Monday, June 23, 2014

It's A Pandemic!

Today I'm hosting YA author Yvonne Ventresca (disclaimer: friend! fellow SCBWI member! Writing Wench!). With all the recent pandemic-related movies (Rise of the Planet of the Apes, The Last Ship, Helix, etc.) I thought it would be interesting to talk to Yvonne about her research for her novel, Pandemic.

My question: What five things have you learned while researching for your debut novel, Pandemic?

Influenza in general is a newsworthy item.  From the seasonal flu (the LA Times reported “8 things you need to know about the deadly influenza virus”) to the avian flu (which the World Health Organization monitors closely in China, although it has not been transmitted from human to human), the fear of a deadly disease is ever-present.

Here are five things I learned while researching Pandemic:

1. The first cases of the 2009 Swine Flu/H1N1 pandemic occurred in Mexico, California, and Texas. Most countries in the world have since experienced infections.
2. Because of airplane travel, germs can be transmitted almost anywhere in the world within 48 hours.
3. Waterfowl are carriers of influenza viruses. The World Health Organization (WHO) calls them “natural reservoirs.”
4. The Spanish Influenza of 1918 killed more Americans than all of World War I.

5. Too much research can cause worry! This was an emotion I was able to transfer to Lilianna, the main character in Pandemic. And I definitely wash my hands more than the average person.

Before becoming a children’s writer, Yvonne Ventresca wrote computer programs and taught others how to use technology. Now she happily spends her days writing stories instead of code and sharing technology tips with other writers. Yvonne’s the author of the young adult novel Pandemic, which was published in May from Sky Pony Press. She blogs for teen writers every Tuesday and for writers of all ages each Friday at

To connect with Yvonne:
Facebook Author

To buy Pandemic:
Books A Million

Coincidentally, I'm home sick, with the strep throat 'bug' I caught from my son. Take care!


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