Writing the Love List and What Inspired It.
It was the summer of 2011, when I begrudgingly surfed the Internet helping my friend for a Nicaraguan toy drive she was holding when an advertisement for a book publication caught my eye. I really can’t say what compelled me to read on further and then submit a pitch but I’m glad I did.
Skip to two years later and I was finally holding my very first copy of The Love List in my hands, excited for the launch process to begin. But how did it go – from and idea to book?
My pitch was created on sort of a whim – I know I had lots of things I could talk about … school (nursing or business) travel, acting, fashion and design. But nothing really resonated and tugged at my heartstrings more than the idea of the Love List.
The List that I created when I was in my early twenties, served as a base for finding my first boyfriend. This list included 55 characteristics and qualities I was looking for in a potential mate. When the relationship ended a new list was created (I’m told it’s still quite lengthy at 23 characteristics).
I didn’t think that it was possible to be the only one who thought in ‘List-like’ proportions. And I was interested to see what others had to say about my idea. Enter pitch here!
As a first time author, and not knowing any other published authors – I felt that I was thrown into a deep end of the swimming pool and I was barley-treading water. How do you begin writing a book? Easy – you just start writing.
But after a few months of ‘just writing’ I learned – I really needed a skeleton to transform abstract ideas into focused subjects that then turned into my chapters.
Please keep in mind – while writing this short novella I was also working full time and enrolled in a part time MBA program. So while my publisher would often give me soft deadlines, it was hard to juggle everything at once and a few months often turned into 6-month periods.
My process was sporadic. I would often write whenever I felt like I mentally could put down a profound thought. Some days I would write a few paragraphs and then leave it for another month. Cell phones are magical and I wrote half my book on my phone while on transit.
For the interviews I conducted with friends and friends of friends – I had a notebook that was filled and then information that would be transcribed into an excel spreadsheet. It sounds very technical – but I think it was a good way to organize my thoughts.
The research was easy. There are so many books written on love and relationships – I was hard to narrow it down to a mere 14 resources. It was also hard not to cloud my thought process with already published thoughts (read: plagiarism)! I didn’t want my book to be heavy on the research and fall short on the original content either. But I figured that since I was an unofficial authority of love and relationships – I should seek the opinions of professionals with the like mind.
All in all, for my first book – I’m excited with the result and I can’t wait for you to read it!
Bio: Elena Murzello is a multifaceted, multi-tasker, and certainly a “go-getter”. She is a registered nurse, actress, writer, traveler, design engineer and soon-to-be MBA grad. Elena was born in Wetaskiwin, Alberta and now is a city girl living in Vancouver, British Columbia.