Sorry for My Absence...
It is with embarrassment that I post this overdue Girlfriends Cyber Circuit blog tour from Jennifer O'Connell. Interestingly, I just ran into one of Jennifer's novels at the bookstore the other day. Jennifer's new book is titled INSIDER DATING and has just been published!
While she cringes at the thought of being called Jenny again after all these years, her teen books, PLAN B and THE BOOK OF LUKE, are published under Jenny O’Connell by MTV Books (March 2006).
Her days as a high school senior may be long behind her, but Jennifer did receive her B.A. from Smith College and her M.B.A. from the University of Chicago. A market strategy consultant, she lives outside Boston.
Only while Abby's busy hedging bets, someone is skewing her data and threatening to ruin her model. And Abby's about to find out that sometimes even the savviest market wizards can be headed for a crash.
While it may be perfectly legal, nothing good can come from insider dating...
"What if a database could tell you everything you might need to know about someone before you even met? INSIDER DATING asks just that with results that are both very funny and surprisingly heartfelt. I laughed out loud, I pondered, and I was ultimately thankful that such a database doesn't exist. Jennifer O'Connell's best book yet!"
Melissa Senate, author, SEE JANE DATE and LOVE YOU TO DEATH
"I'm crazy about Jennifer O'Connell's novels, and INSIDER DATING is another fun, smart and insightful treat!"
I was finishing my third novel and knew I had to begin thinking about what I’d do next. Everything I saw or heard was fodder for a new idea. I had a bunch of ideas but no big “a-ha” moments. One summer afternoon I was out on our deck, flipping through People magazine. One of those blow-ins for the Publishers Clearinghouse Sweepstakes fell onto my lap and I thought, “Wouldn’t it be cool if there was a clearinghouse for men.” The idea for INSIDER DATING came immediately, that a woman could create a sort of clearinghouse that allowed women to share information in a members-only club. I mentioned the idea to my agent but we’d begun talking about writing YA, and so I focused on writing that proposal for a YA book and it sold. INSIDER DATING didn’t have a synopsis or anything for almost another year.
2. Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
I’m not a good one to ask for advice, as I never really aspired to be a writer. I just enjoyed writing and happened to sell a book. Given that, I guess what I’d say is, write what you enjoy, know the business of publishing inside and out, and grow a thick skin.
3. What's your writing day like? Any tips or tricks for getting organized?
No tricks. No typical day. I have a “real job” that takes up about 50 hours of my week, so I write when I can – but I always have a notebook to take down notes in. It can be ideas for scenes, dialog I hear, or anything. This way even if I can’t write, I can give myself what I need to jumpstart the process when I have time to sit down at my laptop.
4. What's been the most exciting thing about publishing? The most frustrating?
The most existing for me is coming up with an idea that I love, that gets me (and my agent) excited. But even more exciting than that is getting the call that there’s an editor (or more!) who want the book. I only wish I’d realized that the thrill that comes from finishing a manuscript lasts approximately 32 seconds – and then the reality sets in: you need to come up with another book idea to do it all over again.
5. Do you think you might write a follow-up to this book? If not, what else is in the works?
No follow-up to this. None of my books so far were conceived to last beyond the last page. I edited an anthology of essays by some fun, funny women writers, EVERYTHING I NEEDED TO KNOW ABOUT BEING A GIRL I LEARNED FROM JUDY BLUME, and that comes out in June so I’m doing promotional stuff for that. Then I have a non-fiction book about divorce, THE DIVORCED GIRLS SOCIETY coming out in October, and in between those I need to find the time to write the first book in my new teen series that’s being published by MTV/Pocket. No name yet, but it takes place on Martha’s Vineyard during the summer.
6. Would you ever belong to a secret society where women share information about the men they’ve dated?
That’s a tough one. On the one hand, it would save a lot of wasted energy on someone who is incompatible. On the other hand, I probably wouldn’t be married to my husband. Some other woman he’d dated would have let me know that he gets up way too early (I’m not a morning person), he hates to travel (I love to get away), he can’t type (I have a laptop perma-glued to my thighs), he recites lines to cheesy movies (if I hear one more line from Fletch I’ll break out into hives), and he doesn’t take advantage of airline miles when charging things to a credit card, instead choosing to earn “Red Sox points” on a card with his favorite team’s logo (I’m a “free” mile junky who can justify any charge because I know I’m earning a flight somewhere). Maybe it’s the things you can’t itemize that end up being the things that matter.
7. Who did you dedicate this book to and why?
This book is dedicated to my two best friends, Vicki and Vangie. We’ve been best friends since we met our first day of college, and when I was writing this book they were both going through divorces. Here I was writing about a woman who was divorced and my friends were going through it for real. Their circumstances were completely different from Abby’s in the book, but the idea that your friends are the ones who are always there for you is in the book, and in our real lives as well.
8. What was the most surprising thing that's happened to you since your book's been published?
I met Kevin Bacon when I was on a morning show in NYC. He was on for his band, and we were in dressing rooms next to each other. He was in there doing scales with his voice, or whatever it is they do, all serious and self-important. We stood right next to each other in the hall and he acted like he was Pavarotti. I was like, “Dude, you danced in a barn in Footloose, get over yourself.” So now I’m 1 degree from Kevin Bacon.
Thank you so much, Jennifer! Check out Jennifer's book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your best choice, your local indy.