, Marie 😊 I loved all your questions and the author’s answers. Can’t wait to see what you bring further for this series.
    Our Year of Maybe is one of my anticipated releases of the year too and I really hope I get a chance to reas it soon 😊 I am so glad that you enjoyed it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is a brilliant idea for a series of posts Marie, and I can’t wait to see what else you come up with for this series and for the rest of 2019. 🙂
    I loved reading Rachel’s answer for these questions, and I’ve definitely been convinced to check out her books (especially knowing how much you loved them too). I especially loved the fun questions at the end; Always Never Yours is a brilliant book, and one of my favourite contemporary reads from last year. Also if money was no object my dream would to own so many dogs I’d need a separate house for them. I’d love that. 😀
    Great post. 🙂 ❤

    Like

    1. Ahh thank you so, so much Beth, this makes me so happy ❤ I hope you'll love Our Year of Maybe when you read it, I have yet to read her debut novel just as well, but I can't wait! ❤
      Thank you so much! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh this was an amazing interview! LOVE IT. I’m about to read both her books this year (hopefully this month?! haha my TBr…hates me, but I’m excited) and I bought You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone instantly because of the sisters/musical elements. 😍😍

    Like

    1. Ahh, I am so excited to read You’ll Miss Me when I’m Gone as well, I really loved Our Year of Maybe and I’m all for sisters in books😍 hope we will both love it!
      Thank you so, so much Cait! ❤ ❤

      Like

  5. Loved reading this interview, Marie! I’m definitely looking forward to more features like this in the future; this is fantastic ☺️💖 I’m SO incredibly excited to read Our Year of Maybe; it sounds like such a wonderful and emotional book and I’m glad you loved it! I read You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone about a year ago, and really enjoyed it as well. 💓

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I think my TBR secretly hates you because everytime I come to your blog I wonder if I should not add a few books to my TBR 😂 (But I don’t hate you, rather the contrary 😘).

    I loved this new concept!! I enjoyed getting to know Rachel Lynn Solomon and Our Year of Maybes. I think this new form of interview you’re doing will be of a HUGE benefits to readers, authors and people who wants to start writing (or already do) and are looking for tips. So thank you!

    Also I don’t know I thought of Tom Marvolo Riddle when you talked about “Leaving piece of oneselves in books”… 😆

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oooops… I’m sorry? 😂 I can’t help it, I live to make you add books to your TBR, that’s my ultimate goal always 😂
      I’m so happy you enjoyed this new feature, thank you so much, I really hope people will appreciate it and the ones I have coming too, I’m excited about it ❤

      I 300% get that, he came to mind, too 😂

      Like

  7. MARIE I’M SO GLAD I RANDOMLY FELT THE URGE TO VISIT YOUR BLOG TODAY! This book sounds fantastic. ♥ Plus I just loved Rachel’s answer about the dogs. I’m not an animal person, but that’s the most adorable answer I’ve heard to that question thus far. 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww thank you Aimee, you’re too sweet, I’m so glad you enjoyed it 💖💖
      (Also I hope you’ve been doing well, I MISS YOU AND THE COMMUNITY MISSES YOU. Sending you tons of love!! 💖💖)

      Like

  8. This interview was so much fun, Marie! Our Year of Maybe sounds like such lovely read. I also love reading about how authors get their inspiration, and that’s so cool the idea came to Rachel all at once. 🙂 Thank you for using your platform to showcase authors. I can’t wait to read more! 💛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so, so much Madeline, I’m so happy you enjoy this new feature and I hope you’ll love all of the others I am planning out 💖 thank you for your support, you’re the sweetest 💖

      Liked by 1 person

  9. This is so wonderful, Marie! I hope all your goals & projects come to life this year, and I can’t wait to see more that you have in store for your blog 😊 I guess I have two more books to add to my TBR now… I think I’ll save them when it gets warmer in the U.S. & the contemporary books mood hits me again. Anyways, I really enjoyed reading this interview! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I love this new feature, Marie ❤️

    You are so amazing and this is an amazing feature that will definitely help promote great authors and books ❤️

    Our Year of Maybe sounds incredible. The family and sister relationships sounds complicated but really well thought out, I’m excited to get to know Sophie, Tabby and Peter. The whole story sounds interesting and I’m intrigued to see how the kidney transplant aspect plays into the whole story.

    Once again I’m so proud of you and what you’re doing for the community ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww Michelle, thank you so much, you’re way too sweet this means a lot 😭 ❤
      This book was such a great book, I hope you'll give it a try someday and will love it as much as I did 😀
      Thank you so much, you're too sweet ❤ ❤

      Like

  11. I started reading this like half an hour ago and I LOVED YMMWIG so I’m really excited. And this review was great, I’m excited to see where this blog series goes this year. The concept of a kidney transplant and having a bit of your body in someone else’s body is a compelling one for a lot of reasons. thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

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