Thursday, May 13, 2010
I have a heart for teen girls. I had a rough time as a teenager—by my own doing. I understand the turmoil they’re in due to hormones, peer pressure, and confusion. These days parents don’t try hard enough to keep them innocent, so they are faced with adult issues and choices far younger than ever before. My goal, in writing my books, is to try to open their minds up to the inevitability of the moral dilemmas they’ll face, and to help them pre-determine their choices. It’s easier for them to decide what they’ll do when they aren’t staring peer pressure right in the face. Each book also has a contract and a prayer designed to help them commit to their choice.
Here’s a link to a podcast where I talk about my books: http://gabcast.com/casts/1631/episodes/1264012962.mp3
And here's the book trailer:
Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
The day my triplets were born and I knew they were safe. The births of all six of my kids were amazing, but the weeks preceding the birth of the triplets were so scary that seeing three perfect and healthy, albeit tiny, human beings come from my body was such an incredible relief and answer to so many people’s prayers—WOW!
How has being published changed your life?
More than anything, it has clarified and validated my dreams. Let’s face it, I didn’t wake up a superstar, my bank account hasn’t changed all that much (lol), but I do have a much clearer understanding of what God has in store for me—what He’s called me to do. Being published validates that calling. Each contract that has followed spurs me on to the next thing He has for me. It seems like every time I start to doubt myself, He drops a nugget in my lap: a new book contract. . .signing with my dream agent. . .the invitation to join a tiny, select group of writer-sister-friends that changed my life, etc. He’s good to me like that.
What are you reading right now?
William Henry is a Fine Name by Cathy Gohlke.
What is your current work in progress?
What would be your dream vacation?
I have two. The first would be a trip to Disney World with the whole family, and a Cruise following it. We’re actually taking that trip on June 9th of this year. I can’t wait!
The second trip would be a cruise of the Greek Islands or an Alaskan cruise with my husband. No immediate plans for that one.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
They are usually loosely based on places I’ve been. I seldom use an actual place, though. The state or general area might exist, but the town is usually fictitious.
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
I’d say my husband, but I already get that privilege all the time. Other than him, I’d have to pick my writer-sister group. I know that’s not just one person, but I couldn’t choose from among them for anything. I’d love to sit at a nice big table in some really great restaurant, enjoying their company from appetizers all the way through the third cup of cappuccino. I also have some crit partners that I’d love to meet in person—ACFW conference is coming soon! This will be my first year there and I’m looking forward to the exact scenario I just described.
I look forward to seeing you there, too. What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I’m a student working toward a secondary education degree. I also lead the youth group at my church with my husband. My hubby’s and my favorite outdoor activity is biking. Since I had the triplets, it’s been a bit of a challenge to get out for rides, though. Our favorite bike ride is 50-mile trip from Chicago’s Navy Pier, up the lakefront and into Evanston and the university area.
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Time. With a large family, including my 18-month-old triplets, time comes at a high premium. You asked how I overcome it…I’m not quite sure that I do. My husband and I work together to make sure I get the writing time I need. But, you know how it is, it’s never enough. With writing, schooling and prepping my teaching for youth group, I require a lot of computer hours. Sometimes I just have to take what I can get at midnight or very early in the morning. It’s okay, though. I’m fully aware of how fast this time with my kids goes by and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Read and study. There is so much I wish I’d learned before my first books were written. I’ve come so far and all it’s taught me is that I have so far yet to go.
Tell us about the featured books?
Magna: Molly Jacobs isn’t sure what she should do: Should she follow through with stealing some clothes for her friends from Magna the trendy girls clothing store where she works? Or should she do what she knows is right, even if it means losing her friends? Girls ages 10 to 15 make the choice in this interactive story and see how the consequences change Molly's life. Includes a contract and prayer to remind the reader of the importance of making godly decisions.
Making Waves: Kate Walker joins the swim team and becomes obsessed with practice and making it through the championships with flying colors. With a scholarship on the line and pressure from everyone, what will Kate do when she’s faced with pressure from her teammates to take an illegal substance that will help her swim multiple events in their championship meet? Girls ages 10 to 15 make the choice in this interactive story and see how the consequences change Kate s life. Includes a contract and prayer to remind the reader of the importance of making godly decisions.
Please give us the first page of the books.
“Purple and yellow polyester gym clothes? This school needs a new wardrobe!” Molly looked at the locker room mirror in disgust as she pulled her shirt off. “They’re so ugly, and we have to wear them every single day.”
“Plus, it’s so gross that they only let us take them home once a week to wash them.” Jess wrinkled her nose and pinched it with the tips of her fingers. She dropped the sweaty gym uniform into her duffel bag, careful to touch as little of it as possible.
“I know.” Sara gestured over her shoulder to an unkempt girl seated on the bench down the row. “Some people should wash their clothes a lot more often than that.”
Molly looked at the girl—her clothes way too small and her hair obviously unwashed. She has more pimples than I have freckles. But still, why does Sara have to be mean? Molly turned away to swipe some gloss on her lips and changed the subject. “Forget about gym clothes for a sec. What about the rest of our clothes? You know, we’re in high school now. I don’t know about you, but I’m having trouble finding cool stuff in my closet. Everything is so junior high.” Her voice trailed off in a whine as she tied her long blond hair back in a ponytail and fluffed her bangs with her fingertips.
The picture had been shot only six weeks before; but the edges were already tattered, and fingerprints smudged the image. Kate peeled it from the scrapbook page for what seemed like the hundredth time. She leaned back to lie on the floor and raised the picture above her head in one fluid motion—the rotating ceiling fan made the picture wiggle.
Three generations of Walker women stared back at her. Her silver-haired grandma sat elegantly, unsmiling, in a high-backed brocade chair; and her mom stood just behind, grinning. Kate’s sister, Julia, looked regal with her ivory-lace wedding dress fanned out around the group like a moat around a castle. She wore her brown, velvety hair swept up in an elegant clip, revealing her long, graceful neck. Kate sat at her mom’s feet just outside the moat, her legs twisted to the side as she tried to remain graceful, careful not to touch the ethereal hem of her sister’s garment.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
I’m at http://www.nicoleodell.com/ which can also be accessed with http://www.scenariosforgirls.com/ .
On twitter, I’m Nicole_Odell and on facebook, you can find me at www.facebook.com/nicoleodell .
Pop by my blog when you get a second. On Mondays, I post a message to Mom and Dad. Tuesday’s is my Girl Talk day—my daughters and I answer readers questions. Wednesday I write about something happening in the writing world—book reviews, etc. Thursdays are for a devotional or testimony. Friday’s posts are simple fun. You can access my blog through my website or directly at http://www.nicoleodell.blogspot.com/ .
I also want to mention that I’m the new YA book reviewer for http://www.shereads.org/ . I’ll be reviewing there on the last Wednesday of every month.
Thank you so much for having me on your blog, Lena! This interview was a blast!
And we enjoyed the time you spent with us, Nicole.
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