Islander Tavi Taylor Black has released her debut novel, “Where Are We Tomorrow?” — a book that tells the story of Alex Evans, a touring electrician who discovers through an accidental pregnancy and subsequent miscarriage that she does, indeed, want a family.
After Alex is implicated in an accident involving the pop star she works for, she and three other women from the tour rent a home together in Tuscany, where they help one another look back on past decisions and look towards difficult decisions that lay ahead.
Released earlier this year in May, “Where Are We Tomorrow?” has garnered attention, as it was the second finalist in general fiction for the American Fiction Awards, a finalist in the Nicholas Schaffner Award for Music in Literature and a finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards.
Also, Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter Norah Jones has called the novel “…a riveting read and beautiful depiction of the ups and downs on the road of life.”
Black was inspired to write “Where Are We Tomorrow?” as an initial exploration of miscarriage and “the previously taboo nature of speaking about it in our culture,” but the initial manuscript and ideas within it morphed into something much more.
As Black’s writing progressed, themes such as generational trauma, definitions of femininity and masculinity, and addiction to fame presented themselves within the book and shaped the outcome of “Where Are We Tomorrow?”
While Black has lived on Vashon for more than 20 years, she previously spent around 20 years touring with rock bands in various capacities, including working as a head electrician and production assistant. Black toured with several different artists, including Phish, Norah Jones, Shaolin Monks and Joni Mitchell. She currently works as a set designer for the Vashon Dance Academy and as a tour manager for a musical mantra group, Deva Premal & Miten.
“Originally, I didn’t really want to write a book set backstage,” said Black. “I was so sick of working and living on the road. But once I had some distance from touring, the concept of setting a story in the fast-paced, testosterone-laden atmosphere became more attractive. And what would happen if you plunked a woman who is contemplating the completely feminine act of gestation into that world?”
Most of the ideas, setting, and characters are based somewhat on her own days on tour, said Black.
Black incorporated other memories from her touring days into “Where Are We Tomorrow?”— such as practical jokes crew would play on one another. For instance, when Black was touring with rock band Phish, someone on the tour sawed off an inch a day from the monitor engineer’s stool. These sort of antics, according to Black, were “par for the course.”
“My goal as a writer is always for the reader to connect emotionally with my characters,” said Black. “I am definitely happy to shed some light on a world that not many people are familiar with, but the main focus of the book is to discuss the theme of our culture’s addiction to fame as well as female struggles in a male-dominated world, including miscarriage and misogyny.”
Black is busy writing her next novel, as she has just signed a contract with her publisher, TouchPoint Press. Her next book will be a historical fiction piece set in 1913 on an estate in Bar Harbor, Maine.
“Where Are We Tomorrow?” can be purchased at major booksellers, as well as local booksellers in Vashon and Seattle. For additional information about Black’s work, visit her website at taviblack.com.