I recently had the pleasure of connecting with Yvonne Ventresca and discovering that we both wrote nonfiction books on singers for Lucent Books. Mine was about Rihanna; hers was on Avril Lavigne. But that wasn’t the only similarity. We both had YA fiction titles debuting in May. So what better way to celebrate our joint book birthdays than hosting her on my blog.
Yvonne’s latest release, Pandemic, has been called “riveting and terrifyingly real” on Goodreads.
Welcome, Yvonne! It’s great to have you here today. I’m so glad you were willing to answer some questions for our readers.
When did you start writing?
I have old poems from around sixth and seventh grade. I was always an avid reader, and wanting to work with words seemed like a natural extension of that. I took my first formal creative writing classes in college.
Are there any fond memories you’d like to share that relate to your writing?
My dad worked during the day and received his MBA by attending Hofstra University (Long Island, NY) at night. One Saturday when he needed to research an assignment, he took me to the university library. I couldn’t believe how many books there were compared to our small local library! I managed to amuse myself for hours while he finished his work. I later attended Hofstra as an undergraduate and received a Bachelor of Arts in both English and computer science.
In school, what was one of your worst moments?
Not exactly a moment, but my lowest grade of all my college courses was in a basic freshman English. Luckily, the professor wasn’t successful in discouraging me from studying literature and writing.
What hobbies and interests do you have?
I love genealogy and tracing my family’s history. The research is fascinating and I’ve learned some great family stories.
What made you write Pandemic?
I’ve always been fascinated with disaster and survival stories. For example, I loved Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer. I wanted to create a story where the main character is in a difficult place at the onset, even before the disease strikes, so that she must find a way to heal and become stronger during the crisis.
Can you share a brief blurb about Pandemic?
In Pandemic, only a few people know what caused Lilianna Snyder’s sudden change from a model student to a withdrawn pessimist who worries about all kinds of disasters. After her parents are called away on business, Lil’s town is hit by what soon becomes a widespread fatal illness. With her worst fears realized, Lil must find a way to survive not only the outbreak and its real-life consequences, but also her own personal demons.
Sounds exciting, doesn’t it? If you’d like to buy a copy of Pandemic, it’s available here:
What are you working on now?
I’m writing a psychological thrill about a teen girl who fears she is either being haunted or losing her mind.
And just for fun…
What super power do you wish you had?
I wish I needed less sleep and less caffeine – a super-energy super power!
That sounds useful. 🙂
What is something most people don’t know about you?
Throughout my life, I’ve had five dogs, one cat, three parakeets, two hamsters, numerous guppies, and a dwarf rabbit who lived in my college dorm room for a year.
Where can readers find out more about you?
Even better, you can meet Yvonne in person at the following venues:
June 1, 2014, Sunday from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm
Somerville Street Festival
Book signing and sale
June 3, 2014, Tuesday
NJ Library Association Annual Conference
Atlantic City, NJ
June 3, 2014, Tuesday from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm
Otto Bruyns Public Library
Author talk and book signing
June 26, 2014, Thursday from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Scotch Plains Public Library
Author talk and book signing
Scotch Plains, NJ
June 28 and June 29, 2014, Saturday and Sunday
New Jersey SCBWI 2014 Conference, Faculty
Workshop: What To Expect When You’re Expecting a Novel
September 20, 2014, Saturday, 11:00 am to 7:00 pm
Chapter by Chapter BookRave
Book Signing and YA Bowling Party
October 11, 2014, Saturday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Collingswood Book Festival
And here’s a brief bio about Yvonne:
Before becoming a children’s writer, Yvonne Ventresca wrote computer programs and taught others how to use technology. Now she happily spends her days writing stories instead of code. Yvonne is the author of the young adult novel Pandemic, available in May from Sky Pony Press. Yvonne’s other writing credits include two nonfiction books for kids: Avril Lavigne (a biography of the singer) and Publishing (about careers in the field).