January Black Author, Wendy Russo

Today I have with me author Wendy Russo, whose new novel January Black was released last week. I started off by asking her a few questions.

What is your favorite genre to read? To write?

To read, it depends on the day really. I like books that require me to think. That’s most of the time. There are days when I just want someone to tell me a story. I enjoy speculative fiction, paranormal, and political thrillers. I do read some romance/erotica, but I’m particular about the role of sex in the story.

I write soft science fiction and fantasy, and my voice is suited to the young adult/new adult crossover audience. I don’t fight it.

If you could meet anyone in the world dead or alive who would it be and what would say to them?

Nikola Tesla. And I wouldn’t ask him anything. I’d just like to watch him work for a day.

I had to Google who that was. :p If you were stranded on a desert island, what three items would you take with you?

I’m going to assume that this desert island is not barren. In that case, I’d want a blanket, sunglasses, and a commercial box of plastic wrap.

The plastic is to collect water, right?

Yeah. 🙂

I assume you’re a reader since you’re a writer. Is this accurate? How many books do you read in a year?

I am a quick, thorough, yet lazy reader. I can consume 400-page books in about 8 hours, which would enable me to read hundreds of books in a year. Last year, I think I read only 24. I beta-read a few more for friends. My goal this year is to read and review more books.

Wow, that’s fast. Paper or Plastic? (book or eReader)

I prefer owning paper books. And there is a satisfaction of seeing the pages shift from your right hand to your left as you progress through a novel. Most reading I do these days is on my iPad, which has a few specific advantages to paper books. The size and weight never changes, however many books I put on it. Two, I can read books in the dark, which particularly helpful on road trips. I switch the page from white to black, and it doesn’t distract my husband while he’s driving.

Plotter or Pantster?

I’ve been both. Twelve years ago, I was a pantser, and since then, I’ve steadily become a plotter. I find that both methods have their uses though. When I’m stuck, I just start typing to see what I can squeeze out of my brain.
What are you reading now?

I have a lot of books in progress. Neal Stephensen’s “Reamde” and “Anathem.” Umberto Eco’s “The Prague Cemetery.” Andrew Smith’s, “Marbury Lens.” Hal Duncan’s “Ink.”

I also have Dan Brown’s “The Lost Symbol,” Karen Mosse’s “Sepulchre,” and Haruki Murakami’s “IQ84” on the shelf waiting to be read.

That is a lot! What does your title mean?

I actually can’t tell you. Huge spoiler. *wink*

Fair enough. What inspires you?

Music. Locations. True stories. I also have an impish side that like
to turn convention inside out. One of my WIPs has angels behaving badly.

Sounds interesting! So you’re working on that now?

I have that one, and also one about a DJ with Asperger’s and stolen
nanotechnology in her brain. But “The Choir Boys” are talking louder
at the moment.

I can’t wait to see them! What is your writing schedule like?

I keep a notebook in my purse so that I can jot down ideas. I write after my son goes to bed, before we leave for work, and on weekends. Whenever I have an opportunity, I’m working on a WIP. If I’m not actually writing, I’m sketching scenes, researching small details, and looking for ways to tie everything together.


Wendy S. Russo got her start writing in the sixth grade. That story involved a talisman with crystals that had to be found and assembled before bad things happened, and dialog that read like classroom roll call. Since then, she’s majored in journalism (for one semester), published poetry, taken a course on short novels, and watched most everything ever filmed by Quentin Tarantino. A Wyoming native transplanted in Baton Rouge, Wendy works for Louisiana State University as an IT analyst. She’s a wife, a mom, a Tiger, a Who Dat, and she falls asleep on her couch at 8:30 on weeknights.

January Black Blurb

Sixteen-year-old genius Matty Ducayn has never fit in on The Hill, an ordered place seriously lacking a sense of humor. After his school’s headmaster expels him for a small act of mischief, Matty’s future looks grim until King Hadrian comes to his rescue with a challenge: answer a question for a master’s diploma.

More than a second chance, this means freedom. Masters can choose where they work, a rarity among Regents, and the question is simple.

What was January Black?

It’s a ship. Everyone knows that. Hadrian rejects that answer, though, and Matty becomes compelled by curiosity and pride to solve the puzzle. When his search for an answer turns up long-buried state secrets, Matty’s journey becomes a collision course with a deadly royal decree. He’s been set up to fail, which forces him to choose. Run for his life with the challenge lost…or call the king’s bluff.

To read an excerpt, click here: http://wp.me/P2tqxJ-k5

There’s also a hidden excerpt you can find somewhere in the post above. If you find the link, the password is “matty.” Comment on it for our chance to win your own copy of January Black!

Thanks, Wendy for joining me today. Many happy sales to you!

You can find January Black on the links below:

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