Sunday, August 2, 2009

Author Interview: Nicole O'Dell & Giveaway

Today, I am so glad to welcome Nicole O'Dell, author of the new Scenarios series books for young girls. Yesterday I reviewed Book 1 and 2 in the series -- TRUTH OR DARE and ALL THAT GLITTERS (you can read the reviews here and here.) Both books are just filled with wonderful messages about growing up with Christian values. I am just thrilled that Ms. O'Dell has taken time out of her very busy schedule to answer a few of my questions.

Booking Mama: You are a mother of six with infant triplets! As a mother of two, I am just in awe of you. How do you manage everything? How in the world do you find time to write books?

Ms. O'Dell: It's not always easy. I'm so grateful to be able to be home with my kids, but I still need hours to work where I don't get interrupted. So, I work during nap times, after bed time and early in the morning. Sometimes I don't need much more time than that. But, when I do need more, I'm thankful for my husband's flexible work hours. We work it out so I have enough time to do what I need to do. And, when a deadline is approaching, he really steps in and takes over. Now, when the babies are two--ask me again! :)

Booking Mama: What made you decide to write Christian Fiction for Middle Graders/Young Adults?

Ms. O'Dell: I have a real passion for middle grade and early teen girls. Those are such difficult years. They kind of sneak up on poor, unsuspecting families who were clicking along just fine until they woke up with a hormonal, moody teenager in the house. I think parents can be blindsided by those changes and the girls have no idea what's happening to them. I want to offer tools to help prepare them for what they're going to face.

Booking Mama: I love the idea of the Scenario books -- a story where the reader can choose the character's actions. What made you decide to write "interactive fiction" versus a traditional story?

Ms. O'Dell: Scenarios is a game I made up to play with my kids. I give them a story (a scenario) and they choose an ending. We discuss the consequences of their choice--good or bad. It's a safe way for them to try on the possibilities and work out the results. I've been able to help them pre-determine what they'll do in certain circumstances and then I pray for them that they'll remember their commitments when reality catches up with our games. It has been such a good tool for us that I wanted to share it with others.

Booking Mama: Both of your books TRUTH OR DARE and ALL THAT GLITTERS deal with very real issues for today's tweens/teens? How do you come up with the characters and story lines for the Scenarios Books? Are they ever autobiographical or based on people you know?

Ms. O'Dell: They are all conglomerations of people and situations that I knew myself, experienced myself or personally watched someone else go through. They are all very real. Mom's and Dad's, the biggest mistake you can make is to turn a blind eye and assume that your child is "too smart to do something so stupid." Every teen will face some or all of the situations I describe in these books. Help them prepare their choices in advance.

Booking Mama: There are so many wonderful messages in these books. Is there anything in particular that you would like for young girls to take away from you novels?

Ms. O'Dell: It's so difficult to make a tough choice in the heat of the moment. It's FAR easier to just go along with the crowd unless you've prepared yourself ahead of time. Take the opportunity to prepare your heart and mind before you're actually faced with something you can't find your way out of.

Booking Mama: What's next for you as far as books/writing go? Any hints about the plots of future books?

Ms. O'Dell: The next two books, Magna and Making Waves, will be released on April 1st. They deal with issues of employee theft and discount sharing (Magna), popularity (both) and the use of performance-enhancement drugs (Making Waves). All four of the Scenarios books drive home the need to trust parents and to turn to Jesus. They all highlight the difference between a casual Christian and someone who has a passionate faith.

Booking Mama: It was apparent to me that you are definitely inspired by God when you write your books. Who or what else inspires you?

Ms. O'Dell: My children. They are passionate believers in Jesus and I want to help them preserve that while they navigate this world.

Booking Mama: I always ask this question in one way or another because I'm constantly on the look-out for book ideas. If you could recommend a few books to your readers, what would they be?

Ms. O'Dell: I love the book Deadlines, by Randy Alcorn--it's one of my personal favorites. And, if you're looking for other books for girls, check out Hind's Feet on High Places. It's a beautiful allegory about one's journey though life.
Thank you so much for your support of the series and your encouragement!

As you can probably tell, my daughter and I are both extremely excited about this new series of books for middle grade girls. Ms. O'Dell has graciously offered to giveaway a copy of each book to one lucky reader. To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment with a valid e-mail address telling me why you'd like to win these books. To double or even triple your chances, you can blog and/or tweet about this contest with a link back to this post. This contest is open until Sunday, August 16th at 11:59 p.m. EST, and I will notify the winner the following day. This giveaway is open to those of you with U.S. or Canada mailing addresses only. Good luck!

41 comments:

Beth F said...

Okay, put in the camp that's in awe of the fact that O'Dell manages to be a mom of six (and triplets!) and still has time to write. As I said on the review posts, I love the idea of the scenarios and the save way to explore consequences.

Please do not enter me in the giveaway.

levittmike said...

I would love to win these books for my 10 year old daughter. She's really starting to read more and more, so thanks in advance!

bermudaonion said...

Don't enter me, but I'm one who is in awe of the author. I think taking care of infant triplets would overwhelm me to the point that I wouldn't get anything done. Great interview.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

The most impressive two words of the interview: infant triplets!

