Sabrina Zollo talks about writing her first book, Why I Love My Gay Boyfriend
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Toronto-based author Sabrina Zollo has just published her first book, Why I Love My Gay Boyfriend, which she hopes will launch her career as a chick-lit author.
“My vision is to write for women and just write relatable books for women at every life stage,” said Zollo.
Why I Love My Gay Boyfriend covers a young woman’s highly anticipated first “real-world” job after finishing university. It follows a spritely MBA grad’s journey into the corporate world where she meets and becomes best friends with a gay man.
Zollo said that is an interchangeable term for “boyfriend,” which is used in the title, to describe the unique relationship between a woman and her gay best friend.
The story is loosely based on Zollo’s own experience entering the workplace after completing her MBA.
“I think you have kind of an idealized notion ... of what your first job will be like and then you kind of get thrown into it,” she said. In that key first job, young women are forming their identities against a backdrop of usually clashing corporate values.
Zollo also made a gay best-friend at her first job and said she wanted to celebrate the unique friendship between adult females and their gay male friends.
She said she has not received any negative response yet and isn’t worried about backlash for any possible stereotyping because she depicted the character very positively. “He’s a source of wisdom and maturity,” she said.
She admits she made the character flamboyant and beauty and fashion savvy, however, she hopes her readers don’t take that as a generalization because it is only a reflection of the industry he works in.
Keeping with the light, fun tone of the novel, Zollo said she already has an idea brewing for her next book: Dating in your 30s. The idea came at her book launch party when she read a passage about a first date, and it was very well-received.
Zollo’s book has been out since late September, and she will be at the Eaton Centre’s Indigo location Friday from 2-6 p.m.
Zollo has also some advice for aspiring writers.
“Just keep trying. Keep at it,” she said, adding that if she had given up after her first rejection, she would have never been published. It took her about 18 months of reaching out to publishers and agents before anyone expressed interest in the book.
She said it is important to remember that the process is subjective, and to manage expectations by realizing that rejection is part of the publishing world.
One needs to be disciplined about making time for writing, she said. She set aside one afternoon a week and aimed to complete one chapter in each session.
“[It] was pretty aggressive, but it keeps you on track,” she said.
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