Friday, February 3, 2012

Nicole O'Dell is here with a giveaway!


Usually on Go Teen Writers, the focus is on fiction writing. That's because it's the best.

Just kidding. Sort of.

The fiction focus is because that's where my interests lie and where I have the most knowledge. But today I'm thrilled to feature Nicole O'Dell, who writes both fiction and non-fiction. Today she's here talking about  her latest non-fiction release, the cowriting process, and how she manages to fit writing into her extremely busy life.

View Girl Talk on Amazon


Nicole, is Girl Talk a tool primarily for daughters, or is it something moms should be reading too?

Technically, it's for girls. All of the questions are from them and the answers are directed toward them. However, I think it's a great tool for parents to see what's going on in teen culture today. Also, I've heard of moms and daughters using it together as a discussion guide of sorts. Here's what one mom had to say in a review: "Girl Talk was an uplifting inspirational journey that not only brought my daughter and I closer; it opened lines of new communication. Also, in an unexpected and welcoming way the word of God was brought into our home. " (Lissa Smith Book Nut Reviews )

What was the inspiration for this project?

A few years ago, I started a Girl Talk column on my blog where my daughters and I fielded readers' questions. It has proven to be a great tool for readers as evidenced by the amount of questions I get on a regular basis. When it continued to grow, my publisher, Barbour Publishing and I decided to do a book of mostly unpublished Q&As.

Girls want answers. They want to know someone is listening and that people care. By giving them a format to ask their questions, and then providing answers, teens feel heard and understood--even if they disagree. ;)

By reading the dilemmas other teens are facing, girls realize they aren't alone and can prepare their own responses to life's challenges.

I think it's super cool that you write and blog with your daughters. Some of the writers in the Go Teen Writers community co-write books. What advice do you have for making the co-writing process a smooth one?

I love working with Natalie and Emily. It's really cool to see how they think and learn about what they'd do in certain circumstances. They are both so wise--I wish I'd had a fraction of their wisdom when I was a teen.

The co-writing process can be great--but it can also have it's challenges. My top five tips are:

Leave the ego at the door--it's not about you, it's about the project.
Do your part--make sure you're working within your strengths and sharing the workload.
Accept constructive criticism--realize that you have things to learn, and be open to learning them.
Show grace when you offer criticism--your suggestions are ultimately opinions and each writer needs to have her own voice.
Pray for syngery--unity of purpose and an easy time working together.


You also write fiction (The Wishing Pearl, Scenarios for Girls series). Do you have things that you prefer about the process of writing nonfiction?

As I finish a fiction project, I can't wait to get into a non-fiction one. Then, as I finish that non-fiction book, I'm totally ready to get back into fiction. I'm so grateful that I'm able to do both. But you asked about the process. Yes, the non-fiction process is easier in many ways, like there's no need for character development or plot structure. However, there's a lot of responsibility in putting yourself out there as an expert on a topic, so that has to be considered, too.

Nicole, just hearing you talk about your life wears me out sometimes! (Nicole has 6 children including triplets who are 3) She does a weekly radio show and is always churning out great books. A couple questions I get asked a lot are, "How can I make time for my writing? How can I be better about prioritizing it?" What are some tips you have or some things you've done that have made it possible for you to write despite your busy schedule?

Flexibility is the name of the game in the O'Dell household. I just have to go with the flow and take stolen minutes or hours when I have them. Sometimes even days. When my hubby is off for a couple of days in a row and I'm facing a deadline, I sometimes disappear from sun up to sun down.  We just make it work.

Nat, Em, and I hope you'll enjoy Girl Talk! Also, the Girl Talk column is ongoing. You can write to us with your questions anytime! Contact us here.

And if you'd like to win a copy of Girl Talk, signed by all three of us, just leave a comment here. Tweeting about this post will earn you another entry if you use the GoTeenWriters hashtag. (For example: Just read a great interview by @Nicole_Odell on #goteenwriters. http://goteenwriters.blogspot.com/ ) I'd also love it if you signed up for my Choices e-Zine/newsletter, too--that will earn you a third entry!

