For those of you who don’t know Nicole, she is a prolific writer, the host of Teen Talk Radio, the author of an awesome teen advice blog, and she is a mother of six (including three-year-old triplets!).
You host an advice column for teen girls on your website, what are some of the questions you’re most often asked?
We get asked a lot of variations on questions about BFF and boyfriends. When I see those two things together in the same question, I know it’s not gonna be good! 😉 Also, family things–parents don’t understand me, they’re too hard on me, too strict, etc.
Your daughters Natalie and Emily helped write Girl Talk, first of all congrats to them (I’m very impressed!). How was this experience? How did the three of you work out answering questions?
Oh man, I soooo enjoyed the process of writing this book with them. It’s based on our blog column on the www.choose-now.com site, as you mentioned (thank you), so we’ve already been working together like this–but the book definitely amped it up. We generally read a question and chat about the possibilities. Most often we stop and pray about the situation and for the people involved. Then, one of the girls offer their thoughts and the other follows.
I always go last. That’s probably for more selfish reasons than you’d think. I want to hear from my girls first. I want to know what they think and see into their thought processes and their personal convictions. I also love when they pull scripture out of their memory and apply it to a need. I wouldn’t get to witness that if I went first. Priceless. 🙂
The honesty. The questions in this book are not sweet, syrupy, churchy questions. They are written by real teens, from real families, with real issues. And, we answer them from a place of openness. Issues like divorce, adultery, eating disorders, body image, dating, drugs, alcohol, sex, etc. As one reviewer (Jodi from Word Up, Nerd Up) said, “While some of the topics may seem a bit mature for the tween set, a quick glance at the world around us confirms that is not the case. Sadly, childhood has become shorter and adult worries intrude at an earlier age. Parents may not want to face the reality, but if the kids are old enough to ask the questions, they are old enough to get answers.”
Girl Talk the column and the book are both places where teens can be real and honest about their lives, but can trust that the answers come from a place of prayer and Biblical guidance.
Authors usually read just as much as they write, what fiction books would you recommend to the teen reader?
Anything by Melody Carlson! I love her books. And Robin Gunn, Jenny Jones, Jill WIlliamson…really, there’s a ton of stuff put out by Christian publishing houses. Most avid teen readers can probably read it all and still have room for more. So go for it! Have you read Stephanie Morrill’s, The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt series? If not, check those out, too!
What books are currently on your nightstand?
Randy Alcorn’s novel, Courageous, and Resolution for Women, also from the movie Courageous. I’m consumed by the idea of what God expects of us as parents and as Christians. This movie, book, study guides, etc, do a FABULOUS job of asking us to dig deep and figure that out. In fact, if you’d like to own a copy of the Courageous DVD, you can enter to win one of the two copies I’m giving away on my site right now. It’s an easy, one-button entry process at www.choose-NOW.com or www.nicoleodell.com.
Can you tell me about some of the other projects you’re working on?
I have a series of non-fiction books for parents that start their release in 2012. Hot Buttons: Internet Edition and Hot Buttons: Dating Edition release on 4/1. They’re the first two in a multi-book, quick-reference series designed to help parents talk to their tweens and teens about real-life issues. Watch for the Hot Buttons: Sexuality Edition and Hot Buttons: Drug Edition to release later this year with others to follow in 2013.
Being both a prolific published author, a committed blogger, and a mother to six kids (including three-year-old triplets!), how do you find time to get everything done?
Oh boy. This is an interesting question and one I get asked a lot. Shocker, huh? I really don’t know. One thing I can say is that when I’m operating with a heart of service and not out of ambition, it all gets done easily. But when I let pride or selfish gain creep in, nothing flows. It’s a constant spiritual balancing act and one I’m grateful to see play out on a regular basis. I don’t want to do any of it if it’s not for Him. I want to stay Kingdom focused and, since that’s the underlying cry of my heart, He makes sure I walk that line.
What Bible verse has God laid on your heart recently and what has it meant to you?
My biggie is Philippians 1:6,
It’s always been the promise I cling to for myself in my walk with the Lord, and for my kids and the teens I reach out to. You know, it’s a promise that tells me to lighten up. it says, “Hey, they’re mine. I started the work and I’m going to finish it. It’s not up to you. Just be at peace and do the work I’ve set before you to lead them and train them up. I’ll do the rest.” Ahhhh. What a breath of fresh air!
If you could offer only one piece of encouragement to a teen girl, what would it be?
Honestly, I only have a cliche’ to offer: This, too, will pass. I know, believe me, that things seem so grave or so life-changing right now. But, trust me, the pain, the confusion, the fear, and the doubt will pass away. You are a beautiful creature in Christ Jesus and He will fulfill His purpose in and THROUGH you if you surrender to Him. He not only wants your heart, but He wants to use you to further His kingdom. You’re THAT important to Him. THAT worthy.
Thanks for joining us today! We wish you and the girls the best with the release of Girl Talk!
Get to know Nicole for yourself over at Nicole O’Dell’s website.