- Your parents are proper crazy.
- Your mother especially so. She might coerce you into robbing banks with her, or disappear to Tonga (maybe Fiji). She's fun, though.
- Your father is a total enabler. And just generally a terrible parent.
- You are academically intelligent without really having to try but spend little time at school or studying. Interesting, that. It's like, the only parts of your life that really exist involve you somehow developing emotionally or the narrative of your life being progressed. Hmm.
- Frequently you lose entire months and wake up only on the day of a significant plot point. I mean, life event.
- You are cripplingly shy, but it's endearing.
- Your best friend is both better looking than you are and more outgoing. They seek to help you on your path. They frequently show up at your house with fish and/or chips.
- You live in a suburb that is vaguely near Melbourne or vaguely on the Gold Coast but doesn't have a name, because Steph doesn't want to seem like she's being defamatory towards anywhere in particular.
- You steal things - either at the behest of your mother (e.g. cars, money from banks) or because you are endearingly mad (e.g. garden gnomes, lobsters from Chinese restaurants).
- You know a disproportionate number of blonde people, most especially tall blonde people.
- You know a disproportionate number of dead people, most especially dead people related to you.
- You are either an only child or the eldest of two. Your younger sibling is slightly odd, but no odder than you are.
- You are very introspective. You are really sad, a lot. It's a problem. Then you meet someone even sadder than you. Just a lot of sad folk, generally.
- You are an obsessive romantic but also socially inept, and this is a disaster, at least until you are saved from drowning by a total babe. That's a disaster, too.
- Conveniently, an attractive person shows up in your life who understands you, but who you communicate poorly with, hiding the fact that you are dying and/or a bank robber.
- People are pretty nice to you, other than your parents, who misunderstand you terribly.
- You are always eating something. Chips, yum cha, two-minute noodles. Just a lot of food generally.
- You have a lot of flashbacks. It's a problem. They often have some sort of symmetry with your current life. Your life has a clear theme.
- You find yourself in bodies of water a lot. Often during dream sequences. Always going for a swim.
- You have a pretty name. Maybe your actual surname is Pretty.
- You are obsessed with untranslatable words, strange ways to die and/or something suitable arty, you poor tortured little soul.
- If you go out at night you almost always commit a crime. Or if you go out during the day. You're a criminal, but a nice criminal.
- You never need to worry about money. Probably because you steal a great deal of it.
- You never get any older than eighteen. I don't know whether that's a problem or not. I wouldn't enjoy that, I don't think.
- You cannot leave your realm. No country except Australia really exists. If you wander too far from the main setting, details gradually disappear: strangers lack faces, the buildings don't have signs, there is only more of the same where things should change. Eventually you are enveloped in darkness. Don't go that far. It will swallow you whole. Don't think about the fact that you're not real. Don't think at all. Your reality is a very fragile one. Don't pull at the seams. Forget, forget. Be eighteen and melodramatic for the rest of your eternity. You are safe. Unless Steph decides your death would be good for the plot.
How to tell if you're in a Steph Bowe novel
Sunday, June 1, 2014