Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Welcome to the FFBC: You'll Miss Me When I'm Gone by Rachel Lynn Solomon-- Interview & Giveaway

You'll Miss Me When I'm Gone

by Rachel Lynn Solomon
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: January 2, 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
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A moving, lyrical debut novel about twins who navigate first love, their Jewish identity, and opposite results from a genetic test that determines their fate—whether they inherited their mother’s Huntington’s disease.

Eighteen-year-old twins Adina and Tovah have little in common besides their ambitious nature. Viola prodigy Adina yearns to become a soloist—and to convince her music teacher he wants her the way she wants him. Overachiever Tovah awaits her acceptance to Johns Hopkins, the first step on her path toward med school and a career as a surgeon.

But one thing could wreck their carefully planned futures: a genetic test for Huntington’s, a rare degenerative disease that slowly steals control of the body and mind. It’s turned their Israeli mother into a near stranger and fractured the sisters’ own bond in ways they’ll never admit. While Tovah finds comfort in their Jewish religion, Adina rebels against its rules.

When the results come in, one twin tests negative for Huntington’s. The other tests positive.

These opposite outcomes push them farther apart as they wrestle with guilt, betrayal, and the unexpected thrill of first love. How can they repair their relationship, and is it even worth saving?

From debut author Rachel Lynn Solomon comes a luminous, heartbreaking tale of life, death, and the fragile bond between sisters.

Hello Rachel! We are super excited to have you in our FFBC tours. 

Thank you so much for having me! 


Favorite Book? 

Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld—it’s raw, uncomfortable, and unflinching, and it explores a lot of ugly emotions. I have a deep admiration for authors with that kind of bravery and hope to exude that in my own writing!

Favorite TV show?

Gilmore Girls—this show feels like a warm blanket to me

Favorite movie?

Singin’ in the Rain—I’ve loved it forever, and it inspired me to start tap dancing

Your Favorite Song?

“Feeling Good” by Nina Simone

Favorite Food?

An everything bagel with cream cheese

Name 3 fictional places you would move to in a heartbeat.

Stars Hollow, Sunnydale, Pawnee 

What were your favorite books while growing up?

The Princess Diaries—still love them! 

Favorite Quote?

Probably the entire e. e. cummings poem that begins with:

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart)

The simplicity just always moves me.

What do you find yourself “Fangirling” over?

Other 2018 debuts!! So far, I’ve adored Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough, The Midnights by Sarah Nicole Smetana, Nothing Left to Burn by Heather Ezell, The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw, American Panda by Gloria Chao, 12 Steps to Normal by Farrah Penn, Miles Away From You by A.B. Rutledge, and People Like Us by Dana Mele. 

 Name a recent book you’ve read that you would recommend to our YA readers.

Okay, it’s not YA, but it’s SO FUN! Earlier this year I read and loved Public Relations by Arianna Rebolini and Katie Heaney. It’s like a feminist The Devil Wears Prada set in the PR world. For YA, Little Monsters by Kara Thomas is a fantastic psychological thriller. 


Could you tell our Book Addicts a little bit about YOU’LL MISS ME WHEN I’M GONE?

YOU’LL MISS ME WHEN I’M GONE is about estranged sisters with opposite fates. After taking a genetic test for Huntington’s disease, which their mother is suffering from, one twin tests negative, and one tests positive. The book is dual POV, following viola prodigy Adina and aspiring surgeon Tovah over their senior year as they deal with the fallout from their results, which at first push them farther apart. They must ultimately find their way back to each other and repair their relationship. 

Adina is artistic and Tovah is into logic and science/maths.  Being a writer, one would assume you relate more to Adina, but do you have a left brain side of you?

I’m a musician, like Adina, so she was definitely the easier character to write! Science classes weren’t my favorite, but I did love math, and was even part of math club for a while. My artistic side is more dominant for sure, though—these days, I also do a lot of tap dancing.

How did you come up with the story? Did you find inspiration in any other story/movie/show and how has this affected your writing?

There was a storyline about Huntington’s on the mid-2000s WB show Everwood. It revolved around the decision to get tested for Huntington’s after a girl learned her dad was suffering from the disease. It stuck with me—I randomly remembered it years later and began researching. I learned that a child of a parent with Huntington’s has a 50/50 chance of developing it themselves. It made me wonder: what if sisters—twins, even—received opposite from a genetic test for Huntington’s? It was a staggering, heartbreaking thought, and I knew I wanted to explore all the complicated feelings associate with it in alternating POVs.

