She writes. She talks. She reads. She changes diapers. Nicole O’Dell is a mom of six–including a set of toddler triplets who may or may not be potty trained sometime in 2011. Jury’s still out on that one. She is the author of a bunch of YA books, including the popular Scenarios for Girls interactive fiction series and the upcoming Diamond Estates Series, 10/11. She’s also the host of Teen Talk Radio. You can find her books and links to all the fun social stuff on her website.
Let the conversation begin!
What one word describes you?
Driven. I think of that word when I consider my motivations, and other people often use it to describe me. I have huge plans and work really hard to see them come to fruition. I’m like that with everything in my life, but with my writing, speaking, radio show, and anything else that reaches out to my readers and listeners, I’m even more driven because I believe lives can be changed by the truth of God’s Word and families can be healed through communication and good choices. I’m driven to bring that message to teens and parents.
When are you the most productive?
Most productive? Morning. When do I work? Morning, noon, and night. Since I have six kids and a hubby who likes some attention, too, I fit work time in and among whatever is going on with my family. They come first, so I often have to work even during hours that wouldn’t be my first choice. It’s only for a season. One day, my kids will all be older, and I’ll have all the flexibility in the world–but I’ll be sooo sad they’re growing so fast. So it’s a trade-off.
Do you let anyone read your work-in-progress? Or do you keep it a secret?
The only people who see my work while it’s still in progress are my mom and my critique partners. I have several awesome critiquers and they vary based on the work. Some are more eager to pick apart my non-fiction–others are better with the fiction. My friend, Valerie Comer, tops the list as being the final reader before anything gets submitted. She’s taught me so much by her critiques of my work. I’m so grateful to her–and to God for giving her to me!
If there is one genre you’d never write, what is it?
Speculative Fiction. I don’t typically read it except for a select group of authors, and it’s not how my mind works. It would be a huge stretch for me to try to write it. Jill Williamson, a Christy-Award-winning, YA spec-fiction author, is sooooo good at her genre’, I figure she can have that corner of the literary world.
Would you rather publish a string of mainstream books or one classic?
I’d like to say that I’d prefer to write one, great work because I think those are the books that are remembered through the ages, but it’s just not how I work. I pound out a lot of words, have a lot of ideas that I have to get on paper, and I have a contract addiction that must be fed regularly.
If you could only write one more book, what would it be about?
I would write exactly what I’m doing. I believe that the parent/teen, particularly mother/daughter relationship is so important and volatile. I would try to collect my best advice based on vast research and personal experience into one manual and just put it out there. I’d be sad to be done with publishing, though.
Tell us about the book you’re working on.
I’m continuing on in the Diamond Estates series and the Drama Ensues series. I’m also wondering why I named them both with DE titles? Isn’t that a strange coincidence? They’re very, very different series—I hope you check them both out. Diamond Estates deals with troubled girls in a group home, to state it very simply. The Wishing Pearl, book one in Diamond Estates, is releasing on October 1, 2011. You can check it out on my website. Drama Ensues starts its appearance in 2012. It has a different style—quirky, drama club, artsy—yet it’s compelling in its coverage of the issues.