A Writing Conversation with Yvonne Ventresca
in which we talk about the positives of sharing writing
Yvonne is the author of “The Art of Remaining Bitter” in our upcoming anthology, Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life. I chatted with her a bit about her experience with writing and anthologies.
R: Tell us a bit about your writing, what do you usually write about? Where does your inspiration come from?
Y: I primarily write suspenseful young adult fiction. My debut novel, Pandemic (Sky Pony Press, 2014), is about surviving a deadly bird flu. Black Flowers, White Lies (Sky Pony Press, 2016) is a psychological thriller about a girl who struggles with her perception of reality, unsure whether she is being haunted or suffering from a breakdown. I tend to be inspired by imagining difficult situations and how characters, particularly teens, would react to them.
R: What made you take the first step to share your writing with an audience?
Y: In high school, my English teacher entered one of my essays into a town pride contest. I didn’t win, but I placed high enough to have my picture in the local paper, which was great positive reinforcement! In my college creative writing classes, we read our work aloud for critique, which helped me learn how to handle criticism. Later, I tried writing magazine articles before I wrote fiction. Sharing my work has really been an ongoing process as I became more comfortable with the risks that it entails.
R: What led to your decision to submit to the contest?
Y: I enjoy the IWSG Facebook group (who ran the contest) and found the theme of a Lost Hero to be intriguing. My first anthology experience (see the next question!) was a positive one, so I was eager to try it again.
R: Have you had any prior experience being in an anthology? What did you like about it? What did you dislike about it?
Y: Yes, my short story “Escape to Orange Blossom” was selected for the anthology Prep for Doom. In that anthology, all of the short stories are set in the same dystopian world, and many of the stories link together. It was a fun, collaborative project. There wasn’t anything to dislike.
R: What are you most excited about being included in this anthology.
Y: I think the Mysteries of Death and Life anthology has an interesting theme, and “The Art of Remaining Bitter” is my first fantasy story. It’s great to “virtually” meet my fellow authors and to do promotion and interviews like this one. I can’t wait to read the other stories that were selected!
R: What’s the one thing you want people to take away from your story?
Y: Courage isn’t necessarily loud and publicly proclaimed. As author Mary Anne Radmacher said, “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying ‘I will try again tomorrow.’”
Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life comes out May 2017.
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