PERSONAL: Children: Cordelia, two sons.
Sex, Lies, and Litigation, Trafalger Square (London, England), 1998.
What's a Girl to Do?, Headline (London, England), 1998.
Making the A-List, Headline (London, England), 1999.
That Girl-Boy Thing, Headline (London, England), 2001.
The Sex Was Great But …, Red Dress Ink (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2004.
Sex with the Ex, Red Dress Ink (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2005.
"CALYPSO CHRONICLES"; FOR CHILDREN
Pulling Princes, Bloomsbury (New York, NY), 2004.
Dueling Princes, Bloomsbury (New York, NY), 2005.
Stealing Princes, Bloomsbury (New York, NY), 2005.
Author for television sitcoms. Contributor to periodicals, including Vogue UK, Ms., Journal UK, Marie Claire Australia, Elle, Cosmopolitan, and Vogue Australia.
O'Connell's books have been translated into French, German, Czech, Slovak, and Estonian.
ADAPTATIONS: Pulling Princes was adapted as an audio book, Bolinda Audio, 2005.
SIDELIGHTS: Tyne O'Connell writes for both adults and young readers and has claimed that all of her novels are autobiographical in that they are based on her own life and on the experiences of her children. In her adult novel The Sex Was Great But … the author tells the story of the relationship between Holly Klein, host of the reality-based MakeMeOver television show, and the underachieving Leo. Holly meets Leo when he is out panhandling and recovers Holly's stolen purse. When Leo gets hurt tracking down the purse, Holly takes him back to her house so he can clean up, and the two soon find that they are attracted to each other. When Holly's producer meets Leo, she gets the idea of putting him on the show, which features celebrity makeovers, leading many in Hollywood to believe that Leo is a person of importance. Despite their mutual attraction, however, Holly refuses to be seen in public with Leo, and their relationship is soon in trouble. Writing in Booklist, Kristine Huntley called the novel a "delightful, lighthearted romp."
In Sex with the Ex public-relations professional Lola is a beautiful woman with many friends and a great job representing a successful private club called Posh House. Nevertheless, when her ex-husband and two old boyfriends attend a party at the club, Lola comes to the realization that she lacks one important thing to make her life complete: a man. She finds that she is still attracted to her ex-husband, Richard, despite his many problems, which include cocaine abuse, little money, and a girlfriend he has no qualms about deceiving. Despite her better judgment and against the advice of her friends, Lola begins to see Richard again. "Devout chick-lit lovers could do worse than this breezy romance," remarked a Kirkus Reviews critic.
The author has also written a series of novels for the younger set featuring the teenager Calypso Kelly. The first book in the series, Pulling Princes, finds the American-born Calypso in a British boarding school and striving to leave her outsider status behind and become part of the popular set. Her goal seems to be in reach until classmate Holly becomes jealous when Calypso garners the attention of Prince Freddie, who is second in line to the British throne. A Publishers Weekly contributor called the effort "frothy and fastpaced," while Claire Rosser, writing in Kliatt, commented that the story is "outrageously funny." In Stealing Princes, O'Connell continues the adventures of Calypso, who this time must deal with a new room-mate who may be out to steal her boyfriend, Prince Freddie. Booklist contributor Cindy Welch observed that the "boarding school setup provides some fun."
O'Connell told CA: "When I was seven, I was consumed by the bittersweet hilarity of Nancy Mitford's fictional works. When I discovered that the fictional worlds she created were actually referencing her own life, I was completely captivated. I knew that was what I wanted to do: make my life fictional and my fiction alive. As I travelled the world as a professional gambler, my only outlet was writing. Then, when my first book was published by Headline UK, I folded on my last poker hand and focused on the writing.
"My life experiences and my children inform and influence all my work. Wherever I am in the world, I wake up, sit at my laptop with four double espressos and sit at my laptop and write. My family wanders in and out as I work and I carry on conversations. Around ten or twelve of an evening I like to go out, mostly to private members clubs where I meet with friends. I am usually in bed with an improving book by three or four in the morning. I don't sleep more than five hours in a twenty-four-hour period. When I was a gambler I seemed to need to sleep all the time.
"The most surprising thing I have learned as a writer is that it is almost possible to live in a parallel world while writing a book—without completely losing your mind. It also surprises me that other people are interested in what is, essentially, a very solitary and lonely art. I do like my 'Calypso Chronicle' series, which are a genuflection to my three children as well as my own childhood. But am also madly fond of Sex with the Ex because the story is based on the most painful time of my own life and yet it makes me laugh whenever I read it.
"All my books deal with the darkest, most awful, most embarrassing aspects of my own life, but somehow when I write them down, they come out as comedy, which I suppose is a bit worrying. It's rather cathartic to find yourself laughing at someone else's embarrassing shambolic life and I hope that's what my writing offers to the reader."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, August, 2004, Kristine Huntley, review of The Sex Was Great But …, p. 1910; September 1, 2005, Cindy Welch, review of Stealing Princes, p. 112.
Girls' Life, February-March, 2005, review of Pulling Princes, p. 40.
Kirkus Reviews, October 15, 2004, review of Pulling Princes, p. 1012; September 1, 2005, review of Sex with the Ex, p. 938.
Kliatt, November, 2004, Claire Rosser, review of Pulling Princes, p. 11.
Publishers Weekly, October 4, 2004, review of Pulling Princes, p. 88; June 6, 2005, review of Stealing Princes, p. 67.
School Library Journal, December, 2004, Angela J. Reynolds, review of Pulling Princes, p. 152.
USA Today, January 12, 2005, review of Sex with the Ex.
Calypso Chronicles Web site, http://www.calypsochronicles.com/ (November 15, 2005).
Tyne O'Connell Home Page, http://www.tyneoconnell.com (November 15, 2005).