Neas Nuttiness said...

I'm in awe too. While my kids were young (we have 10), all I could keep up with...was laundry, and keeping them all feed - plus diaper changes for the little ones. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought to write a book.

Please count me in. Thanks.

libneas[at]aol[dot]com

~Tami said...

My daughter is saved, but she has been having a lot of questions about why and how. She also is getting older and I think a book would be a great way to lead her the right way on these things. I'd love to win!

~Tami said...

Tweeted here:
http://twitter.com/mymadakaja

enyl said...

I've encountered interactive fiction in the past, they make for discussions in the classroom.
enyl(at)inboxdot)com

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

No need to enter me, darling. I'm dropping in to say thanks for the e-mail. I've got this posted at Win a Book for you.

Marjorie said...

I am a subscriber and would love this book for my granddaughter.

cenya2 at hotmail dot com

scottsgal said...

My niece would love this - I thought my neighbor with twins was busy but triplets wow

msboatgal at aol.com

Wanda said...

I would very much love it if you would enter my name in your draw. Thanks.

wandanamgreb (at) gmail (dot) com

Shawna said...

Shawna Lewis
weloveourdogs@juno.com

Count me in this would be a must read in our family thanks for the giveaway ;o)

Debs Desk said...

I have a 13 year old step sister that I think would really enjoy these books and I want to share them with her. Please include me in your giveaway.
Thanks
Debbie
Debdesk9(at)verizon.net

Rebecca N. said...

My sisters girls would love these! Thanks!

Rebecca N. said...

I follow on twitter and tweeted! http://twitter.com/Sparkleglow/status/3092686366

renee said...

I would love to win these for my daughter
reneetaylor(at)sympatico(dot)ca

kathy55439 said...

I would love these for my adoption book... Hoping to adopt an older child out of foster care

flowerchild said...

i would love to win these books cause they sound like a great read..thanks

MoziEsmé said...

Wow - these are the first Christian middle grade books I've seen featured on a blog in a while! I'm building up my daughter's library and would love to add these.

janemaritz at yahoo dot com

GirlwiththeBraids said...

Well, I'm a middle grade girl and if your daughter is excited about it, I'm sure it must be a good book. :)

-ReadingToMyself(at)yahoo(dot)com

Nicole O'Dell said...

Thanks so much for the wonderful comments. What fun!

Have a wonderufl day, everyone. Can't wait to see who wins. :)

Paula said...

I would love to win. I am the librarian at my church. What a blessing this would be for the girls!! Anything to encourage them in their walk.

ryspenc@yahoo.com

Winning Readings said...

I've posted about this at Winning Readings:

http://winningreadings.blogspot.com/2009/08/nicole-odell-books.html

wendy said...

I would love to win these so I could gove them to my daughter to read. I am always trying to find interesting things to encourage her reading activities.

madamerkf at aol dot com

Debbie F said...

Wow - 6 kids! And triples~! Amazing! I can't keep up with the three kids I have! I would love to win this because my oldest daughter is in middle school and she loves to read and I really would like her to read christian books.
Thanks
dcf_beth at verizon dot net

Amanda S. said...

I'd love to win these books because I know my daughter would really love them!

amweeks said...

I would love to win these books for my own daughter. It's so important as she enters those middle school years that she has the opportunity to read books with values! There seem to be so many books for this age group that emphasis the WRONG things instead of the right. Books like these, though, are a breath of fresh air!

amweeks said...

I tweeted! http://twitter.com/amweeks/status/3153846685

Nicole O'Dell said...

It's been so fun to read your comments. I love hearing from the middle-graders!

Sarah Z said...

My daughter is not a big reader so any book that might interest her, I want!
Thanks
Sarah
believedreamcourage (at) gmail.com

Candie said...

I would love to give these to a family friend who is not excited about reading. THank you

candieluster(at)gmail(dot)com

Park Avenue Princess said...

I'd love a chance to win! Thank you for hosting this one!

Amy (park-avenue princess)

IAmHiMaintenance(at)aol(dot)com

Belinda M said...

Please include me in the giveaway. They sound like great books that are absolutely the kind I love to read

Canadian Contests, Freebies, Coupons, Deals, Games and Chat - join us at CoolCanucks.ca


bluebelle0367(at)hotmail(dot)com

cqueen2 said...

my step-daughter would love these books

great giveaway

wadesherry@hotmail dot com

Lee P said...

My daughter would love to read these books. Thank you for this giveaway and please count me in.

chinook92(at)gmail(dot)com

Miranda said...

I would love to be entered thanks

Cherie J said...

These books sound awesome. Would love to win one for my teenage niece. Thanks for the chance.

cherierj(at)yahoo(dot)com

Natalie said...

I would love to win them for my nieces! Thank you so much for the chance!
coolnatty12(at)yahoo(dot)com

Anonymous said...

I love the idea of interactive fiction. I'd like to read these books, pass them on to my nieces, donate them to the school where I work and see them become part of classroom libraries. Thanks for the opportunity.

bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

Anonymous said...

I would love to give these books to my girlfriend's granddaughter.