In Another Man’s Treasure author James V. O’Connor tells the story of Ted McCormack, a comfortably married man dealing with the sometimes uncomfortable position of running his own struggling business while his wife takes on the role of bread winner. Ted is a capable, resourceful man and he’s dedicated to his work as a home organizer; he’s a regular guy leading a regular life – at least, until the enigmatic and cantankerous Mr. Smith hires him to find an unspeakably important something within a staggering old Victorian house. In a whirlwind of events Ted finds himself in the middle of a very strange treasure hunt, the likes of which he didn’t expect to occur in any regular man’s regular life. In addition to his odd adventure Ted is battling his attraction to his effervescent client, the lovely Janet Blake. Her zest for life is infectious, her spirit captivating, and Ted can’t seem to stop thinking about her; but he’s a good man and a devoted husband so it will take more than all the power of his chemistry with Janet to make him stray. Janet herself is more than just a pretty face, too, and soon she finds herself embroiled in the mystery of the Victorian house alongside Ted and his team.
James O’Connor brings together all the great crowd-pleasers – romance, suspense and mystery – to make Another Man’s Treasure an unforgettable and exhilarating read. I was curious about how the relationship between Ted and Janet would work out, compelled by their great spark to think of them as a great match who are discovering each other at an imperfect, challenging time in their lives. Janet was an easy character to connect to with her charming personality, cheerful determination and wily sass. Peppered throughout the book were other memorable characters, from the good – Ted’s sarcastically humorous workman, Enrique – to the bad – Janet’s wild-tempered ex-husband, Derek. Every aspect comes to new life through O’Connor’s storytelling, making Another Man’s Treasure as timelessly classic a novel as it is refreshingly original in story.
The author was also kind enough to take some time to answer a small Q&A for you all – read on and enjoy!
You and your wife, Lynda, live outside of Chicago yet you based Another Man’s Treasure in Albany, New York. What made you choose that setting for the book?
The story involves a Victorian mansion, and there are plenty of them in Albany. Mine is ficticious, but on a real street (Pine). Also, I needed a city the size of Albany where some of the characters might know of each other or have heard of each other.
In the novel Ted endeavors to catapult his home-organizing skills into a thriving business. As the owner of a home organizing company yourself, did you draw on your experience when writing about Ted’s business?
Yes. Also, my intention was to provide an entertaining story through which readers could learn how professional home organizers work and learn some organizing tips.
You deal with the heavy subject of extramarital affairs in Another Man’s Treasure. Was there a message you wanted to send through Ted and Janet’s relationship in the book?
Absolutely. It’s only natural for people to be attracted to someone other than their spouse, but dangerous—and exciting—when the feelings are strong and mutual. I believe most affairs are not premeditated, they just happen. Either the man or the woman can be the instigator. It’s a challenging test of self-control and loyalty. In the case of Ted and Jane, there is a surprise ending.
While this is your debut novel you’ve also experienced great success with your previous self-help book, Cuss Control: The Complete Book on How to Curb Your Cursing, for which you appeared in numerous interviews on television shows such as The View and The Oprah Winfrey Show. What compelled you to write Cuss Control and then to proceed on to such a different writing medium with a novel?
Swearing isn’t the worst thing we can do, and it’s one way we express ourselves, but it can be offensive, influence the way people judge us, and it’s often negative. CUSS CONTROL advocates discretion, not elimination. My original intention for a second book was a guide to getting organized, but so many how-to books were on the market already, I knew a novel would be fun to read as well as informative. By the way, both books include humor, one of my strong points and an essential element, in my opinion.
While writing is not your “day job” do you plan to continuing publishing novels in the future – or perhaps another non-fiction book?
I’m working on several ideas, fiction and non-fiction. If “Another Man’s Treasure” sells well, I’ll do another novel. It’s great fun creating plots and characters.
Thanks so much to James O’Connor for providing a review copy of Another Man’s Treasure and for taking the time to answer some questions. If you’re interested in purchasing your own copy of the novel or you’d like to connect with the author, here are some ways to go about it: