Some would describe my book collection as large – I don’t think I’d call two full bookshelves “large” (not including the two bookshelves outside of my room). There is one book on my shelf that is an absolute favourite of mine, and my best friend and blogging buddy, Cassidy, and myself, counted down the days until the sequel of this book was released.
Gabrielle Tozer’s debut novel, The Intern, is about a young girl, Josie Browning, and the book follows her story as an intern at a fashion magazine. She goes through the typical daily stress of “oh my God, what am I supposed to wear?”. And of course, wanting to make a good first impression. Cassidy and myself went to Girlfriend and Dolly magazines, and we found Josie a very relatable character to us. This made Josie and Gabrielle our favourite people ever (I also totally fangirled about the fact that Gabrielle Tozer and I had a conversation about our favourite books (eek!)).
Cass and myself were fortunate enough to interview Gabrielle about her debut book and the new sequel, Faking It. You can read more about Gabrielle and Josie Browning at the following links:
Cassidy: After working at Girlfriend and Dolly, would you say that The Intern represents real life experiences for you?
Gabrielle: There’s some crossover – things like beauty sales, researching articles, feeling nervous about what to wear/what to say etc – but luckily the really, really awkward moments during the internship are straight from my imagination!
Ellie: Was Faking It always going to be the sequel to your first novel?
GT: No, no it wasn’t! The sequel idea crept up on me while editing an early draft of The Intern. So, when I sent off the manuscript I mentioned to my now-publisher that I thought it had the potential for a sequel or series. Luckily, she agreed – and that’s how Faking It was born. It may have been a little cheeky to suggest it, but I didn’t want to live with any regrets.
ES: Do you think magazines are like they are in The Devil Wears Prada or is that just a myth?
GT: Hmm, depends on the magazines! The young women’s, women’s, entertainment and lifestyle titles I’ve worked on aren’t really reflected in The Devil Wears Prada – that book/movie would be more in line with fashion magazines (which I haven’t worked at). Over the years I’ve heard some crazy stories along the grapevine, though, and I probably wouldn’t last a minute at a high-end fashion magazine!
ES: What is your favourite chapter in The Intern?
GT: Without giving away any spoilers, I have soft spots for Chapter One (because I love the first page – I never thought I’d get away with it), Chapter Ten (because the beauty sale scene was fun to write), Chapter Fourteen (once again, because it was really enjoyable to write, and also because Josie’s characters gets a bit of a shake-up) and Chapter Twenty-Five (because that ending with James still leaves my inner teen-girl all giddy).
ES: What are your top 5 books that you would recommend?
GT: Tough question! Although, I do LOVE a top-five list, which is why my first answer, in no particular order, is…
- High Fidelity, by Nick Hornby (Read it and you’ll see what I mean)
- The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling (Sorry, I’m cheating again!)
- Two Weeks With The Queen by Morris Gleitzman (I grew up loving that book and reread it recently – it’s perfect. Every word is perfect!)
- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (Simply stunning – please read it)
- … OK, I’ve chickened out! I can’t commit to a top five! I will say that I also love The Hunger Gamesby Suzanne Collins and anything by Kylie Ladd, David Sedaris, Roald Dahl, just to name a few.
CW: Was becoming an author something that was always in the back of your mind during your journalism work?
GT: You bet. It’s always been the end goal, I just didn’t ever dream it would happen so early (or at all). I’ve wanted to be an author since I was a little girl – to the point when I had a school assignment in early primary school where I was required to name the top careers I wanted as a grown-up. Author was on there! (Although, so was actress, news reporter, psychologist and, hilariously, craft-shop owner.)
CW: The character of Josie is so real and relatable in your novels. It teaches the reader that you don’t have to be a size 4 fashionista to make it in fashion journalism. Was this your aim when creating the character of Josie Browning?
GT: Thank you! I’m thrilled you find Josie “real and relatable” – thank you so much. My aim was telling an entertaining story set in the media – and a “real girl” like Josie Browning seemed like the perfect vehicle to do that. I’m just grateful people are responding to her – and her crazy shenanigans!