Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Girlfriends Cyber Circuit Presents Jennifer O'Connell

I'm about to head to Round Rock for the booksigning tonight (7 p.m. at Hastings on IH-35!), and I'm not sure whether to take my car or build an ark after the amount of rain we had last night. Too bad I don't have a life vest to throw in the back seat.

I leave you with this entry on the Girlfriends Cyber Circuit (gee, a blog post that isn't all me, me, me, book, book, book, me, me, MEEEEEE!). My guest is Jennifer O'Connell, author of Insider Dating (you may recall her as the author of Bachelorette #1, Off the Record and Dress Rehearsal).

Abby Dunn, barely past thirty and still reeling from her divorce, has taken herself off the dating market. Instead, she’s using her experience to turn the tables on the opposite sex by building a database to rank underperforming men and set women straight when investing their greatest asset: themselves.

Now, what started as a pet project is becoming a full-time enterprise. But while Abby’s busy hedging bets, someone is skewing her data and threatening to ruin her business. Abby is 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.

Now, the interview:
What was the inspiration behind this book?
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.

Do you have any real-life exes who could go in the bad-date database (names can be changed to protect the guilty, but a few juicy details would be fun)?
Not so much in a bad-date database but more like an undesirable boyfriend database. I had a boyfriend who loved to fight, especially after a few drinks. I'm talking he'd throw punches with anyone. Another boyfriend enjoyed his porn, to the point where he taped pictures to his dorm room wall. You'd think I'd have seen the signs right? Especially when they're wearing a red g-string and staring me in the face every time I sit on his bed.

(I guess most of my Mr. Wrongs never made it to boyfriend status, so I'd need the bad-date database.)

Since you're also the editor of the upcoming Everything I Needed to Know About Being a Girl, I Learned From Judy Blume, do you have a particular "Judy Blume moment" from your youth that you're willing to discuss publicly?
Actually, my essay was all about Judy Blume moments. They aren't these big pivotal moments, they were just really stupid things-a nightgown I owned, or watching my mother put on makeup as a kid. They're moments that, when they're happening, you don't really recognize how significant they are, and it's only afterwards that you realize that those were the things that make you the person you become.

What are you working on now?
I just sold a new teen series to Pocket/MTV. It takes place on Martha's Vineyard, where the island transforms during the summer with rich teen socialites and the local girls are reminded there are two types of people - the ones who get to leave at summer's end, and the ones who are left behind.

For more info about Jennifer and her book, visit her web site. To buy the book from Amazon, go here.

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