If you weren't here on Tuesday, fab YA author Nicole O'Dell detailed her journey to publication. You guys had questions that the "comment" box just wouldn't quite work for, so Nicole put together a follow-up post to answer them. If you want to get entered to win her book - and you do - click back on over to Tuesday's post.
How did you decide to write YA I instead of womans fiction?
Well, to me, my writing is a part of an overall ministry to teenagers that includes speaking, writing, hosting Teen Talk Radio, etc, etc. I have a passion for girls that age because of the struggles I had in my own teen years. As I look back over my life, it was during my teen years where I see my biggest mistakes and God's fullest grace poured over me. I write for YA because those are the readers I have on my heart.
I'm in the process of a non-fiction series for parents--but that was also borne from my passion to help teens and families navigate those tough teen years. So, even though those books will be geared toward adults--except for the study/discussion guides at the end--they definitely fit with my YA focus.
I'm interested in how you select the names for your characters?
It's different for each one. Sometimes it's someone I knew from my past. Sometimes it's just a name I'd heard recently. In the novel I'm writing now (The Embittered Ruby, book 2 in the Diamond Estates series), she was supposed to be Kayla Ortega. But the more I got into that character, the more I heard her scream that her name was Carmen. So, she's Carmen.
What helps you write on days when you are feeling uninspired?
I answer interviews like this and find my inspiration. That sounds like a joke, but I mean it. If I need a reminder of why I'm doing what I'm doing, I just need to talk to teens or get out among them and I'm good.
If that doesn't work, a nap usually helps. :)
Haha, I have the Idiot's Guide to Creative Writing glaring at me over there on the bookshelf. I don't pick it up, because I sorta feel like the books bagging me out, you know?
HA. I haven't read that one. You'll have to let me know how it is!
What is the main thing you want readers to get out of your writing?
We all make mistakes in life, but preparation goes a long way to guard against temptation and peer pressure. You can make whichever choice you want to make--but you should know the consequences in advance. It's all about choices.
What made you sure that you wanted to be an author and make it your life career and not something that could make more money or something? I didn't really know for sure that it would be such a full-time gig until I got myself right in the middle of it. Now, I'm so glad I did, and I wouldn't change a thing. As for money--it's all God's economy and He can funnel as much as He wants (or as little) to me through book sales, contracts, speaking engagements--whatever He's got for me.
You guys are awesome! Thanks so much for the fun questions!