I’m very excited to share my interview with Gabrielle Tozer today! She’s the fabulous debut Aussie author of The Intern. You can read my review of it here (it’s awesome! Favourite book this year!). You can find it on Goodreads here.. This is what it’s all about:
Josie Browning dreams of having it all.
A stellar academic record, an amazing career in journalism – and for her current crush to realise she actually exists. The only problem? Josie can’t get through twenty-four hours without embarrassing her sister Kat or her best friend Angel, let alone herself.
Josie’s luck changes though when she lands an internship at the glossy fashion magazine Sash. A coveted columnist job is up for grabs, but Josie’s g
ot some tough competition in the form of two other interns. Battle lines are drawn and Josie quickly learns that the magazine industry is far from easy, especially under the reign of powerful editor, Rae Swanson.
From the lows of coffee-fetching and working 10-hour days, to the highs of mingling with celebrities, scoring endless free beauty products (plus falling for her cousin’s seriously gorgeous flatmate James) this is one year Josie will never forget.
Totally fresh and funny, this debut novel from industry insider Gabrielle Tozer reveals just what is behind the seeming glamour and sparkle of the magazine industry.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR!
Gabrielle Tozer is an author, journalist and copywriter from Wagga Wagga, New South Wales. Since moving to Sydney almost a decade ago, she has worked as a managing editor, deputy editor, chief subeditor, senior features writer and freelance for publications including DOLLY, Girlfriend, Cosmopolitan, Bride to Be, DisneyGiRL, Disney Adventures, The Canberra Times and Mamamia.
The Beautiful RED Cover
There’s also a competition currently running to find the limited copies of this beautiful red cover. Pop into your local bookstore and have a search, because the prizes are worth it! There are 20 to be found all across Australia.
– 1 major prize winner will score amazing loot, including ELF cosmetics, Diva jewellery, an Apple iPod nano, a Kate Spade bag and a HarperCollins book pack.*
– 19 other lucky runners-up will nab ELF cosmetics, Diva jewellery and a HarperCollins book pack
You can find out more about the competition over here.
(also also also I own one of these awesome red copies!! The photo below is of my sister and me (I’m on the right) and the one below that is how it looks in my bookshelf)
1. You’ve been a journalist for many different publications. Was there a particular time you thought about writing a novel, or did it always appeal to you?
I’ve wanted to be an author since I was six years old – I even did a school assignment where I had to name my top 10 careers and ‘author’ made the cut (so did news reporter!). Meeting authors like John Marsden and Margaret Clarke only motivated me further. While working as a journalist, the feeling never went away and I even participated in National Novel Writing Month when I was at DOLLY magazine in 2009. Nothing came of that draft (it was terrible), but that was when I really started feeling ‘hungry’ for it.
2. What was your road to publication like?
Surprisingly speedy, out-of-the-blue, terrifying and exciting. I wrote the first draft of The Intern on spec after being approached by HarperCollins, so didn’t know what the outcome would be. I was petrified they would say no and had about a million meltdowns to anyone who would listen. A few people thought I was crazy for writing without the promise of a contract or guaranteed advance, but I saw it as the kick up the butt I needed. The day my publisher Lisa rang to offer me a two-book deal, I cried in the hallway at work – it was, without a doubt, one of the most surreal, wonderful moments of my life.
3. The Intern could be classified as NA, but it doesn’t seem like there’s a market for it in Australia. What are your thoughts on NA in general?
To be honest, I haven’t explored the ins-and-outs of NA too much. Now that The Intern is out of my hands and on the market, I’m open to people slotting it in wherever they see fit. Teen magazines like Girlfriend and DOLLY have been incredibly supportive, however older publications like SHOP Til You Drop and Sunday Style have also featured it so it seems to tick a few age groups. I’ve been contacted by people as young as 12 and old as 60 who are enjoying it, too, so I’m happy as long as people are reading books.
4) What’s something about you that would surprise readers of The Intern?
My husband JT (who is a lawyer but also has a journalism degree) and I fell in love while discussing creative writing seven years ago. Creativity has always been a part of ‘us’, so he is super hands-on with my proofreading process. I don’t include him in my brainstorming or writing (which drives him crazy) as I am fiercely protective of my first drafts and need time to get the ideas out, but once it’s editing time JTreally earns his book dedication. He read the first draft of The Intern back in early 2012, took pages and pages of notes, sat me down, held my hand and explained that he was proud of me but I needed to rewrite the second half of the novel because it wasn’t flowing properly. I cried, he hugged me, then I got to work making it into the novel it is today. For a 29-year-old guy, he really knows how to channel a 17-year-old girl!
5) What’s your favourite part of writing?
I have a few favourite parts (is that greedy?). Number one: when I have stretches of uninterrupted time and the freedom to explore, experiment and play with my writing. I work fulltime, so those moments are precious. Number two: holding the finished book in my hands was so satisfying. I was almost too exhausted to enjoy it, but it gave me a sense of accomplishment that I probably won’t feel again until I see the sequel. Number three: hearing from happy readers of The Intern. The feedback so far has been incredible, warm and lovely and I feel like everyone is ‘getting’ what I set out to do.
6) There are two covers for The Intern, as well as the elusive red cover. What was the reasoning for this?
This is the brainchild of the brilliant HarperCollins marketing team. I think it began with white and black options but no one could decide between them because they’re both so fab, so they figured why not do both! I’m thrilled they did – they look great on the shelves. As for the 20 limited-edition red covers, that was another genius HarperCollins idea that has excited book lovers around the country. I’ve had so many people contact me asking for clues as to where they are hidden but I have no idea!
7) And finally, what’s next for you? After this series is finished, will you continue to write YA?
I am editing the sequel to The Intern at the moment, which will require me to go off the grid for a few months to finish it (in between working fulltime). JT has given it a proofread and, once again, there’s some serious rewriting to do. I’ll be head down, butt up working on the first draft of that to send to my publisher, then the process begins all over again! I definitely have other contemporary YA stories rattling around in my brain that I’d love to get on the page, too. These ideas are begging me to write them but I am drowning in deadlines so have put them on the back burner until the sequel is done. You can stay up-to-date with all my future projects via gabrielletozer.com,facebook.com/hellogabrielletozer and twitter.com/gabrieller.
A big thank you to Gabrielle Tozer for letting me interview her! You should all check out The Intern – it’s well worth a read (or a few reads!).