Welcome, Nicole! I’m glad to be talking with you about your book, Girl Talk. Please give us a book blurb about it.
Popular blogging trio—mother, Nicole O’Dell, along with daughters, Emily and Natalie—offer
trustworthy, biblically-based advice with a devotional flavor for girls ages 10 to 16. Culled from actual questions they’ve encountered on their blog site, this fabulous resource offers real-life helps for girls on issues including relationships, character, body image, fashion, gossip, and more. Girls will find 180 questions along with answers and related scripture selections that will both encourage and challenge them in their faith walk. Girl Talk, presented in a trendy format that reads like a magazine, is a super tool for girls’ small groups or for individual use.
What is the biggest thing you’d like a teen girl to take away from Girl Talk?
Each of us has a set of experiences and circumstances, some within our control, and some not, that shapes the way we look at choices, temptation, peer pressure, and everything that comes up along the way. If we can help prepare girls before they find themselves staring peer pressure in the face, they'll feel more equipped to stand strong. To say NO to whatever life throws at them. And bad decisions are one thing, but there's also the stuff girls deal with that they have no control over: Divorce, Abuse, Loss, Grief, Illness, financial strain, etc. . .etc. . . Those life-altering circumstances make it even more difficult for girls to stand against the pressure when all they want is friendship, acceptance, and love. It takes pro-active, intentional effort to make the necessary preparations to help teens combat peer
What gave you the idea, or inspired you to write Girl Talk?
The answer to the last question is exactly why my daughters and I started the Girl Talk column on my blog. We wanted to give girls a place they could go with those tough questions about life. The column grew and the questions built up to the point when we, along with Barbour Publishing, decided to put 180 questions from readers and our answers into a book. But it's not just any book--the vibrant, trendy format has a scrapbook-y feel as each page is full color with graphics galore. Take a look at the trailer to get a better feel for what it looks like:
I loved the format! It did have a delightfully scrapbooky feel. :) How long did it take you to write Girl Talk?
If we had worked straight through on it, it would have been a lot faster. But we did a few questions at a time whenever we had a bit of time. At that pace, it took us a couple of months to complete.
What were some of the hardest questions to answer in Girl Talk?
Oh, some were soooo hard. They were about such heavy issues. . .they broke my heart. It’s difficult to imagine that teenagers are dealing with such tough things! But it’s all so very real. The questions about abuse and betrayal—those were the hardest to answer because there wasn’t always a clear piece of advice to offer other than to point the reader to scripture and offer a prayer.
What do you enjoy most about being a published author?
I love interacting with readers. Many writers love the solitude of writing, but that’s really an aspect that I like least. I’m a pretty social person, and I need to be around people on a regular basis, so it’s great to hang out with readers or visit blogs like this.
The Embittered Ruby came out on April 1…would you like to tell us a bit about it?
Sure! Thanks for asking!
Sixteen-year-old Carmen Castillo wonders what it would be like to have a pair of ruby slippers.
“There’s no place like home. . .”
“There’s no place like home. . .”
“There’s no place like home.”
But then reality sets in, and Carmen concludes that ruby slippers are mere fiction. Constant prayers that her parents will patch things up remain unanswered. . .and her hurtful world becomes too much for her to bear. Trapped by resentment and anger, Carmen lashes out the only way she knows how and soon finds herself at a crossroads. Will Carmen find the path to ultimate peace and contentment that her heart longs for? Or will her troubled soul remain forever embittered?
DIAMOND ESTATES. Three girls are on a journey to find hope and healing. Each coming to Diamond Estates seeking solace… Each with her own unique set of struggles… And each capturing hearts and challenging the faith of teen girls.
This series is near and dear to my heart because much of it is pulled from real-life experiences I had as a resident of Teen Challenge when I was a teenager. I either took from my personal experiences or those of other girls who were in the TC program with me. I could probably fill six more books with what I saw and heard while I was there!
I want to read that. :) Now, what’s your next book to come out?
The first to Hot Buttons books in my non-fiction series for parents release on 6/1. The next fiction title, though, is The Shadowed Onyx, book three in the Diamond Estates series, 12/1.
Love the cover. What’s your favorite classic book?
I’m a big fan of Little Women and Pride and Prejudice.
Very good books. :) If you could live in any time period, which time period would it be?
When I was a kid I thought time was circular, meaning we’d circle back around to times gone by. I
couldn’t wait to live like Laura Ingalls in the Little House books. I was so disappointed when I realizedmthat would never happen. So, I’ll have to go with that answer.
What an interesting though, circular time! It would be neat if it was like that...mostly. :) Thanks for coming, Nicole. Do you have a website where our readers can learn more about you?
Thanks so much for having me!
Thanks again, Nicole! Great to get to know you better. Readers, I recommend Girl Talk! :)