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 got 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.
Gabrielle Tozer is a senior editor, journalist and copywriter who has edited, sub-edited and written for several magazines, newspapers and anthologies throughout the past decade. In addition to Gabrielle's work on Dolly, Girlfriend, Cosmopolitan, DisneyGiRL, Bride to Be, Mamamia and FamilyFun, she has also written for creative journals such as GOfish and Take It As Red. Born and bred in regional New South Wales, Gabrielle now works and lives in the heart of Sydney.
Author: Gabrielle Tozer
Interview with Gabrielle Tozer
Question: What inspired you to write The Intern?
Gabrielle Tozer: I wanted to write a fun, entertaining novel that made people smile, laugh and relate to the main character, and I knew writing about internships could absolutely tick all those boxes. Plus, over the years I've written for loads of magazines (and have done a string of work experience stints and internships), so I figured that was a natural setting to set my first novel.
Question: How much of your personal life influenced the characters, scenes and ideas in the book?
Gabrielle Tozer: Josie and I have a few crossovers – she's obsessed with Hawaiian pizza, is a bit awkward around cute guys and doesn't know how to apply make-up properly. Josie also has to travel to the city to pursue her dreams of becoming a journalist – just like me! (I moved from Wagga Wagga to Canberra, then onto Sydney.) The beauty sale scene in the book is spot-on, too – those events were epic! I still have three drawers at home overflowing with beauty-sale goodies.
Question: What was the best thing about creating the character of Josie Browning?
Gabrielle Tozer: There's no doubt about it: seventeen-year-old Josie 'Brown Pants" Browning is a fun character to write. She is bumbling and loveable, which allows me to unleash my inner dork and create cringe worthy, heart-warming and sweet scenarios page after page. Sometimes I feel guilty for putting her through so much! She's not me, but she's become a part of me, so I love exploring all those teenage -firsts' with her again.
Question: How true to life is the 'behind the scenes" look we get into the magazine industry?
Gabrielle Tozer: I would say a fair bit of it is realistic: the hard work, the pressure, the boring jobs, the competition between people, the occasional brush with a celebrity, the exciting mix of creative personalities, the changing state of magazines… But as this was a work of fiction, I also had a ball exaggerating scenarios within the industry, although I tried to keep it grounded in realism where possible.
Interview by Brooke Hunter