Friday, April 2, 2010

My Journey to Publication by Nicole O’Dell

This Fortifying Friday, please welcome author Nicole O’Dell as she shares her journey to publication. (Dawn here.) Nicole has a heart for teens and uses her gifts to minister to them through her stories. She has six children, which include nineteen-month-old triplets! Wow! If you have tweens or teens, I encourage you to visit – have them visit – her Web site. The design is fun and inviting!

My Journey to Publication

“How did you get published?” I get asked that question a few times a week these days. I love to answer it because it’s one of those God stories that just heralds His greatness. In 2007, I didn't have an agent, I didn’t have a completed manuscript and I hadn’t spent years pounding the pavement, so to speak. In fact, I only queried one publisher with my Scenarios for Girls series idea. The books were still unwritten when I received a two-book contract for Truth or Dare and All that Glitters.

How did I do this? Don't laugh, I'm being totally serious. I bought The Complete Idiot's Guide to Getting Published. I sat with it on my lap as I wrote my proposal, and flipped to each chapter as it came time for that section. I followed the instructions to the letter (except for the agent part). And, it worked.

Granted, I do believe the concept had enough merit to capture the attention of a savvy editor—the books involve a moral decision that the reader makes to determine the ending. But, to approach publishers without an agent as an unpublished author, get them to read the query and take that all the way through to publication is somewhat a laughable concept in the publishing arena these days. If I wrote that story for a character in a novel, fellow writers would tell me it wasn’t a believable representation of the industry. But, it happened. In 2007. To me.

A God thing! There’s no way I could have orchestrated those events. That’s why I say it was completely God’s doing. I believe He’s called me to minister to tweens and teens, and this is just one of the ways He’s helping me do it. I might not be the best writer—but I’m learning. I may not be the funniest or most compelling speaker—but I’m definitely growing. I think the past few years have proven to me that He is greatest when I’m at my weakest.

Since 2007, I’ve written four more Scenarios for Girls books. Magna and Making Waves released YESTERDAY and are available all over. High Stakes and Essence of Lilly release in 2011. They all have the same concept that allows the reader to choose the ending based on a major moral dilemma.
Many of you reading this are aspiring to be CBA authors. I just want to encourage you to stick with it and keep your eye on your purpose. You don’t want it if He’s not in it!

Please come visit me at Also, be sure to stop by my blog: I have regular weekly columns for both parents and teens. You can sign up for my newsletter here:


Nicole O’Dell and her husband Wil have six wonderful children, the most recent additions being triplets, born in August 2008. Nicole and Wil recently began a youth group at their church for grades 7-12 where Nicole focuses on the teaching, Bible study application, service outreach planning and evangelism focus for the group. She enjoys speaking at other churches, youth groups and parenting groups to offer insight into healthy, Godly navigation of those rough teen years. Over the years, Nicole has worked as a youth director, a Bible study leader for women and teens, a counselor at a crisis pregnancy center, and was a veteran camp counselor for over a decade.

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