07 March 2014

First Line Fridays: Yvonne Ventresca

Welcome back to first line Friday!

Each Friday, I invite a guest author to share the opening line from his or her upcoming release and a favorite book.

Today's guest is Yvonne Ventresca debut author of PANDEMIC, coming May 6.

During her writing career, Yvonne has written instructional video scripts about technology, numerous articles for children and adults, a nonfiction book for teens about careers in publishing, and a biography for teens about the singer Avril Lavigne. But her real love is fiction, and after several attempts at writing a novel, she created a story about a contemporary bird flu pandemic.

Here's the blurb for her book:

Only a few people know what caused Lilianna Snyder's sudden change from a model student to a withdrawn pessimist who worries about all kinds of disasters. When people begin coming down with a quick-spreading illness that doctors are unable to treat, Lil’s worst fears are realized. With her parents called away on business before the contagious outbreak--her journalist father in Delaware covering the early stages of the disease and her mother in Hong Kong and unable to get a flight back to New Jersey--Lil’s town is hit by what soon becomes a widespread fatal illness.

With friends and neighbors dying around her, Lil does everything she can to survive.  Just when it all seems too much, the cause of her original trauma shows up at her door. Lil must find a way to survive not only the outbreak and its real-life consequences, but also her own personal demons. 

Oh, wow! It sounds like a teenage version of Outbreak (which freaked me out back when it came out)! Awesome :O)

Ok- Let's get started:

What are the opening lines of your book?

I stood on the smoking corner behind school reveling in my aloneness. Not many smokers had the same schedule, which made the corner the perfect place for solitude. We always stayed a foot off the high school property, near the big oak tree, and since we were allowed to leave during last period study hall, we weren’t technically breaking any rules.

As if rules mattered.

Where these lines set from the first draft? And if not, how many times do you think you've changed them?

This opening is not even remotely similar to the first draft of Pandemic. I changed the opening many, many times. It took me awhile to find the best place to begin the story and I was tweaking the wording right up until they printed the ARC.

Why do you think this opening is perfect for your novel?

I hope these lines give the reader a sense of the main character, Lilianna (she’s avoiding people, craves isolation) and a sense of intrigue. (Why don’t the rules matter to her?)

Give us your favorite opening line(s) from a favorite book, and tell us why you love them.

The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

“Gram is worried about me. It’s not just because my sister Bailey died four weeks ago, or because my mother hasn’t contacted me in sixteen years, or even because suddenly all I think about is sex. She is worried about me because one of her houseplants has spots.”

I love this opening because it provides so much information in an interesting and natural way that piques the reader’s curiosity.

Be sure that you head over and follow Yvonne on Twitter.

1 comment:

  1. FYI -- The Goodreads giveaway for a signed Pandemic ARC and fun swag just began yesterday:


    Thank you for hosting me, Lisa! This was a fun post to participate in.