Author Chat with Yvonne Ventresca (Black Flowers, White Lies) + Giveaway!
Today we're excited to chat with Yvonne Ventresca,
author of Black Flowers, White Lies!
Below you'll find more about Yvonne, her book, and a giveaway!
YABC: What surprised you most while writing your latest book?
I was surprised by how long it took! I wrote the first draft of Black Flowers, White Lies in 2006 (under a different title), years before my debut YA novel, Pandemic, but I had a hard time getting the voice and the plot to come together. After many, many rewrites, I put that manuscript aside and began a story about deadly bird flu. Pandemic’s success reenergized me, and I started a new version of what became the psychological thriller Black Flowers, White Lies.
YABC: If you could live in any fantasy world, which one would it be?
Any fantasy world where I have unlimited energy and don’t feel the need to nap. J
YABC: Do you have a mantra that gets you through the drafting phase?
Slow but steady. . . As long as I’m making progress on a regular basis, I’m happy.
YABC: What is your favorite hobby when you're not writing?
I’ve been studying the martial arts (Isshinryu karate) for the last eleven years. When I’m in class, it clears my mind to put everything else aside and focus entirely on karate. The people in my dojo have become wonderful friends over the years and have been incredibly supportive of my books.
YABC: Which character gave you the most trouble when writing your latest book?
Ella’s mother was tricky. I wanted to portray their relationship as loving but slightly contentious without making readers dislike the mom. Since she is away on her honeymoon with her new husband for most of the story, it was important to strike the right balance and set up their dynamic before Ella and Mom are apart.
YABC: Do you enjoy writing to music? If so, do you have a go-to playlist?
I really need quiet when I write. When I’m not writing, I love a wide variety of music, ranging from Tom Petty to Enrique Iglesias, with a particular fondness for the 80s.
YABC: Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?
In Black Flowers, White Lies, Ella volunteers at an animal shelter. Her experiences are loosely based on my own brief time helping at a municipal shelter. (I didn’t last there long—I couldn’t handle the euthanasia). Our newest dog is a rescue, and one of my book launch events in November will benefit a local animal shelter. (National Animal Shelter and Rescue Appreciation Week is November 3rd through the 9th.)
YABC: What's a book that you've read recently that you would recommend to your readers?
One novel I’d recommend is Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina. I loved the 1970s New York setting and the psychological tension between characters.
YABC: Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?
Definitely revising. There’s a certain leap of faith you have to take when drafting, hoping that the ideas come together, and I don’t feel comfortable with a manuscript until I have a workable draft. I find it more enjoyable to improve the story once it has a clear direction. It’s rewarding to watch the novel evolve and become stronger with each revision.
YABC: What would you say is your superpower?
Organization. I have a ritual of cleaning my office to make space (physically and somewhat mentally) whenever I begin a new project. I have to be careful not to use it as a form of procrastination, though, since the actual writing is more important to me than the way that all my notes are filed.
Meet Yvonne Ventresca!
Yvonne Ventresca’s latest young adult novel, BLACK FLOWERS, WHITE LIES was published by Sky Pony Press in October. Justine Magazine said "This one will keep you guessing" and according to BuzzFeed, BLACK FLOWERS, WHITE LIES "definitely won't disappoint."
Her debut YA novel, PANDEMIC, won a 2015 Crystal Kite Award from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. “This fast read will appeal to fans of Susan Beth Pfeffer’s LIFE AS WE KNEW IT," Booklist said.
Yvonne’s other works include the short story “Escape to Orange Blossom,” which was selected for the dystopian anthology PREP FOR DOOM, along with two nonfiction books, PUBLISHING (Careers for the 21st Century) and AVRIL LAVIGNE (People in the News). You can learn more about Yvonne and her books at Yvonne Ventresca.com.
Meet Black Flowers, White Lies!
Her father died before she was born, but Ella Benton knows they have a supernatural connection. Since her mother discourages these beliefs, Ella keeps her cemetery visits secret. But she may not be the only one with secrets. Ella’s mother might be lying about how Dad died sixteen years ago. Newfound evidence points to his death in a psychiatric hospital, not as a result of a tragic car accident as her mother always claimed. After a lifetime of just the two of them, Mom suddenly feels like a stranger.
When a handprint much like the one Ella left on her father’s tombstone mysteriously appears on the bathroom mirror, at first she wonders if Dad is warning her of danger as he did once before. If it’s not a warning, could her new too-good-to-be-true boyfriend be responsible for the strange occurrences? Or maybe it’s the grieving building superintendent whose dead daughter strongly resembles Ella? As the unexplained events become more frequent and more sinister, Ella becomes terrified about who—or what—might harm her.
Soon the evidence points to someone else entirely: Ella herself. What if, like her father, she’s suffering from a breakdown? In this second novel from award-winning author Yvonne Ventresca, Ella desperately needs to find answers, no matter how disturbing the truth might be.
Black Flowers, White Lies
By: Yvonne Ventresca
Release Date: October 4th, 2016
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
1 winner will receive a hardcover signed copy of Black Flowers, White Lies.
Entering is simple, just fill out the entry form below. Winners will be announced on this site and in our monthly newsletter (sign up now!) within 30 days after the giveaway ends.
During each giveaway, we ask entrants a question pertaining to the book. Here is the question they'll be answering in the comments below for extra entries:
What do you think of the cover & synopsis?
*Click the Rafflecopter link to enter the giveaway*
I am blown away by the originality of this storytelling, which I find very personally compelling. The father-daughter relationship is always a captivating theme. Many thanks, Kara S
There haven't been many black and white coloured covers released lately so this cover really popped to me. The synopsis appeals to me as well! Thank you so much for the opportunity!!!