Alum of the Month

August 2014

August 2014
Yvonne Ventresca

Q & A:

  • What was your favorite class, who was your favorite professor, or what is your fondest memory of Hofstra?
    The creative writing classes at Hofstra were my favorites. These courses gave me my first experience with peer critiques, which served me well as a novelist. Now I work with a critique group online, but the process of receiving feedback is similar. My first writing professor, Dr. Julia Markus, still teaches at Hofstra today.
  • What was your first job after graduating Hofstra?
    I received a BA in both computer science and English from Hofstra. Although this is not a typical combination, it worked well for me based on my interest in technology and my love of writing. Upon graduation, JP Morgan hired me into a technology training program. I worked as a programmer, training program recruiter and compensation analyst before focusing on writing.
  • What is your field of specialty, and how did you come to work in the industry?
    My first paid writing job involved creating video scripts to teach others how to use technology. This made good use of my computer and writing background. My first two published books were nonfiction for young adults, but it was always my goal to have a novel traditionally published. Last year, I sold Pandemic to Sky Pony Press (an imprint of Skyhorse Publishing) and it was released this May.
  • What advice would you give Hofstra students?
    Experiment with different classes that may be outside of your comfort zone. A big part of the Hofstra experience for me was figuring out what I liked and disliked.
  • In one word, how would you describe Hofstra?
    Foundation, because it provides the solid base on which to build your future experiences.
  • What is a typical day like for you?
    Because I’m in the midst of promoting my novel Pandemic, these days involve responding to interviews, planning presentations for upcoming author visits, and working on other marketing and publicity tasks. Normally I spend my time writing, researching and revising my work-in-progress.
  • Where do you see your writing career progressing to in the future?
    I hope to have continued success in writing contemporary young adult fiction. I’m currently working on my next novel, a psychological thriller for teens.
Yvonne Ventresca

Yvonne Ventresca’s debut young adult novel, Pandemic, was released in May 2014 (Skyhorse Publishing/Sky Pony Press). Yvonne graduated cum laude from Hofstra University in 1988 with a BA in computer science and English and a membership in Phi Beta Kappa. Prior to becoming an author, Yvonne wrote computer programs and taught others how to use technology. Now she spends her days writing stories instead of computer code. Yvonne’s other writing credits include two nonfiction books for kids – Avril Lavigne (a biography of the singer) and Publishing (about careers in the field). More information is available on her website,