Tell us your favorite quote from YOU’LL MISS ME WHEN I’M GONE.

Ahh, it’s hard to pick! There’s a line near the climax of the book that describes the sisters really well, I think. This is in Tovah’s POV: 

She’s the girl who always gets what she wants, and I’m the girl who tries and tries and tries but can never quite get there.

Is there a specific scene that you had the most fun to write?

There’s a really tense scene past the midpoint, where one of the girls and her love interest are in the middle of a fight. I wanted to add tension, so I put them in an elevator—and then trapped them in that elevator. The girl is acting manipulative, and we see her realize what she needs to do in order to get what she wants in this situation.  

If you had to pick one song to be the Theme Song for YOU’LL MISS ME WHEN I’M GONE – Which one would you pick?

It’s a sad one, but “Doll Parts” by Hole. The lyrics “someday, you will ache like I ache” in particular remind me of more than a few scenes in the book.

What 3 hashtags would you most associate with your book? (Could be a word or phrase or anything that would instantly make you think of YOU’LL MISS ME WHEN I’M GONE.)

Some of my friends have been using #TeamAdina and #TeamTovah to express which twin they connect with, which I LOVE! Aside from that, #YMMWIG works well since the title is so long! ☺

Since this is your debut, we were wondering if you could tell us a little bit about your road to getting published?

Of course! YOU’LL MISS ME WHEN I’M GONE is my debut, but it was actually my fifth completed manuscript. The path to publication is not a straight line. It’s probably not even a line at all, more like a weird nebulous blob. I queried two manuscripts before signing with an agent with my third, and we submitted that one, a fourth, and YOU’LL MISS ME WHEN I’M GONE for a short period of time before amicably parting ways. I queried YOU’LL MISS ME WHEN I’M GONE for about 5 months and sent 80 total queries. In March of 2016, I signed with my current agent, Laura Bradford, who sold it in six weeks to Simon Pulse in a two-book deal. 

I like to tell this story because having to send a lot of queries does not mean your perfect agent isn’t out there. It also doesn’t mean your book won’t sell. There are so many different paths, and I’ve never heard two similar stories. Stubbornness—and always, always working on the next book—is crucial, and we have to be our own best advocates.

I love reading books about twins!!  Do you have any fave movies/TV shows/books that feature twins?

Growing up, I was obsessed with the Sweet Valley High books! They’re probably slightly dated for today’s YA audiences but still really fun. My favorite more recent twin book is Jandy Nelson’s I’ll Give You The Sun, which is stunning. 

Are there any recommendations you could give your readers to be in the “perfect mood” to read YOU’LL MISS ME WHEN I’M GONE (specific music, snacks…)? 

Definitely some moody music with female vocals: First Aid Kit, Camera Obscura, Big Deal, Slow Club, Hole. Since the book is set in Seattle, I recommend a mug of your favorite coffee and an extra-rich dessert. 

What’s next for you? 

I’m working on revisions for another contemporary YA, which will be out from Simon Pulse in 2019! It’s about the aftermath of a kidney transplant between best friends, complicated by the fact that the donor is in love with the recipient. It’s dual POV, like You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone, and deals with friendship codependency, identity, and music.

Thank you so much for everything, Rachel!

Thank you both—I loved answering these questions!

Rachel Lynn Solomon is a Pacific Northwest native who loves rainy days, tap dancing, red lipstick, and new wave music. Her debut contemporary YA novel, You'll Miss Me When I'm Gone, will be out from Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse in spring 2018, with a second book, A Year of Bad Ideas, to follow in 2019. 

Rachel has written for newspapers, produced a radio show that aired in the middle of the night, and worked for NPR, and she currently works in education. Rachel lives in Seattle with her boyfriend and tiny dog. She's represented by Laura Bradford of Bradford Literary Agency. 

  • 1 signed hardcover copy of YOU'LL MISS ME WHEN I'M GONE by Rachel Lynn Solomon
  • US Only

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  1. Sounds intense! Disease and fights are bad!

  2. This book sounds emotional and my favorite kind of YA to read. I don't know much about Huntington's Disease, so this is a must read for me.

  3. Ugh, I can't wait to read this book! The interview was so much fun to read, and it's kinda cool knowing I have so much in common with this author! And I never would've known unless I read this interview! This was amazing, can't wait for the book's release and upcoming blog posts!

  4. This book is at the top of my TBR. It looks like an incredible read!!