Andrew Joseph O’Connell was born in 1977 in East Fremantle, Western Australia, and grew up in and around the Fremantle area. He attended primary school at Our Lady of Fatima, Palmyra, and high school at Christian Brothers’ College, Fremantle.
Andrew’s sporty life – he had a passion for tennis and, later, for Australian Rules football – led him to study Physiotherapy at Curtin University. He graduated as a physiotherapist in 1998 and took his first job at the other side of the country in Moe, Victoria.
Still young and restless, Andrew moved to Melbourne soon after, where he continued to work as a physio. But the buzz and culture of Melbourne only whetted his appetite to see the world, and in 2001, he left for Europe. He had planned to work as a physiotherapist in the UK, and travel, but the former was not to be. A temporary job as a teacher at a school of English in Italy would later become his full-time job, and subsequently, his career.
It was in Italy that Andrew discovered his passion for literature. Visiting a local bookshop, Andrew found very little in the way of books written in English. The bookshop held only a small collection of books in English, most of which were classics, but Andrew enjoyed reading them, and, unknowingly, began to lay the foundations for becoming a writer.
It wasn’t long before Andrew was writing his own stuff. After experimenting with a number of genres, he began to discover that he had a knack for dialogue and the short story. A visit to the Globe Theatre, in London, in 2004, to see Shakespeare’s The Tempest inspired Andrew to write plays so he tried his hand at that. But most of the feedback he received on what he had written was that, while the dialogue was good, his plays would not work well on the stage. He was advised by one critic to act in a few plays in order to understand more clearly how writing for the theatre must take into account the “logistics” of theatre.
His European odyssey over, Andrew returned to Australia in 2007, where he continued his work as a teacher of English to speakers of other languages, and as an English language teacher trainer. Later, encouraged by his friend, Andrew successfully auditioned for a play about an historic Australian train crash. His participation in the play led to a number of theatre contacts, and he was soon acting in other plays.
In 2010, Andrew produced three of his own short plays – The Clown and the Vampire, Death and the Little Girl, and The Man and the Mannequin – in a show called Three Unlikely Conversations.
He later decided that the short plays he had written would be better as short stories so he went about rewriting them and, adding others, eventually published Eventyr: 12 Unlikely Conversations.
Andrew still acts in the theatre from time to time (find out what he's currently working on here: www.facebook.com/CompanyOTheatre), and he is currently working on his second book in the Eventyr series. He lives with his wife, Yudy, in Rockingham, Western Australia.