Prepare for an Epidemic…

22 05 2014
Yvonne Ventresca Author

Yvonne Ventresca

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?

Yvonne at her Hofstra graduation

Yvonne at her Hofstra graduation

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.

Yvonne's officeI see from this picture of your office that you have old family photos on the wall. How awesome. I love family history and genealogy too.

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.Pandemic cover

Sounds exciting, doesn’t it? If you’d like to buy a copy of Pandemic, it’s available here:

Indiebound
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Powells
Book Depository
Chapters

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.

Yvonne at age eight with her pet parakeet

Yvonne at age eight with her pet parakeet

Where can readers find out more about you?

Visit Yvonne at her:
Website
Blog
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Pinterest

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
Somerville, NJ

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
Northfield, NJ

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
Princeton, NJ

September 20, 2014, Saturday, 11:00 am to 7:00 pm
Chapter by Chapter BookRave
Book Signing and YA Bowling Party
Larchmont, NY

October 11, 2014, Saturday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Collingswood Book Festival
Collingswood, NJ

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).

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Last Chance…

15 05 2010

To celebrate Children’s Book Week!

CBW runs from May 10-16, 2010.

And to mark the last day, Leap Books is sponsoring a program at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, NC.

Check out the flyer for more details.

Come out to hear 7 SCBWI authors and get signed books.

Hope to see you there!





Celebrate Children’s Book Week

11 05 2010

I’m lucky enough to be part of this illustrious group of authors who will be celebrating Children’s Book Week at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, NC. Here’s a press release about the event:

CELEBRATE CHILDREN’S BOOK WEEK WITH SEVEN LOCAL AUTHORS

Chapel Hill, NC, May 16, 2010—Join seven local children’s and young adult authors for a reading, question-and-answer session, and booksigning. Hear excerpts from David Macinnis Gill’s award-winning Soul Enchilada (Greenwillow); Bonnie J. Doerr’s eco-mystery Island Sting (Leap Books); Carolyn McAlister’s retold folktales ¡Holy Molé! (August House) and Brave Donatella and the Jasmine Thief (Charlesbridge); Maryam Tabibzadeh’s poetic Persian Dreams (Dream Books); Laurie J. Edwards’ biography of R&B singer Rihanna (Lucent) and thriller/romance from the anthology Summer Lovin’ (Wild Rose Press); Adrienne Ehlert Bashista’s picture books on Russian adoption, When I Met You and Mishka: An Adoption Tale (DRT Press); and Anne Runyon’s seasonal picture book, The Sheltering Cedar (Portal Press).

Attendees will be treated to a sneak peek at two of Leap Books’ most recent paranormal releases: Freaksville by Kitty Keswick and Under My Skin by Judith Graves. These teen novels have unique graphics and illustrations by Canadian artist Val Cox.

Leap Books, a newly launched publisher of teen and tween books, is sponsoring this Children’s Book Week . Featured authors are all local members of SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators), an international organization that provides networking, education, and support for authors and illustrators of children’s books at all stages of their careers.

The American Booksellers Association began Children’s Book Week in 1919. In 1944 the Children’s Book Council (CBC) took over the role of promoting reading and literacy through Children’s Book Week activities. Each year in May, CBC sponsors a nationwide week of events to encourage children and teens to read. A list of these events, as well as related online activities, can be found at the CBC website.





Big Date

27 11 2009

The Susquehanna Writers, of which I’m an honorary member, have been reaching out to support area Indie bookstores.  We gave out gift baskets to two Indie bookstores this fall, and now we’re banding together for a group booksigning at the Midtown Scholar Bookstore in Harrisburg, PA, on December 19, 2009. A large group of authors will have books for sale and will autograph them for you. From romance to history, from mystery to self-help, from thrillers to YA; you’ll find something to please everyone on your holiday gift list. And if these books aren’t enough to entice you (though they certainly should be), the Midtown Scholar offers the largest array of rare and used books between New York and Chicago. They have more than ONE MILLION secondhand and out-of-print books in all fields.

Need a gift for that hard-to-please person? Consider a book. It’s a gift they’ll treasure for a lifetime.

If you want to know where and when to show up, here are the additional details:

3-5 pm, December 19, 2009

1302 North Third Street
Harrisburg, PA 17102
(717) 236-2665

And I’ll be there to sign copies of Rihanna and Summer Lovin‘. Feel free to drop by and get your copy signed if you already have one, or pick up some as gifts for the teens in your life.





Rihanna in the News

27 09 2009

Rihanna, of course, is often in the news. But this time, it’s my Rihanna biography that’s being cited. Rihanna (People in the News) has been mentioned in a review of Good Girl Gone Bad: Reloaded. The review has appeared in several places. It’s always fun to know that other people are reading your book.

And the book also received a well-written, and thought-provoking review at Amazon from miss-independent.