It’s All About Choices! Author Nicole O’Dell is in the business of helping young teen girls make better decisions. About what, you may ask. Well, what are the temptations facing them? Lying, cheating, drugs, stealing are just a few. Let’s talk with Nicole about how her novels can help. PLUS: an exclusive sneak peek into some of her most recent news! PLUS: If you’re on Twitter, follow me (http://twitter.com/valeriecomer) and Nicole (http://twitter.com/Nicole_Odell) at 12 noon Pacific (1 pm Mountain, 2 pm Central, 3 pm Eastern….etc!) TODAY for a Twitter interview using the hashtag #scenarios. Read to the end of THIS interview for the ‘rules!’
Tell us about the concept of your Scenarios books!
They are stories about every teen girl and what peer pressure and temptation throw her way. Each book has alternate endings where the reader has to make the tough choices for the main character.
My own teen years were really difficult–full of poor decisions and a lot of heartache. For many reasons, I kind of stumbled into popularity and peer pressure after a couple of years of being rather alone. I wasn’t prepared for what I’d face and the choices I’d encounter.
Each Scenarios book has a major moral decision for the reader to make for the main character. I believe that the alternate endings allow the reader to live out the consequences of her decision through the eyes of the books’ characters. The goal is that the reader will feel more personally affected by the outcomes because the choice was ultimately hers. Then, at the end of each story, there’s a contract and a prayer designed to help the reader commit to the choices she’ll make about that issue in her future.
It’s all about choices and the preparation for those decisions. We have to get in there with the issues long before tweens and teens actually face them.
Yes, books 1-4 have already released as individual titles. But now Barbour Publishing has done an awesome job repackaging those four books and two brand new ones into three 2-books-in-1 volumes.
And the never-before released:
SCENARIOS 5 & 6SWEPT AWAY!!
In High Stakes, seniors and best friends, Amber and Brittany, are neck and neck in a good-natured competition for a car being given away by a local business. In Essence of Lilly, sophomore Lilly Armstrong is always looking for ways to escape the confines of her unhappy home. She “invent” youth group activities just so she can hang out with her boyfriend, Jason–the only one in Lilly’s life who makes her feel special. What happens when Amber and Lilly are faced with making difficult choices? Readers help Amber and Lilly make the difficult decisions by choosing between alternate endings, and then see how their choices create consequences with life-altering results.
Essence of Lilly is book six in the Scenarios series and can be found in the brand new 2-in-1, Swept Away.
So far, the response has been mostly excellent with a few concerns. To be honest, parents are sometimes afraid to paint the picture of the real temptation for pre-marital sex. They do a good job, for the most part, of laying down the rules and convincing teens that it’s wrong. And, most often, those teens agree that they’ll wait for marriage. But, to be perfectly honest, they don’t know what they’re agreeing to.
What if I convinced you that chocolate was horrible and you promised me you’d never eat it? Then, walking by the fudge shop at the mall, you got a good whiff of its milky sweetness. Wouldn’t it stop you in your tracks? Or if you took a nibble–just one teensy nibble–would you be as firm in your resolve?
It’s important–vital–to let our teens know that we get it. We’ve been there; we know how the story goes. By sharing Lilly’s story and putting the teen reader in the heat of that moment to make the tough choice and then live it out either way, I hope to create a deeper understanding of what she’s committing to and why. Plus, when she’s in a situation that’s testing her resolve, I pray she’ll remember what happened with Lilly.
Yes, this is actually the first time I’m posting about this publicly. I’ve blurbed about it on my blog and shared the news in my newsletter, but here’s the whole deal:
In typical form, the wonderful and forward-thinking people at Barbour have stepped up the game! We’re going to be releasing all three of these new Scenarios 2-in-1s as enhanced e-Books on 8/1/11. To help explain what enhanced eBooks are, first check out this post on my blog, and then I’ll tell you how that applies to my fiction.
To convert my Scenarios books into that enhanced format, I’m going to host a group of teens (girls and boys) who will discuss the various issues in the Scenarios books. Then, video and audio segments of those discussions, some of my own audio files, images and links to web resources, and whatever else will bring these books to life in an electronic format, will be placed throughout the eBooks as a truly interactive, multi-media experience.
Oooh, that sounds awesome! I haven’t seen any books done that way yet–for youth OR adults, and I can hardly wait to see how these come together!
Okay, I get that you care about these girls. Why are you the right person to address these issues?
Been there, done that. Does that cover it well enough?
No, really. I am only writing about that which I know all too well. After much heartache and fodder for regret, I checked into a Teen Challenge center where I got my life right with the Lord and committed to helping teens avoid many of the same struggles I endured.
Diamond Estates is a new series I’m doing with Barbour.
The first book, The Wishing Pearl, releases on October first.
Sixteen-year-old Olivia Mansfield can’t wait to escape the confines of her home, which promises nothing but perpetual torment and abuse from her stepfather. When poor choices lead her to the brink of a complete breakdown, Olivia comes to a crossroads. Will she find the path to ultimate hope and healing once she moves into Diamond Estates?
This series is borne out of my experiences at Teen Challenge. They are totally different than the Scenarios books, and in many ways, evidence of my process as a teen.
I’m also working on various projects to go along with the enhanced eBooks we’re doing for Scenarios. Those will release this August.
Where can people find out more about you/connect with you online?
Thanks so much for coming by, Nicole. I look forward to seeing where your journey as an author takes you over the coming years.
Decisions, decisions! How is a girl supposed to choose? Lessons of right and wrong are put to the test in the Scenarios series, where you can test your decision-making abilities in an eye-opening, but safe, way. Each book follows a character up to the point where she has to make an important, life-changing decision–then it’s your turn to choose. Will your choices lead to a happy ending?
Okay! The Twitter interview is today, Friday, April 8 at 12 noon Pacific time. For ONE person who comments here, on this blog post, AND has a question or comment for Nicole during our Twitter interview #scenarios, Nicole is offering a set of all three Scenarios 2-in-1s. But you must participate both places. If you’re a teenage girl, or the parent, grandparent, or aunt of one–or just know a teen girl you’d like to bless with these books, please join in. Remember to use #scenarios to participate in the interview. There will be an open question time at the end. Welcome to our first ever Twitter Interview!
(If you’ve never commented on my blog before, I’ll have to moderate your comment. I’ll definitely check moderation before we award the prize!)