25 comments:

  1. I would love to get a copy of your book! I am one of the leaders of an all girls bible study and I think having a book that deals with a lot of tween/teen questions is a great idea!

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    1. That's awesome! If you ever want to do a Skype call with your group, I'd love to!

      Blessings!

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  2. Such a great post!

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  3. Oh, sounds like fun! Especially since I'm that daughter my parents have no clue about. :D

    "Go with the GLOW?" Is it supposed to be "Go with the Flow," or did you make that up, because I love it if you did. :D

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  4. It looks like a great book! I'd love to win it!

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  5. Thanks girls! I'd love for you all to win!! You should go enter at Goodreads--there's a giveaway there too.

    And, sadly, no, the GLOW was a typo. :P

    Stephanie, thanks so much for having me on!

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    1. So happy to have you, Nicole! The typo's been fixed. And maybe we can get it to catch on and look intentional... :)

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    2. Hahaha . . . I think "go with the Glow," is an awesome phrase!!!

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  6. Thank you so much for the interveiw and giveaway, Mrs. O'Dell. It is really appreciated. How do you write both fiction and non-fiction? Is the writing process very different?

    Thanks to you too, Mrs. Morrill. I really apperciate all you do!!

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    1. Thanks!

      The process is very different! Most non-fiction takes a lot of detailed and documented research. You have to know what various experts say and what they disagree about before you can choose your quoted and statistics. Fiction takes a whole different kind of preparation, mostly in the form of figuring out who the characters are and researching the settings.

      Girl Talk was totally different in that we used readers' questions to bounce our thoughts off of.

      I guess we could say that every book is different. :)

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  7. So I was ready to talk about how the "go with the glow" typo seems to have a message within a mistake.... but it appears someone already noticed that, because sometime between the email arriving in my inbox and me coming to comment, the typo has disappeared :( Anyway....

    Haha, I'd love to win this book! newyorksnowflake@gmail.com

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  8. I'm entered in the goodreads giveaway but because of my luck who knows if I'll get something. I've been really wanting to get this book, I've read some of what's on your blog and I found bits and pieces that applies to my life as well.

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    1. Thanks so much, Alana! :) My site is changing a lot over the next week. I'm going to be hosting 9 columnists (Stephanie is one of them) and there will be a LOT more to read over then coming months.

      Enjoy!

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  9. Girl Talk sounds like an interesting book. I have just recently heard about the Wishing Pearl and am planning on reading it. One section out of this post that I will take the most from is the one on finding time to write. I thought I had a busy life but it sounds like Nicole's is worse. I have to find time to write more. Thanks for the post.

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    1. Thanks!

      Hope you enjoy The Wishing Pearl! :)

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  10. I would love to win a copy! I love these kinds of books because they are so encouraging and helpful. I am trying to find a book or two currently to do an all girls or a mother/daughter book club. This one sounds perfect! Thanks for posting this!
    mthostenson@yahoo.com

    ~Marit

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  11. Wow, she sounds like a busy and amazing author! I actually have one of the Scenarios...but having a ton of books out from the library usually leaves me little or no room for reading my own books :( I seriously need to read it know and take a peak at some of her other books! Thanks for holding the giveaway and for the interview, Stephanie & Nicole. And Natalie and Emily :) Sierra
    Keep Growing Beautiful♥ (Cause You Are!)

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    1. Thanks, Sierra! You've got to check out The Diamond Estates series, too! :)
      Which Scenarios do you have?

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    2. I have the original lone version of All That Glitters. I know!!!!!!!!! I am checking them out now on amazon actually :) It looks really good!!!!!! Sierra
      Keep Growing Beautiful♥ (Cause You Are!)

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  12. I have one of the Scenarious books -- the one about the girl who works at the clothes shop, loved it. :D It's been awhile since I did some book hunting so I think I'll check out some more of your books, Nicole!

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