10 things you didn’t know about…
Gabrielle Tozer, author of The Intern
1. I’m mad for Hawaiian pizza, just like The Intern’s main character Josie Browning. Apologies if that offends the ‘pineapple doesn’t belong on pizza’ squad but the heart (and tastebuds) want what they want! I chomped many slices of ham-and-pineapple pizza while writing The Intern.
2. I wake up at 5.30am most mornings to write (except Sundays). Yep, that wasn’t a typo: I am an early bird and I’ve discovered it’s the only time I can squeeze in writing around my fulltime work as a senior editor and copywriter. Needless to say I go to sleep at a nanna-like time each night, too.
3. When I was a wee lass, I used to write Baby-Sitters Club fan fiction. Shout out to the author Ann M. Martin for her epic series (and a special mention goes to Francine Pascal’s Sweet Valley High, too – my teen days wouldn’t have been the same without those books).
4. I don’t own a hairbrush. Sad but true. I comb my fringe but the rest of my lion’s mane is left to fend for itself. I figure the less time I have to spend styling my hair in the morning, the more time I have for writing. (Thank god for the fancy hair and make-up artists who pampered me for my author headshots!)
5. I have a bit of a crush on one of the main characters, James (sorry, Josie). He’s cute, kind and funny, has dimples, makes a mean cup of tea and rides a scooter… what’s not to love? Hopefully you guys like him just as much I liked writing him into Josie’s world!
6. I want to help everyone get their big break. I’ve recently founded The Bottom Rung, an online hub on gabrielletozer.com which contains career advice from experts in industries like magazines, TV, fashion, beauty, design and more. I’ve had so many people mentor me over the years, so hopefully The Bottom Rung’s little nuggets of wisdom help others work towards their dream jobs too.
7. I can’t do handstands, cartwheels or forward-rolls (but I’ve skydived!). I don’t know how to explain this quirk but I would rather skydive than try to do a handstand – yes, I was that girl making every excuse possible to get out of PE, unless it was partner dancing…
8. I totally fan-girled when I met John Marsden. Wouldn’t you? I adore him and just finished re-reading the Tomorrow series for the zillionth time.
9. I had a reality-TV-worthy reaction to my book-deal news. When my publisher rang to tell me HarperCollins wanted to print THE INTERN and a sequel, I held it together – just – on the phone. But the moment I hung up, I burst into tears and slid onto the carpet in a scene that wouldn’t have been out of place on a Z-grade reality show. Melodramatic, who me?
10. My little sister dressed me for my first big job interview at DOLLY magazine. Yep, just like Josie, I have a little sister who is 110% cooler than me who decided I needed fashion help with a capital H. Luckily, she took me on a shopping spree the day before the interview so I didn’t embarrass myself! The only problem was, I scored a second interview and didn’t have anything to wear to that so one of my best friends from school Nina (House Party’s Nina Las Vegas) loaned me a flowy top and a pair of wedges. I swear I know how to dress myself now – well, most of the time, anyway!
DEBUT DELIRIUM BONUS QUESTION! How has your background in publishing and you being a journalist influenced your debut, The Intern, and are you anything like Josie Browning?
A: THE INTERN is fiction but, thanks to my decade working in the media, there are snippets of truth peppered throughout it (but the majority is exaggerated or made up – I couldn’t let my imagination off that easily).
On a practical note, my background as a journalist and sub-editor set me up for the discipline it takes to write a novel. From meeting tight deadlines to self-editing 80,000 words, journalism is a wonderful training ground for those wanting to pursue novel-writing.
As for whether I’m like Josie Browning? We have a few crossovers – both nerdy high-school students, bit awkward with guys, adore Hawaiian pizza – but she lives a far more exciting life than I do! After all, while I’ve met plenty of celebrities, I can’t say I’ve been caught in a public social-media scandal with one of them!
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