Interview with Author Nicole O’Dell

Truth or Dare and All That Glitters are two new books by author Nicole O’Dell. I discovered Nicole on Twitter and she graciously asked me if I would love to be included in the virtual tour of her two books and I was.

I have read both of these books and my review for them will be posted tomorrow.

Nicole O’Dell is happily married to her husband Wil, with whom she is attempting to restore an old Victorian home. She is the mother of six wonderful children, the most recent additions being triplets, born in August of 2008. Along with her six kids, Nicole is very proud to have birthed a unique teen-fiction series called Scenarios: Interactive Fiction for Girls. It has been a true labor of her love—in the most literal sense. The completed manuscripts for Truth or Dare and All that Glitters, the first two books in the Scenarios series, were submitted from her hospital bed as she awaited the arrival of the triplets.

You can check out Nicole’s website by going clicking here.

Here is my interview with Nicole O’Dell.

CINDY: Thank You so very much Nicole for taking time out of your extremely buys schedule to answer a few questions for me. I was wondering when you were writing Truth or Dare did you have a favorite character in the book and why or why not?

NICOLE: I pulled from a lot of my past and my own experiences to create the characters. Parts of all of them are me; parts of them are people I encountered. I could really identify with Macy in many ways. I struggled with weight issues as a small girl and then “blossomed” as I entered high school. The scene where she realizes that she could fit into her friend’s clothes actually happened to me. I remember exactly how thrilled I felt.

CINDY: I could relate to the situation with Macy. I had a similar thing happen to me when I was younger and in school. Truth or Dare has been around forever do you think that too many young people take the game seriously and feel as though when they choose DARE that they have to perform the dare no matter what it is?

NICOLE: Yes! It’s a matter of honor to complete the dare and the stakes are often too high–much higher than they realize. Plus, it’s like all of life. By starting small and escalating to bigger things, desensitization starts to occur and things they’d never have done before get easier and easier. Think of prime-time television. The images and situations we witness on TV would have horrified our parents and grandparents. But, as a society, we’re desensitized to them and hardly notice them. How much more would that be true for impressionable young girls who are just learning about what’s acceptable for them?

CINDY: I agree with you, as a society we are getting so desensitized to what is around us. I found it hard growing up but I think now a days its harder for young girls as they are seeing all this and are trying to find ways to find in and sometimes they aren’t choosing the acceptable things. Choosing the wrong role models per say. This is a great time to ask my next question which deals with the second book All That Glitters. Do you think that too many young people are pressured by peer pressure?

NICOLE: Without peer pressure, there would be very few problems with our young people. I can’t think of one bad thing that I did as a teen that wasn’t because someone coaxed me. Even bad attitudes come from shared complaints and groups of teens feeding off of each other. But, it’s real. I mean, we can’t isolate our kids completely from other people and the media. So, we need to teach them how to be strong in the face of everything that tries to pull them the other way.

CINDY: I can’t think of one bad thing either. I guess I hung around with the right group of people and peer pressure was never an issue with us. As much as we would love to put our children in their rooms and lock them there we can’t and as parents I think its up to us to teach them how to be strong and not to be afraid to step away.

CINDY: Did you favorite one sister or the other?

NICOLE: The teenager I was relates more to Drew but I always wanted to be more like Dani. I was the “good girl” for so many years. And then, like Macy in Truth or Dare, I got in shape and I joined the swim team (see Making Waves, coming in April). I did what Drew did–I snuck makeup onto the school bus, I rolled up my skirt so it became a mini, etc. etc. I also dealt with the same internal battles that Drew did.

But, as a mom, of course Dani is my favorite. 😉

CINDY: I think I related more to Dani. As strange as this will sound I never did anything like that. I never snuck make up and that was because my mother never wore it and my sister didn’t live with us so I really had no access to make up until I was older and using babysitting money to buy it.

CINDY: I just have a few more questions for you Nicole and they are just general things. Why did you choose to write your books in this format?

NICOLE: We can write stories that always wind up with the perfect scenario. And, that’s good, sometimes things happen that way. But, I didn’t want to write a “story”, I wanted to write tools. I wanted to offer girls the chance to see the consequences of their choices before they make them. Obviously, there are many more possibilities in life than two endings, but it’s a start. It’s a way to see that even with good and bad choices, there are always consequences but also forgiveness. All of the books have the message of God’s grace and forgiveness, either as the main character seeks it after her bad decision or as she offers it to others after theirs. It’s real life.

CINDY: How long have you been writing? What was your inspiration to become a writer?

NICOLE: I’ve been writing since I could talk. I just enjoy it–I need to do it. I would write whether I published or not. My inspiration for writing?Hmm. In general, I write because it’s what I want to do. But, I draw inspiration for each story or topic from various people in my life.

The Scenarios series in specific was inspired by a game I play with my kids. I call it “Scenarios”. Original , huh? In the game, I place the kids in various tough situations and give them options of what to do. Then we talk about it. I started that because I wanted to prepare them far in advance for things they’d face. I believe that it’s much easier to make the right choices when they’ve prepared for them rather than in the heat of the moment when the pressure’s on. After years of doing that and seeing how it benefited them in real life situations, I decided that other teens could benefit, too.

CINDY: That is such a great game idea and I think a great tool to use to prepare them in advance. If they have the knowledge now of what the outcome could possible be they are prepared. I think as parents we need to prepare our children for those kinds of situations.

CINDY: I have to say I am in awe of you and I don’t know how you can manage to do it but being a mother with six kids (three of them being young triplets) and a busy mom how do you find the time to write? Do you have a writing schedule? (Nicole has a beautiful family.)

NICOLE: No, not at all. I write or work whenever I have a few minutes, hours…whatever I can get. We’re still on a two naps a day schedule with the babies. My husband is great to take over so I can have a few uninterrupted hours. Plus, I stay up late and get up early.

CINDY: Its amazing what you can get done during nap times. I remember those days. My son is now 6 so nap times are finished for us unless he is sick or extremely tired. If were to speak to a group of young girls and they were to ask why should they read your books, what would you say to them?

NICOLE: They’re fun, they’re real, and they’ll make you think. I didn’t soften the situations to make them cutesy, perfect stories in perfect homes with perfect people. Real things take place and hopefully you’ll be able to see yourself in the characters and make some decisions for your own future choices.

CINDY: That is true your situations are so real that I am sure anyone could say “Hey I was in that place.” They aren’t made up. Okay I have one last question and you did tell me to think outside the box so I did and if you could only have three things for the rest of your life what would they be and why?

NICOLE: Well, since you’re looking for fun, I won’t say my family, my friends and my Bible. Not that they aren’t fun…oh, you know what I mean.
1. My computer with internet. That way I can write, read, study, see all of my pictures and videos, etc.
2. My coffee pot. Who can do all of those things I listed above without a coffee pot?
3. My treadmill. I’d have to stretch my legs sometimes.

CINDY: That is a great list Nicole and I am with you on the first two. My third one would be my camera as I don’t think I could live without that.

Thanks again Nicole for taking the time out to do this and I loved your books and really looking forward to the next two to come out.

Remember to come back tomorrow to see my reviews for Truth or Dare and All that Glitters.

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
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