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Elodie Cheesman has written a warm and funny novel about a 24-year-old lawyer who is ruthlessly rational – even when it comes to love! Find out more about Love, In Theory from Elodie below including how real-life scientific studies into love inspired the premise of the book. To get a taste of this modern love story, you will also find an extract from the book!

Where did the idea for Love, In Theory come from?

EC: I’ve always been intrigued by scientific studies of love – the attempt to quantify and evaluate what most people experience as a magical, unknowable thing. It’s amazing how much we’ve figured out about love, and how little.

When I sat down to write a novel, I knew I wanted to write a love story (I grew up on a diet of rom-coms and am a hopeless romantic), but with a twist, exploring some of these academic ideas.


Elodie CheesmanElodie Cheesman


Can you tell us a bit about Romy and James?

EC: Romy is a commercial lawyer in her early twenties. She’s analytical, pragmatic and a bit socially awkward. When she decides to get serious about finding a life partner, she naturally turns to science and academic theories to inform her search.

James is a freelance graphic designer. He’s charismatic, freewheeling and raffish – exactly the kind of guy Romy has always gravitated towards, but whom the theories suggest is all wrong for her.


Like Romy, you work as a lawyer – how did you carve out time to also write a novel?

EC: Bit by bit! I wrote Love, in Theory between the hours of 6am and 8am, before work. I wasn’t always consistent (sometimes the lure of extra sleep was too great), but chipped away at a first draft over about 18 months. It was nice to have something of my own to work on, and a creative counterbalance to my legal work. 


Elodie Cheesman


What is one of the theories about how to find love that most surprised you when researching the book?

EC: I was intrigued by optimal stopping theory. When applied to dating, the theory indicates that you have the best chance of ending up with The One if you reject the first 37% of people you date (based on the total number of people you intend to date), and then choose the next person who is better than anyone you’ve dated before.

I think it’s incredible that there’s a mathematical solution to the question ‘When is the best time to settle down?’. This became the theory that kicks off Romy’s search for her life partner.


We love the relatable depiction of Sydney - it almost feels like another character in the book – was that intentional?

EC: I’m so glad to hear that! I suppose the book naturally became a love letter to Sydney. Having grown up in Canberra and moved to Sydney for university, I associate Sydney with excitement, energy and possibility (compared to the more...bucolic charm of Canberra). Those were the feelings I wanted to capture for Romy as she explores Sydney’s dating scene.

Pre-order your copy of Love, In Theory now - available in store and online from 25 May 2021.
Love, In Theory
Elodie Cheesman

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