BLACK FLOWERS, WHITE LIES by Yvonne Ventresca (10/4/16, young adult): 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 newfound evidence points to his death in a psychiatric hospital, not as a result of a tragic car accident. When a handprint much mysteriously appears on the bathroom mirror, Ella wonders wonders if Dad is warning her of danger as he did once before or if it’s something else trying to contact her. As the unexplained events become more frequent and more sinister, Ella fears who—or what—might harm her. Are these events truly caused by the supernatural, or is Ella, like her father, suffering from a breakdown?
“This suspenseful psychological thriller definitely won’t disappoint.” —Buzzfeed
Thanks for stopping by Mama Reads Yvonne!
- If faced with imminent doom and fleeing your home, what 3 non-essential items would you take with you?
Are pets considered essential? Because I’d have to take my dogs! I’d definitely take my genealogy research, because I have binders of family history documents that I haven’t scanned into the computer yet. For sentimental reasons, I’d grab the family scrapbooks I’ve made through the years. It would be nice to save some of my old journals, too.
- You’ve written on a number of topics, but do you have a subject which interests you that you’d like to write about in the future?
I’m fascinated with missing people in the news. In this age of technology and investigative knowledge, how (and why) do they still vanish? It’s definitely a novel-worthy concept to me.
- What research went into writing Black Flowers, White Lies?
The research was varied. I read several psychology books to develop one character in particular. (I don’t want to give any spoilers, so I’ll leave that a bit vague.) Since Ella’s mom owns a bookstore, I was fortunate to get a behind-the-scenes tour of [words] Bookstore in Maplewood, NJ, to learn more about how a bookseller orders and processes inventory. I lived in Hoboken, NJ (the story’s setting) many years ago, but I went back several times to visit specific places related to the characters. Some of my photos are displayed in a Hoboken Pinterest board, and I’ve made a board for Black Flowers, White Lies as well.
- Do you have an ideal writing environment or can you put pen to paper (or fingers to keys) just about anywhere?
I used to write routinely on a desktop computer in our home office. When we adopted a puppy several years ago, I transitioned to a laptop so I could work in the kitchen to keep a closer eye on her. She’s a well-behaved dog now and plays nicely with our older dog, but I’ve found working on the laptop has made me more flexible about when and where I write, so I continue to use it. I draft on the laptop but do many of my revisions on paper.
- If you had to choose one of your own characters as your best friend, who would it be and why?
I loved Megs, Lil’s best friend in Pandemic. Although she was the opposite of Lil in many ways, she was honest, caring, and loyal—good qualities in a friend.
Dogs waiting for revisions:
Bio: Yvonne Ventresca’s latest young adult novel, Black Flowers, White Lies was recently published by Sky Pony Press (October, 2016). BuzzFeed included it at the top of their new “must read” books: 23 YA Books That, Without a Doubt, You’ll Want to Read This Fall. Her debut YA novel, Pandemic, won a 2015 Crystal Kite Award from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators for the Atlantic region.