#AuthorsForFireys guest blog: Gabrielle Tozer

This entry is part 20 of 31 in the series #AuthorsForFireys firefighting fundraiser series

This guest blog features Gabrielle Tozer, an author auctioning several items to raise money via #AuthorsForFireys for the fire fighting effort here in Australia. The full set of #AuthorsForFireys interviews and blog posts will be here as soon as they are published, as interviews and guest blogs for #AuthorsForWildlife will be here.

Gabrielle TozerMeet Gabrielle Tozer

I’m an author and freelance writer based in Wagga Wagga in regional NSW.

Like many people, the horrific bushfires leave me feeling helpless and worried for the future. My heart aches for the lives, homes, communities, businesses, wildlife lost around our burning country. The 24/7 news cycle is terrifying and I have a few closer-to-home connections that make it seem even more real.

Breathing mask, anyone?

Wagga’s air quality hit 999 on Sunday. Anything above 200 is hazardous. The air was thick with smoke, so thick it trickled inside and left a grey haze in the house. My family bought face masks but our eyes still stung, our throats still hurt. After taking the bins out, it felt like I’d smoked a pack of cigarettes in two minutes. I barely slept that night as I worried about my almost-two-year-old in her bedroom. Now when I head out to the library to write, I keep a face mask in my tote “just in case”.

Australia’s firefighters are volunteers

My uncle is an RFS volunteer firefighter and spent Christmas Eve pulling a 14-hour day shift to help a neighbouring community facing one of Australia’s most out-of-control fires. His uniform, still smelling of smoke, hung on the washing line all Christmas Day, which was a stark reminder this summer is like no other.

One of my old high school friends, Thomas Southwell, is also a RFS volunteer firefighter and facing a huge rebuild on his family’s farm and vineyard at Johansen Wines after fires ripped through Tumbarumba (about an hour and a half from Wagga). I’m devastated for him and his wife’s family, but they are staying hopeful and united as a community. Thomas’ wife and kids have been evacuated to Wagga, while he has stayed behind in Tumbarumba with the RFS to keep protecting what’s left of the vineyards and the local area.

Bus driver as community caretaker

Just a few days ago I had a moving chat with my bus driver (a former firefighter, whose father was also a firefighter) on my usual route into town about the bushfires, specifically in Tumbarumba. Seventeen members of his family have been evacuated, so he’s housing many of them and storing their four cars, a camper van, a caravan and two trailers in his backyard.

Life is uncertain for his entire family now. They’ve had to leave their homes and their jobs. Their belongings are restricted to what fit in their vehicles on evacuation day. But my driver, who initiated our conversation by checking that I was doing okay coping with the smoky air, kept stressing one thing, over and over: his family were safe and that’s what mattered. And, in the meantime, they’ll get through it together.

I won’t forget my conversation with this bus driver. I’m participating in #AuthorsForFireys because it’s a creative way to band together as a community for an important cause, raise some money on top of our own personal contributions and bring a little hope to our corner of the world.

Gabrielle Tozer’s offers

I am contributing:

Item 1: BOOK CLUB GUEST.

1 x 60-min Skype chat with me for your book club. We can drink, eat and talk books (or whatever you want!). Plus a signed Remind Me How This Ends and signed bookmarks for everyone in the club.

Update: This bundle now also includes a shout-out to your club in my next novel This Week Is Yours, acknowledgements and a bonus Skype/phone call.
https://twitter.com/gabrielletozer/status/1213905693943554049?s=20

Please bid on original tweet.

Item 2: CREATIVE CONSULTS

3 x 30-min phone consults with me to help you ramp up your creativity in 2020. I’ve got 17+ years in the media + book industries and I’d love to help you make this your most joyful creative year yet.

Update: This bundle now also includes a signed copy of my first YA novel The Intern and 10 signed bookmarks.

Please bid on original tweet.

https://twitter.com/gabrielletozer/status/1213906614962384896?s=20

Item 3: CHARACTER NAME

I’ll name a character in my upcoming novel This Week Is Yours after you. It’s published by HarperCollins and hits shelves in 2021.

Update: If the bidding war gets over $400, I’ll throw in a 30-minute “ask me anything” Skype / phone call.

Please bid on original tweet.

https://twitter.com/gabrielletozer/status/1213907225317539841?s=20

Want to know if this is legit?

Yes, it is legit. The whole community — Australian and global — is rallying together to support Australian firefighters, wildlife rescue and bushfire victims. Here are some reports on this effort.

Fundraiser information from Emily Gale

The #AuthorsForFireys auction will take place only on Twitter from Monday 6th January, ending at 11pm AEST on Saturday 11th January. Scores of authors, illustrators and book industry people will host their own individual auction under the hashtag #AuthorsForFireys and bids will take place on each tweet. At the end, the highest bidder donates the amount directly to the firefighters fund. After receiving proof of donation, the author or artist will dispatch goods/services or make arrangements for delivery.

As originally wanted by @EmilyGale and @NovaWeetman, this fundraiser is now officially for ALL fire services in Australia. The official Authors For Fireys Website will be updated accordingly. Winning bidders or auctioning authors can nominate funds to the fire service of their choice.

Items up for auction include signed books, original illustrations, one-off fan-art and craft, unique gifts and manuscript critiques for writers.

There is a supporting site, explaining how it works, at this address: https://authorsforfireys.wixsite.com/website. 

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