Interview with Nicole O’Dell

I had the chance to chat with Nicole O’Dell this past Thursday on my radio show, Living Inspired.  Here’s just a little more from Nicole!

Be sure to download her interview here!

Tell us about yourself

I’m a mom of six — including a set of 3-year-old triplets. I have a heart for teenagers and a desire to see them make the right choices. Because of that passion, I’ve authored a bunch of YA books, including the Scenarios for Girls interactive fiction series and the Diamond Estates Series. I’m also the host of Choose NOW Radio at where I conduct interviews with guests on topics relevant to teens and their everyday lives.

Six kids! Can you share a little more about your family?

Ah, my favorite topic. My son Erik is 20 and is in the Air Force. Natalie, 14, and Emily, 12, both co-authored a neat little book with me called Girl Talk, based on an advice column we have on my blog. I also have a set of 3-year-old triplets — three little slices of heaven: Logan, Megan, and Ryleigh. My one complaint about having kids is that it goes so fast! My hubby, Wil, is a musician, artist, flooring guy and all-around great man. He’s never met someone who didn’t quickly become his best friend. I thank God for every one of them. He sure knew what He was doing!

What inspired you to write the Hot Buttons series? 

I was searching for ways to lead my children to make good decisions and decided it would be far better to talk to them proactively about issues they would one day face, than it would be to wait until they were buried under poor choices. I believed it would be easier to control the way they perceived the information and easier to help them see and understand the consequences of poor decisions if they could look at it objectively, without the added stress of peer pressure and other outside influences. This relaxed and safe way of approaching the issues has been invaluable in preparing my own kids for the pressure they’d soon face, and the added benefit of open and honest discussion has brought us closer together. It was out of my own experiences with my kids that the Hot Buttons series was birthed.

What do you think is important for parents to know about how their teens view dating and the Internet, the two topics of your first Hot Buttons books? 

It’s vital that parents understand what their teens already think about those hot button topics. Really understanding their teens’ viewpoints and preconceived ideas gives parents insight into how their kids will act under pressure. Information is key to tailoring education on the issue and to crafting responses individual to each teenager.

What else are you working on right now?

I’m in the middle of researching for the next four Hot Buttons books, which will be available in 2013. I’m also putting a lot of focus on new releases since I have nine books releasing this year including fiction and non-fiction for both teens and parents.

What interests do you have outside of writing? 

I love what I’m doing. I’m living my dream. I’ve given up a lot of outside things to give more time to my passion. How many people can say that about their work? Someone brilliant once said that if you’re able to do what you love, you’ll never work another day in your life. I’m grateful to God for what he’s given me, and I happily give my spare moments to my writing and all that goes along with it. I do exercise. Sometimes. Oh, and I speak at events, lead a local writing group and teach a publishing course at the community college. I also host Choose NOW Radio — a weekly radio show where I bring guests on to talk about anything and everything today’s teens might be interested in. You can find it at

Why teenagers? 

Well, I didn’t choose this age group for my focus — God did. Honestly, it’s difficult. It’s heartbreaking sometimes and exhausting a lot of the time. I often ask myself if I’m too old or too out of touch to minister to teens. But then I get a letter or an email from someone who was touched by something I did or said. I’m reminded in those moments that God has called me to reach out to teens, probably because those were the years of my deepest personal spiritual battle. In my teens, I was pulled hard to both extremes. God wanted big things for me, and Satan wanted the opposite. My struggles, my failures, my pain — those things drive me to want more for today’s teens. I want to spare them from some of the heartache I endure and help them tackle the temptations and peer pressures head on, confidently, secure in their Savior’s love. They’re the future.

You can find more information about me and my books and links to all the fun social stuff at

For your chance to win 1 of 2 copies of one of Nicole’s books, be sure to head over the Living Inspired show landing page and leave a comment with your e-mail address! Winners will be announced on Sunday right here on my blog!

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