Friday, April 26, 2013

Author Interview : January Black by Wendy S. Russo

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Describe your book in five words or less.

Layered. Deceptive. Surprising. Sweet. Smart.

How did the ideas for your books come to you?

Mostly, they come about from "what if" questions. The world around me. People, politics, pop culture. Hollywood special effects are great inspiration. Those people have killer imagination.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Don't accept the world at face value. There's always something under the surface. Always history. Puppeteers, ulterior motives...right things done for wrong reasons and vice versa. The world is a complex system made of smaller, but equally complex systems. The situation that confronts anyone, at any given time, is likely the unintended consequence of a decision someone before us has made.

For example, there is currently a debate in this country over whether the words "under God" should be in our Pledge of Allegiance. I'll be up front about my position...I am agnostic, and I support KEEPING it. It's an important part of our nation's history. By having school children recite, "one nation, under God, indivisible" every morning, with their hands on their hearts and their eyes on the stars and stripes, Americans allied itself to faith, thus buffering our country against the spread of Communism during the 1950s.

We don't teach that, and today most Americans think it's an official doctrine of the US, which it isn't. These people argue that it is an affirmation that we are a Christian nation, and use that as the basis of their argument for keeping/removing. One, Treaty of Tripoli established that in 1796 that we are not a Christian nation. We are a nation settled by Christians, populated largely by Christians, but we are a nation that welcomes, and embraces both faith and lack of faith. We are a Free nation. "Under God" was added to Pledge of the Allegiance to help insulate that freedom from a political movement that would strip it away if it could.

Don't accept the world at face value. We need to learn our history, and teach it to our children, completely and honestly, lest we forget.

What is the hardest part of writing for you? What's the easiest?

I tend to overwrite, overthink, overplot. Reining in my vocabulary is a challenge. I love editing. It's like free therapy.

What's next for you? Are you currently working on or have plans for future projects?

I'm working on two series, both of which are planned as New Adult. One is science fiction with an alternate timeline with nanotechnology, and the other is paranormal, Angels and Fallen with humans caught in the middle. Lucifer plays a part, but he's NOT the bad guy.

Why did you choose to write for specific genre?

I like science fiction and fantasy because the slate is as blank as I want it to be. The sky is not the limit. There are rules, of course, but they're mine to define (and break at my own peril.)

What's it like hearing that readers are eagerly awaiting your book's release date?

It was kind of frightening, while I was being hounded for a release date. I'm an introvert, mildly anti-social, somewhat passive-aggressive, and medicated for anxiety. Online, I do just fine, but in person, I really don't handle being the center of attention. At the same time, I LOVE hearing what people think of my work, so strangers liking my Facebook page and talking about my book to each other, that's very thrilling. Also, I'm a Pollyanna most of the time. I do see the publishing experience as good for my growth as a person.

What is one question that you've always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?

I've never been asked where I'd like to take a writing vacation. Right now, I'd say that two-weeks in a hilltop villa in Santorini, Greece, would be awesome.

What was your road to publications like?

Bumpy. Frustrating. At times, I really wanted to cry, scream, kick my feet like an angry toddler. But I've also met a LOT of great people, learned loads of helpful stuff for my next submission, and gained a metric ton of confidence in myself as a writer, so every moment was absolutely worth it.

January Black 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.   Praise Refreshingly intelligent and loads of fun! I lost a few hours as I read this book. It's a Young Adult novel that is refreshingly and astonishingly intelligent, and the love story is perfectly played out. ~Christine Ashworth, Amazon Review The mystery was intriguing - I loved how Wendy Russo weaved in all her secrets throughout the book, how she incorporated just enough to keep you reading, while never actually divulging much of anything. I was guessing for most of it and that's pretty hard to make me do. ~Julie, Clean Teen Reads Wendy Russo has created a masterpiece. ~Ivan Amberlake, Author   Book Trailer
Author Wendy S. Russo 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.  

More Information:

January Black 100th Amazon Review Giveaway

  Blog Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 5/8/13 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.  a Rafflecopter giveaway  

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for having me on your blog today. :)


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