Interview with Nicole O’Dell

» Posted on Apr 8, 2010 in Blog | Comments Off on Interview with Nicole O’Dell

This week I’m hosting Mae Nunn with Her Forever Family, Nicole O’Dell with Magna and Making Waves, and Robin Shope with The Easter Edition. If you want to enter the drawing for Sarah’s book, please leave a comment on one of the post during the week with your email address. I will not enter you without an email address (my way to contact you if you win). If you don’t want to leave an email address, another way you can enter is to email me at The drawings end Sunday (April 11th) evening.

Interview with Nicole O’Dell:

1.What made you start writing?

I was in the fourth grade and I participated in a literary contest in which I had to write and illustrate a book. I won the contest and my book, The Girl on the Runaway Pogo-Stick, was “published” and put in the school libraries throughout the district. After that, I was hooked.

2.How long have you been writing? When did you sell your first book?

I’ve been writing since I was a little girl, but I wrote my first novel under contract in 2007. It was actually a two-book contract for the first two books in the Scenarios for Girls series.

3.How do you handle rejections?

Honestly, I haven’t gotten many. Don’t throw things at me, lol, this is just the way my journey has been. The first novel I pitched, to the first publisher I pitched it to, was picked up. Since then, the lovely folks at Barbour and I have been working together. Books three and four released April 1st, and five and six will release in Spring, 2011. It’s been a wonderful journey.

4.Why do you write?

I have two reasons. One: I truly love to write. I love books, and it’s always been a dream of mine to express myself this way. Two: I have a real passion for teens—especially in those early teen years when they’re so confused about the changes they’re experiencing and the expectations they’re facing.

5.What would you be doing with your free time if you weren’t writing?

Sleep? No, seriously, I love to bike. I hope to take a cross-country bike trip one day.

6.What are you working on right now?
Diamond Estates is a three-book series that my agent, Chip MacGregor, is preparing to pitch. I’m finished with the first book in the series and am working on the proposal right now. This is the first book I’ve written without a contract. It’s quite a different feeling!

7.Do you put yourself into your books/characters?

Even if I don’t intend to, I find myself in there somewhere. But, really, I think that’s true of all authors. We have to pull from our own experiences and the way we see things.

8.Tell us about the book you have out right now.
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 newfound popularity? Readers get to choose for her in this interactive story and see how the consequences change Molly’s life. It 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. 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? Readers get to choose between two alternate endings and then see how their choice affects Kate’s life. It includes a contract and prayer to remind the reader of the importance of making godly decisions.

9.Do you have any advice for other writers?

Keep at it! It’s worth it. Find a critique group. Join and make friends with writers. Iron sharpens iron!

10. How important is faith in your books?

Honestly, it’s the only reason I do what I do. What was once a hobby, has become a life’s passion. And, trust me, it’s not because it’s so glamorous or lucrative. It’s because I believe God has called me to do it. I hope to look back over my body of work one day and know in my heart that it made a difference in whatever way He wanted it to.

11. What themes do you like to write about?

My theme is: It’s all about choices! Everything, good and bad, ultimately comes back to a decision. My goal is to help tweens and teens make good choices by presenting them with the options before their peers do.

12. What is your favorite book you’ve written and why?

Well, I have two. Making Waves is one of the new releases. I love that book! SO much of me in there—the way Kate feels about the water, the pressure she feels to succeed, etc. I love her and her story. I smelled the chlorine and missed my high-school swim team the whole time I wrote that book.

My favorite Scenarios for Girls book, though, would have to be Essence of Lilly, which doesn’t release until 2011. It’s from the deep recesses of my heart and really does spring from my own life in so many ways. It’s about purity—a topic that rings loudly in every teens life.

13. What is your writing schedule like?

I operate on a whenever and wherever schedule. In a home with six kids (three of them 19 months old) I’m really subject to nap times and when my hubby can be home to help. He tries to give me two full work days per week—I’ve been known to write anywhere from 7,000-10,000 words on those days. Other days, I shoot for 2,000-3,000 even if it has to be after everyone’s in bed. Intermingled throughout the other responsibilities of the day, I answer e-mails, fill out interviews, etc, etc.

Thank you so much for having me!