Release day for Wendy Russo’s debut novel, January Black is today and I’ve got some visually pleasing treats for you as well as an interview with one character I’m sure you’ll fall in love with, Iris Locke.
Oooh, there is also a chance to win a free signed copy of January Black! All you have to do is find the hidden link within the interview (you’ll need the password, its ‘matty’) and it will take you to an excerpt. Leave a comment and you will be entered to win!
So, now that we have the challenge posted, without further ado, I give you the cover for January Black!
Alright, its interview time! Even though it’s release day for January Black Iris still managed to find the time to visit my blog for an interview!
KS: Thank you, Iris.
Iris: Thank you for having me, Ms. Seguin. I like your page. The scrollwork is pretty.
KS: Thank you, I’m rather fond of it myself. So, before we get down to the Q&A, I was hoping you might be able to tell us a little bit about the book.
Iris: Well, it’s more my boyfriend’s story. I just stumbled into it, really. A while back, Matty got in trouble at school and they kicked him out. He embarrassed his dad, messed up his future, but by some luck, the king found the whole thing amusing. They have a deal. If Matty answers a question, he graduates. The king’s question has turned out to be harder than Matty thought it would be, though.
KS: Such a gracious king to let him off with only a single question, albeit a tough one, for diplomacy. Is it safe to say that you may have a hand in helping him answer it?
Iris: The question seems easy, but it’s really not. That’s the challenge. Matty’s really smart, but he gets stuck. I ask him questions about what he learns, and sometimes it helps him work his way out.
KS: Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where do you fit into the story?
Iris: I’m a gardener. Regents like to look at pretty gardens, but they don’t touch them. Ever. Not flowers, not grass, and most certainly not dirt. They contract with the kingdom’s labor guild for any job that might require hand washing. Matty’s different. I met him while I was planting trees. He dug the holes.
I got off topic. Sorry. I guess you could say that I’m Matty’s compass, in a way. Wow, that sounds arrogant. But, Matty’s led a sheltered life. I grew up with a paranoid father, so I see the world a little differently. I do my best to keep him out of trouble.
KS: Keeping Matty out of trouble isn’t all that easy, is it?
Iris: It’s not that he’s a troublemaker–his schoolmasters would disagree with me–but, he’s just curious about things most people know to walk away from.
KS: Jumping a tad bit away from the story here, tell us, what do you think of your creator, the author?
Iris: Ms. Russo? Some days I love her, and somedays I want to slap her. I mean, don’t get me wrong, she’s done a lot for me. I’ve got a great job that I love, a cute Regent boyfriend, and…but…. What’s that expression you use in your century? W-T-F? Yeah, there’s a couple of moments when that fits.
She’s going to read this, isn’t she?
KS: She might, but don’t worry, I happen to know her fairly well and I think she’ll get a kick out of your answer. So, what is it you like best about January Black?
Iris: Matty, duh. He’s got some irritating moments, but for the most part, he’s just the sweetest thing. And without him, there isn’t a story to tell.
KS: Of course. I have had the pleasure of reading a few of scenes, your Matty is quite the gentleman. A good catch, I must say. If you could change something in the story, what would it be?
Iris: Hmm. (Iris looks up and to her right, then smiles and shakes her head.) No. Not a thing.
KS: Hmmm, a memory worth sharing?
Iris: Nope. Keeping that one to myself.
KS: …Can we expect you to be in any future stories?
Iris: I don’t imagine so. Ms Russo’s working on two new series ideas, so IF she does come back to us, it’ll be awhile. And it’ll probably be for Hadrian. I don’t know if you know about our king, but he’s a walking loose end. It’s part of what people find charming about him.
KS: Hadrian is a mysterious man…walking loose end. I like that! If January Black was made into a movie, who do you think would play your role and why?
Iris: I’ve been told that I look like Taylor Swift. Not the new Taylor, with the straight hair. “Fearless” Taylor. I don’t know about that. I mean, we have the wild blond curls. And she’s in love with love and so am I. But, I can’t sing. At all. Still, that would be really neat if Taylor played me. (Iris blushes and shakes her head.) No, I might be too embarrassed to watch.
KS: I think it would be a very good movie. I wonder how Taylor Swift’s acting career is?! I’m sure she’d make a great Iris.
Ok, so I think I’ve kept you long enough. I’m sure there is plenty to be done on release day so this will be my last question. If you had one day to do anything you wanted, what would you do?
Iris: There’s a field of purple and gold irises near Matty’s grandfather’s ranch, way out on the fringe of the kingdom. I’d love to go out there, read a book, take a nap. Kiss Matty until we pass out from lack of air.
KS: Awe, how cute :) Sounds like a great way to spend a day.
I want to thank you for coming today, Iris, and if I may ask one more favor?
Iris: If I can, I will.
KS: Can you give me some links to just where we might find Ms. Russo as well as you and Matty?
You can find Ms. Wendy Russo on
Facebook: Wendy S Russo
You can find January Black on
Goodreads: January Black
Amazon: January Black
Barnes & Nobel and paperback will follow soon!
Thanks again for coming, Iris. I look forward to reading you and Matty in January Black!
Don’t forget blog readers, within the interview is a hidden link that leads you to a teaser of January Black. You’ll need the password if you find it. (Matty)
For your viewing pleasure, the trailer for January Black!