Yvonne: My first nonfiction book, Publishing (Careers for the 21st Century) came out in 2005, followed by Avril Lavigne (People in the News) in 2007, both by Lucent Books. I found it much harder to sell young adult fiction and Pandemic (just published by Sky Pony Press!) was my fourth attempt at a novel. I guess I’ll never qualify as an overnight success!
Dani: What is your favorite animal and why?
Yvonne: I love dogs, especially the smaller breeds. I have two, Rocky and Luna, who keep me company while I write. They’re a little yappy but very loving. I can leave for a short errand, like to mail packages at the post office, and when I return home they are overjoyed to see me.
Dani: How challenging is blogging when you are writing a book?
Yvonne: I just completed the April A to Z Blogging Challenge (there’s a Pinterest collection of my posts at http://www.pinterest.com/yvonneventresca/writing-inspiration-atozchallenge-writing/), and that was tough. Normally, I blog (www.yvonneventresca.com/blog.html) twice a week to keep it manageable. On Tuesdays, I provide resources for teen writers, and on Friday, I create a roundup (“Friday Five”) for writers of all ages.
Dani: Now that you've written both, which do you prefer Non-Fiction or Fiction books?
Yvonne: I enjoyed writing the factual nonfiction books, but I really love fiction because I get to make up my own version of the facts. Fiction, to me, is more creatively satisfying.
Dani: Did your writing habits change moving from Non-Fiction to Fiction?
Yvonne: The nonfiction required thorough research and I was definitely able to use those skills in writing Pandemic. While writing the novel, I read several books on both historical and emerging diseases. For example, although the blue flu in Pandemic is a fictional disease, it was modeled after the Spanish Flu of 1918 (like the fact that it primarily affects mostly healthy people, not infants and senior citizens). I also interviewed a local public health official to understand the possible ramifications of a widespread disease on a small town. So my nonfiction training served my debut novel well.
Dani: Tell us about Pandemic, your new book coming out this May!
Yvonne: In Pandemic, only a few people know what caused Lilianna Snyder's sudden change from a model student to a withdrawn pessimist who worries about all kinds of disasters.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.
Dani: Do you have anything you are writing right now?
Yvonne: I’m currently working on a YA psychological thriller about a girl who fears she is either being haunted or going insane. I like the idea of creating scary circumstances in our ordinary world.
For more information about Yvonne and Pandemic:
Where to buy the book:
Barnes and Noble www.barnesandnoble.com/w/pandemic-yvonne-ventresca/1116107728?ean=9781628736090