About James V. O'Connor

The basics about me:

Jim O'Connor in ParisI was born in Chicago, the fifth child in a fun family of eight kids. I’ve lived in the Chicago area most of my life. I majored in English at Loyola University in Chicago, spent a couple of years as an officer in the U.S. Army, and worked in communications for two small companies, four corporations, and one public relations agency before starting my own public relations firm, O’Connor Communications, Inc. My wife, Lynda, is my business partner, and for several years we have specialized in promoting authors and their books.

In 2003, I started a second business, CLUTTER CONTROL, a home organizing operation.  The physical nature of the work is a wonderful balance to my desk job, and helping people get organized is extremely gratifying. For three years I was the publicity director for the Chicago Chapter of the National Association of Professional Organizers and appeared on many TV news programs in Chicago as well as two national programs, CBS Sunday Morning and the Early Show.

The personal stuff:

Jim and LyndaLynda and I were married in 1993, a second marriage for both of us. We each had amicable divorces and remain close friends with our former spouses. I have a son and a daughter and five grandchildren, and Lynda has two daughters and one grandson—so far.

Lynda and I enjoy working together and share the same interests—tennis, paddle tennis, golf, travel, movies, spending time with family and friends, and meeting new people. We live in Lake Forest, Illinois.

My first book:

When I was in college, I informed my father I wanted to be a writer. He told me that would be a good back-up skill for a real job. He was right, as usual. I was over 50 when I wrote my first book, CUSS CONTROL, but the experience was the highpoint of my life and a writer’s dream come true. The words just flowed onto the paper. Lynda immediately found a great New York agent for me. Three major publishers bid on my book, with Random House (Three Rivers Press) winning. The media loved it, and I was on Oprah right from the start. For months I was getting up to 10 calls a day from TV and radio stations, newspapers and magazines.  Lynda set up a 15-city media tour with great results. I went to Hollywood to be part of a documentary on swearing. For years, every time we traveled for business or pleasure, Lynda arranged one or more interviews for me. It has slowed down, but hasn’t stopped.

My newest book:

Shortly after I started my home organizing business, I considered writing a how-to book, but more than 25 books were already on the store shelves. I decided to write Another Man’s Treasure, a novel about a home organizer that would be entertaining while indirectly teaching readers some things about organizing. Almost every book (and every movie and song) has a love interest, so I decided to toss one in.

Writing a novel was more challenging than I thought it would be, and it took me several years. Two writers, some friendly literary agents, and a few avid readers critiqued it for me and made suggestions, and I’m very pleased with the final result.

As I wrote, the love story became my favorite part, even though others have said they like the search for hidden riches more. I hope my readers find both story lines enjoyable.

My disappointments:

In between my two published books, I spent a good deal of time working on outlines and book proposals for three non-fiction books—all serious topics, but written with a sense of humor. I was unable to find agents for any of them:

  • Public Bathrooms: Why We Hate Them and How to Change Them
  • True Lust: Confronting the Male Sex Drive
  • Facing the World: How People Unlucky in Looks Found Self-Esteem, Love and Success

 

My next book:

I’m thinking about it.

Stock photo credits: Book Pile © Matthew Benoit; Pencil Holder © Luminis — Fotolia.com