I’m a big fan of books that deal with more serious subjects and are emotional. The Fight for Midnight seems like this kind of book, so I was excited when I joined the book tour hosted by TBR and Beyond Tours this week. Today is my stop on the tour and I had the opportunity to interview Dan Solomon. Keep on reading to find out more about this book and to read the interview!
The Fight for Midnight by Dan Solomon
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Publishing Date: June 20, 2023
It’s been a rough year for Alex Collins. In the past twelve months, he’s lost his best friend, become the target of the two biggest bullies at school, and been sentenced to community service. But on June 25, 2013, he gets a call for help from Cassie Ramirez, the prettiest girl in school. At last, he feels like his luck might be changing.
Cassie is at the Texas State Capitol to protest Wendy Davis’s historic filibuster of the abortion bill HB2, and she’s rallying everyone she knows to join her. Until today, Alex didn’t know what a filibuster was, and he’d never given a moment’s thought to how he felt about abortion. But at the Capitol, he finds himself in the middle of a tense scene full of pro-life “blueshirts,” pro-choice “orangeshirts,” and blustering politicians playing political games as Wendy Davis tries to run out the clock at midnight.
Alex may have entered the Capitol looking to spend time with Cassie, but the political gets personal when he runs into his ex-friend Shireen in an orange T-shirt and quickly realizes that when it comes to an issue like abortion, neutral isn’t an option. Over the next nineteen hours—as things get increasingly heated both on the Senate floor and between the two sets of protesters—Alex will struggle to figure out what side he’s on, knowing that whatever choice he makes will bring him face-to-face with his past mistakes.
Content Warning: Bullying
What inspired you to write The Fight for Midnight?
I spent the summer of 2013 at the Texas Capitol watching the abortion debate unfold and writing about it for the Austin Chronicle. It was a really significant experience for me, and I started thinking about how much it would have transformed my view of the world if it had happened when I’d been a teenager. That’s where the idea started, for me.
What has been the favorite part of your publishing journey so far?
I loved the process of developing the cover. My publisher, Flux, gave me a lot of input into that, and we were able to hire Chloe Zola, who’s a fantastic illustrator, to create something that really captured what I imagined for this book.
If you were a character in The Fight for Midnight, what kind of character would you be?
All of the characters in the book are just regular people. Since the book takes place at an actual event that happened, and since I was there, I guess I’d be someone watching it, writing it down, and then eventually publishing a book about it.
Describe The Fight for Midnight in five words or less.
Learning abortion laws affect everyone.
What is your favorite quote from The Fight for Midnight?
“There are two kinds of men in the world: the kind who think that women deserve a whole separate class of insult to put them in their place, and the kind who think that guys who do believe that shit are pieces of fucking garbage. And you get to pick which kind of man you are. But if you’re the kind who thinks that you need the word bitch to put down a girl who pisses you off, then a guy like me is always going to be there watching, and we’ll always know what you really are.”
What do you hope readers take away from your story?
For readers who haven’t thought about where they stand, as abortion gets restricted across the U.S., I’d like for them to come away from the book with a better sense of why they should show up. For readers who are already very much engaged on that, I’d like for them to maybe have a better sense of how they could talk to teenage boys, especially, about how this affects them too, and how some people’s rights are everyone’s rights.
Could you give us 5 random facts about The Fight for Midnight (think the story, writing, publishing, anything that comes to mind)?
When I finished the first draft, the filibuster was still recent news—I wrote it in about two months in 2015, and the book wouldn’t at that point have been considered historical fiction.
The book had a working title for many years, and then when I sold it to Flux, we looked for a final title. Finding the right one was a bit of a struggle, and we were stuck on “The Fight To Midnight” for a while, which wasn’t quite right. The thriller author Amy Gentry, who’s a close friend of mine, was the one who suggested “for” instead of “to,” which was perfect.
The b-plot, which concerns choices Alex made with his friends in the year before the book starts, is based (very, very loosely) on stuff that happened when I was a teenager. I was inspired by the comic book writer Brian Michael Bendis, who once said that the key to writing Ultimate Spider-Man, about a teenage Peter Parker, was to explore his own teenage feelings whenever possible, and see what that unearthed for the story.
The bill that Wendy Davis filibustered that’s at the heart of the book was heard by the U.S. Supreme Court in March 2016. I went to Washington D.C. to cover that hearing for Texas Monthly; it was the first and only time I’d ever been inside the Supreme Court. Reporters sit in a room off to the side, where you can’t really see much. It’s a very small space, much smaller than your local courtroom.
The book was rejected sixty times before it was finally accepted.
If the synopsis and interview have you curious about The Fight for Midnight, click here for the full tour schedule. Amazing bloggers and bookstagrammers are talking about this book throughout the week.
About the Author
Dan Solomon is a journalist based out of Austin, Texas. He’s a senior writer at Texas Monthly, and his writing has appeared in the New York Times, Vanity Fair, and Details. He covered the HB2 filibuster for the Austin Chronicle, where his work was part of the alt-weekly’s AAN Award-nominated coverage.
A big thank you to Dan Solomon for taking time to answer my questions for this post. The Fight for Midnight is another book I really want to read soon. So many books and just not enough time! Keep an eye out for my review.